A very big chapter in my life's story is the PhD that I spent four years working on, only to give up prior to completion. It was the most difficult, emotionally ghastly experience I have ever been through and it dragged on well past the four years; I spent time on indefinite leave trying to decide what to do, and then even more time coming to terms with the fact that I had had to walk away from my dream. In recent days, I have been thinking about this experience, and feel truly lightened; I think the grieving process is finally at an end.
A large part of what made me realise this was the book I read a couple of weeks ago: Sex, Drugs and Meditation by Mar-Lou Stephens. I was lucky enough to attend the book launch last week which was 127 kinds of fun. As Mary-Lou talked about the book, and the experiences that led her to write it, I was struck by how she had come to terms with difficulties and dramas in her own past. She seemed to have reached a place of genuine peace and acceptance of the past; she was completely un-bothered by what had obviously been hurtful and upsetting events. I loved the book because I recognised myself in it, even though my story on a factual level is completely different. There was an emotional truth to the book which really resonated with me. As well as enjoying the story as I read it, I have had the benefit of being able to spend a fortnight quietly reflecting on things and that feels like a real gift. Also, I usually get more traffic on this blog when I include the word 'sex' in the title to my post so Sex, Drugs and Meditation really is the gift that keeps on giving.