Elizabeth Gilbert made me a Relaxed Woman

A love for Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the many unifying bonds that Giuls and I share. Giuls introduced me to her after reading Big Magic and listening to the follow-up podcast, Magic Lessons, where Liz helps creative people push past their personal obstacles and Do The Thing. I loved the podcast, bought Big Magic on Audible, and then bought a used copy of Eat Pray Love. Then I made Giuls read Eat Pray Love. Then Giuls made her friend, Megan, read Eat Pray Love. I don’t even know where my copy of the book is, but it’s out there doing what it needs to.

We both follow Liz on Instagram and when Liz announced that she was leaving her husband to be with her dying best friend who she realized she loved, Giuls told me. And when I saw that Liz was coming to Maimi to speak, I (naturally) texted Giuls in all caps to say that we were going.

We almost didn’t make it to her talk, though. I had obligations at work that I didn’t know if I could get out of until the day before. Giuls was having a Hard Time getting her life in order to leave Gainesville and drive down to West Palm Beach. We’re both broke. We’re both feeling uninspired to follow our art. We had to navigate rush hour traffic on a Friday night. We risked getting both of our cars towed in two completely different cities to see this woman speak, and for once, I wasn’t freaking out about being late to something. We crept in (probably 10 minutes after Liz started speaking) and were immediately transfixed by the soothing yoga voice coming out of Elizabeth Gilbert’s face hole telling us about the revolutionary idea of a Relaxed Woman existing. Specifically, a Relaxed Woman existing outside of the very temporary state that is a hot stone massage.

“I am a relaxed woman,” I said to myself (and everyone else) for the next 48 hours.

Liz also spoke about this idea of how Hustle Culture insists a woman must always be tired and stretching herself thin doing Too Many Things All Of The Time to be good. I don’t know about y’all, but I do not want to live my life that way anymore. My time is worth more than the hustle for a buck.

She spoke about Perfection and how it kills all joy and followed that up with my favorite quote of the day: “Perfectionism is Fear trying to disguise itself in pearls and mink.” WE HAVE NEVER HEARD A TRUER THING. Giuls and I have spoken a lot on the blog recently about our own experiences with perfectionism, and her words were a healthy reminder that perfection is not a quality to be lauded; it’s just Fear being Fear.

If you have the opportunity to hear Liz speak, Giuls and I both STRONGLY URGE YOU to make time to do it. You can check out her tour schedule here: https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/tour/and by God, if you have not read read a book by Liz Gilbert yet, go f*cking do it.