An Evening With Elizabeth Gilbert

Did you know that Elizabeth Gilbert’s video on TED is the most watched?

I learned that last Thursday when I went to see her speak at an Academi of Life event in NYC.  This little factoid was thrown out during her introduction and I felt myself shrink down in my seat when I heard it.

OH NO!  What if they find out it’s ME?  Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED video stalker?  Relentlessly watching and pulling inspiration and laughter from her presentation.  Feeling a connection to her ideas on creativity.  Pulling from her the strength to move on when I feel on the verge of potential defeat.  Making peace with my muse, genius, inner artist…

It’s ME!  I’ll admit it!  I’m a stalker.

So when I took my stalking admiration for her “offline” and went to hear her speak last week I was not disappointed. She had that same humor (I think I shed a few tears), the genuine spirit of the girl next door you want to go have dinner and a glass of wine with (no worries, not in a stalker kind of way…just a “wow, she’s a cool chic” kinda way), and the insight that touched my heart once again (OK…I definitely shed a few tears).

She looked fabulous!  Dressed in a fashionable “greige” (you know…grey and beige…we’re into color here) color palette with her adorable little pigtail hairstyle.  A combination of classy and unique!

Here are some of my favorite moments, stories, and quotes from the evening.

“I was born comfortable on the page.  It’s where I grew up.”

Elizabeth has always been a writer.  She says it’s who she is and the only thing she’s ever been able to do well.

“My love of writing was unconditional.  I expected nothing of it.”

In the beginning she wrote just to write.  No expectations for fame or grandeur.  No desire for it to pay the bills.  She just followed her soul’s calling and did what she loved.  She wrote.

Struggling to write her follow up book to Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth discussed the struggle between the vision and the dream and the occasional disconnect.  When the vision of what you want to make gets made…but doesn’t look like the vision you had in your head.  She calls it the “non-identical twin of your dream”.    I love this idea because it happens often when we are creating.  The song, the painting, the final photo isn’t what we saw in our minds eye when we were creating it.  Sometimes it’s better…sometimes it’s not.

She talked about writing her first manuscript of Committed and it being bad, the non-identical twin.  How the block came, “writing and I left each other” and her foray into gardening.  Then one day while gardening it came back.  The words, the sentence, the story.  In her words, “Falling from the tree above, like a floating leaf.  I got a sentence.  That was the rewrite of the book.”  She rushed inside and “took a story for a walk across the page.”

A great lesson when the vision doesn’t come.  Wait, be patient, engage your mind in other activities…until it comes.  It will come.

It was a wonderful evening of inspiration and humor.

“I was born comfortable on the page.  It’s where I grew up.”

She may think writing is the only thing she does well, but this stalker admirer believes she has a beautiful gift for words, both written and spoken and the ability to bring humor and inspiration into the world.  I think Elizabeth has an amazing genius.

There’s MORE!

She also has a store in NJ called Two Buttons Imports.  I haven’t been but I checked it out online.  Antiques.  Treasures from Southeast Asia.  COLOR!!

You want to be a stalker now too don’t you?  Come on.  Admit it…