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February Book Review: In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler

February Featured Book, In the Body of the World

As a lifetime lover and student of literature and as an author myself, there are no words to describe Eve Ensler’s absolutely stunning, courageous and profound book, In the Body of the World It is nothing less than a 21st century original masterpiece! Ensler’s prose is so poignant, original and raw; it will ignite the passion and fire in your own body and emotions. Her metaphors left me speechless, her story left me breathless, and her courage is incredible. This is by far the best-written memoir I have ever read! There are no words to explain the magnificence of this book!

In the Body of the World is a story about the author, Eve Ensler’s, battle and healing from very advanced uterine cancer. Using rich and original metaphors that leave you wanting more, Ensler combines her experience of being sexually abused as a child by her father, growing up with a distant, non-protective mother, her fight with cancer, her love and commitment to the ending of the genocide and brutal rape of millions of women in the Congo, and her disconnection to mother Earth to produce a very inspiring memoir. She brilliantly describes her dissociation from her emotions due to her tumultuous childhood and reconnects with her body, mind, emotions and soul as she heals from cancer. She writes, “Because I did not, could not, inhabit my body or the earth, I could not feel or know their pain.” The metaphorical weaving of this text is nothing less than first rate!

A bit about the author, Eve Ensler:

Eve Ensler is a visionary. She is an international bestselling author and an award-winning playwright. Her theatrical works include but are not limited to: The Vagina Monologues, Necessary Targets and The Good Bodies. She is author of Insecure at Last, a political memoir, and I am an Emotional Creature, a New York Times best-seller, which she has adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature.

Ensler is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls that occurs in various cities worldwide every Feb 14th, and which has raised over $90 million for local groups and activists and inspired the global action, “One Billion Rising.” Eve Ensler has won numerous awards for her plays and has been given two honorary doctorates.  Eve’s mission is to end all violence towards women and girls worldwide. To join Eve in her mission or to learn more about this incredible woman, visit her website, EveEnsler.org, or join her on V-Day, Feb 14th, every year, until all violence ends.

In the Body of the World is her latest book. To purchase a copy, visit her website: EveEnsler.org.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com. Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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The Turning Point

It’s funny how memories come to mind. At one moment, we are thinking about one thing and in the next split second, we are taken back to the not-so-wonderful past.  This happened to me yesterday as I was driving. I passed by a familiar restaurant and memories flooded my mind. What is particularly funny is that I had driven past this restaurant probably dozens of times this year alone, but it was yesterday’s drive that spurred the memories.

Five years ago.

It was five years ago today that my fourteen year marriage ended, legally. After the judge declared the marriage “dissolved,” I remember my ex-husband stating, “Well, that was that.” I thought to myself, “That IS that; it’s over. Finally OVER.”  As we walked out of that emotionless, cold courtroom, it was apparent that now we both had to “move on.” There were to be so many changes ahead for me. And, even though I was the one who instigated the breakup of a very troubled marriage, at that moment, I knew another level of healing (and suffering) had just commenced for me. I wish I could write that I was brave through all of it, that I handled every crying session, every sad day, every angry moment with dignity and grace, but that is not true. I would love to say that every thought I had back then as I was healing was inspired by love, peace, joy and ultimate good (for myself and for everyone involved) but they were not. I would love to say that it was an easy road to travel, but it was not. My days and healing time were a mix of almost complete bliss and sometimes utter despair.

On one particularly sad day five years ago, I ventured into the same restaurant that I drove by yesterday to order some take-out food. As I was ready to pay for my meal, the clerk gazed at me, and with a Spanish accent, said, “It’s okay; you don’t pay – my gift to you.”  I remember the look of bewilderment on his face as he slowly and compassionately mouthed these words to me, and quite frankly, I was shocked not only by the generosity of this man but by the way he looked at me. I can only surmise that the look of astonishment on his face was because my spirit and my appearance must have looked and felt like I had just been hit by a truck running amuck. This kind gesture from this man was perhaps something he did regularly, but his actions touched me and snapped me into reality! That moment was my turning point. It was the moment when I said to myself, “It is time.” It was time to stop wallowing; it was time to start trusting, to release my pain, to forgive, to allow goodness to come to my life. It was time to allow my spirit within that was squelched by all the years of an abusive marriage to now live.  It was time to let go and let God flow. It was time.

From that moment forward, as each day passed, I became closer and closer to discovering who I really was and what truly made my spirit come alive. I allowed healing to take place by allowing the tears to flow, by choosing to forgive, by letting go of the anger, and by embracing the changes (all good) that would come. I learned to love myself holistically – emotionally, physically and spiritually. I learned to be brave. I learned to let go of fear. I learned to step out in faith.  I learned to make decisions that were in line with who I was and what I wanted in my life. I would eventually forget the man at the restaurant – the catalyst that begun my journey into complete healing. As days turned to months, and the months turned to years, I was to discover all the beauty and healing that life has to offer!  I learned that all things can be changed and healed with hope and courage.

Perhaps yesterday’s drive was a sober reminder of what I experienced years ago for the sole purpose of reminding me of how incredible the journey of life truly is when we allow healing to take place. It was a reminder to never fear change but to embrace all its gifts. Whenever I am tempted to lose hope, I look back to five years ago. Whenever, I think about giving up on myself, I think about what happened five years ago. Whenever, I am tempted to think that I can’t, I remember how far I have come. Whenever I falsely think, “Give it up, Vilma; you can’t do it,” I think about that moment in that restaurant.

What is the turning point in your life? Everyone has one (or two). Have you allowed healing to take place in your life, or are you still wrapped up in fear, anger, pain and self-inflicted misery? Why not point yourself towards the ever-present love that, if you allow it, will change you from the inside out and propel you into the confident, healthy and vibrant person you are meant to be?  The choice is yours. Choose to turn and point yourself in the direction of abundant life.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso