This is How an Elephant Says Goodbye (to a Job She Loves).

Via Bryonie Wise
on Mar 19, 2014
get elephant's newsletter

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.37.57 PM

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

~ Frederick Buechner


Author’s note: On Monday March 17th, 2014, I resigned from my role as Managing Editor at elephant journal—this is my goodbye love note. 


For as long as I’ve lived (and maybe in some of my other lives as well), I’ve wondered what it is about the goodbyes that break our hearts.

We take joy in the hellos; we celebrate them, we hug, we dance and sing—and the goodbyes are left out in the cold of winter, to the tears, sorrow and sometimes, our own mindlessness. It’s like we forget we were in love—we forget what the first days were together, our first kiss, our first I love you—and we become enemies, when it is in the goodbye that we can make the most magic and find the most grace.

This year has been my year of letting go; of shedding skin and of learning to trust the sound my own heart makes in my chest, even if she is beating alone—especially if she is beating alone.

Here is the problem: lately, I have not been able to hear my heart. Her sound is muffled through my chest and even if I settle quietly into the bath, ready to listen to what she says, she is too tired to speak to me.

When I find the energy to unroll my mat, it is my exhausted tears that show up before I have a chance to unfurl myself and let my bones settle so that my heart can breathe.

This is it, the root of the root, the bud of the bud: we accept the love we think we deserve—and that means the love we give to ourselves, too.

Life is short and my heart is big and it’s time to take care of her, first—are you reading carefully? This is my goodbye, friends and I’m mustering up as much love as I can to make it sparkle.

And so, to all of you, dreamers of dreams who have trusted me with holding your words and reshaping them, I thank you for the honor of allowing me to get to know you in the most remarkable way.

To the beating hearts who have read my words and commented and shared and sent messages sharing your stories, I thank you for the privilege of connecting with you, near and far.

To the magical apprentices that amaze me every single day, thank you for pouring your heart and soul into everything you do and for being brave and strong and true.

To the elephants (Waylon, Lindsey, Colin, Samara, Cat, Rachel, Meg, ReneeJenna and our newbie, Travis), the-teeny-tiny-but-mighty-staff that maintains a foundation strong enough to hold us all, I thank you above all else.

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again.”

~ Jimi Hendrix


Relephant reads:

How I Quit My Job to Find My Life’s Work. 

Conversations with a Human Heart.

This is How We Say Goodbye.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Photo: here


About Bryonie Wise

Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera & her dog, Winston, living her yoga. Stay in the loop of all her magical happenings, connect with her on Facebook, TwitterInstagram—& maybe even add her first book, HEART ROAR: A Book of Tiny Prayers to your collection.


69 Responses to “This is How an Elephant Says Goodbye (to a Job She Loves).”

  1. DanaGornall says:

    "Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos."
    ~ Charles M. Schulz

    I know this is hard. Sending love to you.

  2. ann nichols says:

    I have found you an inspiration and a delight. Although I suspect I may be old enough to be your mother, I sometimes want to be you when I grow up. I will miss you, but I know how hard it is to do the thing that's right for you and I think this must be thatright thing for you. Be magnificent out there.

  3. Gerry Ellen says:

    I hope to one day meet you in person, Bryonie. Thank you for all the gifts you have given us writers along the way. Take care of yourself, be well, and love beyond the ocean. 🙂 xoxo

  4. Thank you Bryonie. For everything. I love you.

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Well, I might have hoped for more of a personal note, for we were friends and I love[d] you, and colleagues, and warriors, and we went through ups and downs and all arounds…but in the end nothing is personal, and as you write, it's a time to let go—that time being life.

    As I've already writ: To Bryonie: a dear friend, a love, a colleague, a teacher, and our managing editor, who worked even when told not to and over hours and unpaid, and burnt herself out…I don't think this is real or right, though it is both. This loss will hurt elephant, though elephant is bigger and less than any one of us. We will recover in some months' time, with the help of Travis May, Renée Picard, @Jenna Lyons, our new editors, and the leaders of Rachel Nussbaum and Cat Beekmans, our now-senior editors, and of course Lindsey Block, mama Bear.

    "…every [wo]man
    is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
    if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
    is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
    well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
    owne were…"

    Do not underestimate your smile, and your crying eyes, or your unicorn horn—it's sharp.

  6. Dana says:

    um…baby goats in sweaters?
    Thank you for the love and light you bring to your work,may it come back to you by many wonderful roads.

  7. Erica says:

    You are as radiant in your exit as you have been in your presence. I am imagining you flying on golden wings. XOE

  8. laurakutney says:

    Oh Bryonie,

    I want to send to you my very best wishes for a very bright future full of all the love you deserve from yourself and others. You are good and kind and will do well where-ever your heart leads you. And thank you for all that you have personally given to me.

    Love, Laura xoxo

  9. Paige says:

    Such a beautiful goodbye from such an inspirational woman. Thank you for everything.

  10. Kathryn Livingston says:

    You will be deeply missed (even by those, like me, who never met you in person!). Wishing you many blessings on your path.

  11. yogini says:

    Our loss, your heart's gain! Love your work!

  12. Edie says:

    As always you go above and beyond…well done Bryonie. Your heart is big. I will have to send you a poem and piece that will be out soon…you will understand when you see it. I know grief well. Shame and I are intimate. Anger has met me in more places I care to admit to….and yet I have found love and joy and gratitude stronger, able to hold more and give more. You are healing….I have faith in you. With love.

