It’s almost a new year. This year was incredibly stressful if you paid attention to the news or lived with people that watched the news or got news in passing or just lived in America. Anyway when it’s a new year, people tend to make resolutions. And the new new thing to do is to pick a word that will guide you through the year or something. I don’t know. I obviously don’t do that.
BUT my aunties Oprah and Liz Gilbert gave me some advice. Well, some words that I wrote down and plan to take with me. Oprah does these Super Soul Sessions which is really her and her rich and famous and influential friends sit and have tea and talk. She has the out as podcasts. I’m not exactly sure of the date her and Liz sat down because Liz was still married to her 2nd husband but now she’s on her 3rd marriage with her first wife.
Anyway, Liz is saying that she’s never going to get tired of women coming up to her and telling her that they love Eat, Pray, Love. It is their thing. They can’t get enough of it. And Liz says it’s because it’s the standard Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey is the classic tale of a person who is called to a task. The refuse the call. The have trials and difficulties and meet friends an enemies along the way. They answer the call.
Eat, Pray, Love was so fantastic because most of the heroes we are given are men. Liz was a flawed woman. And a real woman. Centuries of tales where the hero is a guy. An un-extraordinary guy. Plain ordinary. The women are helpers or side characters. Not the hero.
Liz left me with these gems:
- Every quest starts with a question
- You might not be able to start your quest today, but you can start a plan. You might have to take the long route. And if you take the long route, you can take some mini quests along the way.
- We’re (modern women) a new species of human. We don’t have 3000 years of hero’s stories and that’s why women have a hard time starting.
- Don’t waster your suffering. Suffering without catharsis is wasted pain. Go on your hero’s journey and then come back and tell your community so they can learn from it.
- If the religious/traditional ceremonies that were handed down to you aren’t working for you, you can make up your own.
- “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live someone else’s life with perfection.” (this is actually from The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu text)
- If your spiritual practice doesn’t make it easier for you to be out in the world, then it is not serving you.
Excuse me while I sip my chamomile tea and live my best life in my coziest of sweaters. For it is my quest.
But really I will be trying to do mini quests because I am not a long term thinker. And I will also be making a list of the things I think I want to do and why I think I want to do them and then what steps it takes to do those things. Like do I really want to do yoga or do I just like the idea of yoga but will really do better relaxing vegging out on the couch watching 4-5 hours of Housewives? Insight that only tea and cozy sweaters can give.