A fan of yoga, I checked out May I Be Happy: a memoir of love, yoga, and changing my mind by Cyndi Lee with the intention of learning something new about the practice. Instead, I learned something new about myself. Cyndi – yoga instructor, choreographer, dancer – filled each page of her memoir with (humorous, tearful, and powerful) stories of her life. Her “feel good mumbo jumbo” as my dad would say, was not cheesy, but inspiring and lovely.
It was refreshing to read the memoir of this woman, this “work in progress”, so-to-speak, because aren’t we all? I am healthier and more fit than I was a year ago, and I have no desire to return to my 21-year-old self. I have always considered myself a work-in-progress, and this book – written by someone who, from the outside, is perceived as having it all together – makes me even more comfortable with the very scary, unknown future.
For as long as I an remember I have been terrified of the physical issues that may or may not affect me. I fidget if I hear about broken bones, itch if I hear about a disease, grow nervous during discussions about of pregnancy. I know my anxiety comes from not being able to control what happens to me, which is why I take such good care of things I do have control over.
Lee’s memoir opened my eyes to being open to change, accepting the inevitable changes – the wrinkles, the grey hairs – so much so that I decided to stop dying my own hair. At 27, I don’t necessarily want grey hair, but I am sick of drying out my perfectly beautiful curly hair every month just because I want to cover up the grey strands. So no more dye for me. I need to learn to love who I am, who I have been, and who I will someday be. Read this book and you may find yourself looking at life with an equally peaceful outlook.
I would love to recommend this book to my mother, but I think the yoga-specific scenes may get in her way of enjoying it. But women that do practice will surely love the message as well as the anecdotes.