Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eat Pray Love

I'm almost done reading Eat Pray Love, a lively and humorous biography about a woman's journey for love and spirituality across Italy, India and Indonesia.

I've spoken to quite a few people about this book, from the agnostic to the atheist, and most of us are in wild agreement about this rare find. Gilbert is able to share with us her unpredictable path toward enlightenment without being pedantic or alienating. She's very honest, very open, and always real. I highly recommend it.

A big theme throughout the book is Yoga. While I can sit still about as easily as thirty year old groupies at an In Sync Reunion tour, I can see the benefit of this practice. Gilbert, like myself and so many of you, has a mind in constant motion. At one point, after forcing herself to sit still for over two hours, despite being bitten by mosquitoes and enduring itching and mass discomfort (also like an In Sync Reunion tour analogy) she was able to transcend the pain and find a place of rest. To just be.

Gilbert admits that she wouldn't do this sort of experiment again, but forcing herself to sitting still helped drive home the point that sometimes one needs quiet to dig deep. Silence is underrated and, when practiced consciously, can help us experience some universal truths that are often missed when we gab and joke our way through life. (I don't know anyone like that.) As her guru told her, you can't find your reflection in running rivers. You can only find it in still water.

I don't know about ya'll, but I could barely sit still at the car wash for the less than 20 minutes it took to read that chapter, let alone sit cross legged in my backyard for 3 hours praying I don't die of the West Nile virus while I transcend my children turning my best linen into a tee pee island dubbed Fort Bean Fart. But I can attempt to find some stillness in my life.

To listen to my children's needs above my own.

To quietly hold Rex's hand at the end of the day when he needs to vent about work.

To silently wash the dishes and contemplate my blessings.

To deep breathe the hum of the crickets at sun down.

Yes, I'm going to be a six-one guru of serenity. People from all over the world, or at least my cull de sac, will flock to bathe in the aura of my Yuban Coffee... err... new found enlightenment. They will refer to me as the Dahli Mama.

There is no time like the present to begin this journey of transformation, but alas, I will start on Monday, for tomorrow I will be road tripping with Stella to the Anti-India.

If I don't make it back alive, I hope I'm reincarnated as a dove.

Or a golden retriever.

Or a Diet Coke.

Whatever works.


liv said...

I just picked this up tonight. I hope it's as good as I hear. My practice is needing a pick me up. I feel achey from not doing yoga for a day. Ack.

Pam said...

This is a book I will have to check into, thank you for the recommendation.

I learned to meditate back in my 30s. It is true that the quiet and the peace of it allows you to travel inward to places in the mind rarely visited. Meditation enriches your life both mentally and physically and I find, since I've been dealing with a serious illness, that it helps to bring some peace.

Gretchen said...

Enjoy your road trip, Mama P! I'd be jealous if i wasn't so darn calm and serene.

And...I don't believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I'd definitely want to come back as one of my kids.

Maggie said...

Oh great Dahli Mama (snigger I love this), I enjoyed your description of small moments of silence and relfection. I tend to miss these by taking the time for granted. I often lament my lack of quiet and yet I'm betting if I really paid attention, there are many times throughout the day when that silence might be lurking around waiting to be noticed.

Pgoodness said...

I'm right in the middle of this book and enjoying it very much. "Dahli Mama" = LOL

ms chica said...

I guess I would betray my nerdness if asked you to hit the rock climbing wall next to the m&m store on the strip o my behalf. The book sounds like an interesting read, are you supposed to complete the tasks in that order?

Princess in Galoshes said...

Mmm, I was just looking for a new book! And Vegas, you say??? Do tell! Did you find enlightenment on the Strip?