Pursuing creativity by doing things you love and sharing them with the world is not optional, but actually critical for your mental health, happiness, and overall productivity. In this episode of Breaking the Bias, Holly Corbett, VP of Content for Consciously Unbiased, has Eve Rodsky back on the show. Eve is a Harvard-trained lawyer, author of the best-selling book Fair Play and also author of the newly-released book Find Your Unicorn Space.
Eve has spent a decade interviewing thousands of people on the gender division of labor in the household, and unpacking the final wave of feminism: gender equality in the home. With her latest book, Find Your Unicorn Space, Eve shares a framework for why making time for creativity is essential for reconnecting with your joy, fighting burnout, and creating more meaning in our lives.
This episode is for women, men, nonbinary folks—everyone. Eve’s framework for tapping into your curiosity to find clues about what fuels your happiness can create a ripple effect in our homes, workplaces, and communities. In this conversation, Holly and Eve dive into what unicorn space is exactly—and what it isn’t; how women can reclaim permission to be unavailable from their roles and take uninterrupted time for creative pursuits; and much more. Listen to the full conversation here, and read below for some key takeaways.
*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Holly: What is “unicorn space” exactly?
Eve: “It’s giving yourself permission to be unavailable from your roles as partner, parent or professional and take uninterrupted time for creative pursuits. That’s why I call it unicorn space: like the mythical equine, it doesn’t exist—especially for women—unless we reclaim it. Unicorn space is not a one-off spin class. It’s not a drink with a friend. It’s not a date night. It’s really the active pursuit of what makes you you, and how you share that with others.”
Holly: Why is pursuing creativity so important?
Eve: “I think the most important thing to tell you from the research—and I can tell you from the [research across many different] disciplines—is that creativity is not optional. Creativity, the way I’m describing it as in unicorn space, is literally linked to your mental health, your longevity, your redemptive narrative for how you heal. It’s a very, very important skill to cultivate.”
Holly: You share one of my favorite quotes in your new book, ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain.’ How might making time for creativity help us to do that, and to heal?
Eve: “We are coming out of the ashes of this great transformation, this great disruption in our lives, which is this COVID-19 pandemic. So now is a great time to start thinking about how you rise. I think how you rise is a really important distinction from thinking that you will always be happy—or that it means you can Eat, Pray, Love it out of your life. I don’t mean that, because what I like to say is that unicorn space is your umbrella from your storms. It will always rain, especially for women in this country. It is never going to be sunny, but it is much better not to be soaked. It’s much better to have an umbrella. So recognizing that the umbrella is how you show up for yourself and your creativity, and bringing other people with you by sharing it with your community, that is how you get started. We rise from that trauma [and despite challenging times].
Holly: Why do you think we all need to give ourselves permission to follow our creativity?
Eve: “As a lawyer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the social contract. If you think about the social contract, there is this idea that you take care of your young and your older members of society, and [it isn’t tied to payment or economic value. Those caretaking roles typically fall on women.] That’s why I think the GDP as a measure of value is really flawed, because all economists understand that the more we can be creative and have more people being creative, the happier the society and more productive the society. Time is our most valuable currency. For women [in particular], we tend to always bring our roles [of parent, partner or professional] into what we do, and we don’t give ourselves permission to find that uninterrupted time for creative pursuits that allow us to get into a flow state. For so long, we have placed a value on monetary things and what we produce, but we aren’t only what we produce.
Permission to be interested in your own life and in yourself is probably the greatest gift you can give yourself, especially as we’re thinking about resolutions for the new year. Share your unicorn space resolutions with others so that you can inspire people to also give themselves permission to be interested in their own lives.”
Fair Play Life
Find Your Unicorn Space
Forbes: How Women Can Combat Time Bias And Create Space For Creativity
Forbes: How Embracing Your Inner Artist Can Relieve Stress And Make You Better At Busines
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