Poolside Ponderings And Philosophies cont…

If you haven’t been following my ramblings about my craziness and this book, you can catch up by reading this.

So I finished the book Sunday and though I really wanted to write more about it, little Pitter Patter has an ear infection and would rather have me hold him and play Jenga than let me sit at the computer and write. He is two after all and it’s beginning to show! He is still as sweet as ever, but as my husband says, he has strong preferences and is loud enough vocalizing them that he usually gets his way. So sorry that this post is taking almost as long to write as it took me to read the book! 😉

Okay, now if we are all ready to move on…

So, I’m at a beautiful resort, sitting next to a pool early on Sunday morning. It had been an especially draining week (emotionally) and I was finally feeling completely relaxed. (or at least as close as I have in a long time) Part of the reason for that was that I had finally made some pretty serious decisions about my future and felt good with the direction I was ready to go. While I did have that somewhat calm feeling, the fear of the unknown was still tugging at my thoughts trying to confuse me and mess with my Chi. (couldn’t think of a better word there)

I don’t mean to be so vague, but it mostly has to do with spiritual growth and personal issues that are better suited to journals than blog entries. I don’t want to be explaining myself to everyone, especially any family members that may stumble upon my blog someday. I’m sure you all know what I mean…

Anyway, I was reading where Elizabeth was living in an Ashram in India and was getting frustrated with her spiritual growth and just frustrated in general with feelings from the past that keep resurfacing as she is trying to move forward. (I actually can really relate to this!) A friend that she has met there is leaving the Ashram and shows her a high tower to watch the sunset and gives her a poem that he has written to help her. Here is the poem:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM

  1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.
  2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
  3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
  4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out-on the outside and on the inside.
  5. With all of your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
  6. With all of your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.
  7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
  8. Watch the heat of the day pass into the cool night. Let go.
  9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
  10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

I was seriously crying as I was reading this poem and the rest of the chapter, and was relieved that no one else was around to see me. This passage was exactly what I needed to hear that day. I think there was a reason that I hadn’t read it earlier because two weeks before it wouldn’t have had such a profound effect on me.

The other night I posted this song, and looking back maybe I should have posted this one by Imogen, but I think the message I kept getting over and over in the book was not to rush things. Not to rush the healing process. Not to rush the search of knowledge or inspiration and to take the time to do things the right way. Also to appreciate the quiet times without distractions. This is especially hard for me. I feel like I have to constantly DO or I’ll miss something and the irony is that I’m probably missing out by not just letting myself BE.

There are probably about 10 more passages that I would love to talk about in this book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to read it. I also think this is the kind of book that not everyone will get the same message from. For me, it held a lot of religious and spiritual meanings and also validated some of my own observations about life. I loved how she talked about getting spiritual inspiration from anything you can, not just the usual suspects. (church, etc.) This has held true to me as long as I can remember.

Towards the end of the book, as Elizabeth was living in Bali, all I could think about was my life when I was living in Hawaii. I was single, no real responsibilities or obligations and life seemed to move very slowly. I took the time to really listen to people and their stories and it helped me discover who I really was. I was away from my family, all of those outside influences and had to figure myself out. I also learned how to distinguish between real friends and the ones who just wanted something from me. Not a fun lesson to learn, but important nonetheless.

Some reviews of this book were quite harsh saying that the author is very self-centered and somewhat wishy washy in her ideas. To me, that’s just human nature. As we grow and change, so do our ideas, values and understanding. And she is on a self discovery mission, so it’s bound to be about her. There were a few chapters in the end that I could have done without, but overall I got so much out of this book. It’s just like anything else in life; you take from it what you need and use it to be a better person who is hopefully able to connect with others on yet another level.

I don’t know why I really wanted to say so much about this book, I guess the timing was perfect for me to read it and maybe one of you will get something out of my ramblings. If anything, you got to hear two great songs!

For those who have read this, I’d love to hear your thoughts! And those who haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Obviously. Also, be warned. The entire first part of the book she talks about all of the incredible food in Italy and it may make you run out to your favorite Italian restaurant. Or that may just be me…

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5 Responses to Poolside Ponderings And Philosophies cont…

  1. I nearly cried while reading the poem too.

    “I feel like I have to constantly DO or I’ll miss something and the irony is that I’m probably missing out by not just letting myself BE.”- I couldn’t have described myself any better.

    Loved reading these posts. I will have to add this to my list 🙂

    K-I think moms have a tremendous amount of pressure and it’s hard to let go at times or take time for our mental well being. Thanks so much for your comments!

  2. Ann says:

    Ah…yes letting go. That’s a big one AND a good one. And, really, the toughest one of all. But the most liberating. Letting go has actually been a gigantic part of my journey – which has been fraught with a very traumatic past, accompanied by years of therapy (4) – which have helped teach me to “let go”. Or rather, start to let go – and – continue to not get so hooked in as I move forward through life.

    I almost bought that book a few weeks ago – and then I read the amazon reviews and couldn’t, lol. It was bc the author didn’t “go on a self discovery journey, then write about it” – instead, she “wrote a proposal to go on a self discovery journey, then write about it” – and I was all – aw, crap! It felt less authentic in nature – but ya know, the lessons really can still be there – bc you found them, there they are. So, I may need to give this book another look.

    It sounds like you’re at a place of growth and that you’re making great strides, so I’m really happy for you, k – bc it’s so much better than stagnation and inertia. Here’s to letting go! 🙂

    K-I’m glad you said that about ‘starting’ to learn to let go. I realize this is going to be a really long process and I think I was expecting that I would just ‘get over’ things right away.

    I know what you mean about the book seeming less authentic, but I have to give her props. If I could find someone to finance a self-discovery quest if I agreed to write about it, I think I would be all over it! Everyone needs one time in their life to be selfish if it means figuring yourself out…or something. Not sure how I feel about her motives, but I did benefit as well.

    Thanks for the encouragement and insight… it means a lot.

  3. I read it.

    And I so longed to just get somewhere.
    I also longed for the quiet moments. There are very few in my life right now, and I think every person needs quiet moments just to stay centered.

    (There is no way I could ever do the full-on hours long meditation that she speaks of at the Ashram, but a couple of minutes every day would be nice.) 🙂

    K-I definitely couldn’t sit for hours at a time like that either! When she talks about her mind wandering while she is trying to meditate…yeah, that’s so me! 😉 I am on that constant search for a few peaceful moments as well. I think the trick is you have to let the house or whatever else wait if the moment arises. Good luck staying centered…

  4. bookbabie says:

    I’m glad you liked the book so much. I really liked it too. I’m also glad I didn’t read the reviews before reading it. I really didn’t know what it was about so I was open to the story, the journey she went on. She’s a good writer and a good speaker, I saw on Oprah the second time around.

    K-I will have to see if I can find that interview, that would be really interesting. I think she does a great job at conveying her feelings and I’m sure she is just as passionate in person. I’m glad you commented, I’m always curious to hear your perspective! Thanks.

  5. Andie says:

    I read this book last summer and I swear it changed my life (I know cliche)..at least my perspective about soooo many things. I adored it and it is and will always be in my top 5 books.
    a.

    K-I whole-heartedly agree with you! It has changed my thinking just as much as The Four Agreements did. (another good one) So you know what I’m talking about then…I like that!

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