Terrified of singing in front of a crowd of strangers? So is Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert.
But in preparation for her upcoming book, Big Magic, which encourages readers to face their fears, Gilbert decided to practice what she preaches. Which is how she ended up singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a New York City karaoke stage.
After sharing her experience on Facebook, readers demanded video evidence. Without any to offer, Gilbert decided to confront her karaoke fears again – but for a price.
The author challenged readers to raise $10,000 for the charity BlinkNow, and Gilbert promised to match the donations and offer up a video of her belting out the Bonnie Tyler hit. As of performance time, a total of over $110,000 had been raised for charity, and Gilbert delivered the goods.
See below for her performance on N.Y.C.’s Queen of the Night stage, and click here to learn more about BlinkNow and donate to the cause.
Elizabeth knows firsthand that creative work can be fraught with obstacles and anxiety, even when you’ve achieved some success. In Big Magic, she offers insights into the magical nature of creativity; the path to uncovering the “strange jewels” the universe buries within each of us; the courage to tackle what we most love (and fear); and the attitudes, approaches, and habits that will sustain a creative life. Elizabeth believes creative living is available to everyone — artists and non-artists alike.
Some of you may have seen this story circulating the Inter-verse lately, but I had to share it here, because it's so wonderful, and so powerful.
This young woman was dumped by her fiancé a week before her wedding. Instead of retreating into despair and shame, she asked her friends and family to show up on what was supposed to have been her wedding day, anyhow. They all got dressed up and helped her to…well…make some major alterations to her wedding gown!
The results are beautiful and memorable, as you can see.
What I see in these photos is a young woman who refuses to rescind ownership over her own story in any way. I see a young woman who won't play the victim. I see a young woman who is stubbornly holding autonomy over her own life. I see a young woman who is calling upon her creativity and her dignity, in order to make peace from the pieces…and who (wisely) decided not to do it alone.
I've talked on this page many times about the importance of ceremony and ritual, in order to mark the most critical transitions of our personal stories. Ceremonies are intended to carry you safely through your changes (happy or sad, welcome or tragic) and to make sure that you don't get lost between one chapter of your life and the next.
If you skip the ceremony, sometimes it's difficult to safely process the transformation.
I believe that when society doesn't have an established ceremony in place for what you need — for the transition that you are facing — then you are TOTALLY allowed to make up a ceremony of your own.
Weddings are important ceremonies, with a deep tradition behind them. But there's no ceremony in place for how to get over being dumped a week before your wedding. So what this young woman did here? THAT'S how you create a homemade ritual, when you need one. That's how you bring meaning and light back into your world when nothing makes sense anymore. That's how you safely cross over to the next chapter.
Because even if we've done nothing to deserve it, we each get an entirely brand new, totally fresh, unspoiled, and completely free New Year.
(In my best Oprah voice: "You get a new year! And you get a new year! And YOU get a new year! And YOU get a new year!")
No dents, no dinks, no drama, no flat tires, no smash-ups, no mistakes — you just get to cash in the old year, and trade it up. A good clean do-over. A year you can do whatever you want with. No questions asked.
Which is why, every single year, on January 1, I wake up and think, "Dear God, maybe this year I'm finally gonna get it right."
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL, YOU GUYS.
You can't put a value on that sense of hope. I freaking love it.
Have a beautiful 2015, Dear Ones. Thanks for spending 2014 with me. I'll be here every day on this page in the months to come, and we'll hang. We'll keep figuring it all out.