This week, as I do every week, I’ve hung out with some of the wisest women I know.
Cheryl Strayed told me about her struggle to write her first book, how getting it done required letting go of her aspiration to write something great. “Surrender to your own mediocrity” and just do the thing you’re meant to do with humility and without expectation of outcome, she said.
Elizabeth Gilbert, in conversation with Marie Kondo, said, “I think that the more honest I am about my journey, the more connected I feel to everybody and their journeys. The more I reveal that seems really vulnerable and really private, the less private it becomes, because all I hear is a chorus of voices saying, ‘me too, me too.’”
Glennon Doyle, in response to Liz Gilbert’s post on Trump’s tweet telling four U.S. Congresswomen that they should “go back where they came from,” replied to commenters who said we should be compassionate toward the white women who voted for him, not angry. “Every movement toward progress on Earth began with holy anger,” Glennon wrote. “Telling people not to be angry is a weapon of the status quo.”
This week I’ve heard from Oprah Winfrey and Brené Brown, Gretchen Rubin and Hilary Rushford. Each has something to share that can come only from her unique experience and point of view. And several of them are friends with each other, which makes me want to go out for drinks with them right this minute. (When Brené showed up in a cameo in the movie Wine Country with those brilliant ladies from SNL, my heart could have exploded with joy.)
These women can put into words things that I’ve felt but hadn’t been able to pinpoint or describe. They speak openly about their struggles and their wins, which helps the rest of us open up about our own. They’re some of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, and I get to hear their insights every day for free in my social media feed and podcasts app. What a gift that is.
During a dark time for our country, these shining lights are pointing the way forward, teaching us to act with less ego and more compassion. The more we can follow their example and learn to do that ourselves, the better we can light the way for others.