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Elizabeth Gilbert, Part 1: Your Life’s Calling

2017-11-27 | 🔗

Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love," sparked a global conversation about what it means to fulfill your life's purpose. Elizabeth opens up about the soulful lessons she learned from her yearlong quest around the world. She also discusses how the uncertainty of transformation in our lives is never easy or painless, but is essential to experience. Elizabeth gives practical advice on how to start your own spiritual quest and answer your life’s calling.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey, welcome to supersede conversations the pod cast. I believe that one The most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us start right now,. When you re love, was first published Elizabeth appeared on the upper show to talk about how her book it sparked a revolution and stirred something up for millions of women. Little Elizabeth, know, the next leg of her own journey was just beginning. She married the Brazil We demand that readers fell in love within the book whose real name is Josie. Making peace with this idea of being married again was not easy. She, committed that sole turning process in her follow up book committed after eight years.
Writing about her own life. Elizabeth returned to her roots fiction. Writing in The signature of all things, Elizabeth created a passionate dependent thinking heroin, not unlike herself, Alma Whittaker This daring novel about a nineteenth century botanist quickly attracted excited. We there is an accolades from critics in the fall of twenty fourteen. I was thrilled. They have Elizabeth join me on the life. You want tour fowls, sheer when they hear her urgent message, you can take the lead and be the hero of your own story. Onstage, age or with their beautiful writing. Elizabeth aims inspire for nominal. Successive e pray. Love was just a hint of what was to come. So you know her as the author of each pray love. So many people do.
And her memoirs. So more than fifteen million copies appearing more than was two hundred weeks. It was It was a long has a long time oil into under weeks, on your terms, what that's like, almost four years here and there Dory has just reached into almost every corner of the world where women have access to reading and touch women's lives. Beautiful, rare and amazing thing. People will come up to me and they'll say I'm sure you hear this all the time they always begin, that yeah yeah. I'm sure you heard this all the time, but your book changed my life and I'm still capable of bursting into tears at that. Because I don't mind hearing it again, I really really. We hear a lot of bad stuff in their life, massively your life, it's that change like I've heard it from someone else, but not from you, your life, you like me, but what does that mean? I would say: Winton somebody's. If you change Miami
and what does that mean right away? You know Joe, I feel like what I am hearing from people mostly about it is that. For some reason- and this just boggles my imagination- there are still just huge swathes of women who never got the memo that their lives belong to them and there's this instinct that they have that they needed permission slipped from the suppose office for anything. I know, and I feel like an away you pray, love kind of was permission slip from principles ass. It said you are allowed to ask yourself really important questions about your wife, allowed to take her inability and ownership for your own journey. You're allowed to ask what sir you sometimes because an open bring up to serve everyone, but you're allowed to turn that on yourself, an honour, your own life that you were given any feeling it just got to people's somehow the
haven't quite put together. They could do that. You know what is so fascinating we're doing the life you want tour, but one of the things that I think active see. People like in captured over your words. When you say I did this anything that my mother did in her mother did in her mother did in her mother did and people can see themselves in that because we ve just sort of so many people. I broke the chain for my family cycle, but so many women have just done the thing that was always done. Thirteen the thirteenth get married next thing and yes, then the baby then come. You know, and it's just not thought it's not always chosen yeah reflex and the idea that you have the ability to change that. If you want to even if and the story that you tell onstage, even if you can't leave
If, where you are right now in Rome on your own quest right ran right, yellow story. I love so much because for years years women have come up to me. Said some variation of this. I would love nothing more than to do what you did to drop everything and run into go on a quest and travel around the world and find my true self, but I can't because I have a b c d obstacles. Yes, it's I haven't. Elderly relatives take care of. I have your young children who rely on me, I'm the provider for this household I've contracts with people who I loved. You need me I can just run away from them and I've and struggled with here's to figure out how to answer that when they say how can I go in my quest when I'm in that situation, which is most people to be ass staff, and I got my answer couple years ago in a bookstore in Washington DC, a woman came up after the signing, and she said I want to tell you about my mother, and she told me this story. Do I have time to you? Haven't I bring it here her stories about a mother who was Irish Catholic. Her up in a very traditional restrictive household in the fifties did were her mother,
