Dear Ones –

Here's a photo I thought you might like: last night at dinner with Pastor Rob Bell and Iyanla Vanzant, after Oprah's The Life You Want Tour…all of us tired and happy and warm with the friendship that has grown out of this amazing event.

I wish I could share with you every moment of wisdom from these great people (and I will try to share more, over the coming week) but here is one beautiful lesson I picked up over the weekend.

A woman asked Rob yesterday how you can tell the difference between when your soul is talking to you, and when your ego is talking to you.

Rob started with an explanation of the ego, as a force that is never satisfied. Nothing will ever be enough for the ego — not enough money, not enough praise, not enough shoes, not enough Facebook likes, not enough donuts. (He didn't say the bit about donuts, but you get the point.) And when the ego DOES get something it wants (success, attention, a swimming pool), all it can do is crow about it.


Like: #KillingIt.

As for the soul, though, all it wants is joy and light and love…and excitement. When you are living the life that your soul wants to live, you will wake up each morning and say, "Oh my god, I can't believe I get to do this today!" (Whatever "this" might be — write this book, work in this garden, live in this house, see this friend, eat this food, raise these children, walk in the woods with this dog, go to this job, visit this family member, etc, etc…)

There is a place in our lives for our egos. (As Martha Beck, another great teacher always says: "Don't leave home without it.") You need some ego, to shore up your boundaries, to give you a sense of self, to keep some fire in your belly.

But don't let your ego make the big choices for you. Because it will do nothing but forever demand more, more, more, more. It will always say, "We don't have enough yet."

Look for the things that make your soul say, "I can't believe how lucky we are to have this!"…and try to surround yourself with as much of THAT as you can. And don't sacrifice the things that make your soul come alive for the things your ego demands.

Last night's dinner was a soul moment for me. I could not stop smiling. I could not stop hugging everyone and for some reason I really could not stop eating off Iyanla's plate. I could not stop thinking, "I can't believe I get to be here with these great and good people."

Love to you all,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall