August 1, 2016 by Quiahuitzin
Eat pray love is a book by Elizabeth Gilbert in which she writes about her own journey traveling throgh Italy, India and Indonesia. She starts this journey after a difficult and way-too-long divorce, mixed with another failed intense relationship.
This, is the only book I have read twice. That’s a huge piece of a compliment. I readed this book two years ago. It felt great. It made me happy. And I decided to read it again in English this year. The book spin around a healing process… and while the author talks about her process, I just can’t help but to jump in, and feel the purifying process within myself as well.
The beginig of the book is sad, she explains how the last years have been for her. Difficult and depressing, years. Little by little she’s trying to figure herself out.
I could ask myself the radical new question: “What do you want to do Liz?”
Most of the time (still so troubled from bailing out of my marriage) I didn’t even dare to answer the question, but just thrilleled privately to its existence. And when I finally started to answer, I did so cautiously. I would only allow myself to express little baby-step wants. Like:
I want to go to a Yoga class.
I want to leave this party early, so I can go home and read a novel.
I want to buy myself a new pencil box.
Finally she decides to start a year long journey through three diferent countries:
Italy, in the reasearch of pure pleasure. EAT.
India, where she will stay at her Guru’s Ashram (kind of a monastery) where she will to find good, through yogic spiritual practices. PRAY.
And finally, she will go to beautiful Bali to meet and old medicine man who told her when she was there, years ago that she would come back (short of a profecy). There… she will try to balance pleasure and devotion. And well, she may get a lover… LOVE.
I like Elizabeth Gilbert way of thinking. I like how she talks about God… and I like the teachings she shares in this book. Some thigs are quite intuitive, but it’s nice to see, that through different paths, we all get to similar conclusions… Some parts remembered me about the book Shiddhartha, which is also about an spiritual journey. I really share most of her vision on spiritulity and religions.
Prayers can become stale and drone into the boring and familiar if you let your atention stagnate. In making an effort to stay alert, I am assuming custodial responsibility for the maintenance of my own soul
Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship- a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny, he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses- one foot is on the horse called “fate” and the other is on the horse called “free will”. And the question you have to ask every day is- which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
It’s, as you can see, quite and philosophical book in some moments. I love that parts, I love this kind of books, and this one, given the case that it’s based on the author real experience just sounds specially sincere.
But not everything is this metaphysical, there are also fun stories, curiosities about the places she’s visiting, some history lesson… of course, there are love lessons too:
I love this one lesson from “Richard from Texas” (hilarious character, by the way)
“Problem is, you can’t accept that this relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump baby- you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.”
“But I love him”
“So love hime”
“But I miss him”
“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, and the drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the lasst bits of David because the you’ll really be alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that spacein your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot- a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in-God will rush in- and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”
I have been underlining so many quotes… The first time I read this book, in Spanish, the book wasn’t mine, but this time I got the book from a charity shop (Piel de mariposa) for just one euro. So this time the book was mine and I’ve been marking every page so I can get back to it in the future.There are so many techings and interesting ideas…
The final conclusion is to have compasion with yourself and others, to give yourself a break and feel the simple pleasures (Perfect book for summer) and explore… explore your inner self, explore the possibilities around you… And just, get some balance. Let the universe do his job… it all sounds quite hippie, but actually, she presents it in such a beautiful and step by step journey, that you just end up fully understanding this idea… understanding this good vibes.
So definetly, I recomend you to read it, really: Give it a try!
One final quote I need to copy, is from chapter 108 (the final chapter, as the book has a japa mala structure). She talks about her past and present self, who she had become, and the forces that have been moving her forward. That maybe her past, sad self, was sometime lifted up by her present happy self… This has surprised me, because lately I have been having a similar idea (that I think I got from Siddhartha) about the love I recive and I give, to myself from the past, present and future… as we are the same person… but well, as Ortega y Gaset said, “I’m myself and my circunstance”. It’s hard to express such an abstract concept, but this woman really express this beautifuly.
I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I’m now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself. I think of everything I endured before getting here and wonder if it was me– I mean, this happy and balanced me, who is now dozing on the deck of this small Indondesian fishing boat- who pulled the other, younger, more confused and more struggling me forward during all those hard years. The younger me was the acorn full of potential, but it was the older me, the already-existing oak, who was saying the whole time: “Yes- Grow! Change! Evolve! Come and meet me here, where I already exist in the wholeness and maturity! I need you to grow into me!” And maybe it was this present and fully actualiced me who was hovering four years ago over that young married sobbing girl on the bathroom floor, and maybe it was me who whispered lovingly into that desesperate girl’s ear, “Go back to bed Liz…” Knowing already that everything will be OK, that everything would eventually bring us together here. Right here, right to this moment. Where I was always waiting in peace and contentment, always waiting for here to arrive and join me.
One last thing: I’m not a native English speaker, so probably, you will find some grammatical and spelling errors. I apologice, and ask you to comment below if you want me to correct something. Thank you.