grandmother and grandmother grandmother did got married and eighteen had five kids in Rome when the older, was ten and the youngest was two months. Her husband left her and never came back, and she was alone too, I'm just picture that the oldest is ten. The youngest is two months you're. Twenty eight. Your choice I know you're telling the story. I can't you know I'm thinking. Where was I It was twenty eight and just the idea of managing tumble was one even who was one. You know it's five and my kids and the heart. Break of somebody walking on you too, that you have to process. In addition to surrounding got tired, got further, could never from the left, took a train left and, and she had to figure out how to hold their family leathern. She did, and I dont the details of how she did it, I just know she's heroic she did it, but she did something else too, which is that she
a decision that very day that she realized. He was never coming home that her life was not always gonna. Look like this. This much sorrow this much oppression, this much poverty and she made a promise to herself TAT Sunday. Issues can see the world and then she got a coffee, can just a regular, humble, empty conflict stuck in the back of her closet, where her kids can see it, and, starting on that very day that her husband left her. She put one dollar in that coffee kind of started practice every day, one dollar, no matter what it took. Is it wasn't always easy to get it, but she figured her family is always desperate, for there is never day when one to break them. She could spare that sacrifice it and it took twenty years until kids were crunching ever touch that might just added to coffee can after copycat conflict and when the last it was out of the house she cashed in the coffee cans. She bought her supper ticket, unafraid or ship, and she sailed around the world alone ass. She had always promised herself issue
so the message that is, you might not be able to begin request today, but you can get your plan Consequently, going take the long view if you need to, but don't give up on that question in you about the world and your place within the world. Take whatever time you need but make your plan And begin today I just love backstory, two and now are women writing to you and telling you about their coffee cans. Suddenly The coffee can revolution re Oliver, amateur they're, sending me I started my coffee can today or their dialogue there somewhere, like I got my approach to inference, derives vaccinated can like whatever the vessel doesn't matter. Somebody's like all I have is an old pickles Is that ok yeah? That's ok,
to box, it's ok, it's a plastic bag. I don't care but begin honouring. Your quest and your journey by making that commitment, that every single day of new do something because you're either going to yeah at thirty one Elizabeth Gilbert seem to have it all. Before home a thriving career and happy marriage, but underneath her glove and a happy marriage but under, the glowing success. She was filled with despair, desperate free herself from a life she felt was not her own. She divorced her husband and set off on this. Europe question that took her to ITALY, to India and Bali that transformative expiring became her best selling memoir eat pray, love today, with more than fifteen million copies in forty six different languages, Elizabeth has inspired
a generation of women around the world to seek their own hearts journey. Do women write to you all the time trying to figure out how to stay on course for the quest for themselves, do they do they write you about that? I do and an honestly I feel like- and I think Commissioner Dron who we both love. Yes, she's. The older I get the more. I think every problem is just fear. I feel like I'm seeing that too, because the questions that people come to me with seemed always we'll down to some version. Fear it's either. I'm stuck and I'm scared to make a move to make a change or it's what I call the oak or to her high inversion of fear, which is perfectionism. You know until the path is perfect, until then, the operator you know yes, because protectionism is its own thing, perfectionism. Just a really is also really scared of nice fear.
Presenting myself in a way that doesn't look like I'm perfect, just fear in like really good shoes. You know still fear and I feel like almost every question that when we come to me with on Facebook and twitter in person when their stock, its fear, It amazes me is that use you start This revolution, you weren't, trying to start a revolution. You would just taking care of your own self and wrote this book a prey, love and Even now as we are on the life you want tour. I saw a facebook posts that you do the other day. I was just sort of bed and I was scanning. I wanted to thank all the people who come out to Detroit. I think it was- and I was you know when to post something- and I saw this post from you thanking me, which just really opened my heart in such a way that you giving such an incredible thing, not just what I was trying to convey that post
you just giving us to the ten thousand people who came to be there. You giving it to me and I'm allegedly, there is a teacher, but I'm actually there is. Student, because I'm only talking for forty five minutes and the Russia the weekend, you see I'm on it like this So that is what I wanted to give out during candidate. You say that I'm dish they're taking notes emotionally, spiritually and literally in the guise of a student when I'm not speaking, which is really only for forty five minutes. I'm sitting the front row with my heart mind why but I'm learning from Martinico and Rob Bolivia and depart from the brave audience pursue rise to speak from every one was there to share integral, and then you go on to tell this beautiful story that your friend shared, Can you tell us about that story? I love this. I brought my best friend to the life. You enter my best friend Elias whose life she got to meet. Gale
ass. She says she's you're going to go on unless this girl, what people they re, very tired and tells us we like she's, so gracious about it. So we were both on fire when we came home from the weakened, because we were just sharing and bouncing off. Everything that we had heard- and I was seeing is an incredible because you and I do this work like we will show up for our lives our present. In the day we are trying to bring the light. We are always, and yet there's always another. I am sure that you can do and rare who used to be a heroin addicts and homeless and imprison an inner just like a lost soul who pulled herself up from that. She said, When I was a junkie, I used to say thank you. Rock bottom there's always another trapdoor, there's always another bottom, there's always another bottom. There is always something lower. And she said, and now I'm in this moment of my life, where it gets good in its fine. I figured out so much and full of grace and full of life and gratitude. But there's always another level
