Jillian Lauren's New York Times best-selling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem (Plume, 2010) chronicles the true story of her life in the Sultan of Brunei's harem, which she lived at, not once but twice. In her first novel Pretty (Plume, 2011)
Any day I can get out of bed and make more than a single phone call, I am doing great. I have lived through intense highs and deep lows that together were a personal hell. Such is my experience of bipolar disorder. I lived through it, I live with it and I grow from it.
get elephant's newsletter These were the words, uttered by my yoga teacher, Michael, that echoed in my head. He explained that a healthy joint has full mobility and a healthy mind has the choice of what to focus on. Locked in that hospital, I in no way felt healthy.
In the "Yoga Sutras" by Pantanjali, a saint from India (150 BC), yoga is defined as the "Cessation of the fluctuations of the mind". In other words, Yoga is the stopping of movement (thoughts) in our mind.
I was living in Nepal and had just turned 19 when I had my first manic episode. It wouldn't be for another five years, when I was 24 and admitted to a psychiatric hospital, that I was diagnosed with bipolar and finally understood what happened half way around the world years earlier.
get elephant's newsletter Warning: this may be the most rewarding teaching experience you ever have. I have taught yoga from NYC to Israel, working with students from all economic backgrounds. My favorite, and yes, I do have favorites, is teaching young adults with special needs.
The book is fierce in its retelling of painful events. It is a courageous exploration of both Bipolar disorder and spiritual growth. My Beautiful Bipolar Mind: Fire on the Mountain is completely unique in its integration of art, memoir and myth.