Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Combating Bridezilla-ness

A few days ago I was online and unfortunately I have to go through Yahoo’s homepage to get to my emails. I say unfortunately because I sometimes waste valuable time and energy reading the quirky- made to sucker you in- “news” articles. I clicked on an article about how the way you sleep tells your personality type. If you sleep on your back you are one type of person. If you sleep on your side, it means… Okay I don't remember.  I only remember what pertained to me.  I focused in on what it means if you sleep on your stomach because even though it is not good for my neck and probably not good for my back, I inevitably turn on my stomach some time during the night as my comfort position. The article stated that you if sleep on your stomach it is tough for you to accept criticism. I balked at this notion. I pride myself on being able to accept criticism as a writer. I’ve been going to playreadings for so many years. I’ve seen writers defend their writing and deflect any suggestion as if it is a personal attack on their being. I pride myself on the ability to act more professional than that. I listen, write down the critiques and thank the person for the feedback. I feel very open and willing to accept criticism. But am I really that way all the time?  I thought I was. 

And then planning a wedding happened. Whomever coined the term Bridezilla was brilliant. I do feel a little bit like a monster who when family or my fiancée says something about one of my plans, fire roars out of my mouth, nose and ears. It’s a little scary how attached I am to material things. It’s very personal and I’m working so hard at being healthy for the environment, for the guests and for our bank accounts, but I’m not being so healthy for my emotions.

As Guruji says often, go to the teachings and so I did. In Guruji’s book, Inside the Yoga Sutras there is a very handy sutras by subject index. It didn’t have anything specifically about accepting criticism but it does have a whole page and a half on emotion. The index states that “Emotions belong to the mind, not the Self. They are reactions to external or internal stimuli that impact perceptions of our security and self-image. We fear, hate, or express anger at anything that threatens or belittles us.” That’s it! I feel so strongly that this wedding should express our unique creative, earthy qualities that when someone says something that goes against it, I feel he is going against me personally. I don’t like this about myself. I find it horribly annoying, and very much against the Yogi that I am trying to be when I create this “green” holistic wedding. Boy Oh Boy, the Yoga Life has some challenges!

The index goes on to review that the emotions should not be suppressed but analyzed. If it is rooted in ignorance then our goal is to transcend it. So how to do this? Guruji also mentions what Sri Patanjali suggests replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
As a good friend reminded me yesterday, “This is a party and everyone who is going to be there loves you and wants to celebrate with you.” I told her I need a t-shirt or button made of this so I can remind myself this every day.

Also as I have been feeling the need to do lately, Sri Patanjali suggests returning and going deeper in the practices. “Through purity comes cheerfulness of mind.” (Sutra 2.41) and “By contentment supreme joy is gained.” (Sutra 2.42)

And now I will go do a full Yoga class for myself so that the fire that might come out of my mouth turns to smoke—I’d much rather be Puff the Magic Dragon than Godzilla. (Hey I wonder why Godzilla was named Godzilla? Did the creators mean to put God in his name and if so why? Anyone know?) And instead of Bridezilla I will just enjoy the fact that my family wants to help me, are around to help me and that I have a wedding coming up in the first place. Isn’t that the positive that I should hold in the front of my thoughts?

And so my question to you this week is, what do you to combat your bridezilla?


  1. I am particularly interested in this topic because my brother is getting married in June. His first 20-year marriage ended in divorce, and his fiance is 15 years younger. I don't think she's acting like a Bridezilla necessarily, but this is her first wedding, and I'm sure she is experiencing a lot of the issues that you mention. My mother's philosophy is that it's the bride's day and we should all do whatever she wants no matter what our opinion is. I understand that point of view, but, in the end, I'm not sure it's truly compassionate. Those of us who are matured (I've been married 27 years) might have some valuable insights that could help a young person make decisions that they won't regret. And that's a big thing to ask yourself: how will you look back on your own behavior 25 years from now?

    When I think back on how I behaved at my wedding when I was 23, I'm really appalled at some of my behavior. There are so many examples, I'll spare myself the embarrassment of recounting them all here, but one is enough to give a good picture. I actually insisted that my photographer tell one of my bridesmaids to go put make-up on because she had shown up without any and I thought she wouldn't look good enough in the photos! She was one of my best friends, but I acted like she was part of the decorations. Really, can you believe my selfishness? And my lack of priorities?

    This is how I think the bride and groom should behave and how I wished I had approached my wedding day:
    The invitation often has the hosts listed as the bride's parents. Sometimes the bride and groom are listed as the hosts.
    I think the bride and groom should always behave as if, on their wedding day, every person they meet is stepping into a beautiful household the couple has created together and each and every one is a special guest to be treated with the greatest of care. You should be a newly united couple who demonstrates that the love you've found together is so great that every life you touch starting on your wedding day is deeply embraced and uplifted by that love. Then, the whole day is a union, not just the couple, not just their families and communities, but The Union that comes through Love. This is placing God at the center. If all your decisions and actions come from this place, you'll be able to look back on this day with Joy and Peace.

    By the way, the honeymoon is a great time for the couple to look forward to just enjoying each other's company and being each other's special guest.

    Many Blessings!

  2. Sweet pea, First, lock yourself in a room, ignore all input - wait that's meditation! No really, i remember looking at bride magazines - do i need to say more? And your friend is so right, just think of it as a big party to celebrate the coming together of you and your beloved. There doesn't have to be any other message than "we love each other and are joining our lives." World peace and green living will be the outcome of your love, they don't have to be a statement here. There is no need to brand your lifestyle at this event - or ever really. Let go and luxuriate....


This blog was born through the inspiration and teachings of Rev. Jaganath Carrera and The Yoga Life Society. www.yogalifesociety.com