So…its here..the movie version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s runaway best selling book opens today. I have a date this weekend with a group of girlfriends to go see it. I’ve downloaded the CD from itunes. As a yogi and a wanderluster, I’ll admit right up front, I’m an unabashed fan girl. This is my version of “Sex in the City” weekend.

As I anticipate seeing the movie, I am reflecting on the many, many discussions I’ve had about Elizabeth Gilbert’s story of travel and self-discovery since I first read the book several years ago.  Reactions vary from my own…”I LOVE it, I LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert, I want to hang out with her–I’m certain we’d be fast friends. I want to be the ashram’s key hostess. I want to go to Bali and laugh from my liver.” To…“I didn’t care for it,  Elizabeth Gilbert seems self indulgent, people just don’t leave their lives (or their husbands) like that”–to many variations in between.  I am struck by how intensely personal each reaction is.  It seems to me that each reaction is a mirror to where an individual is in their life–no single opinion is right or wrong–we are just where we are.But, if we pay attention to our reaction to the story–we can gain awareness. What makes you afraid? What makes you angry? What makes you laugh? Do you maybe feel jealous?

I’m writing this post while sitting in a cafe, Just now, I can hear two women discussing the book. They are both saying how unrealistic the story is–that most people can’t just drop out and travel around the globe for a year to find themselves.

It is true, Liz Gilbert had a book contract in hand before she set off on her year abroad. That’s a really nice thing to have. I get that we don’t all have book contracts or trust funds or whatever you think it would take to make a break for it like Liz.  I will tell you that I know more than one person who has done a similar thing. They made a decision that they wanted to take some time to travel and gain some breathing space–they planned for it financially and took some risks and some really wonderful things happened for them as a result. I’d say that, if you think you want to take off in this way, its important to really know your intention before you take off–because travel without an intention is just escape.

The truth is, I don’t think that we necessarily need a pot of gold to embrace the spirit of this story. To me, the larger theme of the book was just to listen to what your heart is telling you and move towards it, regardless of whether your family, your friends, your work colleagues or society thinks its the “right” thing to do. I think that anyone can take a journey like Liz’s even without getting on a plane, even without quitting your job and leaving your life behind. I think it may take longer and… c’mon…admit it…won’t be nearly as fun, but you can take a similar journey inward without actually going anywhere. With the intention to follow your gut and your heart… magic can happen…just like it did for Liz.

Please share with me your thoughts about the book, the movie or any old thing related.

Update:  Saw the movie loved it, loved the meandering quality, beautiful cinematography. It made me want to reread the book because it reminded  me of pieces I had forgotten.


3 Responses to “Eat.Pray.Love: The Blog Post”

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  2. Peggie sent me over. :)

    While my post about it wasn’t as “nice” as yours, I completely get how people’s reactions are about where they are in their lives.

    I enjoyed the book and doubt I’ll be seeing the movie. The moment on the bathroom floor and the part where she connects with her ex “out there” are 2 stand-out parts for me. I have been that down and I have wanted to forgive and heal that much.

    I think each of us has just as brilliant a story to tell about our own healing journeys. I wish there was less judgment about her path and more sharing about the so-called “real” ones.

  3. Lisa,
    Glad you stopped by and I’ll be sure to thank Peggie. I read the book at a time when I was going through the “bathroom floor stuff” so that is probably why I love book so much. Saw the movie with Peggie this weekend. As expected, not as good as the book, but still really enjoyed it. I hope the movie release will encourage more people to share their own journeys. I just had a conversation with one of my male office colleagues who saw the movie with his wife–his reaction to the men in the story was really interesting. I had really thought of this as a chick story–his perspective was really enlightening.

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