Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The best part of yesterday....

Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat, Pray, Love is a wonderful read. I highly recommend her words to anyone on a spiritual journey or craving insight into healing. Even if you are not, her memoir is fascinating; haven't you ever wondered what it would be like to spend time in an ashram in India? Her hour long interview on the Oprah show last week was equally fabulous.

Elizabeth offers three recommendations for those of us who want to follow a similar path but can't exactly travel to Italy to eat, an ashram in India to pray, or to Bali to find love. She points out that the journey is personal and is just as likely to happen in such mundane places as "home", wherever that may be. She advises what many others have said in other venues; these are not new secrets or revelations but are stated in a fresh, convincing way. Firstly: cultivate gratitude and acknowledge this in writing. Her suggestion is to identify that one thing that was "the best part of the day" in question. It's clear that "the best" could be a very self-indulgent pleasure and that is OK (yeah!). Secondly: continue to write down what you "really, really, really want" (said three times to make it true she says with a smile) in your life. Thirdly: re-examine your mantra; if we constantly tell ourselves we are this, that or the other (negatives), this becomes our mantra. The mantra may need revision frequently to keep us on course with our dreams and goals.

I've intermittently written a gratitude journal and know that it is a solid tool to keep me grounded on all that is right with my life. But, it has been, I've begun again. As for yesterday, the best part of my day was the hour I spent at Qtini in Magnolia Village getting a pedicure. I love to go there because there is nothing I need to do but sit quietly and think or read a magazine while someone fusses over my feet. The ladies chatter away and watch Vietnamese soaps on the television and I drift away listening to a language I cannot understand; how wonderful to not understand but to simply hear the sounds and wonder.

Until the last year, I had never (ever!) had a pedicure. I considered them self-indulgent and frivolous. But not anymore. I am grateful to give myself a small gift, to support a local business in Magnolia, and to let go of the notion that I must constantly give but not receive.

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