Sunday, May 27, 2007

and now i want to go to an ashram

With yet another installment of alternate grandparental types sleeping on my floor this weekend (we are nothing if not generous, welcoming hosts) I've had the opportunity to read an entire book in one day. In one day. This alone is akin to multiple orgasms and gigantic vats of guacamole.

I devoured eat, pray, love (you know the book, the one everyone else in the world read last year that I consistently ignored) and fell completely enchanted with Liz and her tale of self and spiritual discovery, one that took her around the world and back. Her story is remarkable, not only because of her travels but because of the spirituality she discovered simply by saying yes.

Yes. It's such a simple thought, isn't it. To realize we can choose something different, to turn defiantly and bravely away from the limits we've placed upon ourselves and decide that being happy, deeply, deeply happy is worth the pursuit.

And it made me think of my current stuckedness, my dreams of heading international and my desire to fall more deeply in love with myself and the world around me. And how I have the power to make that happen simply by saying yes.

A few years ago I practiced Kundalini yoga, something I found so powerful, so precipice-nudging that I ended up shying away from it's call, returning instead to the known, the predictable, the pieces I thought I could control. But as I read her journey I was reminded of how far I creeped out onto the edge before I turned back for the safety of the familiar, and as such shortchanged the energy I had just begun to discover. My teacher at the time told me to only focus on the door in front of me, opening that one door of possibility will allow for the next, but the next is a mystery, a delicious mystery and while unseen, trusting in it's obviousness was the most important thing I could do.

And so I opened one door, and then turned and came back the way I came. But after reading this book yesterday I became committed to returning. Because I, too, want to laugh in the face of divine. I don't expect it to be easy, but I do know how to get back to that first door. I've left it slightly ajar down the end of a dark and dusty hallway for far, far too long.

27 comments:

Z said...

You may be the last person in the US, but I'd not heard of the book and I've looked it up on amazon uk and there are no British customer reviews. I'll buy it, and thanks for telling me.

I don't think you should berate yourself for not having gone through that door yet. I think one should follow one's instincts to wait just as much as to go forward, and if you have not yet been impelled to make those changes, then it wasn't the right time to make them. When it is the right time (now?), you'll know it, you'll act on it and everything will fall into place (which is not the same as saying it'll be easy).

I'm rooting for you, darling.

Susanne said...

Ah. Reading a book in a day. Heaven.

This path sounds really intriguing. I especially like "to realize that we can choose something different", and "my desire to fall more deeply in love with myself and the world around me".

And by the way, I haven't read the book yet. And I doubt that I will for a while since I have a pile of books waiting to be read right here next to me.

I'd like to hear what you find behind that door of course.

thailandchani said...

I also fell in love with that book. Anything that confirms the notion that we do get to choose how we live our lives is one I embrace totally.

I related to a lot of what she had to say in the book because much of that happened with me in Thailand also.

Pick up her other books. I've read "Stern Men" and "The Last American MAn" as well... and they're equally captivating.


Peace,


~Chani

kristen said...

This book made a profound impact on me, especially Italy.

I've had very intense experiences when I've done yoga and now I can admit it scared me enough to turn away from what I KNOW is something I need to incorporate into my life. There's a kundalini teacher at my office space, that has very devoted followers and I recently met her. She had this amazing energy, I found myself drawn to her in a way that I just wanted to be in the same room with her but curiously, I've never been much interested in this style of yoga. Maybe it's that resistance again.

flutter said...

I am so proud of you. You continue to be an amazing light, love.

slouching mom said...

i've not read it either.

but with a review like that, i'll be buying it.

thanks, jen, for being as inspiring as ever.

meno said...

I still haven't read it either, but it is on my radar if i see it in the sale book bin.
Sounds like she has something to teach us about being free.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Writing a little just about everyday has made me say yes to a whole lot more. Yes leads to experience which leads to what is between thought and expression, to paraphrase Lou Reed, a lifetime.

Christine said...

A dear friend in Vietnam JUST emailed and told me to read this book last night! Weird. Now I HAVE to get it--ASAP!!!

Motherhood Uncensored said...

We (um, me...) forget that we have choices.

Nice place you got here! Sorry I haven't visited sooner.

Going to go attempt to put myself in the lotus position and meditate.

:)

Ruth Dynamite said...

My friend keeps telling me to read this book, and now you. I can't wait to read it!

Lawyer Mama said...

If it makes you feel any better, I haven't read it yet either!

crazymumma said...

Sometimes the door is right in front of us. And I think it is astounding the power we all have the potential of wielding. I am looking forward to hearing more about this journey. This realization of saying yes, plus the boot camp is screaming of snake shedding its skin to me.....

Lucia said...

Sigh...

carrie said...

I've heard tons of applause for this book as well. Thanks for the reminder!

Carrie

Kyla said...

Finishing a book in any amount of time is akin to multiple orgasms for me...and I've finished two in the span of a week. I can't imagine the ecstacy of digesting a book in one day!

theflyingmum said...

Hmmm, haven't read the book either. But I like everything you said about it - I guess I should look into it. I believe in everything it supposedly is about. Do I live that way? er, no - but I know it is an option worth pursuing.

karrie said...

Such a wonderful book. I'm a hardcore skeptic, and I still wanted to call the author and beg her to be my new best friend. Well worth hunting down, for those of you who have not yead read.

mamatulip said...

Ah, to read a book in a day...bliss.

I've never heard of this book, but I'm intrigued. Thanks for the recommend.

urban-urchin said...

I'm just amazed that you were able to finish a book in a day. so. jealous.

QT said...

That is a great feeling, to read a book in a day. I read this book while on vacation this year and I loved it too - it made me realize that I have so little actually encumbering me and stopping me from achieving what I really want, there is NO excuse.

As for the yoga part of the book, yes, I continue to struggle with the time required to truly meditate. I have an awesome instructor who no matter how far I have fallen, helps me get right back on track and I love him for it.

I have no doubt that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

liv said...

Kundalini's some powerful stuff, yo.

wordgirl said...

I've seen the book, but I've never picked it up. I'm right there with you insofar as feeling behind.

Bon said...

okay, i haven't read it either. :)

maybe i should.

i have deep respect for the courage it takes to return to change and commit...we're in the midst of our own small changes around here right now, adapting the morning routine to include more activity and less (sigh) nursing and sleeping. i know it's time, i hope to be working soon, and i need to get my ass in gear. but i believe that i hate mornings. not even sure it's true.

i think perhaps i ought to get that book.

Earthmamagoddess said...

OHMYGODDESS, Jen, ME TOO!!

I had the same experience and I put off reading it forever.

Because it is simple truth, it is life changing. And her soul speaking to all of our souls.

I am doing some serious healing meditating and totally going to an ashram when my kids are gone.

Jocelyn said...

By that same author, you might also try THE LAST AMERICAN MAN. Very different tack, but some great insights into people doing what they're driven to do.

krista said...

Good for you. I whole heartedly relate.