  13. Ashley holly says:

    You are an inspiration, a secret soul sister, friend and wordwitch! Follow your open heart down the windiest of roads and share all your stories en route 🙂 Bon voyage …

  14. Tom Grasso says:

    It’s been awesome working with you, and I am truly sorry to see you leave. You’ve been a trusted partner for many of us who turn our art and soul over to Elepahnt Journal, a trust hard to recreate and develop.

    Thank you for all you’ve done.

    For me, the best way to say goodbye is to never say it. Instead, we simply trust in new beginnings and our mindful decisions. It’s never truly goodbye in our wonderful experience.

  15. Jackie says:

    I will miss your Love. Heart and soul be kind. Sweet dreams will follow. Take care of her, Winston.

  16. snuggleyoga says:

    Thank you for being my first Elephant Journal editor. I loved working with you. SO glad you are honoring yourself. Such a vibrant example of self love and compassion. Blessings on your next steps on your journey. <3 Edie

  17. Heather Grimes says:

    Oh, Bryonie!
    You have been such a support and a landing pad for the words that I write for elephant,
    and I will miss your x's and o's.
    You have done such a wonderful job, not only with your skillful editing, but with your inspirational words
    and thoughtful posts.
    I wish you the best of luck.
    xoxo, Heather

  18. swati jr* says:

    Bryonie. I've been so grateful for you on the other end of my laptop- knowing that my weekly posts have been not only appreciated but so thoughtfully edited so consistently. You are good at what you do……And I know you have much more to offer- your Self and others. I wish nothing but the best for you as you reach within, find your passionate heart and let it soar! May you thrive and prosper. Sending my love and light.

  19. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Thank you dear friend and editor. For everyone knows, you made me look good. I will miss you a lot.

  20. Jenna Lyons says:

    Love you, sister. Imma come up to Canada and surprise the hell outa you! Xoxox

  21. Ben_Ralston says:

    Bryonie, I hope you spread your wings far and wide, because I can tell you that just from the relatively little contact we've had your dignity, compassion, and all round general awesomeness deserve far and wide wing-spreading.
    I'll miss your straight-up very considerate help.
    With love,

  22. Andrew Nathan says:

    So beautiful. I'm missing your words and work already xx

  23. michael says:

    "Go as a river," thanks for flowing by me.

  24. Lynnola says:

    Oh, Bryonie! What a lovely goodbye post. Thank you for all your work and love. I'm trusting that you're leaping on to whatever is perfectly next for you. My very best to you.

  25. Betsy says:

    Simply put, you've made a difference in my life. In the end, that's what all of us want to know when we put our heart and souls out there. Rest in the quiet space that you are creating for yourself and hear what comes next. I suspect ( actually, really hope) that we have not heard the last from your special soul. Be well. Be happy. Be at peace.

  26. karl says:

    Definitely our loss, Bryonie. I respect what you wrote here. I will miss your light, intelligent touch as an editor.

  27. lumina99 says:

    Bryonie: Thanks for inspiring me! I hope you keep posting on elephant even as you step into your next adventure. You've laid a solid foundation for all of us; now time for you.


  28. Rhonda T. says:

    I truly feel as though I owe you something and for that I pay you with my heart felt wishes for continually receiving/giving (in perfect measure) the love, peace and joy that you have worked to spread. You have used compassion and given with generous spirit whenever I made submissions. Though some of them have been better than others – you were always giving and encouraging. I feel like I may be losing my "friendly contact" at EJ, but I do have faith that whoever you left to walk in your shoes will be inspired by your deeds!!
    Go and Be Happy – As You Deserve To Be…

  29. Zoe Rei says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful loving work you have done. May your heart have space to speak and sing loudly and may your road be filled with more love and joy.

  30. Ainver says:

    Thank you for your beautiful presence in this world! May Sun shine upon you and Love surround you on the journey of letting go and embracing what is in front of you!

  31. Annie Au says:

    Will miss you! thank you so much for the work you've done in elephant! Greatest thanks to you and your magical editing on my work! Best of luck to wherever your heart leads you to~ Annie

  32. elephantjournal says:

    Oh, thank you. xo

  33. elephantjournal says:

    Ann! I'm blushing! And I will miss you and I will always feel our connect. Big love.

  34. elephantjournal says:

    Me too! Thank you for the magic of your words! xo

  35. elephantjournal says:

    Oh, sister, I love you.

  36. elephantjournal says:

    Heart beating. Barely breathing. Tears forming. More words to come, but they don't all come at once; you know that better than anyone. Always personal, even when not.

    Love. And gratitude. Repeat.

  37. elephantjournal says:

    HA! xo

  38. elephantjournal says:

    Oh, thank you Erica! xo

  39. elephantjournal says:


    Thank you so much! Sending you much love! xo

  40. elephantjournal says:

    Paige, you are a miracle to me and I'm so happy our paths did what they did. xo

  41. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you Kathryn xo

  42. elephantjournal says:

    Big love!!

  43. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you Edie, so much. with love xo

  44. elephantjournal says:

    ROAR!!!! Thank you, sister. xo

  45. elephantjournal says:

    Tom: thank you, thank you (deep bow) xo

  46. elephantjournal says:

    Oh, he's ready for some full on play time! Thank you Jackie!

  47. elephantjournal says:

    I loved working with you and thank you for the honor. xo

  48. elephantjournal says:

    In my mind, when I think of you, it's all x's and o's. And Opal singing. xoxo

  49. elephantjournal says:

    It has been a joy to read your words and I thank you for the light you shine. Thank you for your kind words. xo

  50. elephantjournal says:

    Ohhhh Michelle….one armed hug. xoxoxo