When I was 19 (yes, ok – a very, very long time ago), I believed that the right shade of eye shadow could change your life. Oh, I probably wouldn’t have articulated it that way, but I felt it… it could make you more attractive, right? And being more attractive could lead to all sorts of wonderful things, right? That kind of thinking explains a most unfortunate episode back then with lavender eye shadow – a shade which, I promise you, is nowhere to be found in nature. Misguided choices aside, maybe I wasn’t too far from the truth. Although it may not matter what color your eyelids are, significant importance is attached to the way you feel about yourself, which translates into the way you present yourself to the world.
Part of the point I want to make here is that I still believe a single choice can change your life. I’ve lived long enough (let’s just say I’m currently maintaining a pretty safe distance from 19) to know that magic isn’t going to happen in a moment, and that you have to work for what you want… usually pretty hard, and for a pretty long time. Still, there can be magic in taking that first step.
There’s an upcoming seminar that just might be that kind of step (Saturday, January 29th, 10am – 1pm, at the Center for Relaxation & Healing at Plainsboro), though at first glance might seem a little too live-your-best-life, Oprah-ish (Oprah, if you’re listening, I promise I’m not judging). The banner for the seminar says “Empower your mind to transform your life… ” Wow. Or uh-oh. That’s a pretty big promise, reeking a wee bit of The Secret, the book – made popular by Oprah’s attention – that says you can achieve anything from financial success to weight loss by visualizing it. (Ahem. I’ve been visualizing myself skinny for quite some time, but the problem is that no one else seems to be sharing my vision.)
For the seminar, “three powerful teachers invite you to join them in a three-hour workshop dedicated to empowerment, real, tangible results, and take home tools to create physical fitness, stress reduction and access to developing the mastery to “live by design – not by default.” My initial reaction was, as you can probably surmise, cynicism. But before I started snorting derisively, I remembered that every journey begins with a single step. It’s three little hours, and if they’re misspent, well, what else was I going to do with those three hours anyway? But what if it’s a springboard into making changes that really will help transform my life?
New Age-y-ness aside, you can just use what makes sense for your life, and ignore the rest. Or better yet, store the information till you find a reason to use it. Because even the most ridiculous idea can become sublimely meaningful when the timing is right. For example, I can remember when the idea of a girdle was absurdly old-fashioned (my thought process on girdles: something my grandmother would put on just before she covered the furniture in plastic). But Spanx? Well, now that’s genius. See? It’s all a matter of timing.
Oh, and did I mention that part of the seminar focuses on how to achieve core muscle definition without doing a single sit-up, and how to burn over 500 calories in a single workout? Oh, sure, now you’re listening. Go. Enjoy. No matter what, it’ll undoubtedly improve you in a way that lavender eye shadow never will.
Cary Sullivan is a freelance writer, editorial consultant, and community volunteer. She enjoyed a variety of editorial roles during her 25 years in corporate publishing, and holds a degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She moved to Hopewell from New York City with her husband and son nine years ago.