I am so excited by this post. In the title, I wrote simply of Sabrina Lloyd that she is an actress and writer. Ha! This woman, Dear Manifesters, is truly one of the most interesting people I have come across in my life. I first met her in Italy last summer at my annual Italy Manifestation Yoga retreat. A dear friend, Alimi Ballard, who had co-starred on the tv show Numbers with her, sent her an article I had written. She liked what she read and signed up for my Italy yoga retreat on the spot. (I liked this about her.) The retreat was in Tuscany and she lived in Rome so it just a train ride away. Immediately I fell in love with her. Dear Manifesters, when I think of people I want to model my life after, I think of Sabrina Lloyd. She is present and passionate. She is fiercely devoted to her family. She is a yogi, through and through, returning to her mat again and again over a period of 20 years. She is talented in a way that transcends definition. Give her a camera or a pen or a stage and you will be in awe. So, low and behold, when she agreed to do a guest post, I was over the moon. I can’t be with her in Rome right now, but I can share a little piece of her with you. It is my greatest pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite human beings: Sabrina Lloyd. Enjoy her.
Shedding : A Manifestation in process
by Sabrina Llyod
Ten years ago, I lay down on my bed in my tiny NYC apartment and prayed for the world to open itself up to me.
My entire childhood I wanted to be an actress and have been very fortunate to find success in that field. But what I thought would bring me happiness, what I had been hoping would make me solid—define me—simply swirled around me like mist, holding me in, and I was still unknown to myself.
So I prayed daily for everything to expand.
My prayers were answered in the form of a beautiful boy who has taken me from all I’ve ever known and is giving me the entire world as my backyard as we roam this spinning sphere for his work with the United Nations. Each stop has been a shedding, a loosening of my ideas and concepts, formed from my culture, as to how I define myself, how to define myself, why I need to define myself.
I am currently studying literary theory with the University of London. At the beginning of the course you must choose five schools of criticism to go deep within. One path available is that of Feminist Critique. I made the assumption that I would not find that of interest and planned to focus more on language and deconstruction, Marx, Freud.
However, each student must at least have a general knowledge of every school so into the shallows of feminist theory I waded, and into the deep of it I now passionately swim.
One of the main ideas behind it is that of gendering. How we become, through our culture—how we become defined—by the norms, ideas of what it means to be ‘feminine’ (or ‘masculine’). How ‘female’ is our biological beginning, but how ‘woman’ is carved out, molded, forced upon us in literature, art, advertising, etc. In linking this idea with deconstruction you start to see how all our preconceptions of how we live, how we look at our world, our place in it are really just constructions in themselves.
Take love, for instance.
What did it look like before words gave it its ideal? Romance and passion, destiny, soul mates are all literary, cultural constructions. I am not saying love is not real, but the labels we put on what something should look like, how something is defined, perhaps should be looked through instead.
When I left NY to follow that boy (now a man and my husband), I didn’t know who I would be without the label of ‘actor’ attached to me. I’ve been trying on new labels: Ex-patriot, wife, mother, writer, but each still swirl without landing and the horizon remains hazy; I feel trapped and crouching under definitions.
So everyday I try and stand on my mat and let go of any need to label. To find an identity outside of words, concepts, that beautiful place of peace that yoga gives you when you just flow, and breathe, and are. When I leave the mat, instead of filling my head with constructed chatter that limits all I can be, I try and remain larger.
I can’t always do it.
History is a heavy burden to wear, but every now and then the boundaries that society and I have put upon me fall away and I expand, endlessly, in every direction, undefined and indefinable.