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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Each sentence so beautifully written, filling pages and pages of humour, compassion, inspiration, independence and the wisdom of one incredible woman finding her way in this world - it's a big claim, but this is a book that has made it's way into one of my all time favourites.



Eat, Pray, Love is a film that I saw long ago and always being a strong believer in reading the book first it seems strange that I still picked this one up. But this I am grateful, was a film I watched so long ago that I don't actually remember it so I got to absorb all of the delicious beauty of these 108 chapters, feeding my soul word by word with a rare sensation of magic.


'Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.'


- Elizabeth Gilbert


Forgive me now for the long quotes - I could easily fold pages and pages of Elizabeth's words within my own. But for those that have managed to miss out on Eat, Pray, Love for all of these years (I would say like myself, but I feel that where I am in my life right now, at my age, it was waiting for me as a little sweet spot in my life) it is a book that has been composed into three sections, each consisting of four months of Liz's life in which flowed consistently after one another equating to one year of self exploration which happened after a messy divorce. Leaping into the unknown and heading around the world, this is the story that intricately relays her experiences of exploring pleasure in Italy, discovering devotion in India and equating to the balance of them both in Indonesia, the trio of 'I's' makes it seem like a fiction novel rather than a life of truth, untold.


'You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.'


- Elizabeth Gilbert


But her life, it is. Which is it what makes it all the more engaging, from mountains of spaghetti (both in literal food and friends with the surname spaghetti!), beautiful symphonies of Italian words - I even discovered the unique story of how the Italian concoction of letters and words jumbled together to become the most romantic language in the world. . .I'm not kidding, it was carefully selected to be made up of words of significant beauty - who knew?! - and plenty of bel far niente, the 'art of doing nothing', the magnificence of Rome does not go a miss.


'I wanted to experience both. I wanted wordly enjoyment and divine transcendence - the dual glories of a human life. I wanted what the greeks call kalos kai agathos, the singular balance of the good and the beautiful.'


- Elizabeth Gilbert



I think this is the part which becomes the most relatable - how can it seem 'right' that after four months of the Italian lifestyle enjoying it and seeking pleasure in the way Liz did, can it be 'okay' that that same person aches for four months in an Ashram meditating for hours on end at 3am, purifying the soul and tingling with spirituality, in the middle of India? She does. And it is absolutely 100% perfectly okay!

I have found myself feeling like so many different characters within myself on such frequent occasions over the years, to read that widely opposite interests within the one same body actually may be more frequently found than initially anticipated is what made me tumble into the pages of India with eyes wide open, soaking up each and every tranquil lesson learnt.


'I look at the Augusteum, and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated.'


- Elizabeth Gilbert


And then comes four heavenly, simple, delicately placed months in Indonesia on the island of Bali. The people that cross Liz's paths here each have bookshelves to fill with stories of their own, whilst the beauty which encapsulates this island is undeniable but the heavenly, simple, delicately inspiring peace that stands out the most comes from sneaking into Liz's own mind. The balance. The contentment. The fulfilment which has transcended her. It is all there, right underneath her nose rippling out from her heart and whilst this was her journey to her best self. . .it leaves you on the cliff-hanger, anticipating. . .what is your own journey?




Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love (waterstones.com)

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