Field Trip: Elizabeth Gilbert Lecture

Over the summer, on the exact same day, at exactly the same time, I was texting Ed to tell him that one of our literary heroes, Elizabeth Gilbert was coming out with a new book Big Magic, and he was texting me to tell me that Elizabeth Gilbert was accepting essay submissions asking readers how Eat, Pray, Love affected their lives.

Liz Gilbert would call this synchronicity *BIG MAGIC.*

Ed and I have been faithfully listening to her podcast leading up to the book release and we each downloaded the book on the release date. Along with listening to it, I read it to highlight the heck out of some amazing quotes, such as:

“I finally realized my fear was boring…..because it was the same thing everyday.”

“….creativity cannot take a single step forward without fear marching alongside it.”

“To even call someone a creative person is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species.”

“…you will never be able to create anything interesting of your life if you don’t believe that you are entitled to at least try.”

…and on and on and on.

We knew we wanted to see her somewhere on her book tour, but my hectic schedule was making it difficult. We were both thrilled to hear she would be appearing locally and bought tickets immediately.

LG

Liz Gilbert was simply delightful. She was incredibly down to earth, yet impressively articulate. The woman definitely has a way with words and certainly expresses ideas about creativity in such a relatable format.

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Her lecture covered the topics we read about in Big Magic, particularly creativity and fear. I found it very refreshing to hear that Liz Gilbert herself has struggled with an incredible amount of fear, particularly when it came to her creative pursuits.

I really liked Liz’s comeback to when fear tries to tell us “who do you think you are?” This can be in creative pursuits or in any area of our lives. I think I have personally been struggling with this in relationship to my career, as I blogged about here. Liz discussed “the arrogance of belonging” and creating a new relationship with a sense of entitlement. She discussed that this is not diva or princess like entitlement, but an assurance type that asserts our rights. This really resonated with me and the work I have been doing with my root chakra and asserting my right to here. I sometimes need to remind myself that I do have a right to be here (in my career, as a yoga teacher, as a creative individual) and need to define for myself why that is true when that fearful voice creeps in.

I also loved Liz’s discussion of perfectionism. A phenomenon I am recovering from and still struggle with on and off. Liz reminded us that perfect things can never be made and we often romanticize or proudly announce our perfectionism. However, perfectionism is just another form of fear. Once she said this, it made SO much sense to me and resounds true with my anxious feelings of not being perfect at something. There is an embarrassing list of things I have not tried, because I was afraid I would not be good at them. I really hope this realization frees me from shying away from things I am completely suck at (that list is pretty long, too).

Liz was gracious enough to sign books after the lecture. I got my hard copy of Big Magic signed and Ed got his essay submission for Eat, Pray Love Made Me Do It signed:

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I highly recommend Big Magic! This book truly gave me permission to re-think my relationship with fear and gave me permission to not work so hard to eradicate fear (which is impossible) but have a peaceful co-existence with it, especially in conjunction with creativity.

“I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.”   Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s a once in a lifetime experience to enter in a writing contest of a well known author, only to win the contest and have the writer autograph the original copy before it gets published.  I consider myself very blessed to have experienced this opportunity.

I couldn’t agree with Angelina more – Elizabeth Gilbert is an eloquent speaker.  One of the reasons I enjoyed Big Magic so much was listening to her read her own work on audio.  I doesn’t surprise me that she became a number one best seller.

Once the publishing company allows the winners to show their work on social media, I’ll post my winning essay on our blog…FUN!

Peace,

Ed

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