The more I read by Elizabeth Gilbert and the more I listen to her speak, the more respect I have for her. Elizabeth has a decided and dedicated spiritual quality to her ability to be real, and choose words, stories, stories that become lessons. Not just her big novel ideas, but in the day to day work around feelings, emotions and creativity … She isn’t totally academic, and she isn’t entirely woo-woo, either. And yet she is academic and also has some ideas that are out there … (I’m reading Big Magic and it doesn’t all resonate with me) … But about her out there ideas, I love that she is tries everything on for size. That’s the work of writing and/or being creative. I love this idea of “learning how to come home [to yourself]”, because that’s the sacred space we all have, the big inner trust, as we create both our lives and our art. The place from which we speak our inner truth and create our thing, and externals don’t matter.
Here are her words about what coming home is for her::
For me, that home has always been writing. So after the weird, disorienting success that I went through with "Eat, Pray, Love," I realized that all I had to do was exactly the same thing that I used to have to do all the time when I was an equally disoriented failure. I had to get my ass back to work, and that's what I did, and that's how, in 2010, I was able to publish the dreaded follow-up to "Eat, Pray, Love." And you know what happened with that book? It bombed, and I was fine. Actually, I kind of felt bulletproof, because I knew that I had broken the spell and I had found my way back home to writing for the sheer devotion of it. And I stayed in my home of writing after that, and I wrote another book that just came out last year and that one was really beautifully received, which is very nice, but not my point. My point is that I'm writing another one now, and I'll write another book after that and another and another and another and many of them will fail, and some of them might succeed, but I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.
She is both spiritual and academic, rawly poetic and perfectly poised, sermon-like and historian … This lecture is bliss. But more than anything, her internal compass, her honesty, her transparency about her process, her willingness to not please everyone, is a rare precious moment in time, and I’m so grateful to be able to be a witness.
As for the work that must be done to be in this sacred space called home, you do it “by putting your head down and performing with diligence and devotion and respect and reverence whatever the task is that love is calling forth from you next.”
This, is a great sermon. Maybe that’s what TED Talks are, good sermons for creative souls …
Gratitude abounds …. xoxo