I just had the opportunity to attend a Webcast with Elizabeth Gilbert. It was epic. So many nuggets of GOLD in this. I had to write about it. I’m sharing my key take-aways & my reflections on them.
Take away one: VULNERABILITY unlocks magical connection.
Paraphrased, she said “the deeper you reach in your truth (and share it) the more you connect with others.” Amen. Because you create space for connection through your vulnerability.
No one is perfect. No one has it all figured out (even if you think they do). Everyone struggles. That’s what makes us human! Struggle is PART of what makes life magical! And when we share that with others something truly magical happens.
Take away TWO: Authenticity solidifies connection
She started by sharing this quote.
“It’s better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection” – Bhagavad Gita
And went on to talk about the difference between authenticity & perfection. We all know people who are “glossy” and have a veneer of perfection. But it’s hard to relate to those people. They make you feel less than or you simply can’t connect. There’s no relatedness. It’s about owning the mess you are.
Being authentic is one of my core values. For many years I thought that I had to be the “picture perfect” fitness professional to really be successful in this industry. But here’s the game changer. When I led with vulnerability & authenticity (aka being real & honest and showed genuine care) my business & my LIFE just blossomed. Partly because I could just be ME. And when I could just take down the front & just honour my journey exactly as it is. Doors opened and I experienced freedom & happiness like never before. AND the kicker? People are DRAWN to that! I am more successful now, sharing my honest path -then I ever was before!
Take away THREE: Priorities
You only have a certain amount of energy to give to the world – and it’s about choosing what matters to you, and saying NO to what doesn’t truly matter to you.
Elizabeth talked about a friend who really called her on her shit early in her writing career. She was working 4 different jobs to make ends meet. She was spinning. She wasn’t being successful but really wanted to be a writer. Her friend asked her this:
“What are you willing to give cup to have the life you pretend to want?”
Of course, really confronted by the word “pretend” Elizabeth engaged. The friend asked her what her favourite TV show was. She answered, “The Sopranos” – the friend responded, “you have time for Tony Soprano’s journey, but not your own?” #boom
The friend went on to ask her about her favourite restaurant & magazines to read. And said those things are no longer part of your life.
And she said it wasn’t just about giving up the things that she didn’t want – it was about giving up some of the things she really enjoyed too! Because they weren’t a priority.
You have to give up things you enjoy – to create space for what you REALLY WANT.
And if you don’t REALLY want it – you won’t. It’s pretending you want something. Because you think you should want it or you sort of want it. But if you’re not willing to give up your excuses & quit wasting your time on stuff that doesn’t really matter…then you don’t TRULY want it. (And that’s ok too BTW)
You have to give up the stuff that doesn’t matter AND the stuff that you enjoy – THE GOOD – to have what you REALLY want – the GREAT!
Take away FOUR: Crap Sandwich
She talked about a blogger who had this concept called the Crap sandwich. I love this! With EVERY dream, vision & goal there is a crap sandwich. Nothing comes without challenges, obstacles and parts you don’t like. Being a parent is magical. But cleaning up poop is not. Having your dream job/ owning your business is AMAZING & liberating & freeing – but there are COSTS (some big ones). There is a CRAP SANDWICH with every awesome thing. You just have to choose the flavour. #boom #truthbomb
Accept that there will be difficulties. Accept that with the good there WILL be challenges. Own your CRAP. Embrace it. And give up the good to have the great. That is how we achieve BIG MAGIC indeed.
Take away FIVE: Choose your boulder
Elizabeth talked about the Greek myth of Sisyphus. He was condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again. She talked about it as a metaphor for life. She shared a philosophers view on it that at some point we have to accept that Sisyphus loved his boulder. And the choice in live isn’t “how do I avoid pushing boulders, but WHAT is the hill/ boulder that I find so interesting I’m willing to do that?”#brilliant
And further – it’s about OWNING the boulder we’ve chosen to push. Others may not “see it” or “get it” but “I made this one, and I think it’s kinda cool.” #truthbomb
When we can find a way to enjoy the journey & come to accept that it is our journey to do this it removes the resentment. And removing that resentment opens us up to finding acceptance & peace. And so no matter what happens – no matter where the journey leads (even if it’s a seemingly fruitless & repetitive task of pushing a boulder up a hill) – that we’ve succeeded!
And along the way people may not always “get” our journey. They may not “get” why we keep doing what we’re doing (especially if by outward standards it seems like we’re pushing a boulder up a hill). But that’s not the point. Only I have to love & choose my boulder.
I’m so grateful to have been able to be on this call. It was a professional development webcast I earned by being successful with Team Beachbody. So grateful to be involved with a company that values creativity, growth & human potential.