Daily Archives: September 4, 2009

Dear Oprah

Dear Oprah,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the start of your new season.

I'm just checking in because I find myself in a time where I'm questioning a lot in my life.

I find myself in situations where I ask myself, what would Oprah do?

I blog often and originally my Yoga And Fitness To Go blog started as an extension to the yoga classes I was teaching…a way to continue my message off the mat. But, when life started providing me with heavier challenges, challenges that I felt even my personal yoga practice couldn’t flesh through, I felt the blog could fill in the spaces that I needed to work through my tests in a way yoga couldn’t.

In a way, yoga changed for me.

The word yoga, loosely translated, means union.

I always believed that everyone had their own version of yoga and it didn’t always mean donning cute pants and laying out your mat preparing to sweat.

I also don’t think it always means moving into that still place where one could contemplate their life in meditation and breath work. All of those things have worked for me on some level at some point, but there came that point where I was breathless, alone and wondering…what would Oprah do?

Then I saw the film, Julie and Julia.

Then it came to me.


Write as much as you can to Oprah and hope that she responds.

So, here I am, on my same blog, telling similar tales, but with a new mission.

I will write as much as I can, teach and share as much as I can from my experience in the world in the hopes that Oprah, dear Oprah, will respond to my letters of trial and triumph.

For I know that even Oprah is humble in her crusade to learn what she can from others and share with those who have the need to know.

I am a girl, living in Los Angeles, teaching Yoga and personal fitness training and have also never left my dream of acting. Still pursuing that dream tirelessly. I’m also a writer, not of screenplays or plays, but journalistically speaking, writing for magazines and telling the stories of others.

This is something many of my students never knew about me. It’s not important to share in the classroom, but here, I’m letting it all hang out. I’m here to tell my story with those who will read it…hopefully not just my mom or my dear friend Bryan who will read and edit the grammar voraciously, but to anyone out there that might find a kinship with me, a yogi and a girl, single, living in Los Angeles, in her 30’s, still dreaming and still loving the thrill of learning, growing and being all you can be…but not in the army. I love the troops but mostly ‘cause they’re doing it and I don’t have to. Thanks though.

I’ve been teaching Yoga for the last 6 years and love my job. I love my students and mostly, I love what I learn from them. Everyone is so different and have such different needs. They are all on such different paths…many of them further along then me, but they come to me and my classes so that they can find something…the same something that I lost, found and share. Maybe they just come to be reminded of something they already know. Maybe they just want to work out and my class happens to fit into their schedule. But, they keep coming and for that, I am always grateful and hope to provide the service to them that they need at the time that they need it.

I love the community of yoga in Los Angeles. There are so many of us here to share the wealth of knowledge, physical, mental and emotional teachings.

I love Los Angeles.

I love my family.

I love my small studio apartment in Santa Monica, just one block from the beach.

I love my friends.

I love my life.

And I am so very, very sad.

This year I have lost the love of my life, my dad. I also lost the love of my life, my boyfriend of eight years. I’m grateful for the friendship I’ve made with the ex, but my dad, my dad, my dad…where is he now?

He’s in the music I listen to, the laundry I fold, the dinner I make, the gas that I pump, the car that I drive, the book that I read, the dress that I put on and feel pretty, the conversation with my mom or the brief conversation that I have with my sisters. He’s in the photographs, the words I write and say, the ring I wear on my left middle finger with his name and mantra engraved, 'LEAVE ROOM'. He’s everywhere and I’ve never felt so alone.

I have so much love around me but I’m learning to replace his love in a way that’s more ethereal.

As I begin to grasp the ‘new normal’ and life without my dad even though I didn’t see him every day, I wonder…what would Oprah do?

My first day back to regular scheduled programming. I had five clients, back to back, with a drive that accrued almost a hundred miles. There were no auditions, just a few errands and I came home at 7PM after being out since 7AM and I didn’t know how I did it. I didn’t know if I could do it. What was normal just one month ago was agony to get through.
Today was so hard. Will it get better? When I teach, I teach and it’s all about my student. I forget my life and what I’m dealing with, but as soon as I’m done, I pile my equipment back in the car, snack or chat while I’m driving and it’s on to the next one. By the end of the day, I’m depleted and I can’t understand why. My clients did all of the work. They burned the calories, meditated to bliss and I’m left frazzled and disconnected.

I came home from my long day, the fires still burning everywhere and anywhere, the air arid, red and full. I’m so tired. What can I do? What would Oprah do?

I strapped on my squeakers(they make a funny noise but feel sooo good) and iPod shuffle, compliments of my sister, Kathy and ran to the beach. I watched the sun set. I ran, but I stopped enough to watch it’s slow descend downwrds. That means something. Just to stop and watch. Just to stop the motion and take it in. Just to think of my dad and hope, wherever he was, that he could tune into my need and be there with me to watch, because he never did before.

I feel, even though he is gone, that he can see, more than when he was at home, immobile in bed watching HGTV and eating and drinking when he had no need for either. I feel, even though he is gone, that he can see my life, the beautiful life I created so far from my ‘home’ and know that I’m ok…or at least reassure me that it will all be ok. Because even now, when all I used to need in life was the sunset and a good bath at the end of a long day, I feel like something is missing.

He’s what’s been missing and I hope he can find himself here in my heart so that I can feel complete again, so I can remember what whole felt like.

I listen to the sad songs and talk to my family. Time keeps adding up and it’s been longer that he’s been gone. It feels like just yesterday. It’s still the same season.

Don’t give me fall leaves or snow, it will just mean more time to feel you at rest.

I’ve never really lost someone I know. I don’t know how this works. I don’t think anyone does. I wonder, what would Oprah do?

But then I know, she would probably do the same, talk about it, maybe have a glass of wine, then work it off in the morning, go into make up and put on a show.

Not much different from what I’m doing now.

My blog will continue to be what it is on Yoga And Fitness To Go, but it will have a new tag, to my guru, the only one who is really there for me when the hours are quiet from clients to students, that three o’clock hour where I can find her, fighting for rights, screaming a the top of her lungs, laughing and crying.

She’s a lot like my mom.

She's my big black mama.

My mom has been my greatest teacher of yoga and she has no idea what I do. She tries but it doesn’t make much sense.

What makes sense to her is finding the peace in one’s day to really look around, be and appreciate life for what it is, death, mourning, poor cash flow, abundant laughs, great home baked cookies and a smile when you come in the door.

My mom is yoga.

Oprah is yoga.

All of us are yoga when we chose to be and not do, turn inwards instead of acting outwards, share and love and nothing more.

To, you, Dear Oprah, I write.

Laurie Searle
Please find my new blog at http://open.salon.com/blog/dearoprah