Last Wednesday night I was invited to see Small Mouth Sounds by playwright Bess Wohl at the Pershing Square Signature Center on 42nd Street. I’d been unable to attend the first “buzzmaker” event so I was super stoked to have another opportunity to see it. I mean, after all, could it be more perfect for me? A play about a silent meditation retreat? I think not. I brought J with me because he’s been getting a little more into meditation recently and enjoys seeing a play every now and then. 

The participants of the retreat are your basic stereotypes – obnoxious dedicated yogi, trainwreck white female, the couple who’s having issues, the grieving father, etc. We only hear the guru over the PA system (until the very end) and he’s not a very good guru because he sounds like he’s basically reading from a script. 

In yoga and meditation classes i’ve taken, we’re always told to be very mindful of what we discover in the silence between our breaths, the poses, etc, so a lot of what was being discovered onstage was ringing true to me. It’s always when we’re quietest that we learn the most (this is basically true in any situation in life). 

There are breakthroughs and deceptions, sexual encounters and realizations, and moments of comedy, too. Towards the end of the play, the guru begs his students to “PLEASE CHANGE” out of frustration at their lack of spiritual progress. Ironically, this leads to the most change that any of the characters experience throughout the entire week. 

The characters leave a little bit more woken up than when they arrived, but still basically the same. And so does the audience. I’d highly recommend Small Mouth Sounds, which is playing through October 8th.

For more information, check out this write up in Vanity Fair

Gabby B and the Universe

When I heard Gabby Bernstein was doing a free two-hour workshop if you pre-ordered her new book, The Universe Has Your Back, I immediately clicked my way over to Amazon and purchased said-book. It’s not being released until the end of September but last week we got a crash course in manifesting the life we want on a sweltering evening in the East Village.

She talked for about an hour and a half and threw in a few meditations, too – including her usual meditation for protection in the beginning and her kundalini meditation for manifesting at the end. She talked about a recent conflict that she had been in with a friend and how in her meditation on the fight, she started to think about how much she loved this friend and the feeling she cultivated in her meditation completely dissolved any anger she felt towards her. I’ll try that next time I’m feeling angry with someone.

There were lots of tears and hugs given out during the Q&A. Gabby dispersed lots of great advice. When a woman asked what to do when she said “wouldn’t it be nice, if..” (as Gabby has suggested to get out a rut) made her cry because she wanted her boyfriend to want what she wanted, she said this woman needed to focus on herself and not trying to control someone else. Mic drop.

The talk went a little over so I was ready to get home after, so I left as soon as it was over. But it was a great experience. I went in feeling really exhausted and not all that psyched to sit through a talk, despite how awesome Gabby is, but by the end of the first meditation, I was glad I came.

Her book release party is in late September. You should totally buy tickets. She may sound new age-y, but she’s also awesome.

The Fifth Chakra

Since I started practicing yoga seriously in 2011, the chakras have come up regularly. In world of meditation and yoga, we study our 8 chakras. A chakra is basically an energy point in the body (check them out here). The fifth chakra is located in your throat and it supposedly helps you speak your truth.

Back in 2013-ish, I read the book The Eight Human Talents by Gurmukh, a famous kundalini yoga teacher (she owns Golden Bridge Yoga which has locations on both coasts). The studio in New York is on the Lower East Side and sadly, I’ve never been able to make it down there because on the weekends I’m usually a) busy, or b) lazy. 

In her chapter on the fifth chakra, she talks about wearing a blue pendant whenever she’s feeling weak in this chakra – having trouble speaking her truth or whatnot – because blue is the color associated with this chakra. I always really liked this idea and was always on the look out for a blue pendant that I liked. 

Throughout the years, I would walk past, especially when I was working in the Film Center building on 44th and 9th, a really pretty blue pendant in the window of this used jewelry store/thrift shop on 43rd and 9th. It was always there, sitting in the window. It wasn’t at all expensive but I would never let myself buy it, probably because I have so much other jewelry.

The week before Valentine’s Day, this necklace came up in conversation with my boyfriend. I honestly don’t remember how it came up because it’s such a random thing to talk about in a conversation. But it did and he asked if he could buy it for me because he wasn’t comfortable picking out jewelry for me on his own. 

On the day before Valentine’s Day, on our way to Brooklyn, we met on the corner of 43rd and 9th (also the corner of the apartment where he was living when we met) and the necklace was still in the same place in the window so I tried it on and that was that. 

I haven’t told him all the chakra theory because I don’t like to shove too much of my yoga/meditation/new age-y stuff down his throat. I don’t know if the necklace is having an affect on my ability to speak my truth, but it’s pretty and it’s meaningful and I like it.