When I'm not sure how to prepare for something, I meditate, and by meditate I mean do nail art—that's my version of meditation.
I hunt for just the right design for the occasion—what design would be most appropriate for a beekeeping class on a Saturday, for example—and set about selecting the colors and brushes to execute my plan. As I paint, I'm forced to breathe slowly, steady my hands, and remain in the moment. Sometimes I hum a repetitive little chant or sound as I work, probably not even audible to those around me, or maybe it annoys the fuck out of them. If it does, they've been kind enough to never point it out.
I also do yoga, but not with the seriousness I would like, and not with the passion of Brian Leaf, the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness . I was given a copy of his book to review, and I'll be honest; I rarely read anything in hardcopy anymore. I got so used to reading on my iPhone when Bob was in the hospital and going through chemo, and then I read Infinite Jest that way because IT'S SO DAMN HUGE, that I just can't go back to paper. So, to see if I was going to like this book enough to REALLY read it and review it, I cheated. (Don't tell the publisher, please. Or the author. Or Santa, because I've been pretty good otherwise.)
Here's what I did: I downloaded a preview on iBooks to see if I liked it enough to BUY a copy of a book I already had in my hot little mitts.
It totally was.
With five kids cruising around this house a good portion of the time, we have a fairly hectic world, and it can be tough to find time to read, but this book sucked me in. Why?
- Yoga is something I love, but I can't stand reading new agey, touchy-feely books about it. I don't want to be preached to.
- As somebody with a host of complex health issues that are intimately tied to my mental health, I appreciated reading a book by an author who was discovering that for himself.
- If you don't make me laugh at you or at me, I'll probably put your book down. Brian has that covered in every chapter. I was poking Ed to read excerpts throughout the book, and finally stopped because I really want him to read it, which reminds me of my next point.
- The New Jersey-ness of Brian held a special appeal for me. There's a culture in that state, and now that I am in an intimate relationship with a man who was raised there, I appreciate the unique nature of some very Jersey-specific traits. I don't want to reveal too much, and I'm not talking about fist-pumping Jersey Shore (the show, not the place) culture, because you really need to read it to see, but I plan to email Brian about one bit I noticed because it really stood out. If you read it, I'd be anxious to hear from you what you think.
- It is a quick read, but not in a throwaway sense. You will have aha moments, and LOL moments, and highlighting passages to come back to them moments. It will make you want to be better and feel better, but also show you that the process to getting there is a journey, that it can be a fun journey at times, painful at time, and that we need to give ourselves permission to experience life.
But, you know what you should do, see for yourself.
You can read the first two chapters free right here.
And if you want to see one of the funnier book trailers I think I've ever seen/heard, then watch this. Or don't. Maybe go wash your cat. I'm gonna figure out what I'm supposed to wear to beekeeping class with this sweet black and yellow nail art.
The fine-ish print: I was given a free copy of the above-reviewed book with no other strings attached, folks. Anything else I did or said or painted on my fingernails was my own choice and my own opinions.