TEMPORARY TATTOOS, TEMPORARY LIFE…

Dear Ones —

I know a woman who gets tattoos all the time. She acquires new tattoos the way I might buy a new pair of earrings. She wakes up in the morning and announces, "I think I'll go get a new tattoo today." If you ask her what kind of tattoo she's planning on getting, she'll say casually, "I dunno….I'll figure it out when I get to the tattoo shop. Or I'll just let the artist surprise me."

Now, this woman is not a teenager. She's a grown woman with adult children, and she runs a successful business. She's also really cool, uniquely beautiful, and one of the freest spirits I've ever met.

When I asked her how she could mark up her body so casually and so permanently, she said, "Oh, but you misunderstand: It's not permanent! It's temporary."

Confused, I asked, "You mean, all your tattoos are temporary?"

She smiled like a sexy rock 'n roll Buddha and said, "No, honey. My tattoos are permanent — it's my BODY that's temporary. And so is yours. We're here on earth for a very short while. I just want to decorate my temporary self as playfully and beautifully as I can, while I still have time."

I love this so much, I can't even tell you.

I myself am not covered with tattoos. (Although I do have two of them. Before I went traveling for Eat, Pray, Love, I had two words written into my forearms in white ink: COURAGE and COMPASSION.) But I do want to live the most vividly decorated temporary life I can. I don't just mean physically. I mean emotionally, spiritual, intellectually. I don't want to be afraid of bright colors, or big love, or major decisions, or new experiences, or risky creative endeavors, or sudden changes, or even great failure.

BECAUSE IT'S ALL JUST TEMPORARY.

So let's try to be a little more playful with ourselves, OK?

How do you want to decorate your beautiful, transient self? Your beautiful, transient world?

HEART,
LG

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

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