For all of you podcast lovers out there like myself, you’ve got to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons. The author of Eat, Pray, Love is the host of this podcast series, where she helps aspiring artists all over the world who are struggling creatively.
Every episode brings a different person who feels stuck. They seek Gilbert’s guidance and she talks them through their issue. She encourages her guests to face their fears, conquer their doubts, and get their project out there, whatever it may be. She shares her gentle wisdom, expertise on the writing world, and beliefs on living boldly, and brings in her friends to help the individuals as well. Special guests have included Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, comedian Michael Ian Black, author and life coach Martha Beck, and one of my favorite people at the moment, Glennon Doyle Melton.
Melton is a recovering alcoholic, drug addict and bulimic, who resolved to get well and start taking care of herself after discovering she was pregnant when she was 25. She began writing to ease her mind, to get her emotions out in the open, no matter how raw or dark they were, to try and understand them and heal. Melton began publishing her thoughts on her website Momastery, a now viral blog that has millions of followers. Her entries are honest, unapologetic, empathetic and strong. I saw her speak at a conference a couple years ago and had no idea who she was at the time; that talk was what started my fierce admiration of her. She is so real. She owns her life, both her mistakes and her victories; she is optimistic while also self-deprecating, serious and hilarious, a fantastic public speaker and rolemodel.
Melton is on this year’s season finale episode of Magic Lessons: “Show Up Before You’re Ready.” She and Gilbert discuss how there is this weird conception that we can’t start anything unless we’re already experts at it. We’re afraid we aren’t good enough; this is what makes people so often hide their gifts and choose not to share them. We are scared of criticism, scared to fail. It’s so natural, but it’s also so wrong.
We just have to start.
If we sit around waiting to feel ready, we’ll never get anything done! “Go back in, go back in,” Gilbert repeats to herself whenever she’s criticized for her work and feels ostracized. We must hang on to our courage and keep throwing ourselves and our creative work into the world, again and again, no matter what the response.
In the episode, Melton also touches upon the main questions she gets from other bloggers: How did you ‘expand your audience’? How did you get more followers? What’s the secret? Melton says it’s so much simpler than people think: do your best with who you have. If you have 10 followers, if you have 10,000 followers – keep it personal. Appreciate who you have, realize you have the incredibly special opportunity to shape these peoples’ days with your words. Reach out to them, appreciate them, thank them.
I would like to do that now. To my 38 amazing WordPress followers, as well as friends, family, acquaintances, strangers who even have glanced at my blog: thank you. I feel so grateful for you all, and feel insanely privileged to get to share my thoughts with you.
Thank you for showing up. Let’s all keep showing up, WAY before we’re ready.