And so it begins...
Here is the Letter to Love that Liz asked me to post here after reading it on camera at the conversation hosted by Suleika Jaouad of the beautiful The Isolation Journals Substack. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read my letter to you both and in front of the loving community present, I felt held in all the light and warmth and will carry your encouraging words with me, always, Liz:
Dearest Love, What would you have me know today?
Sweetest love, little cherub, let me carry your burdens, let me take all the weight, let me be the lightness that fills you and lifts you. You think you are not strong enough, brave enough, wise enough, talented enough, persistent enough. Oh my dear one, you are enough--just as you are. I want you to laugh today. I want you to play today. That is Love's prescription for you, little angel. You can be as light as the wind, as feathery as a cloud. You can breathe deep and long and take in all the love I have for you. For me, little lovely, heart-dancer, you will always be enough, just as you are. I wish for you to see yourself as I see you. Perfect, precious, one-of-a-kind. Beloved. Reach for me whenever you need me. Put your hand to your heart and feel me, right there. Always.
Hugs and kisses,
The timing for this is unbelievable. I so needed this today. I do not feel so alone. I am so blessed you are you and I am me.
Thx for your truth.
Thx for this Suleika:
“But time is not a race. To cherish this beautiful life of yours does not mean working and living like you’re running out of time.”
Thank you Liz, Susu and to all your people who helped launch this substack and today's sacred workshop at the Isolation Journals.
Good thing the camera was turned off haha. When I stopped writing, I dropped my head to my arms and sobbed at my desk. Deep breaths sharing this one:
Dear love. What would you have me know today?
My little poppyseed, I can feel your heart brim with tears. I can feel how much you hold back, even as the tears spill from your eyes.
Little poppyseed, little squirrel, you don’t have to be so big. Let your opinions, your judgements, be small— even if the ones pressed on you feel huge.
Little squirrel, I see how hard you try. I see how much you struggle with the chewed-up wiring inside you. I know you still feel far from where you want to be.
Remember this: you have already come so far. You have honoured yourself with love. Even when you faced the ultimate punishment. You did lose your family. You did. Your greatest fear came true.
But little poppyseed, you still have so much love. From your partner. From your pup. From your friends. From me.
Can you feel me, little squirrel? Now is the time to steep yourself in my love.
You know that when we die, we go into love. What if you trust that you also dwell in my love here on earth? Can you feel the fear evaporate when I say this to you?
I am with you. I infuse you. I flow through you, when you let me. Let me, my little poppyseed. My little squirrel. Hold the door open to me before the fear flows out of you.
There is nothing you can do or say that will stop me from loving you. I am here, sweet poppyseed. I am here, sweet squirrel. Not just for you, but with you. Within you. I’m here.
Suleika and Elizabeth, I cannot tell you how much I needed these specific words and thoughts today. This summer, I started a new habit while trying to work my way out of a deep depression and the habit was this: to wake up, ignore my phone and leave it behind, and sit, alone, with coffee without any devices until the coffee is gone. That's it. Maybe 20 minutes of no screens, but also the very first 20 minutes of my consciousness each day. Often, during this quiet time, I cracked open Big Magic and re-read just one or two pages, or just one paragraph. It's my third or fourth time through that book. Sometimes I wrote in my journal. Sometimes I just sat there.
Moving slowly, and rest, as part of self care? Oh yes. Please.
Hi Elizabeth! Welcome to substack, so glad you're here! I absolutely (as well as the rest of the world) loved Eat Pray Love, but your book "Big Magic" was absolutely life changing for me. That book encouraged me, and gave me the permission to start writing in my substack, to start living a more creative life, which has allowed me to heal from the loss of my life's purpose and career in mining.
Your words gave me the courage and permission to start again, to start new, to pursue something I've done my entire life for the pure joy of it: writing. I always wanted to say that to you but never had the opportunity.
Just subscribed and glad to support you and thank you!!
