Is your wishbone where your backbone should be?  Are you chicken to live your life’s truth, depending on your wishbone to make things happen for you?  Use your backbone for support, alignment and balance. 

There is a wonderful book that I just finished reading called, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert is a writer who decides after hitting rock bottom from a painful divorce and existential crisis, to take a spiritual journey to three countries that begin with "I". She goes to Italy to indulge in pleasure and eats to her heart’s content; she goes to India to pray and meditate; and to Indonesia (Bali specifically) to learn about love.  It is extremely well written, funny and poignant. I highly recommend it.

At the ashram in India where Gilbert stayed, she meets a man she calls "Richard from Texas". Richard is a former drug abuser and alcoholic who triumphantly moved through the darkness into the light. He is wise, funny and self-actualized. He becomes a mentor of sorts to Gilbert.


Prior to her trip, Gilbert had a relationship with a man named David in New York City. It was a tumultuous love affair that had many endings. Gilbert described herself as addicted to David. The relationship was over before she left on her journey and then she "really" ended it while in Italy. When she was in India she realized that she still longed for David and she needed to somehow exorcize him from her being or she could not be truly free.

Richard from Texas did not let Gilbert get away with much and challenged her to be really truthful and meet herself warts and all. He said to her: "Groceries" (he called her "groceries" because she ate a lot of food at the ashram). He said, "Groceries, you gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be."

You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be. That is brilliant!

When we are in a state of desire or attachment we have lost a sense of our center; we have lost our support.  Or, we have lost our backbone. The state of wanting and desire is like a vortex of emotion that spins us around in a never-ending state of suffering. It’s a mind state;  it’s not truth.

When we use our backbone, like in yoga and seated meditation we have found structural support, alignment and the center of balance. The backbone is primal to our development. Just 9 days after conception the "notochord" forms, from the notochord our spine develops. So just 9 days after conception we are developing our structural mid-line. Our entire anatomy forms from the basis of this mid-line. Furthermore, our backbone gives rise to the energetic mid-line which is our essence, our creativity, our limitlessness.

This is real. Embodying this truth is a life fulfilled.

Wishbones are found in chickens and when we are in desirous, attached states we are chickens – afraid to live in truth. So…

Put your backbone where your wishbone is and enjoy living your life in truth!

Stacey Bell is a yoga instructor, Alexander teacher and Craniosacral therapist in the Greenwich, Ct. area.  Her love of movement and stillness inform her teaching, her practice and her life! In addition, Stacey is practicing the yoga of motherhood with daughter Chloe Skye Elder.