Wednesday, April 6, 2016


For those of you who haven't discovered the physical and mental benefits of yoga, don't tune out just yet--I'm not here to convert you. I'd rather discuss how a fundamental yoga principal applies to Emma Roberts, the main character in HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS, who's uncomfortable basically all the time when the book begins.

I learned the phrase "finding comfort in discomfort" from Sandra Carson of Ekhart yoga. She explained that practicing yoga frees the individual to find the space, both physically and mentally, to become more comfortable in poses you don't naturally find a body in when not performing yoga (hello, downward dog).

We all have something in our lives we find difficult--public speaking, going to the doctor, or dating. The energy we spend fretting is simply a waste. Instead of worrying about something and getting nothing accomplished in the meantime, why not address the issue head on and resolve our fears?

"Even though I probably have the highest GPA at this party,
I sometimes have trouble forming complete sentences in front of attractive men."
-Emma Roberts, uncomfortable at parties

 Are you shy? Then force yourself to work or volunteer somewhere where you have to talk to people. Will it make you uncomfortable? Yes, but only at first. It will take time, but eventually it will become natural to talk to strangers. When this happens, congratulate yourself, because you've removed a barrier to your own happiness.

"How can I be a doctor if I can't handle vomit or nudity?"
-Emma, who really shouldn’t be a doctor

    Are you scared to go to the doctor? Lots of people are, whether it's fear of needles or blood or just the discomfort of the exam. I play a game with myself every year when I have to have my "womanly physical" (ladies, you know what I mean). I remind myself, "This doesn't hurt as much as childbirth." It's no big deal. Everybody does it, and then gets on with their day. I'm not saying having a mammogram is a joyous experience, but I don't worry about it anymore. Fretting is a waste of time and spirit.

"I don't want a love spell.
I don't believe in chanting, potions, and candle lighting anyway."
Emma, who soon changes her mind

Does the thought of dating make you cringe? Actually, I probably can't help you with that. Dating really isn't that much fun, probably because it involves dating the wrong person much of the time. Don't settle. Don't sympathy date. And if you're uncomfortable, just leave. Be polite about it, but don't waste your life, your evening, or your heart. Respect your own feelings and set high standards. Treat others as you wish to be treated, but also don't accept any less in return.

By the end of the book, Emma is much more comfortable with many things, but she'll suffer through a whole lot more discomfort before I'm done with her. I can be such a meanie sometimes.

For the rest of you, please take this advice to heart:  address your fears head on, or they'll grow bigger and damage you.

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