I’m not a reader. In fact I can pretty much count on my hand the number of books I’ve physically read cover to cover. It’s something about my attention span, something about my memory retention and something about feeling like I’m wasting time if I sit down to read. Whatever story I’ve created about my habit of not reading, this is me saying I’d like it to shift and I’d like to give books a chance again in my life.
Because books are where we experience other worlds and can dive into other ways of seeing or experiencing the world, and there’s truly nothing more beautiful than that. So on top of writing every day, eating better, staying hydrated, connecting with my husband more, and staying present with our daughter, I’ve now decided I want to read a book. But before I decide which one it’ll be, I’ll share ones that I remember shifting how I moved through the world.
I’d heard of the book The alchemist long before I read it. Mainly it was on Match.com under favorite books, and it came up often enough that it left an imprint. That was around 2006 or so, but I was so stubborn about reading books that I kept it at an armslength. And then came my 33rd birthday. I was generally directionless but still showing up for my business each day and going on pretty meaningless Match.com dates on a regular basis and finding great humor in the experiments with human interaction I was participating in.
Then I heard somewhere that 33 was a significant year, because Buddha was enlightened and Jesus when he was 33, so I decided it was my year for something huge, and I hoped it would be love related.
So I decided to begin taking action towards things that seemed different and like a stretch for me, and I bought be Alchemist on book on tape, and played it as I drove myself to jackson hole, wy because I wanted someone to bake me a birthday cake and my friend Amber said she would.
I listened to it intently, because I thought it was a love story. But it fact, it was a round about love story, in that it was the story about a boy in search of love, and what he learned along the way. Whoa, I got that.
It wasn’t the destination, it was how you traveled and what lessons you picked up along the way, thank you Paulo Coelho.
The 4 agreements
The 4 Agreements was much like the alchemist for me in that I’d heard of it and maybe even grazed through the book at a younger age, but it wasn’t until January 2012 that it was time for the book, and Don Miguel Ruiz to really enter my life. I’d just completed my first 31 day yoga challenge and I’d declared that I wanted to buy myself a present for completing it, so poof, there appears an email out of “nowhere” sharing a yoga retreat in Costa Rica with don Miguel Ruiz in December 2011, or 11 months away.
I never plan stuff that far ahead, but there I was writing down the number of the company in Denver and calling them to make sure I could get my deposit in and secure a spot. It didn’t make any sense; I didn’t even like hot weather or the beach, and there I was racing to get there.
Fast forward 11 months and I’m sitting at a table overlooking the ocean with Don Miguel himself and I’m asking him how to say yes to love. I’d just broken up with my 90% awesome boyfriend at 35, so I felt like I was doing love wrong and wanted the divine insight from the guru.
He told me I needed to say yes to myself first before I could say yes to love. And that insight made my brain swirl and turned on an openness that I’d never felt before; it was a new way of perceiving my “problem” of not having found love yet. It was an accepting of my entire journey as part of the process.
And I met my husband the next day.
50 shades of grey
This was a messy book, and it came at a messy time in my life, 2011. I’d taken a long self imposed sabbatical from men during the 9 month healing journey from an injury to my teeth and jaw that had me on the no kiss list. Once I got my retainers out, I decided i was ready for love, or anything that resembled it. I met my first emotional manipulator and incessant liar, who was also a freak in the sheets, and it was exactly what I needed as a little escape from normal, and escape from how I knew I wanted to be treated. I gifted him with 5 months of my attention, about the length of time it took me to sink into books 1&2 of 50 shades of grey. For me, the books were far better than the movies, as they often are.
In the meantime
This was for college me. The one who was lost, trying to fit in, and trying to make some sort of sense out of the journey. That time, 1998-2001 was messy in my life, but Iyanla Vanzant spoke to my mess and helped me begin to sift through it.
Eat pray love
So many women have an Eat Pray Love story, so in that sense, I feel like 1 in a million. But here’s the thing, the moment when I first saw my friend share a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on her Facebook page, “stop putting your wishbone where your backbone should be,” as she was snuggling with a top less guy playing her guitar on her bed...I don’t know, I just wanted in. Within a week i booked my first solo backpacking trip to Thailand.
There's a lot more to say. But I'm both at my 1000 mark and my 1 hour mark, so for today, that is all.