elizabeth Gilbert

I AM a Hummingbird. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert.

I AM a Hummingbird. Thank You Elizabeth Gilbert.
Image credit: Alexis Coram

Time stood still this morning when I listened to Robin Roberts interview author Elizabeth Gilbert who is celebrating 10 years of her book Eat, Pray, Love.

It was the moment a young woman stood up and asked Elizabeth how to follow her heart when her dreams felt scattered. She said that she came to New York wanting to pursue a media career. But now she realizes she wants to travel the country and teach Yoga, which feels off the beaten path.

Liz told her that there are people who are like jackhammers. They come here knowing what they want and they go after it and nothing gets in their way. Then there are the hummingbirds of the world who try this and try that, always searching.

She went on to say that our world rewards jackhammers. But the truth is, those of us who are hummingbirds are on a scavenger hunt. We are allowed to follow our curiosity. Her advice that just because this is who you were last year does not mean that you can’t be something different now. She said to the young gal, “just keep going. Just keep looking.”

This hit a very deep place inside me. It was exactly why I was in transition for three years which I will be sharing in my new book Wisdom Found in the Pause later this year.

I struggled with letting go of the chapter in my life I call my “Frankie Chapter,” (and I wrote about that time of my life in my memoir Through Frankie’s Eyes),wanting to move on after she passed. But not sure where I was headed, though something niggled at my heart that I wanted to explore.

Tears sprang to my eyes as Liz’s words rang through my mind and vibrated in my heart. I AM a hummingbird. I was so overcome with emotion.

And then it hit even deeper. As I wrote about in my memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes I believe with all my heart that Frankie came to me two weeks after her death as a hummingbird.

It was late one afternoon almost four years ago when I was sitting on the deck, lost in thought about Frankie, that a hummingbird fluttered about a foot in front of my face. She flitted back and forth – back and forth. This had never happened before. I don’t know really how long this lasted, but the feelings that ran through me in those moments were hard to deny that it was her.

In my heart I believe it was Frankie sending me a message that she was okay – she was still with me – and that I would be okay. Because as I wrote about in my memoir I had tied my identity so close to Frankie and my work with her that I didn’t know how to move on without her.

As these thoughts swirled through my mind this morning I had another aha! that perhaps Frankie was letting me know that it was okay for me to be a hummingbird. She was showing me that I could go on to follow other dreams in my heart.

My heart smiles as it feels like another full circle moment. But mostly a confirmation that everything I felt those three years of transition was okay. We are allowed to pursue what we want and to take the time to figure things out.

I don’t know how Elizabeth Gilbert does it with her thoughts that resonate deeply with so many women. But I, for one, am so grateful for her. And I’m grateful for the little dachshund on wheels, Frankie, who I also believe just sent me another message to keep following my heart.

Here is the interview with Liz if you’d like to watch it yourself.

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Opening to Magic Led to “Magical Dogs”

Opening to Magic Led to "Magical Dogs"

When 2015 began, I chose a word for the year — really, just for fun to see what would happen — and with an intention or two just for good measure.

The word I chose was magical. I’ve been astounded at how often it has showed up these past twelve months.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote and came out with Big Magic and my friend gifted me a copy — and that was pretty exciting! BTW:  It’s a fantastic book if you are a creative.

Little snippets of magic showed up all year long, here and there. And then today came a very magical moment….

Having shared my story about my journey with Frankie earlier this year for an upcoming book by author Patti Kerr called, Magical Dogs ( I know, can you believe the title?) – I was given first sneak peek at the final cover today.

Recognize anyone on the cover?  Hint:  She’s red and has a nice set of wheels.

Now I’d have to say this is my most memorable magical moment for 2015! It’s truly an honor to know that Frankie’s legacy continues to find its way out into the world.

And it makes me think about synchronicity which I love being open to — and how setting intentions can vibrate out into the world and return to you in ways you’d never even expect!

Now that is magic! Pure magic!

I’ll be sure to announce right here when the book is published. It’s in its final stages of editing, so it shouldn’t be too long now.

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Writing a Book is Messy. Where I’m At.

Writing a Book is Messy. Where I'm At.
My faithful writing companion, Gidget.

I’ve heard this phrase three different times the last few weeks- “writing a book is messy.” Once in a blog post, once in a podcast and once in a webinar.

It’s exactly how I’ve felt since starting my second memoir, which I began in the winter of 2013. While there have been many rewarding moments writing it, most of the time it has been messy.

I’ve wanted to quit a thousand times.

I’ve had to learn to accept this- it has been a tug and pull much of the time. My two children’s books and my first memoir (for the most part) came much easier for me to write than this new book I’ve been working on.

A part of me wanted to share more of the process with you sooner, but the other part of me was, honestly, too afraid to say anything. Afraid I may disappoint others if I don’t finish this book.

But today I completed another round of editing of the third draft of “Wisdom Found in the Pause.” I’m feeling way more clarity about it than I have in a long time.

The book feels like two parts—the first part of my time with Joie, my second dog with IVDD and in a wheelchair, who I adopted from Oregon Dachshund Rescue. As many of you know, I had to help her cross over ten short months after she came into my life.

It threw me completely off. Though honestly, looking back, I realized I had been off for quite some time, but was too afraid to look at why.

The second part is that Joie’s death was my wake-up call to sit with all the uncomfortable feelings I had at the time. Joie’s gift while beautiful while she was here, and I got to love and care for her, her deeper gift came after she was gone.

It was then that I discovered a new definition of purpose that I’m much more comfortable with. I learned how to sit in stillness and silence. I learned to see transition as a necessary part of life.

The messy part of writing this book has been trying to convey my time of solitude which was a sabbatical for me, into a book others will want to read – but more than that – how it can help others.

But over the past three months, since devoting more time to working on the manuscript, I have more hope that his messy business of writing a book- this new book – may just turn into the real deal.

Lastly, I’ve had huge fears around the idea that this book will not be “as good as” my first memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes. How do I top my journey with Frankie and how that book has touched many lives? That fear has stopped me in my tracks as I’ve worked through the trenches of my not-so-pretty, but real fears.

The fears are now beginning to subside. I see a journey that is still much the same, but evolving—a new way to touch other’s lives through this new book. I have hope…

and this is where I’m at.

Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery.  –Elizabeth Gilbert, #BigMagic

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