So often used in the same sentence, yet so elusive.
Today, I replayed the famous Elizabeth Gilbert TED video on just this subject.
And, I have one thing to say to Ms. Elizabeth Gilbert: I apologize.
I’m sorry for all the terrible things I said about that creative work of genius, “Eat. Pray. Love.” — I was wrong.
It was three and a half years ago that I finished that book, while sitting on the berber carpeted floor of the Denver airport, stuck with 400 of my closest friends in a snow storm that packed us all in like sardines with nowhere else to go but the sticky, dirty floor.
I hijacked an electrical outlet on the upper level near the food court in order to keep my computer plugged in all night so I could finish the “book” which I was listening to on CD.
All my friends were telling me to read this book.
Strangers were bringing it up in conversation. Eat. Pray. Love. Eat. Pray. Love. EAT! PRAY! LOVE! So, I bought a CD version to listen to on the plane.
As I sat on the floor with headphones plugged into my ears, listening to Elizabeth’s international tale of divorce, eating, and soul searching around the globe, I thought, “This woman is ridiculous!”
Actually, I thought the story was totally blown out of proportion, making normal life look like high drama heresy. So she got a divorce, ate too much pasta and prayed a lot? Fooey.
In reality, my reaction was just a reflection of my own sorry state: still in the throws of a contentious divorce, restraining order in hand, tied up in expensive court appearances where the other party was a consistent no-show, and a job lay-off within five months of each other.
To top it all off, the book found me flying home to see my family for the holidays crushed and crinkled, no ring on my finger, no job, no home. (Which, if for nothing else, makes for interesting Christmas dinner conversation.)
Now, looking back, I realize, it was not Elizabeth who was ridiculous — it was me.
I was not able to see her creative genius through the lens of my own crumpled life, and the FEAR I was living in and under. Which, it seems, is always the case — we only know what we know, we only see what we see.
Today while re-watching this TED video, Elizabeth’s words stuck like glue to my heart when she said, “keep showing up.“
Not very creative, but GENIUS indeed.
Because isn’t that kind of consistency the secret sauce?
Keep. Showing. Up.
If I haven’t said it before, let me say it now.
Thank you, Elizabeth.
(Click here to view the video)