Anne Lamott shares the power of truth with audiences
Award-winning author, activist and speaker Anne Lamott has a message for the world.
She wants everyone to know that there is truth and comfort out there.
“I think people are starved for truth and information about how hard it is here on this funny blue marble sometimes, and how much more complex life is, [in opposed to] what we’re being fed in the world of advertising, which says we can instantly improve things by losing a few pounds or getting veneers on our teeth or any of those lies that are designed to get us to buy things.”
The audience will hear Lamott’s findings when the Park City Institute presents her at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd.
Lamott said her presentation will get to the truth of some painful issues and questions about life.
“I do tend to talk about making friends with the face in the mirror, and seeing the beauty no matter what age or condition, so we can start from there and begin to do what we’re here on Earth what we are meant to do, which is live,” Lamott said.“People, including myself, like to hear that we are all complex, and that this life is not a TV show, but here are some things that can transform into healing and growth without being fixated on the numbers on the scale, or the face in the mirror.”
Lamott plans to speak for about an hour about her writings, faith, hope and families, and then take questions from the audience.
“There was a priest who helped Alcoholics Anonymous get off the ground and he said, ‘Heaven was just getting a new pair of glasses,’” Lamott said. “Sometimes when someone tells you what you recognize as truth, it’s as if they are handing you a new pair of glasses and you see the world as an expression of beauty, majesty, safety and comfort, instead of the obstacle course fraught with danger you see when you have the bad glasses on. The truth really has to do with not bringing any more objects to the obstacle course.”
Getting to the truth is easier than people think, according to Lamott.
“Sometimes someone will say something or I’ll read a passage or hear something in the express line at [the grocery store] and it will just resonate and stop me in my tracks,” she said.
The truth, Lamott said, can change a person’s outlook on life.
“It’s an incredible gift for someone to show you a way to adjust your thinking so you’re not on the fear station or judgment station all the time,” she said. “We can shift that ticker tape of living defensively into gentling your mind so you’re a little more neutral and not thinking about all the many ways you may die today.”
The truth Lamott has found is there are many caring people in the world.
“They don’t make it on the news because what they do is not interesting, but one thing I like to talk about is how much help there is out there,” she said. “That’s kind of not like the American way, which is basically to do it yourself and stick it out. But the spiritual world is about community and what Henry Nolan called, the Precious Community, where people will notice you’re in distress and ask you if you need help or how you can help them.”
Lamott will also talk about her writings, including her new book, “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy.”
“When I talk about writing, I always tell people the importance of messes, failures and mistakes, which is something you will not see in commercials,” she said. “In my family, which was kind of a mess, to make a mistakes or to fall short was awful, but to be an artist or a writer or even a parent is to make lots of mistakes and fall on your butt, but also see that the community will lift you back to your feet. Life is much more sweeter place if we can stop the anxiety and defensiveness that is often based on childhoods that taught us to be scared and perfectionists.”
The Park City Institute will present award-winning author and TED speaker Anne Lamott at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd. Lamott is known for her frank and intimate discussions about sobriety, faith, motherhood and life. Tickets range from $29 to $79. They can be purchased by visiting http://www.ecclescenter.org.
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