there's always another ascension, Morgan more light, more general, more compassion more to shed more to grow, and that's all But when I came over the weekend and I wrote and that the open did that just give me a rope ladder up to another level of my soul. We all did that. I love that another rope ladder up to myself, yeah yeah. Now what I love that you're talking about on this life you want or is the heroes journey, and I who have loved Joseph Campbell and Quota Joseph Campbell in talks about following your bliss, and you know, or so many wonderful Joseph Campbell could I never knew that he felt that way about women in the journey. Well, we love Joseph Camel and we shall love him and I do love him and I still love em. You know, and he was just reporter really yet mean in a way it wasn't hit. It wasn't that he was a massage honest. It was that he was accurately report
that world hitter there. There are no women in the heroes which is guess why? Let's talk about the heroes yeah, so the heroes Journey, the suggestive Campbell, great twentieth, century scholar and teacher, a wheel master, a real, encompassing genius, spend its entire life, studying the myths, fairytales and the religious origins of every culture on earth. Looking for common threads right and he discovered that there is one story that never stops
told and has been told since we became human were telling it now we tell it in every language in the world and never goes away and that's the heroes Journey and it's very recognisable. Luke Skywalker. It's o d c is its Moses, its name o Andy, you know, and it's a restless youngster who gets called to the journey goes through. The road of trials suffers through dark nights of this all finds his teachers faces. The battle loses his fear, that's the shorthand for the eurozone. We need that story, it's a beautiful story. It inspires us, it shows us the way, but it's never included women and that's a big oversight that the most important human story that has ever existed. Doesnt cool women except aside characterising meteors mom. You can be the helpless virgin. You can be
yes, the old crone right, but you can be the Euro zone from it, and I had problems and Joseph Camel got challenged on that a wide by a wider young widow in Seattle. We just so, can you please give us some examples of the female here is journeying humiliated how because it doesn't exist, and then he would give the reason, which I also have problems with a view to the reason is that women don't each gone the heroes Journey, because the heroes Journey is all about the process through which a broken person becomes hall. Women don't need to do that process because women are broken. Women have no unresolved emotional she's. You and I know that women are totally whole already, because women possess this extraordinary power there. The life givers there, the womb there that the only ones who can generate life on earth and therefore their purpose is obvious, which is to have been and only to have babies, Azure saying abused as you're standing on sage saying that as we are travelling the country I mean I just Barville
The fact that you and I and every other woman watching were born at this time, because you talk about the fact that- and I think we as women people appreciate it and now that really were the first generation? that really has been allowed to choose to for ourselves a writer, on storage right, our own story. First and- and I say it all the time or a new species, but its astonishing. It's just astonished and the problem, and the part reason that sometimes we feel having half insane is that we don't have what men have we done thirty thousand years of role, models to show us how to be the euro, we don't have any really until very recently You dont have Odysseus. We don't have Moses, we don't. You know we
David and Goliath. Anybody yeah he's out there silly round the world where's Penelope, his wife she's got that big scene at the loom, weaving and weaving and weaving, and we and waiting and weighty and waiting for something to change to her life, because she has no agency other than her job to be loyal unfaithful, while he's out there sleeping with goddesses assailing around the world? You know I'm so so it's it's understandable to me when women hesitate on the brink of the journey and wonder no wonder they don't feel like they have permission to do. There's no wonder it's scary who did this before as your grandma? I do this right. You know, maybe your grandmother did a few were like british aristocracy and she was, but probably not for you at the point of literally not not a nervous breakdown but breaking down emotionally. You were at the point where the choice to stay
I would have been worse than carrier and living yes, currently yeah. That's when we change my earlier I mean, unless you're really evolved, usually onto the work to change. Until now Changing gets worse nice then that quote: yes, they, like until the status quo, is actually scarier than the transport right yeah an end, and I had to step up and stand on my own two feet and say this life is not my destiny and I have to leave, and I was terrifying and in its also her we spoke earlier about doing what your mom. Doing what your grandmother to doing what every all my answer at every woman I ever knew you got married and what everybody expects you to do when there's something else calling inside of you. This is the same as it is not a dream. You know- and this is not my path and a suspect,
