Thursday, May 1, 2014

Super Soul Searching

2008 was a particularly trying time in my life. I was just beginning my career in the middle of the financial crisis and facing some crises of my own, particularly in the relationship department. I had always dreamed of living in DC, and there I was, but it just wasn't living up to my dreams. Don't get me wrong, I made wonderful friendships, joined some great organizations, and thinking about it now, actually had a lot of fun. But I knew it just didn't feel right, I was missing Chicago, I was missing Texas and the town was tainted by bad break up feelings all over. Therefore, I spent many a Saturday night in the Clarendon Barnes & Noble self-improvement section. Then Oprah chose Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" for her book club, and on a whim, I bought it. My life started to change reading that book on my Orange Line Metro commute.

Oprah and Eckhart did a web class on the book, and I found myself racing home from work each week to watch it online. It was eye-opening and felt like therapy, even though I wasn't doing any of the talking. "A New Earth" isn't a book about getting through a break up, or dealing with a career crossroads, or really anything that I was going through specifically. Instead, it's about everything. Life and you. Not you as a professional, you as a spouse, you as a parent, YOU, your soul. Because really, it's all we have. Jobs come and go, so do some relationships, and money, and even our health at times, but underneath all of that is our soul.

You might think it's crazy, but I'm into all of this soul-searching stuff, so I'm a big fan of Super Soul Sunday on OWN. Oprah and Eckhart are opening back up the discussion about "A New Earth" with a show each Sunday for 10 weeks. They're already up to Chapter 7 this upcoming Sunday, and even if you haven't read the book, it's still relevant.

The focus is on living in the present, distancing yourself from the ego (and it might not be in the sense you're thinking of) and breaking free of what Eckhart calls the "pain body," a collection of all of the painful experiences we've had in our lives.

Even though it reads like it, this post wasn't meant to be a ringing endorsement for this book or the show, but rather just sharing something that has changed my life: soul searching, introspection, spirituality, whatever you want to call it. Some days I'm better at it than others. Having a healthy soul is much like having a healthy body; you have to work at it every day for the rest of your life. And like a traditional weight loss plan, when you put your ego on a diet, the pounds of baggage don't come off in a day.

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