Dear Ones – Some of you may have seen this story circulating the Inter-verse la…

Dear Ones – Some of you may have seen this story circulating the Inter-verse la…

Dear Ones –

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.

That's how you say: ONWARD!

I bow down to her. She's awesome.


I got left at the altar: turning heartbreak into artwork
As the day that was supposed to be my wedding day approached, none of us knew what to do, think or feel. I knew that a pity party was the farthest thing from what I wanted or needed. A few people b…

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

Dear Ones – This is why I love this day. Because even if we’ve done nothing to…

Dear Ones – This is why I love this day. Because even if we’ve done nothing to…

Dear Ones –

This is why I love this day.

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."


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.

It's gonna be good, y'all.

Gonna get a little more of it right by the day.

Feel it in my bones.

Bless your beautiful new years…


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

HAPPINESS JARS! Dear Ones – Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it m…

HAPPINESS JARS! Dear Ones – Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it m…


Dear Ones –

Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce to you all the concept of a Happiness Jar.

Here's me with mine!

What is a Happiness Jar? The simplest thing in the world. You get yourself a jar (or a box, or a vessel of any kind) and every day, at the end of the day, you grab a slip of paper and write down on it the happiest moment of the day.

Even on lousy days, you do this. Because even on lousy days, there is one best moment (or at least, one least-worst moment.)

You stick that little piece of paper in the jar.

Over the years, you have a record of your happiness.

On bad days, I will thrust my fist in that jar and go fishing — pulling up a handful of great moments that I would have utterly forgotten, had I not documented them.

I've been doing this practice for years, and I love it.

If my house ever caught on fire, this would be the one material object I would grab before I ran out the door…because what's inside this jar? THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT — the whole point of this life.

Over the years, my Happiness Jar has taught me much. What continually amazes me is what ends up on the slip of paper every day. Not awesome events, not huge achievements — usually just a small and tiny thing, a moment of awareness…that moment when you step outside and between the house and the car you get hit on the top of the head with a beam of sunlight, and suddenly feel awash with gratitude simply for being alive, and you think, "Yes. This is it."

It's usually something that small — and something that grand.

I know that many of you have started this practice, too — and I love seeing the pictures of your jars, and hearing how you have adapted this to your own lives. I love the woman who put one in the middle of her dining room table, and she and her kids each put an entry in there every day — what a cool family practice! And I love the woman who wrote to me last week saying that she had the hardest year of her life, but she kept her Happiness Jar practice going the whole time, and today — on the last day of the year, she's going to pull out each piece of paper in the jar, to remind her that even now, even in hard times, there was always one good moment a day.

So if anyone wants to begin this practice tomorrow, a New Year is always a great place to start!

Sending love, and, of course, wishing you all an abundance of Happy Moments in 2016!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

MAKE YOUR OWN CEREMONY! Dear Ones – We are in the end days of Week 52 of 2014,…

MAKE YOUR OWN CEREMONY! Dear Ones – We are in the end days of Week 52 of 2014,…


Dear Ones –

We are in the end days of Week 52 of 2014, and it's time for me to start thinking about what my New Years Day ceremony will be this year.

New Years Day is my favorite holiday.

(Note: New Year's Eve is NOT my favorite holiday — all that staying up late, all that noise, all that pressure to be having the BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR WITH THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AT EXACTLY MIDNIGHT…it gives me hives.)

But I love New Year's Day, because I can never get over the generosity of the fact that we all get a BRAND NEW YEAR, totally for FREE — with no dents, or dinks, or mistakes yet.

It's the ultimate REFRESH button.

I like to do ceremonies on New Years Day. I make them up in my head. For years, I used to do this ceremony where I would go for a walk in the woods at dawn, and the first wild animal I saw would be my totem animal for the year. (Domesticated pets and squirrels didn't count.)

Then one year, I saw a fox. A gorgeous, flame-colored fox walking in the fresh white snow! It looked over its shoulder at me. That did it for me. I decided that foxes would be my totem animal for LIFE. So I don't do that ceremony anymore, because I don't want to break the fox spell.

Last year, I got my family together, and we wrote down things we wanted to get rid of in 2014, and things we wanted to beckon into our lives, and then we burned the pieces of paper and threw them in the ocean, along with breadcrumbs and roses.

One year, some friends and I got Chinese lanterns, and lit them while reciting our wishes, and sent them up into the frosty night sky, and almost burned a neighbor's house down, but that's another story. (KEEP MUM ABOUT THIS ONE, PATRICIA!)

One year, I got some friends together and we made bird feeders out of pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, but before we put the birdseed on the pinecones, we swished the birdseed around on pieces of paper that had all our wishes written on them, so the birds would eat our wishes and fly them up into heaven.

Yeah — what I'm saying is: You can make up a ceremony out of just about anything.