they hard Seattle. My mother, I come from a dysfunctional family. I really admire and revere my mother. It's really hard not to imitate your mother when you admiring revere her. I'm because I wanted to be like her. She was strong shoes capable shoes, competent, she's, beautiful America say made. She did. Of course I did know the differences I was made to be something else. So do you believe that the Heroes Journey is a part of our dna yeah do and just a camel that argument really persuasively and the best evidence there ever is of that. Is that its told that story, around the world. They never heard of each other, and are you gonna like them? Tal precisely the same way in societies around the world. There never heard of each other, and are you gonna like middle of Papua New Guinea and you ask them what their great heroic tailors and they're gonna tell you, Moses Jason and the argonauts yoke Skywalker
like it there it like the names of the heroes, change and the settings change, but the path is so much exactly the same. That it really is kind of the blueprint for enduring difficult sort always begins with. The call call starts the thing and then the refusal of the call first comes. The com then comes. Don't ask me to do this. Don't take this cup away from me? Yes, I'm not a hero, don't look at me, I'm not! I don't have the power and just a kid regular Gaia. The call won't leave you alone now and then you begin the journey and then comes the road of trials which we all now, because we ve all been it's so interest because I'm just a producer on the movie salmon- and you know Martin Luther King Classic Classic cures journey. Yet the call does really wants Don't ask me to do it. I just want to have so many eyes and have a church in and be a nice preacher. Your year, oh yeah, I'm not your hero and an destinies like
you are here. You are or any new. I say you can you can answer the color. You can refuse the call really he could have refused to come. He could have refused. It could have insistently said It's not me, but he chose to answer and does not make for better story. You know things call is the same for men and women that we all have that calling that yearning to step out. Yes, absolutely whether you choose to hear it or not. I absolutely do I think that call comes in the middle of the night and the call begins. I mean look. The word quest is question. Like request begins with a question and the questions always the same question. How do you know that you're being called a something? What are the side you get? The question here is the question: what do they come here to do with my life tell him. You never got that question. That's the question that begins every single quest. What have I come here
do with my life? There's, no one who hasn't had that question come to them. That's the car! That's the call! It's like with your hand, you're, pretty now you're, just pretty you're real pain, tat. You will not be a really watch a break about a further morning and evening ice cream and you're really not listening, not losing, because everybody's got in and I won't be one or another dive. Here to do with what have I come here to do they live now you can Choose to ignore that question or you can pursue it and the pursuit is the beginning of the journey. Now. Isn't it true, though I've I just. I knew this for myself when became a time for me to leave Baltimore and We body around me was saying: no, you there's no way you're going to succeed. I didn't hear it as much as I felt it. I felt that if I didn't move,
From where I was for whatever I was being call to here, obviously in Chicago, I felt it I didn't do it that a part of me would die. I felt that I would just I would just like not physically die, but that a part of me would sort of shrivel up in some way and that I would not be emotionally spiritually myself. Did you feel that at this Two! Yes absolutely and I had a friend you said to me: you stand this path. You you're gonna, you might actually die like you might get very sick. You might crash your car into every, like you might get so depressed that you know, like you might literally. If you don't change really and an eye rivers, I think what makes people sick they just part of them, just AEGIS Ashraf. Accurately like you just like you die in pieces and and we ve all seen people who have sort of shut down in pieces and died
so that feeling that you kind of don't have a choice right like I had the same thing when I used to tell people what, when I was teenager that gonna be a writer like what it nobody ever lying you never here. Are you that's where the big money is did you know that easy path, you'll get there? You know like no one ever in history, said that it, didn't matter what they said, because I had no choice. This is what I I knew what I came here to do. I don't have to succeed succeeding, means answering the question following the quest wherever it ends. You know. The point is like: did you try, you know, did you and a part of that you show up just a part of what you would you big. So clear is, up. Everybody gets called, you can choose to answered or not, once you do answer it. You're gonna be face with obstacles and challenges, and people who look like friends or not yeah yeah, oh it's!
yeah like. I mean. I think what I really try to communicate with people is that we try to orbit delusion on the society the way we sell changing your life as if it's something like yeah. You know how and in what I say is that if you, if you doing this, if you're gonna answer the call and you're in transforming owing to Chile step up. Do we use was to be in the way already could get ready. Yet it is not a day at the beach, like you know, expect to be challenged, expect to be heard, expect to feel last expect to feel despair expect to be double guessing yourself at every turn, like my because that's what the road of didn't called the road of trials cause like a joy ride, you know that the road of their just Campbell called it the road of trials cause that's exactly what it is, but every single one of those obstacles, challenges and temptations that you have to learn to managed will help. You gain your talents and powers and schedule.