10 years ago I met with a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while and as we ate lunch I confessed that I was terribly unhappy in my marriage and was in utter despair. I told her a few details and she sat back and said, I really think you need to read Eat Pray Love... I said I thought my sister probably had it and I’d borrow it. It was about a year later that I borrowed it and as I turned every page you were writing my story and I realised exactly why my lovely friend had recommended it. I read it in torch light under the covers in my baby’s room trying not to wake him, while my husband slept in our bed in the next room. One night I googled you, as you do, not wanting to wait until the end to know how you were doing now. It turns out you were born exactly ten years before me and had your divorce ten years before mine. The comfort that came from this was the moment I accepted that the universe is always reaching out to us in some form or another. The day Jo (my lovely friend) recommended your book, the universe wanted to guide me (I made it wait a while that time not knowing how this works!) The night I checked out your details on Wikipedia, the universe wanted me to know I wasn’t alone. I like this. Over a long period of time I’ve learned to accept the guidance that comes. And I’ve passed this knowledge on where I think it will bring comfort.
And now here we are, ten years since my Eat Pray Love, twenty since yours, and I too still speak to myself with love. I’m inspired to look up the letters I wrote to myself at that time (guided by yours) but I’m also scared to open those notebooks from that time of my life. Maybe I need another ten years. But perhaps instead I can start a new one. I have journaled as you have advised but always when I’m hurting. Always when I need to write about someone else. I have taken time out from relationships right now. And I’m really peaceful and happy. I smile a lot! This time I can write just about me.
So thank you so much. I can use this space to bring my focus back to myself in a really positive way. I think I have been thinking my own life journey might have paused for a while. But that’s ridiculous isn’t it? Of course I’m still on my journey. And it’s worth reflection and love.
So much gratitude to you and all those sharing here xx
Dear love what would you have me know today? You are and always have been enough. Your curiosity and quest to ask bigger questions and not be overly concerned with answers, correct or not, has been your love of what's next. Around the next corner your love continues to embrace you and all you meet. As a newly minted octogenarian I love you. A lot. Always have And always will.
I’ve never paid $50 so quickly and gratefully. Can’t wait to see this newsletter and community unfold ♥️
Thank you Suleika and Liz for this powerful practice. It felt magical allowing these words to stream through me.
What would you have me know today?
Beloved, drop the judgements, drop the harshness and revel in the miraculous magnitude of your being. Yes, your being. There is nothing you need to do, to be the miraculous embodiment of love that you are. You are too harsh with yourself, beloved sweet angel, extend yourself some grace. Extend yourself love, love and more love. You have been through a hard time. A heart-breaking time. Your heart has been broken, broken and broken some more, my love. That is no small feat to endure. And yet you rise, rise and rise everyday willing and wanting to put your best foot forward. Willing and wanting to grow, to evolve, to expand, to be the best version of you that you possibly can be. This does not go unnoticed, beloved. You are deeply seen. You are deeply held. I love you. I see you. Continuously and endlessly. Your heart is still mending. The cracks have not sealed. And will they ever? The cracks are where the light comes in. Where the love comes in. Let the light and love in, my love. You deserve it. You deserve it, my sweet sweet angel. Believe it.
Just signed up. Thank you for resurfacing. I have miss your voice in my ear from your podcast. Maybe this will help me in my creativity. Happy birthday to eat pray love a book and a movie for all the seasons of my life. From Canada with love
I dreamed last night that you were teaching us how to write as nomads during climate change. So lovely to wake up to your substack announcements!
Liz, you always have a way of popping up into my life when it seems I’ve drifted from my center. Thank you I’m so looking forward to reengaging with love and soaking in your words!
I watched your IG post and immediately felt my hear expand. Then I sent the link to my daughter. We’ll be growing and expanding separately, together, and with you. 🥰
Thank you for this! Just what this weary heart needs ❤️❤️❤️
Hi Elizabeth, I thought I was okay. I thought that I was forging on in my journey to create... and then I heard you speak this morning and I cried. No, I sobbed and suddenly felt myself watching pain. I didn’t even know that I was in pain. Thank you for making me aware. Thank you for your guidance me this community. Thank you for your love.
Thank you Suleika. Sending you lots of love.