Remember the 90s rom-com masterpiece with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? No, not The Pretty Woman, but the other one – The Runaway Bride? So, recently I was watching the movie after not seeing it for years when I got my big life-coaching ‘A-ha!’ moment. This was right after the main character played by Julia was given a seemingly innocent question ‘What eggs do you like?’
If you are totally confused about what eggs have to do with life coaching, let me give you a quick synopsis of the movie. Maggie (Julia Roberts) is known as the ‘runaway bride’, as she has already left three guys at the altar on the wedding day. Once Ike (Richard Gere), a reporter from a big newspaper hears the story about Maggie, he decides to write an article on her. So, he leaves the city and heads to the little town where Maggie lives. He tries to find out as much about her as possible. Meanwhile, Maggie is preparing for a wedding with the fourth guy, although Ike is sure that she will stand the man up at the altar like she did with the other guys. Ike is starting to have feelings for Maggie, yet he is still not able to understand what causes her to leave men at the altar. Luckily, the question about the eggs helps solve the mystery – as Ike interviews each of Maggie’s men, they say that the way she liked her eggs was exactly the same as they did. First guy scrambled, next guy fried, then poached. When Ike pushes Maggie to explain this, it is revealed that actually Maggie doesn’t know how she likes her eggs, as she could only decide in relation to someone else. What we learn about the runaway bride is that whenever Maggie is in a relationship, she loses herself completely. She becomes a woman who is completely out of touch with her dreams, preferences, and interests. Fast forward 10 years, Julia Roberts plays the lead character in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and says this brilliant line: “Since I was 15 I’ve either been with a guy or breaking up with a guy. I haven’t had so much as two weeks just to deal with myself.”
Not wanting to face ourselves and take responsibility for our own happiness, we end up changing relationships like socks. Yup, the journey of self-discovery is a complicated process, that has its ups and downs; periods of doubt and confusion. My yoga teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar always jokes that many single people think they would be happier in a relationship, while those in a relationship are jealous of the freedom single people have. In other words, if you want to be happy, the time is now – don’t postpone it until the arrival of Prince Charming.
Discovering yourself as a woman is adventurous and thrilling. Just like Maggie, at the end of the movie preparing herself the eggs in every way imaginable just to find out her favorite, I am dedicating this year to exploring and celebrating my femininity. I am giving myself a permission just to be and breathe, be playful and creative, compassionate and loving. There is a goddess in me, just like in every woman. The more I allow her to shine through me, the more the world smiles back at me.
As I am writing this, I just landed in Madrid and am on my way to Seville. I get off the car when we stop at the petrol station. The gentle spring-like southern Spanish wind is filling my lungs with lightness. Some guy at the station says ‘Hola, guapa!’ (Spanish for ‘Hello, pretty’), and it makes me smile. There is a sense of adventure in the air. I can give myself the needed ‘me’ time, go wherever I want and do as I please. I can take my time to find out what eggs I like – if any, knowing that I’m a vegetarian. Smiling from my heart, I take a few more minutes to look around and enjoy the amazing views. Of course, being in a good relationship and sharing your life with someone is a blessing. However, I think to myself that I can’t remember when was the last time I was so happy to be single.