Years so that when it comes time for the climactic seen in every heroes journey, which is the battle you're ready, because every single one of those obstacles prepared from here with you so that you know and then then you lose your fear and then you become the here. What was your actual battle, so we know the leaving the going out the eating pray, let where was a real bad? The real battle for me was my own self abuse was to learn how to job had dropped the knife that I was holding to my own through, so that I was never good enough. I was never I couldn't let go my failures, I couldn't let go my shame. I couldn't let go of anything wrong I had ever done. I had an inventory that was so long and
that happened in India, because an all remember, I remember very well because I was informants of meditation and that that was my battle was the four months and that meditation cave alone with no distraction, no friends, nothing except me, and it and the it was the anger, the sadness sorrow, the shame, the pain and, and we were in their yeah. My head. Like most of our heads, a neighborhood, you dont want to walk around alone and at night you know it's nice in there and when you are forced to be there- and I just remember the day that I finally this was my victory in my battle, all my demons, all my monsters that I've been carrying around forever. The light came through, and I realized they're not
demons they're, not monster snatch. Ragged I've been making them more grandiose than they are there. Just the orphaned parts of me, they're, just the fearfullest, most young, terrified parts of me: they're scared to death and their throwing temper tensions because of their fear, and now I have to tell them, it's gonna be ok and they will all sleep. I am the mother of all of these parts of me and I remember just sort of
in my mind ascending above them all and just say, I love you fear, and now you go to sleep. I love you anger. You're part of me is fine, I'm in charge. Now I love you, shame even you come into my heart. Go to sleep, you're safe! I love you, I'm not leaving you. I can't you're part of your perfect why you never can be with I love you. Failure coming to my heart asked you're, so tired, you're, so scared you just children, you dont how the world works. I love all of you have space for all of you and together just gonna go forward now that Mommy's driving now and money is the part of me who can embrace everything that I am a peace. I think so many people think they go. If you wrote that book and you conquered your own dark night, the sole where the hero fines is lost and questions everything. What was your dark night
so many of us during this sitting. You quieted all the fears that was a dark was at its heart. When I did I address you know, I think my my reckoning was that I went away for ten days once during that time to be an absolute silence for ten days now, books, now, writing nope in just went to this island ten days of silence and either. I think I wept out ten lifetimes of sorrow. I just walk around this island, sobbing praying talking and just being like, and I remember feel legumes peace summit. In a way I was like all you guys visited the battling demons, we're all gonna have to
you're out how to work together here, because we can't be like this, like we're going to have to figure out how to integrate this thing called herself. What did you learn about yourself that any voice that you have that attacks you in any way is not your herself and I think the trick that we had fallen to sometimes, is that I think we have these three layers of self. We ve got a little scared kid we ve got older sister perfection is judge, who we think is the herself writes a little scared. Kid is like all that is causing me because I'm hungry and get older sister scared judge says you idiot. You know like there's. Always you always were when? Are you gonna stop doing this yourself when you than it like an and you think? That's your hide. Your higher self, because it knows mark, is clearly its right away, like you can't keep abusing yourself like this, but if it's speaking to you in that tone, I can guarantee that is not the voice of God, and that is not your chin.
God, because it doesn't common that tone, if it's doing any of this, it's just a judge inside you, but it is not grace because you'll know grace when you hear it has great says, I'm sure what you do, your splendid and magnificent I'm here and I'm right beside you and we're gonna get through this. As the only thing grace ever says, it never says you screwed up and never says you gonna do better. Like Greece never says that you say that, yes, that's right, you know, grace says: loves: come embrace, save us peace, you'll know it. When you hear it. Is that what you call God grace yeah yeah. I think there s a new it's it's. I said this. She before God is simple definition over is whatever lift your face.
The dirt, as we do, spend a lot of our lives kind of like in the mind you know and anything that list and sends you and gently comes, and MRS Ries rise rise. That's great, thank you. Thank you. Oprah for everything and all the weight that you bring to us all I'm over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations podcast. You can follow super soul on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. If you haven't yet go to apple podcast, unsubscribe rate and reviews, this podcast join me next week for another supersede conversation. Thank you for listening.
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-05.