Self-Realization Fellowship seemed like training. It was the training ground for finding a sense of peace in myself. Because that's my job. It's no one else's.
The other thing is surrounding yourself with people that care for you. These are simple things, but they're powerful, and they've completely transformed who I am and how I perceive myself.
I wanted to share the experience of how yoga and meditation have transformed my life, how they have enabled me to observe who I am, first in my body, and then emotionally, and on to a kind of spiritual path.
Everybody needs a way out of that pain. Many people choose drugs and alcohol. Some people obsessively exercise or develop strange dietary habits, which is what I did. At least it got me toward a path of healthier living.
I wanted out of my pain and that silliness, but I wanted an easy out. That's before realizing that there is no easy out. Before accepting that you just have to do the work.
A lot of exercise is mindless; you can have music or the radio on and not be aware. But if you're aware in anything you do - and it doesn't have to be yoga - it changes you. Being present changes you.
I did Star 80, which was a magnificent experience as well, but still, I was at the height of my career at the beginning. Then I had to jump down the ladder and climb back up again, which I didn't understand. That was very hard.
I began by doing physical yoga, initially just for the workout, as exercise. I would get peaceful and calm at the end of it, and I was curious about that.
For me, first, it's finding quiet in my life - and I do that through yoga and meditation. It's also been a matter of changing the way I eat, because I think what we eat can inform who we are; food is a chemical and a drug to a certain extent.
I've known for years that you're supposed to be present. I know that thinking about what's happened or thinking about what I want is not going to get me anywhere, but until I quit doing it I'm not present.
But the experience that I had, which was basically just feeling loved and taken care of in a room full of thousands of people I didn't know, seemed to be a pretty strong sign that what I was doing was a good thing.
Cancer came back into my life twice in order for me to understand something, and I guess I still wasn't getting it. And my husband wasn't getting it, either.
I felt I had to share Idaho with my friend from New York because he'd shared New York with me, so I was going to share the beauty of nature with a man who went to museums and clubs late at night. But there was nothing to do where I lived at night.
Manhattan, though, was an entirely different ballgame in a whole different kind of world, with a man who was brilliant and at the same time terribly charismatic.
I got back into the position of taking care of my husband, which is what I'd learned that I couldn't really do: you can love and make things okay to a certain extent, but you can't fix. I didn't quite learn that until the kayaking incident. It became so clear then.
I loved acting when I was doing it, but getting the jobs I didn't understand because I'd never had to do it. That was a difficult lesson for me. It was very humbling and very bizarre.
The experience of getting my Kriya, which is the meditation process that I do, was very powerful for me - though, as I explain in the book, I was really suspect of that kind of thing.
Well, I was passionately curious about what my body was doing, and when I got the lessons on how to meditate, it seemed really solid to me. It seemed real.
What I wasn't prepared for were the feelings of anxiety that it stirred in me. I wasn't prepared for the initial feeling of I don't want to have to do that again. I was scared.
What they were giving me seemed incredibly real to me, so I'd react to it in a very real way. That was frightening for me, especially because of the subject.