Our Suiheart book of the month is “Eat, Pray, #FML” written by Gabrielle Stone. We’re ecstatic to be working with such a boss ass babe and featuring her TRUE story all month long! We got a chance to ask her some spicy questions about her experiences. Check out this interview!
You’ve pretty much had to face everyone’s biggest fears such as death, divorce, being left for another woman, and being truly alone. Which event was the hardest for you to get through?
Losing my father and a boyfriend in such a tragic way probably takes the cake. Of course those things stayed with me and shaped who I was as an individual and what I was afraid of, etc. My dad I lost at such a young age I don’t think it hit me in a way that it would have if I was older. What it did do was imprint a huge fear of abandonment in me that I then carried throughout my entire life. Losing my high school sweetheart was a huge devastating blow in my life. Not only was it shocking and hard to comprehend, it was ripping that same abandonment wound wide open again. To be honest the divorce seemed like a small hiccup in comparison to all the other things I’ve dealt with in my life. I instantly knew that it was happening for a reason, that I was dodging a huge bullet, and that I was going to be so much happier once i was out of that marriage. And I was right. My relationship that happened after the divorce? That was what really shattered me. I had never had my heart broken and let me tell you, that shit is unlike any other pain I had experienced before. So to answer the question,
- The Thought Onion is a consistent tool that you resort to when you’re trying to truly understand your emotions. Where did you learn about the Thought Onion, or did you make it up?
I made it up! Literally walking on the streets of London when I was yelling at myself for having such a negative reaction that was ruining my amazing day. I said to myself “Gabrielle why the f*&k are you having this reaction? Chill out and figure out what the reason is. What is at the root of it that you can figure out, recognize, and then begin to shift it so you don’t feel like sh*t?” And there, the Thought Onion was born. When I first wrote about it I thought it was such a dumb name. Like I couldn’t come up with anything slightly cooler sounding? I figured I would eventually go back and change it but it ended up growing on me.
- On page 53, Javier breaks the news to you that he doesn’t want to travel with you 48 hours prior to leaving for Italy. At this point you have to make a decision to go on the trip alone, or stay home. What made you pull the trigger and hop on the plane? Was your plane ticket refundable?
Ticket was not refundable and f*&king expensive--but it honestly had nothing to do with that. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even when you can’t see what the reason it until further down the road. In this case, I knew exactly why it was happening to me. SInce my dad died my biggest fear in life is to be alone--that I’m not okay by myself. The Universe was literally like “Okay Gabrielle, time to go face that sh*t head on!” It was really the day after that awful phone call before we met up to talk that I decided I was going to go. I mean, was I really going to sit at home and see him travel around Italy on social media while I cried and ate ice cream? F*%k no...I was going to fly across the world and get gelato.
- On page 76 you wrote:
“ Still, I smiled because even after the tornadoes known has Javier and Daniel had swept through my world leaving broken pieces, and debris all around, I was still here. And that, was badass.”
Where did you learn your resilience from, and did you always feel this strong?
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book. I learned from an early age how to be strong. When my dad passed suddenly, my mom was across the world shooting a film in New Zealand. She literally got on a plane the next day, flew the twenty-four hour flight home, took care of me, did my dad’s memorial, and her and I flew back a week later so she could finish the film. She is a bad-ass in every sense of the word. This passed April we got news at 6am that her younger brother had committed suicide. We both had to be on set at 8am. We were there, on time, and shot a full day. My mom is the definition of resilience and I’m proud to have even a slight bit of it from her.
- On page 238 you say:
“know your worth and love yourself enough to heal” “Sigh if only I could take my brilliant advice.”
This is one of the truest things I’ve ever read. It’s so easy to give good advice but so hard to take it, do you feel like it’s gotten easier for you to take your own advice after this trip?
Are you kidding, I’m a freaking mess. Joking :) Yes. Of course, sometimes I fall back and have bad reactions or go into the drama of situations. There’s been a few times I’m ranting to my mother and she’ll say ‘do the Thought Onion Gabrielle.’ It’s cute to say now but annoying as hell in the moment. I think it’s human to not always take your own advice. I mean hell, then we’d all be perfect right? One thing I have definitely learned and has gotten easier is loving myself. It was such a journey to get to a good place in doing that and once I finally realized howto it really changed my life.
