Have you ever read a book that transforms your life? Yellowed paper and dog eared from all of the years of reading?
For me, that book is EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I wrote an essay about the book in 2015:
I didn't divorce, change my career, or live in an ashram. I did thanks to the wisdom of EPL was to find within myself a higher spirituality thanks to "Richard from Texas, so eloquently shared by the brilliance of Elizabeth Gilbert.
I have spent over 22 years on the teachings of self-awareness, spirituality, and my inner child, seeking peace within and also to gain a higher level of consciousness while dealing with the raw existence of real life.
Like a "light bulb switch, Richard's mindset was the electric conductor that I needed to gain a new understanding of myself and the real meaning of LOVE.
My copy of Eat Pray Love is worn, dogeared to the pages that are my "go-to" when I feel my level of consciousness is "low," and my ego is out of sync.
Like most human beings, I have experienced pain that is like an old war wound. The scar has faded, but the moment I focus on its shape, the emotions come rushing in, like watering breaking through a dam. They are strong, ever so powerful, and can take over my rational mind. That is when I return to my book and its message to combat the inner war within my soul.
As Richard from Texas would say, " If you could clear out all of that space in your mind that you're using to obsess, you've had a vacuum with a doorway. And you know what, the universe would do with that doorway? Rush in! God would rush in! Fill you with more love than you ever dreamed of.
I read and reread this quote as a lifeline mantra when I need an SOS. I am allowing God to rush in, cleaning that headspace that has been filled with pain, remorse, and regret. I envision a powerful ray of orange and yellow light, flooding my body and soothing my pain. I feel love like I never dreamed of. For that moment of clear consciousness, I am high, transparent, and light. Full of joy & hope.
I aspire to daily practice. Of surrendering these thoughts and just letting go. I ask God to free me from my emotional shackles. It is like a mental marathon: I have to train, feed my mind to stay on this enlightened path. As Richard would say, You want to get to the castle; you need to swim the moat."
"You need to learn how to select your thoughts the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so badly work on the mind. That's the thing you should try to control." - Elizabeth Gilbert
I would later post an image of my loved book on Instagram, hailing the brilliance of Richard From Texas. Years later, the post was tagged. It turned out to be the wife of Richard's son - Rafferty Vogt. I was thrilled to connect with Rafferty & his wife! I wanted him to know his dad changed my life.
We connected thanks to the power of Mela and social media! I asked for an interview. He graciously said yes. Rafferty is a yogi and has his own compelling journey to share. Richard has passed, but his legacy lives on through his "one-liners." I hope you enjoy this two part series #AtHomewithJen as Rafferty shares his light and his father's wisdom.