I received a present from a yoga student and friend of mine the other day in the mail. First of all, I was so grateful for the present, for the thought that she took her time and money to give me this present that I would've been happy even if the book wasn't any good. However, that is not the case. The book is The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover. I have to say, just reading the foreward of this book was enough for me at this very moment. I can't get past it. The foreward was written by Jennifer Louden and in it she speaks to the center of my heart.
She describes something that I've felt for a long time now but never really understood like this until she said it. "I live every single day with a fierce longing in me, a longing that pushes me, prods me, tantalizes me- a desire that flames at the back of my heart, an itch I can never quite scratch. It's a longing to help make a better world, to fully live this one precious life I have, to be sure everyone gets a chance to live fully." Up until this part of the quote, I am good. I have understood this about myself and I assume many of us feel this way. I may not have been able to put it as eloquently or wholly as Jennifer did, but my soul knew this. It is this next part that makes me want to cry out...yes! this is it! it all makes sense!
She continues, "I used to use books like this one to try to make the longing go away- to fix it or to finally understand it. I understand now that the longing I feel is never going away. It's not supposed to. It's a divine itch, and our job is to use it to be of service in a way that gives voice to it: to use it as a fuel to keep going. To use it to find the courage to bring our genius to the world."
Oh. My. God. Thank you.
To stop searching for a way to understand the feeling, or to ultimately satisfy it thereby controlling it, and instead to just accept it and use it to help bring our particular brand of "genius" out in service of ourselves, others and the world in general. Sigh. What a relief that it doesn't have to be figured out. Just do your best with your own personal longing, molding it into your own personal piece of art for the world to benefit by it's very existence. I am so thankful for this book and for the friend who was the conduit for me to receive it!