Monday, June 29, 2015

What I've Been Reading: The Book of Joan

I recently finished Melissa Rivers' book, The Book of Joan.

Joan Rivers was such an icon. So many people felt like they knew her. Her edgy humor and "Can We Talk" catch phrase made her comedy feel like a conversation. 

Melissa Rivers wrote a sweet and fun (and funny) tribute to her mother and she and her publisher timed the release to be just before Mother's Day. 

As soon as I saw the book I knew I wanted to read it. I wasn't sure what to expect. The answer is that this is not a pure biography as much as it is a memoir. It's Melissa's memories of her life with her mother. Melissa also includes some background that she gleaned from relatives.

Melissa Rivers' book is a celebration of her relationship with mother. The best parts are when Melissa shares the "Oh Mother!" types of moments that every daughter understands. And Melissa writes about these "can you believe this?" moments with the humor of a friend telling you about what they've been dealing with.

My absolute favorite story is: Joan being pulled over for traffic violation and her trying to explain what happened to the police. Even funnier, Joan called her assistant and made her swear not to tell Melissa about the incident. The secret would have been safe if not for CNN covering the story before breakfast.

The book is a really fun and easy read. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Yesterday I had sort of an epiphany. It happened while I was driving and when it happened I was like "Ahhh. I need to write about this." I felt sagely wise for a moment. I sort of knew as I tried to hang onto the thought that it would likely fade. It has been more than 24 hours since this moment of lucidity occurred, so we will see if I can re-capture the gist of it. 

Setting the Stage
It all comes back to yoga, sort of. Over the past month I've woken up naturally at my "usual" time on Saturday. I've used that as a motivation to get moving early and I've been going to the 8:00 yoga class. It's pretty amazing that I've been able to do that. I can't get anywhere at 8:00...but somehow I've been getting to yoga.

Yesterday was an exception. I slept in. Not because I willed myself to stay in bed but because I was asleep like a rock. I didn't hear my normal clock alarm. I didn't hear my dog asking to go outside. Nothing...just sleep. It was pretty nice and I must have needed it.

When I did get up, Jordan and I went out for a late breakfast and it was a nice slow relaxing Saturday. The only thing on my agenda was a 7:00 Girl's Night Out with "my girls". I love those! At around 3:00 I'm thinking, I need to decide what I'm going to do before getting ready for the evening out on the town. Did I want a nap? If so, I had better get started on the zzz's. But, I decided to check to see if my back up yoga studio had a class that would work for me. They did, and it started in 30 minutes. That is usually how long it takes to get there. If I decided to go I knew I was cutting it close.

For a moment I sat there evaluating the likelihood of making it there before the doors were locked. If it was clear that I couldn't make it, I wouldn't attempt it. But it wasn't clear. It was possible I would make it. It was equally possible that I wouldn't. What was clear was that if I didn't get moving, like immediately, that I would eliminate any chance of making it.

Act II
I made my superman like change into the yoga outfit (cute...not). And left for the class. I'm driving and it's all going smoothly. I'm hitting all green lights and I'm thinking: "Yeah...I'm gonna make it."

Just as soon as I acknowledged that I was excited to be able to "make it", a thunderstorm dropped out of the sky! As if from no where! The kind where you can't see and you hope the cars behind you can see you.

So then I'm thinking....I don't know if I'm going to make it. I even say to myself: "I don't know if I'm going to make it," and I heard myself whisper back, "Just keep going."

That's it. That's the epiphany: "Just keep going."

Just Keep Going
This was an interesting mind shift for me. I was choosing to "just keep going" even though there was a very strong likelihood that I would not make it in time. I can't remember a time when I consciously chose to RISK wasting my time. 

Time is a big deal to me. I covet time. I'm jealous of my time, especially my me time. So, here I was just "keeping going".

It was a nice relief that I felt. A calm mind like I get after yoga. And I thought for a moment: "Yes...that's what I'm supposed to do. Just keep going. Even when I don't know if my expectations will be met." 

There's a certain faith that comes with that idea. Faith that "It's going to be okay." I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm not allowing my doubt to make me deviate from the act of trying to go to yoga. And...if I abandoned the trek to get there, I would never know if I could have made it. The ONLY way to know was to "Just Keep Going."  See? Sagely!

And because I was all zen in the car I thought this applies to my faith in God. And it reminds me of Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling". The moving forward even when your "not quite sure" that you got the message/instructions right. You know? You're pretty sure...but there's always that chance that what you thought was a "Go West" instruction could have been a "Go Rest" edict. 

When I think I'm going in the right direction but I'm not seeing results I start to second guess the "rightness" of what I'm doing. 

Yesterday, for those few moments in the car, I was open to being "wrong". Knowing that if I was too late for the class it was not the end of the world. And somehow knowing that "just keep going" was a sort of practice for me. That I don't have to know if it's going to "work out". It's absolutely OKAY for me to pursue futileness. 

And so, I drove on. 


I made it to yoga.  

Here's a little note about hot yoga: It's 105*F and 40% humidity.

Hope your weekend was Easy Like Sunday Morning. Mine was. And yet it was also so much more.


Thursday, June 25, 2015


I've been deepening my yoga that I mean that I've been going to the yoga studio. Last week I spent seven hours in yoga. I feel so much happier after a hot yoga session. 

I oscillate between simply owning and loving my workout practice and falling into the results driven obsession. Today, before going to yoga, I felt a little discouraged. I haven't weighed myself for almost six weeks until today. I wanted to focus on the "process" of getting healthy/ more fit. My thought was if I commit to doing "the right things" the "right" results will follow. So, I decided that today would be my "check-in" day. 

My result was that my weight is exactly the same weight as it was six weeks ago. I was disappointed because I know I've made changes in my body. My legs are stronger, my arms are getting a stronger. I feel like my body is responding to the workouts.  But the scales verified what I suspected...that my weight has not moved. 

So, I wanted to pout just a little. "Look at me...I'm working so hard and...nothing". These are my thoughts.  

Then my optimistic voice (sometimes annoyingly optimistic) tried to remind me of things that I usually believe to be true, such as:
*Health / Fitness is measured in a variety of ways. The scale cannot be the only measurement that counts.*
--See...annoyingly optimistic.

But it doesn't matter what my emotions are about the results. --That sounds like someone who just finished a yoga session. My teachers encourage us to "notice your thoughts...but let them go."

Tonight my teacher read this wonderful quote (below) that gave me the opportunity to focus my thoughts on something uplifting. This quote spoke to me.

This quote is from Williamson's book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles.  There is more to the thought that I've included below. 
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 
We are all meant to shine... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
The quote doesn't exactly tie into what I've been talking about. But it does give me something to hang on to. 

Hope you are getting ready for a fun weekend.