Guilt Be Gone!
Last summer, I sat on the floor of the airport in Paris in a long white dress and new Italian boots as I opened my suitcase to check the damage. Everything in the suitcase was drenched in red wine. It was July and I had just finished leading my Manifestation Yoga Retreats® in Italy and was taking a quick trip to see Paris since I had never been before.
My new clothes.
My white clothes.
I was upset, naturally, but I actually laughed. (My number one rule in my yoga class is ”If you fall, you must laugh.”)
Ok, I thought, it's just stuff. Just stuff. Things and stuff. And broken glass. And red wine. A lot of red wine.
I was frustrated because I hadn't listened to my intuition, which strongly whispered to me as I packed in Tuscany: "Give those bottles of wine away as a gift. You do not have room in your suitcase. It's dangerous putting wine in your suitcase, Jennifer. Plus, if one breaks, you know it will be end up being the red one. That’s how life works, sister. So leave the wine. Leave. The. Wine."
Is Wine Diet-Friendly?
I ignored my intuition, and it came back laughing at me while wearing a burgundy and Chianti broken glass-colored shade. It snickered at me for being such a fool.
As a side note, I’d been traveling with my childhood babysitter who I had reunited with after her only son was killed in a drunk driving accident. He was only 19 years old. I’d invited her on my yoga retreat and then on to Paris in hopes of helping her heal in some small way.
This put my dilemma in a file called "Irrelevant" very quickly.
I let it go.
The Parisian dry cleaners finally got almost all of the wine out for a small fortune, and I was happy.
I had made peace with the whole wine debacle.
The few stains that remain will remind me of my trip — one moment in the not-so-straight line of my life.
As I was searching the internet for ways to get red wine out, I stumbled across a stain-remover Wine-Away. I couldn’t find any in Paris but apparently this product exists.
So I invented something called "Guilt-Away" — in my imagination, but hey, that’s a powerful place to start, no?
I have spent many years of my life feeling guilty. My brain goes to the path of guilt because it’s the path of least resistance. Just as our bodies take the path of least resistance, so do our brains.
The last words I spoke to my father before he died were "I hate you," so naturally I have spent much of my life feeling as if I caused his death or, at the very least, should be punished for it. So there I was, returning from Italy with that same familiar tug of guilt.
I thought about how, as I led my 30-person Italian yoga retreat, I had gotten very ill. Sicker than I have been in years. So sick that I couldn't speak. So sick that at one point I thought I was dying. That kind of sick.
At first, the guilt I felt was insurmountable. How could I have brought all these people here and let them down? How could I let this happen? How I have failed!
So heavy, it weighs down your boat and sinks it before you can even get out to sea and observe the horizon in the distance to allow you some clarity.
In Paris, I realized that, along with Wine-Away, I would like to always carry "Guilt-Away," so whether wine spills or guilt starts to call me, I have my defense. I’ll spray it away like it never existed. Maybe there will be a slight remnant, but it will be so faint that it will just be a memory rather than a reality.
Readers - Have you been carrying feelings of guilt? Leave a comment below, and let me know. Also, feel free to mention if there's anything you need Guilt-Away to remove or clean up for you. And if you've had disastrous experiences with red wine on clothing, carpets, furniture or luggage, I'd love to hear about that and how you dealt with it.
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America and CBS The Doctors. She has attracted a huge following from her writings and her unique style of teaching yoga. She is also an advocate for children with special needs. The creator of Manifestation Yoga®, she leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book, and she has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Los Angeles is Jennifer’s home base, and you can find her teaching yoga at Equinox Fitness Clubs and Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, where her classes are also available online.