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Posts Tagged ‘pray’

I know, I know— I’ve already blogged about Eat Pray Love, but I’m writing about it again because tonight Jenn and I went to see the movie.

The book was so consuming— I felt like I knew Liz Gilbert, I felt like, maybe, I was Liz Gilbert, but the movie was so lacking. I guess that’s usually the case with the movie version, though, right? Maybe it was Julia Roberts’ stardom that played into my reaction or maybe it was just the way she played the part, but the whole movie felt like I was watching an actor, or at least, watching someone who had already found herself. I just couldn’t connect with the journey this time, and it makes me want to read the book again just so I can wash away all the images and associations that the movie just put in my head and go back to whatever my imagination had created.

Speaking of books I’ve blogged about. I came across this great blog the other day that is written by the husband of Michelle Maisto, the woman who wrote The Gastronomy of Marriage. He just started it, so there’s not much there but I think the premise is so intriguing: $200 art collecting. I complain all the time about how I don’t have enough money to buy “real art”… but $200… I could swing that. I hope he shares his hunting techniques and not just his finds— I need tips I can apply in Cville not just names of NY artists!

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Eat Pray Love

I can’t imagine how many blog references there must be about Eat Pray Love. Eat Pray Love is like your friend that you think totally gets you and you think how special you are to have found someone that you have this special bond with. And, then, you realize that everyone else feels the same way about your friend, and you realize it’s not so much about you but the fact that this person has a knack for making everyone feel special.

This is sort of how I view Eat Pray Love. I realize that nearly every woman has read this book and nearly every woman thinks that this book speaks to her, as if it was written just for her. And, even though I know all these things, I’m still going to write about Eat Pray Love as if it’s this great book that I’ve discovered that I simply must share with all of you because it has so enlightened me. Although I really do love the whole book and there are many parts of it that may make an appearance in this blog over time, I wanted to share a piece of the book that relates so closely to what I’ve set out to do.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I’ve taken “time off” to pursue my interests. I worry that I’m not being efficient enough and squandering my time. At the bottom of both of these problems lies the fear that all I’m doing right now is serving myself, and, surely, my self-centeredness now will lead to some tragic downfall later.

However, I’ve been working really hard to reject these kinds of thoughts, try as my Catholic-subconscious might to not let me. Because, ultimately, I believe that by finding your own happiness, you can help others find theirs.

This passage from Eat Pray Love is from a section where Liz, the author and main character, is describing what she calls “Diligent Joy.”
…I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcey told me once– that all the sorrow and trouble in this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler-‘n’- Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level. Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering, distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.

I think about this concept a lot when I truly wonder if making music is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Is this what I want 8 hours a day? Is this the label I want? I wonder who is music going to help? Is it just a selfish (albeit subconscious and definitely silly) pursuit for money and fame? A childhood dream I can’t let go of?

When I’m really honest with myself, though, I know that I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for my family. When the time comes, and if we’re lucky to be blessed in this way, I want to be the best mother I can possibly be. And, deep down, I know that I could not raise my children with unconditional love, could not encourage them to be the best individuals possible if I felt that I had been slighted or cheated out of my happiness. Of course, in this scenario, there’s no one actually cheating me or doing the slighting, it’s only my own fears that stand in the way. I think that children will be the best they can be if their mother is being the best woman she can be. And, even though the path is not clear, something inside of my tells me that music is what I need to follow in order to be the best wife, mother, and servant to others that I can be.

I’m sure referring to one’s own unborn children is always kind of a “red flag” in blogs. Like, “OK, this one’s jumped the shark. Next blog, please.” But, if you’re still reading, I’ll just say one last thing that might make some of the skeptics come to see what I’m trying to explain. I like to think that finding your own happiness is sort of like putting on your oxygen mask when a plane is going down. They advise you to put on your own mask before you try to help anyone else with theirs. The first time you hear this it seems like such a selfish thing– to save yourself first– that is. But, in practice, saving yourself first is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to save others.

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