My cousin was the first one to recommend it to me. ďYou have to read Eat Pray Love,Ē she said to me, twice over email and once on the phone. The problem is that then she mentioned that Oprah had made it the book that was raging across the nation, which immediately inspired in me a very distinct lack of interest in the recommended pages.
Itís not that I hate Oprah. If anything, I rather admire the woman for doing as much as sheís done, and becoming richer than God, but still living her life with a modicum of class. In these naked Paris Lohan times, sheís still a breath of sense and fresh air, you know? Having said that, I still wasnít going to run toward her book lists, especially if the one heading it included things like spiritual quests and personal journeys.
It was on my own personal journey, around the block, that my knee started to hurt. I know that when my knee hurts, itís time to get a chiropractic adjustment. I donít know why that works; I canít explain to you why, when my absolutely dishy chiropractor lays down on me and makes all my bones in my back crack, my knee immediately feels better, but there it is. I can tell you why he sort of makes my toes curl, but donít ask me to explain the knee thing.
So, my knee hurt, crack crack, and then Dr. Dishy, after climbing off of me, mentioned that his wife, his secretary, and three of his clients were reading the latest Oprah pick, and had I picked it up yet? The immediate relief from pain (afterglow?) stopped me from rolling my eyes, but I was polite and muttered something about hearing about it, but not having read it yet.
Then I had to go to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for a few days, on business. It was the first time Iíd travelled domestically, and had overestimated the time Iíd need between check-in and flashing my broken ears at the gate to get pre-boarding status. With lots of time to kill, I bought coffee, I bought a bagel, I bought a block of conditioner at LushÖ I did everything I could to avoid the bloody wall of Eat Pray Love, on sale at 30% off, waving and winking at me from the bookstore at Pearsonís Terminal 1.
Jesus Murphy, I muttered to myself, as I grabbed one off the shelf and stomped to the cashier.
This is not a book review; Iím not going to tell you about the book or what I thought of it. You know me well enough to know where this is going: I read it, I enjoyed it, and this isnít entirely topical, so chances are, youíve already read it and maybe had it change your own lives.
But this is what happened to me after I closed the book:
I decided that after years of toying with the notion of trying yoga, and being afraid to try it in front of strangers, there was no reason I couldnít march into HMV, pick up a couple of beginnerís DVDs, and try it at home. And thatís what I did. I chose a few Yoga Zone disks, mostly because they werenít too expensive and the people on the cover didnít look too crunchy granola, unearthed the yoga mat Iíd purchased years before, and got down with my downward facing dog.
Then, I donít knowÖ something happened. Somewhere between sticking my bum in the air and my heels in my lady parts, I started to feelÖ better. MoreÖ me. My thinking was clearer, my thoughts were less jumbled. I wonít say there was more feeling better about myself, but there was lessÖ hateÖ when I looked in the mirror. I donít know. Something happened. My therapist, who told me to try yoga and meditation a year ago, breathed a sigh of relief and muttered something about being on the verge of taking a 2x4 to my head, which made me grin because Iím the first person in my family to Talk To Somebody, but a 2x4 to the head is the kind of therapy thatís been recommended by my loved ones for years.
Then, somewhere further along the line, I remembered that exercise is important but so is fun, and my tap class was both sweaty and enjoyable, but isnít there something sweaty and fun that I loved even more? Well, sure, but you canít do that and get applause, unless you live in Amsterdam, so boom, all of a sudden, Iíve got tap on Mondays and Ballroom/Latin on Fridays, and boom indeed, because my life is full of dance again, and Iím suddenly happier than Iíve been in a long time.
So now, there is tap, and yoga at home, and ballroom and latin, and none of it feels like exercise but all of it feels fun and light and wonderful, and all of a sudden, Iím looking at myself, and nothing has changed reallyÖ but lately there is less and less disgust when I turn away from the mirror, less and less adjusting and fussing with what Iím wearing and how it makes me look. Which, my God, is such a relief, because I am 33, dammit, and how long is it going to take before I feel like Iíve passed my 15th birthday? You know?
So thatís what Iíve been doing. Iíve been hitting the regularly scheduled grief patches, but one gets tired of coming on here and jawing on and on about them, just like one gets tired of staring at the shelf that is oneís ass, and eventuallyÖ meh, one shrugs, wiggles their way to the ballroom, and starts to dance.
I donít know. Itís weird. Blame Oprah.
ETA: My comments haven't been working, and I just figured out why. That should be worked out... um, shortly, so show me some love, hm? Because sometimes? Brain no work. Even with the damn mind-clearing yoga...
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