Mother nature put a damper on my weekend plans and so, when my schedule cleared up yesterday, I decided to take advantage and have a much-needed “Maya Day” – a day dedicated to hanging out with myself and doing only what I wanted to do. I got a lovely haircut, used my entire gift certificate at Lululemon, walked especially out of the way to Whole Foods for a delicious almond milk latte, and finally, I treated myself to a movie – Eat Pray Love.
Eat Pray Love is based on my favourite book of all time by Elizabeth Gilbert. The story is an autobiographical account of Gilbert’s quest to recover from her rather nasty divorce and to regroup. Her deeply personal and honest words have since resonated with millions of readers across the globe. I was happily “forced” to read some of Gilbert’s other work in one of my classes some years ago and instantly fell in love. When Eat Pray Love came out, long before it became an Oprah phenomenon, I read it cover to cover, about six times in a row. I cried and cried, longing for my own year-long journey around the world. I guess at that point in my life I absolutely needed an escape.
I went into the theatre yesterday excepting to cry for all of the same reasons and walk away with the same longing feeling. Shockingly, I completely surprised myself with my reaction to the story I know so well. Sure, I still want to see Italy desperately, travel to India to further my spiritual path, and vacation in Bali just for the sake of it. Sure, I’m still not sure whether the conventional shoe, predetermined for me by society, actually fits. But it’s no longer a matter of desperation. What I realized yesterday is that if my own path is analogous to Eat Pray Love, I’ve already made it through two-thirds of the story! What I need to work on now is the final piece of the puzzle: balance. Gilbert learns that her happy place, where she feels most balanced and at peace, lies somewhere between lethargy and overexertion, gluttony and abstinence, and between everything she learned along her path.
The first month of my happy, healthy year has been a struggle between my fanatic attempt to straighten out my life and throwing in the towel completely. I’ve either fasted or stuffed my face, run 10km a day or collapsed in heaps on the couch for hours. I pushed myself so hard that I got sick and couldn’t do anything. It has all taught me that the absolute core of my vitality, my strength and well-being, and most of all, my happiness, lies in being able to balance everything harmoniously. I’m still learning, no doubt, and I hope to share that with you over this year-long journey.
For now, however, I end with another tidbit from my favourite story. Gilbert picks attraversiamo as “her word” – the word the best describes who she is, what’s she’s experiencing, what she needs, etc. This past month has helped me discover my word (for now): yoga – to unite, to yoke, to join everything I have learned into a harmonious union.
Thanks for stopping by!