- It’s amazing how one of the constant themes in Eat Pray FML is travel and yet you still manage to meet yourself exactly where you’re at emotionally. Do you feel like physically traveling helped you travel through your emotions.
First of all, I highly suggest and encourage EVERYONE to do a solo trip at least once in their lifetime. It truly changed me as a person. Being on this trip and having such different surroundings really was a test for me to really meet myself where I was at emotionally. It was tempting to stuff it all away and enjoy the magical places I was visiting. I think the fact that I was writing the entire time also forced me to really be honest with myself about how I was feeling. There were days on the trip that I explored, felt free, laughed and had amazing adventures. There were also days I cried, sat and wrote for hours, and really didn’t want to do anything. When you’re able to meet yourself where you are every single day, you’re able to really get in touch with what your soul needs.
- At what point did you decide to turn your story into a novel?
I knew the second I decided I was going to go on the trip by myself that I was going to write a book. When Javier dropped me off at home after our big talk he asked me how I was feeling. My response was “Like I’m about to go on a journey of eat, pray, F*&k my life.” And I knew right then that that was the title. The next day I bought a leather bound journal and I started writing the book the first day I was in London. It wasn’t journaling either, if you open my journal next to the published book it is almost identical.
- What packing or travel advice would you give to someone who was spending a month in Europe.
Get a solid backpack. I was amazed at how much stuff I was able to fit into that thing (although it was heavy as hell.) Unfortunately I had packed for warm and romantic Italy. I had no idea where I was going to go on my trip, only that it started in London. I ended up in Amsterdam and Paris, both of which were not super warm in September. The best advice is to take staples. A pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a few tops, some type of jacket...that was you’re covered and can mix and match.
- You bought a bracelet in every country to remember your trip! Do you still have them all?
Of course! I don’t wear them, I’m afraid I’ll loose them. I keep them with postcards I got in each place, some of the plane tickets, and my journal all together.
- What has the response been from your family and strangers since the book has come out?
My family has all been really proud. Especially my mom. Well, at first she was in total shock, When she first read it (in it’s raw, first draft form) she was still dealing with everything that had just happened. I think she took the divorce harder than I did. She was also extremely upset with what had gone down with Javier and that entire situation. On top of that she was reading about my sexcapades and alcohol intake on a crazy Europe adventure. She (as well as some other people) had said things like “Are you sure you want to include this?” or “Maybe you should change your name.” But when she read it for the second time in its final form she was just purely proud. My mom is a world healer and does sessions with people all over the globe. When she finished the book she called me and said “My clients have been asking for a clear explanation of how to love yourself. And I was trying to figure out what the best way to explain it was...then I finished my daughter’s book and the answer was literally right there, in her words.” It was great.
The response from strangers has been overwhelmingly amazing--and the exact reason I didn’t want to leave anything out or change my name. I think the reason people have been connecting with it so much is because it’s real...raw, unapologetic, honest, and real. I’ve gotten hundreds of messages from people all over the world about how the book has helped them heal, given them the courage to make certain decisions, or changed the way they looked at things in life. It’s been incredibly humbling to hear that my journey and story is touching people’s hearts and really resonating with them. It makes all of it so worth it.
- What’s your advice to someone going through a break up?
Go on a month long solo trip. Kidding, kind of. My advice is to remember everything happens for a reason. Even if you can’t see it right then, it always it. Whether it’s to teach you a huge life lesson, make you a stronger human, or create room for some way better stuff to come into your life. I promise you, no matter how dark it may seem right now, once you are on the other side it is going to be more beautiful and magical than you ever thought possible.
- Whats next, can we be excited for a book #2?
There is definitely a strong possibility. If you’ve read book one I’m sure you’ve got some burning questions (I mean would it really be a page turner if I gave you all the answers?!) However this is my real life and the relationships I’m sharing are all with real people, and I’m sensitive to that. So as long as the main characters are on board with me sharing my journey for a second time, I think the chances look pretty good.
Go to www.eatprayfml.com for your own copy of Eat, Pray, #FML !