I’ve read “Eat, Pray, Love” several times. I don’t recall whether the first time I read it was in highschool or university. What I know is that it made me emotional reading it the first time. It made me emotional because the author was very honest about her feelings. Her dissatisfaction with her life and her desire to seek more.
I admire Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing because there’s always such a level of authenticity in her work. In addition to “Eat, Pray, Love,” I’ve read her other books such as “Committed” and “Big Magic.” Gilbert always delivers in enabling you to have a connection with her words.
For this post, I want to focus on why Eat, Pray, Love had such a great impact on me. There’s a reason why I often read this book again and again. It’s because it’s a constant reminder to seek my bliss.
ITALY or Thirty-six Tales about the Pursuit of Pleasure
“The Bhagavad Gita –that ancient Indian Yogi text —says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.”
Why I love the quote above is because it’s a reminder that we have to be honest with ourselves about the lives we want. We have to be honest with ourselves about our goals and aspirations, about what gives us joy. This is important because in life, we are often bombarded by other people’s expectations or perceptions of who we are. However, if we can get real about what we want, then that is a far better life to lead our truth.
In the book, Elizabeth writes of how she left her marriage and decided to travel because she was not content. In the pursuit of her travels, she finds herself, friendship and another love.
The question then becomes, what are you truly seeking in your life?
INDIA or Thirty-six Tales About the Pursuit of Devotion
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets that I can by, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life–whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can’t rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook). I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
That statement carries so much power. What it means to me is simply this: Be Kind to You.
Now how do we become kind to ourselves? Well, I think that is feeding ourselves with things that satisfy and gladden our soul. I think being kind to ourselves is good company. It’s time spent doing what matters to you. It’s choosing thoughts that aren’t bringing you down but lifting you up. When we make the decision to be kind to ourselves, we think about all these little things that are really the big things that affect how we live and function.
The question you can ask yourself is are you being kind to yourself?
INDONESIA or Thirty-six Tales About the Pursuit of Balance
“We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure..I’m lonely…I’m a failure…I’m lonely..) and we become monuments to them.”
That statement was touching to me because I could really relate to it. I was guilty of it. At times in my life, I’m the one causing myself misery because of the words I choose to use on myself and my situation. What I’ve learned is that I have to be mindful of my words. Once I changed the negative words I used on myself, I become liberated from my sadness. I become motivated to go after my joy. To keep going after my bliss.
What words are you using on yourself?