Ignited by a tiny spark, a word, a question, a statement and my mind erupts into a fire storm of words, images and past experiences that I must get out.
A writer is like a tuning fork we respond when we are struck by something … if we are lucky we will transmit a strong, pure note one that isn’t ours but wishes to pass through us. Roxanne Robinson
Eat, Pray, Love is something that seems to come up a lot here at the Ashram; everyone asks have you seen that movie Eat, Pray, Love and the answer is always yes I have seen it many times. I remember watching it from my King sized bed in my beautifully decorated bedroom with a balcony off to one side, an ensuite off to the other side and a hot tub just down the stairs off the bedroom. I remember the exact moment like it was yesterday.
She, Julia Roberts, is laying in her bed with her husband snoring in her ear and she is crying quietly looking at him knowing that something was just not right, she went into the bathroom and introduced herself to God and prayed asking God what to do, her intuition and her conditioning colliding. She had everything, she had it all, a beautiful home, a newly decorated kitchen for dinner parties she once dreamt about hosting.
As I watched, tears slid out of my eyes as I knew I was in the exact same spot and, at that time, I felt I had no way out. After watching the movie 8 or so years ago something sparked inside me and I felt a shred of hope, that maybe it was possible for me to live a different life. I was in a marriage with a man who barely resembled the man I married, looking at him as he snored loudly beside me giving off the same fumes he gave off every night knowing my room would smell like the familiar brewery the following morning, as I glanced at myself in the bathroom mirror I realized I had become someone I did not wish to be. I had everything I thought I wanted materialistically yet I was miserable, I was angry, I was upset all the time, I drank too much, I was very disconnected from myself and took it out on everyone around me, I was dying inside a little each day.
She had the life she thought she wanted.
I had the life I thought I wanted, the more I accumulated the more I felt this momentary excitement that filled my void momentarily. I felt I was getting closer to success; the success that I had been conditioned to believe; the more you had the more successful you were to be. Over time the the purchases, the things, the stuff just didn’t mean anything anymore. It was all just clutter and I became more and more miserable sorting through all the stuff. In some cases, like my craft room, I had so much stuff it became overwhelming and I would just go out and buy more filling every crevice, every corner trying desperately to fill the void that was growing deep inside of me.
I remember the night I made the decision to do something different, to change my life and walk away from the only thing I had ever know; this life with this man. He lay beside me completely naked, his back turned to me as was often the case those days, me laying beside him completely naked, we had not communicated in a loving way for a very long time, the air was filled with contempt, anger and frustration. I remember crying silently in bed beside him sliding my body next to his and holding on for dear life, tears flowing out of my eyes knowing that a decision had been made, I was going to leave. I cry now as I write this post because it is still so fresh in my mind. I have no idea where the strength came from because I just didn’t have any left, I often found myself sick and staying in bed for days at a time. I had nothing left to give, I had nothing left to receive, I was on empty. I have come to realize that I was not sick, I was suffering, by not listening to my inner voice, my intuition and going against myself for so many years. It was exhausting; swimming upstream with the masses of fish all trying to get to the same spot.
Perhaps a year or more passed and a mountain of anguish back and forth on this decision that had already been made in my soul, but my mind, my EGO having a field day with me, reminding of all the things I had, all the possessions, all the wealth that was sure to be lost if I left this man who supported his family with so much abundance. Little did I know at the time but I would eventually accumulate a different kind of wealth; internal richness & wealth. My EGO reminded me that I was nothing without him, I couldn’t even make a decision on my own, let alone be on my own. I was a disaster. How on earth could I live without this man who had been my teacher in many ways, he taught me more about life than anyone else, he loved me when nobody else seemed to, he was rough around the edges and taught me lessons the hard way but he came to be the one who stood by me no matter how messy I got, how could I walk away from him, from this relationship, from this family we so lovingly created together once upon a time. It came down to a simple question do you want to live or die trying to live a life that was not yours? I wanted to live the life that I came here to live and I knew, without any question in my mind, that this was not it and if I stayed I was sure to die a slow and painful death of the self.
Did Eat, Pray, Love have anything to do with this journey I am on now? YES it certainly did, It gave me hope that I could someday follow in Julia Roberts footsteps and step out of the life I had been conditioned to live and do something different. Live the life that I was suppose to be living; I had no idea what that looked like but I knew it was different than the one I was currently living. I was about to find out the hard way which just seems to be the way I learn, the hard way. I was about to enter into a whirlwind, a cyclone, a twister for the next couple of years, falling, swirling, spinning down deeper and deeper until again death was at my doorstep, I chose to climb and keep climbing no matter how hard it got with faces of my daughters dimly lit in my mind I kept on going until I finally saw a sliver of light many years later.
This song continued to play out in my mind during those year of indecision …
The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You’re probably on your flight back to your home town
I need some shelter of my own protection, baby
To be with myself and center clarity, peace, serenity
I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It’s personal, myself and I
We’ve got some straightenin’ out to do
And I’m gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I’ve got to get a move on with my life
It’s time to be a big girl now
And big girls don’t cry
The path that I’m walking I must go alone
I must take the baby steps ’til I’m full grown, full grown
Fairytales don’t always have a happy ending, do they?
And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay . [Chorus:]
Like the little school mate in the school yard
We’ll play jacks and uno cards
I’ll be your best friend and you’ll be my Valentine
Yes, you can hold my hand if you want to
‘Cause I want to hold yours too
We’ll be playmates and lovers and share our secret worlds [Chorus:]
But it’s time for me to go home
It’s getting late and dark outside
I need to be with myself and center clarity, peace, serenity [Chorus:]
Fergie – Big girls don’t cry
Here I am 7 years after making the decision that changed my life along with the lives of many other people around me, many years later, taking a journey not very different than that of Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love only this is my version. A spiritual journey continuing my quest to dive deeper and deeper into myself to come closer and closer to who I really am. Throw out all the conditioning, step out of my EGO, not get caught up and engage in my thoughts and peel another layer until eventually coming face to face with the soul that resides inside of me.
There is nothing more scary that stepping out of the life your are “suppose” to be living, to step out of conditioning and the social norm, society’s expectations of who you “should” be and start living the life your suppose to be living at the soul level. What will people think? Oh I couldn’t do that? It’s just not right! Who are you to be bold, to be courageous, to live a life other than the one you have been conditioned to live?
Maryanne Williams helped me then and continues to help me now; this quote reminds me to let my light shine and continue this bold & courageous life I have chosen to live …
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
My Eat, Pray, Love has had many twists and turns along the way, each experience, each person put before me on my path, a messenger, a teacher, a gift. I have had to look myself in the mirror many times and dig deep to find the gift or the lesson and each time I do I feel a little closer to the woman I am meant to be; the warrior’s journey this lifetime has afforded and requested me to live.