Elizabeth Gilbert and Rob Bell
Yesterday I spent Memorial Day with author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and pastor/author Rob Bell. It was an all day, audience participation workshop based on Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book, Big Magic, and one of Rob Bell's best sellers, Love Wins. What a great combination! I loved spending the day with these two wonderful souls. We all laughed a lot. They were just as I expected them to be, which was down-to-earth and comfortable, just as they are on Rob's podcast together.
When I arrived at the venue, The Wanderlust in Hollywood, I was impressed with the coolness of the place. Rustic wood and grey stucco, the wood giving it a more natural look for it's part as a yoga center during the week. The Wanderlust boasts a cafe that serves organic, gluten free fare with fresh juices and organic coffee. A covered patio, good music and a small store that sells yoga mats, water bottles, candles, backpacks, and earthy jewelry adds to the coolness. I saw a girl working in the cafe wearing Birkenstocks, and got a kick out of seeing burnt sage sticks in the bathroom. This was the perfect place for today; so California, earthy and artsy, like many of the people I saw in attendance. Organic coffee in hand and ready to find my seat, I knew by the energy I felt and the ambience I saw, that I was going to have a great day.
Elizabeth Gilbert and Rob Bell entered the sky-lighted, wood-beamed auditorium dancing down the center aisle, Ellen style. It was perfect. Then they told us to put away our electronic devices for the day; we wouldn't be needing them. Loved that! Our day had begun.
We listened to their stories, told with humbled wisdom and great humor. Stories of their own failures and lessons from life. I'm grateful they were so willing and honest to share with us. They encouraged us to give ourselves permission for creative living, the theme for the day.
Some of my favorite nuggets of wisdom I learned starts with grace. Giving yourself grace to have the courage to be curious. Curiosity is why we were at the workshop. Curiosity is a state of life that can transform you. Be the process that unfolds before you because it's important. It's an incredible invitation to become someone different, to grow, to change; which becomes a gift for yourself as well as for others. Fear is what stops our curiosity--don't let fear control you.
We were asked to journal, writing letters to ourselves on these subjects; Fear, Enchantment, Persistence, Permission, Trust, and Divinity. We learned the differences between a hobby, a job, career and vocation. Elizabeth and Rob took questions from the audience, which was wonderful. There was talk of mystics, Joseph Campbell and that Jesus invited people to dance. Life/The Divine/God is always talking to you; listen. Listen to your life, know your truth, and don't settle being friends with toxic people or let people take advantage of you which can make you feel undeserving of being happy and fulfilled. We've all heard that before, but it was still good to hear it again.
Every step you take to become your fulfilled self comes with resistance. I've heard this before too, and know when resistance is the strongest, that's when you really need to do what you don't want to do, what you are resisting the most. Your tribe, your friends, your family--all will have a hard time with your new self, your new walk. Know that enlightened people usually walk with a limp because they have encountered The Divine. Speak your permission to be you. This is where the life is...
There was so much more. Good stuff. I came away feeling full and happy from the day's talk and energy. I will definitely see them both again. Grateful for their honesty, wisdom, and giving.