Former nun Karen Armstrong tells us in her luminous book The Spiral Staircase that the wasteland in the Grail Legend is a place “where people live inauthentic lives, blindly following the norms of their society and doing only what other people expect.” How many of us have lived our lives in the wasteland, never daring to step toward the life we dream? Or having taken that first bold step, how many of us turn back, when things get hard, or it seems we’ve lost our way?
Like the hero in the Grail Legend, we must risk getting lost in order to find our way. This may mean toiling away in the wrong career or the wrong relationship, or donning the wrong public image or private mask, until finally, we heed the siren call of our own soul.
Taking the risk to live an authentic life, based on who you really are, will bring you into contact with your own deep fears: that you aren’t enough, that you cannot do it, that you will fail. But it will also bring you into contact with your most exalted self, the self that knows you are enough; that you have everything you need; that even failure, properly used, will perfect you, and make you more than you were before you reached for the life beyond your grasp. If you are especially lucky or wise, you might step into your destiny straight out the gate. But for most of us, time and a few wrong turns are needed to grow us into the life for which we were born. It turns out, to live our most fully realized lives, we must be wayfarer’s of a sort, following the path of failure and disappointment to the life that destiny’s trying to bend us towards.
But what does this have to do with the culture & lifestyle conversation we’re having here at Revel In It? On the surface, nothing. We’re having a conversation about People, Culture, Style, Home & Family, Travel and Ideas — all the tangible, outer-wordly things that make up a life. But slip a little deeper and you’ll find a richer conversation, in which we’re putting our own, very worldly spin on what it means to live “the fully realized life”.
We believe that the fully realized life takes place in the outer landscape of our lives — where we live, make our careers, nurture our families and connect with the larger world. But for the lives we construct to have meaning for ourselves, other people and our world, they must take their shape from our inner terrain. As within, so without. And so as we begin.
We invite you to join us in this place where form and substance meet. In this our Inaugural month, we take our inspiration from makeup artist, author and skincare entrepreneur Lina Hanson, and her actor/filmmaker husband Kordo Doski, featured this month in our “A Couple Of Revelers” column about couples in business and/or life who are forging creative, original, authentic lives. We look back on the remarkable last few years of FEED Projects founders Lauren Bush Lauren and Ellen Gustafson (who’s gone on to found a remarkable non-profit addressing the twin problems of hunger and obesity) in our “Business Unusual” column about the traditional and new-model businesses positively impacting our world. We’ll meditate on the style icons Carine Roitfeld and Kate Moss, who prove, with their indomitable style, why style really does matter after all. Speaking of iconic, the month wouldn’t be complete unless we paid obeisance to Tamar Adler’s book An Everlasting Meal, a soul-stirring prose masterpiece about food and so much more, and easily one of the best books of the past two years. And we start the whole journey with My Kenyan Odyssey, about a summer spent in Kenya in my youth that changed the trajectory of my life. It’s my love song to a place and a time when my own journey toward the fully realized life began.
PAULA PURYEAR is a Lawyer, Film & Television writer, HuffPoster and Founder of Revel In It Mag.