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HAPPY MONDAY, DEAR ONES!
OK, so I had a realization recently, which is this:
I have been thinking too small.
I have been aiming too small — if that's even a sensible way of saying it.
I realized this when I was hanging out with an old friend a few weeks ago, and we were talking about our aspirations and goals — where we want to be, how we want to be, who we want to be.
To my surprise, when she asked me to express my biggest dreams about where I wanted to be a year from now, all I could answer was that I wanted to be living in a state of pure and unconditional love for myself and all humanity.
I started talking to her about the two genuinely mystical experiences I've had in my life — moments when the walls of "reality" fell away and suddenly I saw myself, everyone else, and the entire universe for what it is: a divine dance of love.
One of those experiences, I wrote about in EAT PRAY LOVE, when I talked about the feeling of "sitting on the palm of God's hand" in meditation one day.
The other experience was almost a year ago, when — in the midst of a huge burst of angry conflict between me and two friends — I was suddenly overcome by the most peaceful sense of compassion I have ever experienced…overcome by a sense of our oneness, our shared suffering, our shared longing for peace. Right in the middle of the fire of our mutual anger, all I felt was love. Love for them, love for me, love for anyone who is standing in the hell of conflict, suffering.
In both cases (in India, and more recently right here in New Jersey) I floated around the world for a while in a state of pure bliss and love.
In both cases, I could never imagine worrying about anything or ever being angry at anyone again.
In both cases, I felt like, "Existence is so simple, once you get here — to this place of peace and kindness."
…and then it vanished.
And in both cases, after it vanished, I was like, "Oh, well…that was nice, but it can't last, I suppose."
And immediately I went about my mundane life again — getting caught up in dramas, being judgmental, getting mad at myself, getting mad at others, worrying about everything. Because those two golden moments of total peace and comprehension were just impossible divine visitations, right? Even though I would LOVE to live in a state of bliss and compassion and contentment all the time, it isn't possible…right?
But why am I aiming so small?
This is what I asked myself, while I was talking to my friend about my goals. Why have I put this limit on myself — this limit about what my heart is capable of feeling, and for how long?
Why have I committed myself to anything less than total love and harmony?
Why not aim for more than the mundane, the small, the restricted?
Why not aim bigger?
How much work am I willing to do — in terms of prayer and forgiveness and acts of grace — in order to grow my heart to its utmost capacity?
What addictions am I willing to give up (judgment, blame, shame, gossip, panic, drama?) in order to treat myself and others with the highest possible kindness?
Why did I give up so fast on unconditional universal love, once I'd been blessed enough to glimpse it those two times? Was that not an invitation?
Because if unconditional universal love is not worth striving for, then what in heaven IS?
And so…here we are.
It's Monday morning.
I'm hard at work. Living my life, doing my chores, meeting my obligations, cleaning my desk, editing my book, returning emails, etc.
But I'm working hard at something else, too:
I'm working to manifest the biggest big-heartedness I can possibly reach. All the love I can hold, and more. That's what I'm aiming for.
Who's with me?
Is there anything you're aiming too small about?
Anybody ready to reach a little higher?
Anybody have any wisdom on how to do it?
DEAR ONES –
I loved so much reading about (and seeing images of) all your creative projects today. Gave me a thrill to picture all these minds and hands and voices and imaginations across the world, hard at work on the devotional practice of MAKING. So beautiful.
Meanwhile, I took the day off from my normal creative practice (writing) to practice the art of friendship — a slumber party with a beloved old friend, walks and talks, dressing up, laughing, and, of course, experimentation with temporary tattoos. (We elected to put doves over our hearts, and giant bears on our arms….this felt about perfect, for who we aspire to be…)
I feel restored by this day, as if by magic.
I will be back to work tomorrow, but with the heart of a dove and the power of a bear…and the soul-lift that only a golden friendship can provide.
Love to you all, and to all a good night!
…as were we all!
What's everyone making today?
The WORST, when that happens.
Dear Ones –
We get a lot of new people joining this Facebook page every day (thank you for joining our little community, new folks!) so once a week, I try to give everyone all the information they might want, about other places on the Internet to find me.
So let’s run down the list:
My website is https://ift.tt/sUqSyM. There, you can find information on all my upcoming events, see videos, read my thoughts on the writing process, and download book club guides to my books!
I have an email newsletter (where I always reveal my big news first, see exclusive home videos, and sometimes run contests, when I remember to.) You can join the newsletter by clicking the icon on the left of this page called "LizNews" and signing up. (You can also sign up for LizNews on the homepage of my website.)
You can follow me on Twitter, where I basically just goof off, at: https://ift.tt/1tJzIxR
You can follow me on Instagram (which I just started because some 14-year-olds told me to) at:
You can follow me on Pinterest (that addictive crack house, whose vortex I try not to tumble down too often because it’s a gorgeous suckhole) at: https://ift.tt/1tJzKpd
And if you EVER want to buy to buy signed copies of ANY of my books, you can buy them online through the shop, Two Buttons, that I run in New Jersey with my husband (otherwise known as “that Brazilian guy”.) The link is right here: https://ift.tt/1pfR7PX
That is all, my dears!
(And yes, in all these various social media forums, it is actually ME doing the posting, the chatting, the responding, the pinning, the time-wasting. I like it. It’s fun. I like hanging out with you guys. I’m glad you like hanging out with me. Also, I have no children and my husband cooks, so I have plenty of extra time on my hands…)
Thanks for everything!
ps — this lovely person luxuriating in this body of water in this photo is not me. but the sentiment is mine! 🙂