My friend and longtime life coach extraordinaire Jodi Scott (formerly Jodi Seery) had the opportunity to go see Oprah's The Life you Want weekend in Seattle along with a couple other folks I know I am sooo jealous of. So happy for them but I would have loved to be there too as the people who spoke are the ones who write the words I often turn to for support and direction.
Jodi will be sharing on her page Jodi Scott Coaching, Relationship Coach & Life Strategist the lessons she took from the experience. Tonight I wanted to share her latest post on Elizabeth Gilbert. If you haven't seen her fresh new page take a look and give her lots of social media love and be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss any beautiful musings.
Also, I was honored to have the opportunity to do the photography of Jodi for her page rebrand...we took a whole new slant than the images we created for the former page and I am proud to have my work as part of her growing venture helping people.
Elizabeth Gilbert Made Me Cry in Seattle
By Jodi Scott
The first bit of inspiration I want to share with you came from Elizabeth Gilbert. By now most of you are familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert the bestselling author ofEat Pray Love. Julia Roberts played her in the movie by the same title.
If you read the book or watched the movie you know Elizabeth Gilbert’s story. She had received an education, met and married a suitable man and moved into her new home to begin having a family. In her words “I looked like somebody who had it all together. I had done exactly everything my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and every grandmother before her had done. “
Except that she fell into a deep despair, stopped eating and sleeping and became desperately unhappy. In praying for guidance she ultimately heard the “inconvenient voice” as she calls it that said “You have to get out of this life. This is not your destiny.” This was the beginning of Elizabeth’s quest back to herself. Beginning with the agonizing decision to divorce her husband, concede all of her belongings and money to buy her freedom and set out on her journey to Italy, India and Bali in search of her Self.
In case you have not yet read the book or watched the movie I will not spoil it for you by disclosing the finer details. I will say that the point Elizabeth Gilbert made at Oprah The Life You Want Weekend™ was that her decision was not a decision that her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and beyond would ever have had the option to choose. Her words were “Today as a woman you have choices your Grandmother and their Grandmothers before them never could have imagined.”
I know this to be true.
My Great Grandmother attempted to do what I did and it cost her her life.
In 1916 my Great Grandmother Geneva Scott took the three youngest of her eight children and fled her abusive husband. She made it all the way from rural Alberta back to her home town of Seattle. How I don’t know. Most likely by wagon coach, maybe on horseback, maybe with the help of family or relying on the kindness of strangers. But she made it, with her three children, my Grandfather being the youngest at four years old. She even had a photograph taken of the four of them starting over their new life. However her new found freedom didn’t last long. She was found dead in her chicken coup from gunshot wounds. Her death was ruled a suicide using a rifle.
Besides being pretty damn hard to shoot yourself in the stomach with a long barrelled gun, I don’t think a woman who risked what she risked, made the agonizing decisions she had to make and made it as far as she did would then abandon her children by taking her own life, especially in such a gruesome way.
And if she did it was because she felt alone, desperate and defeated.
Ninety years later, in 2006 I fled my abusive husband.
Gratefully, unlike my Great Grandmother I was not considered my husband’s chattel, unlike my Great Grandmother I was actually considered a citizen, allowed to vote and own property and unlike my Great Grandmother when my husband threatened my life I was able to open a file with the RCMP and they let him know they were onto him.
Unlike my Great Grandmother I have been able to have my hard won freedom. I have been able to mother my children, rebuild my life and create a rewarding and meaningful career supporting other women who want more for themselves in love and life.
So when I’m standing in the stadium in Seattle, the death place of my Great Grandmother and I hear Elizabeth Gilbert say “Today as a woman you have choices your Grandmother and their Grandmothers before them never could have imagined” I cry because I know it is true.
Geneva could never have imagined a great grand-daughter of hers living the life, making the choices and having the freedom I enjoy. I know I am standing on her shoulders. I know that I am living the life she never got to live.
And I am more determined than EVER to live my life FULL-OUT. Because it is MY life. And anything less would be a disservice to all the strong and brave women who came before me, who blazed the path, who paid the ultimate price so that I and YOU can live a life they could never have imagined.
So the question becomes what life are you imagining for yourself? Are you allowing yourself to imagine the life you want? Are you allowing yourself to HAVE the life you imagine? What is it your heart really desires for YOUR life? Because today you have choice that those before you did not.
Let me know in the comments below the BEST choices you have made for yourself so far and plan to make in the future. Today we celebrate CHOICE. YOUR CHOICE. MY CHOICE. BIG, SMALL, BOUNTIFUL CHOICES.