May I suggest getting elemental about it — as in: work with nature. Use some fire and water. Be clear about what you are letting go of, and what you are drawing in.

Start making your plan and getting your materials together now.

Decide if you want to do your ceremony alone, or if you want to do it with friends.

But most importantly: Decide what you WANT.

Because you only get one brand new unsoiled, unspoiled, beautiful and fresh new year ONCE A YEAR. Use it well!


ps — Art credit: Robert Farkus…

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

MAGIC COUGH JUICE! Dear Ones – So…I’ve been sick for about ten days now with…

MAGIC COUGH JUICE! Dear Ones – So…I’ve been sick for about ten days now with…


Dear Ones –

So…I've been sick for about ten days now with this bullshit chest cold, distinguished by a cough that makes me feel like a doomed minor character in a tragic Russian novel.

Last night at midnight, coughing myself crazy and unable to sleep, I went on Twitter and asked if anyone had good suggestions for home remedies for coughs. (Because where else would you go at midnight for quality medical care, but Twitter?)

Everyone submitted their best advice, and I took feverish (literally!) notes. Then, this morning, I mixed together pretty much all the major ingredients everyone had suggested, and boiled it down into a powerful fluid, which I am now calling MAGIC COUGH JUICE.

Here's what we got:

Pineapple Juice
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder

I've been drinking it all day, you guys, and I'm pretty sure it's working! Coughing is definitely on the wane***. I don't feel like I'm auditioning for Les Mis anymore! I think we may be on to something here!

Feel free to patent this recipe, someone!

And tonight, just before bed, I plan to drink one last cup of MAGIC COUGH JUICE, but with the addition of the final remaining ingredient a few wise souls suggested on Twitter:


…and to all a good night!



via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

NOT SO FAST… Dear Ones — We are often told to slow down, in order to better…

NOT SO FAST… Dear Ones — We are often told to slow down, in order to better…


Dear Ones —

We are often told to slow down, in order to better enjoy our lives.

We are told to stop and smell the roses, and to pay attention to the little things, and to take time for simple pleasures.

This is all very true and very good.

But I've recently come into a new level of understanding about slowing down — which this: Do not necessarily rush through the bad stuff, either.

I learned this curious lesson from my friend Rob Bell, who told me this: "“Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.”

Often the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform us are the most worst and most difficult experiences of our lives — the failures, the heartbreaks, the grieving, the disasters.

For evidence of this truth, Rob suggests, try answering this simple question off the top of your head: "What are the three or four things that have happened to you in your life, that most formed you into who you are today?"

Think about it for a moment.

I'm wiling to bet that most — if not ALL — of the things on your list were "bad" things. The trauma of abuse or violence that you somehow survived. The betrayal that you overcame. The divorce that you lived through. The addiction that you finally beat. The death in the family that taught you never to take life for granted. That time when you got fired, and had to build an entirely new existence for yourself from scratch. That time when you got arrested, and finally had to acknowledge that you were out of control. The loneliness and isolation that you suffered in a new city or a new country, when you were trying to expand your horizons through travel. All the shame that you had to work with, in order to become a better person. All the emergencies that have called you into being.

The worst things that ever happened to you are very likely the things that have created you into YOU — or, at least, these are the things that have the potential to transform you completely….and maybe even for the better. As long as you don't rush it, that is.

This is not to glorify suffering in any way, but only to say — the most painful parts of our lives can have remarkable transformative properties.

But we want to rush through those horrible things, because they scare us and because it hurts so much. We want to shove it all under the rug and ignore it, or gloss over it, or pretend it never happened, or just MOVE ON as fast as possible.

What my friend Rob has taught me is to try to have the courage to SLOW DOWN a bit, and stay with the process — let it do its work on you, and look for the ways in which destiny might be inviting you to transform.

It reminds me of what my favorite meditation teacher, Pema Chodron always says — that most people (MYSELF INCLUDED!) quit meditating as soon as it becomes difficult…but in so doing, they miss the best part. They miss the part when you sit patiently through the difficulty and end up on the other side of it — having discovered some deeper, richer, more powerful aspect of yourself in the process.

I see people do this in regards to creativity as well. They quit being creative just as soon as it gets difficult, and thus they miss the amazing emotional unfolding that occurs when you endure the difficulty of invention, and finally solve the puzzle.

I myself often run away from emotionally challenging confrontations or conversations with people, because I'm terrified of the discomfort. But when I can discipline myself to slow down and stay with the process, I am often rewarded by coming out stronger on the other side — and sometimes saving a relationship, to boot.

So slow down. Slow down not only for joy, but sometimes slow down for the difficulty, as well. Life is in session, and life is always trying to teach you something.

Don't rush through any of the lessons that you are being offered.

All blessings, and ONWARD!


ps – image credit:

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall