I started out seeing this book “eat pray love” on Oprah. Yes, all if you who know me know that I Tivo Oprah daily. No, I do not like her politics or necessarily what she stands for. I like that her show keeps me updated on what’s happening in the world that I otherwise would be unaware. This book, for one, I was unaware. I saw this book on Oprah and thought – NO WAY! This book is about her leaving her husband to go find herself! What a bunch of crap! That’s the easy way out! Stay with him. You made a vow…keep it.
But, I was in the airport bookstore in January of this year and needed a book to read for my trip. I saw this and for some reason I decided to get it. I figured out that if you look past that part of the book, as we do not know, nor does she tell us, the details of her marriage, to the real messages in this book you will learn a lot! I really enjoyed her story.
I find that even the description on the back of the book spends more time on her unhappiness than the true premise of the book. The book spends very little time on the unhappiness that leads her to Italy, India and Indonesia. She adds in humor in her life lessons and this book really struck a nerve in me. Some of the things that I found really resonated with me….
(p. 23) “ask myself a radical new question: What do you want to do, Liz?…And when I finally started to answer, I did so cautiously. I would 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.
I want to learn how to speak Italian….
What was I going to do with Italian? It’s not like I’m going to move there. It would be more practical to learn how to play the accordian.
But why must everything always have a practical application? I’d been such a diligent soldier for years–working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty?…Did I need any justification for learning Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me pleasure right now?”
(p. 26-7) “I want to be with God all the time. But I don’t want to be a monk, or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God….’To find the balance you want,’ Ketut spoke through his translator, ‘this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.'”
(p. 32) “I explained to Iva my personal opinions about prayer. Namely, that I don’t feel comfortable petitioning for specific things from God, because that feels to me like a kind of weakness of faith….Iva listened politely, then asked, ‘Where’d you get that stupid idea?….where do you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration.'”
(p. 40) (Humor – speaking of not blending in foreign countries during her travels.)
“First off, I don’t blend. Tall and blonde and pink-complexioned, I am less a chameleon than a flamingo. Everywhere I go but Dusseldorf, I stand out garishly. When I was in China, women used to come up to me on the street and point me out to their children as though I were some escaped zoo animal. And their children–who had never seen anything quite like this pink-faced yellow-headed phantom person–would often burst into tears at the sight of me….I also have a shortage of personal coolness, which can be a liability when I travel. I have never learned how to arrange my face into that blank expression of competent invisibility that is so useful when traveling into dangerous and foreign places. You know–that super-relaxed, totally-in-charge expression which makes you look like you belong there, anywhere, everywhere , even in the middle of Jakarta. Oh, no. when I don’t know what I’m doing, I look like I don’t know what I’m doing. when I’m excited or nervous, I look excited or nervous. When I am lost, which is frequently, I look lost. My face is a transparent transmitter of my every thought. As David once put it, ‘You have the opposite of a poker face. You have, like….miniature golf face.'”
(This cracks me up reading this for two reasons. One, I am that…I often have a look of sheer horror on my face at dinner with friends when I can’t believe what I’m hearing across the table. I am very used to the kick in the shin, Tara was great at doing that for me while in Columbus, with the very kind “wipe that look off your face.” I also recall two very AMERICAN looking girls wandering around Germany this summer, looking very….American!!!)
I don’t want to give the entire book away…You still need to go buy it!!! I have underlined, highlighted and written all over this book. It’s an easy read, a relaxing and calming read, a spiritual read and a funny read. It’s light-hearted yet I came away from it with many great lessons. I have felt a lot of the same things that Liz felt in this book and as she learned her lessons, I learned them as well.
I learned about:
-Americans are too busy and work longer than any other country and we are
unskilled on doing nothing.
-“Beauty attracts beauty (p. 85)” And, you can substitute many words in there. This
resonates with the part of me that chooses to associate myself with people that
make me want to be a better person.
-“You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where you backgone oughtta be. (p. 150)
-“Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. (p. 177)
-The fourth level of human consciousness.
-Liz’s journey into hours of meditation and the true meaning of yoga.
-“This smile will make you a beautiful woman. This will give you power to be very
pretty. You can use this power–pretty power!–to get what you want in life (p. 241).”
-Stories of other cultures always teach us something new.
It’s only $9 on Amazon.com (one of my favorite places).