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You know when you watch something and find yourself nodding the whole way through (and maybe even shedding a few tears)? Well, friends, that was me when I watched Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, in Marie Forleo’s latest interview (…book or movie? #gilmoregirlsforever). There’s just a whirlwind of truth, honesty and realness throughout every second of it.
Forget the title “How to Be A Writer,” this interview goes way beyond that. It’s for anyone whose ever created anything, struggled with anything and lived to talk about it — and that’s all of us!
Five messages really hit home for me. What really struck a chord with you?
1. “Only when I’m gentle with myself can I actually really let go and do the work”
How many times do we wish we were just that much more productive? That we hadn’t watched that extra episode on Netflix? That we hadn’t slept in that extra hour? We talk a lot about forgiving others, but what about forgiving ourselves and our imperfections? Allowing ourselves that little bit of self-love is everything. Remembering to do so lets us get our work done, build our businesses and move on forward. No matter what happens the day before, get that fresh batch of coffee ready. The sun always rises in the morning.
2. “Here’s my best, world. Take it or leave it.”
Seriously, can we just say AMEN to this one? When we create something, or want to create something, it can be a really scary thing (take it from me!). The thoughts that run through my head are endless. I go from excited to scared in a hot minute. Will anyone like it? Will they read it? What will they say? Hearing these words is just one big sigh of relief for all of us makers and doers, am I right?
3. “Nobody is going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.”
Life is a bumpy, bumpy road, you don’t need me to tell you that. It’s in our darkest of hours, when we’re not sure how to move forward — or if we can move forward — that words like this can help. Then after the storm has passed, they become a sweet reminder of how far we’ve come. Pain demands to be felt. We need to mourn, we need to grieve. But no matter what life has in store, no matter how bad it is, there’s always hope. Sometimes you need to drive down that road, just don’t forget to turn the wheel around and get going in a new direction. On a new adventure. Life is waiting for you just around the corner.
4. “What is my definition of happiness in my life? For me, it’s very much that what I appear to be in my exterior life is very close to who I am inside.”
Happiness is measured in many ways, and means different things to everyone. This one means so much for me. Coming from corporate (and a pretty traditional family), I’ve literally had to peel back all the layers, remove all expectations and allow myself be *unapologetically* me. When I’m in my favourite pair of distressed denim, wearing my favourite pair of sneakers and singing along to my favourite jam, you best believe that I’ll bring it. And I know you will too.
5. “I love beauty that’s grounded in struggle.”
Oh, how I do. I really, really do…