The Best Book I've Ever Read

This is a joke between my husband and me.  About 5 times a year, I will shake Michael awake in the middle of the night or attack him when he walks in the door from work and share a verbal book report.  

Oh my goodness!  This  is the best book I have ever read.  This woman - this author - she just wrote from such an honest place.  It is crazy how much I loved her story.  She talks about addiction and messes and God and friends and being a mother like she pulled all those feelings right out of my heart and put them into funny, beautiful words...

My latest book report was about Carry On Warrior, The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, by Glennon Doyle Melton.

This was a book I had seen quoted a couple of times on Facebook and by other authors I read regularly.  These quotes were poignant and made me feel like she was "my people."  Since I am eternally in the middle of reading 20 or more books at a time, it still wasn't enough to get me to read it.

Then I saw it listed at the top of a sister blogger's (Brook Andreoli) recommended reading list.  That was it.  I had been nudged enough.  I am really glad I read it.  As part of Mother's Day in our house, I was allowed to read, in silence and uninterrupted, for a glorious amount of time.  Here are some of the things she said that made me feel like I was looking truth right in the face:

I started writing a few months later, so that I could tell my truth recklessly to more people. After reading a few of my essays, my dad, Bubba, called and said, "Glennon, Don't you think there are some things you should take to the grave?" I thought hard for a moment and said, "No, I really don't. That sounds horrible to me I don't want to take anything to the grave. I want to die used up and emptied out.  I don't want to carry around anything that I don't have to. I want to travel light."

Reading is my inhale and writing is my exhale.

We're not often permitted to tell the truth in everyday life...We find out early that telling the whole truth makes people uncomfortable and is certainly not ladylike or likely to make us popular, so we learn to lie sweetly so that we can be loved.

I could retype the whole book for you, but you should just read it yourself.

"Becoming more clearly ourselves"

Before I started meditation, I had this common misconception:

Some people think that meditation is nothing but sitting around feeling blissful, like a latter-day Buddha with a big enlightened smile.  But it’s not like that.  Meditation means opening yourself to the truth.  And sometimes the truth hurts. 

                                                  -Meditation as Medicine

Practicing yoga and meditation is changing me. 

It is changing me like being a French teacher in a middle school changed me. Once I faced 20 seventh-graders and convinced them that they should spend precious minutes of their day practicing a foreign language, I felt different, more certain of myself.  Before that first day of teaching, though, I only had education, hope, and the anxious brew of the unexpected.

Yoga is also changing me the way having my own children changed me – over a long series of years, where my ego eroded gradually until I was just a mother.  Then I only added back in the best parts of my old self, and all the rest was new and better, less selfish, but still aware of my needs. 

In other words, yoga is eroding my thought body, hopefully until I am just a spirit wearing a radiant suit.

This rebirth has not been and will not be easy.  

I have had the great pleasure of participating in a writing workshop over the last couple of months.  One of my sister wordsmiths said: 

The call to unravel is daunting. It requires courage to show the sacred spaces within myself so they can be understood. It requires patience and gentleness to move the memories, the experiences, the beliefs that cry out from my place of shame into a space of healing. It requires strength to give up my urge to run and instead choose to be present in life, to be present in my own healing, in my rebuilding.  -Channing Parker

I whole-heartedly agree.

There are certain times in a person’s life when events merge to form the very center of an hourglass, through which just a few grains of sand pass at a time.  There is only the present. Looking back, a person can see how the time before this moment mentally prepared her to handle it.  She can also see that she will never be the woman she was before that intersection point when things will be dramatically flipped.

I have been hanging onto a question that the teacher posed in one of my first kundalini yoga classes, "Who will you be without that story?"

What a freeing concept.  In the moments that I can "be" without my old stories, I am kicking over that dang hourglass and I am infinite.

"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves."  -Lynn Hall