What I Discovered While Reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

In 2014, I probably read all of six books. Sad, I know, considering I used to read ALL OF THE TIME. I was one of those kids who used to read the cereal box front to back.

So when the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge began, I jumped into the fray and set an intention to read a book a week.

If you’re curious about my choices, I posted my January reads here and my February reads here.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertOne of the books I read last month was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve wanted to read the book for ages, and because of that, avoided the movie for fear it would spoil the book. And I’m so glad I did! While the book was EXTREMELY long (I now wish I’d kept track of how many hours it took me to read it), it was worth every hour.

Eat, Pray, Love is the story of one very unhappy woman’s search for happiness. After a painful and ugly divorce, she throws on a backpack and sets out on a year long journey of discovery. She spends four months in Italy where she explores pleasure (EAT), four months in India where she explores devotion (PRAY), and four months in Bali where she explores balance (LOVE).

Elizabeth Gilbert’s four months in India, spent in devotion at an Ashram, touched my soul. At one point in the reading, I had to put down the book and walk away because I experienced a wave of jealousy so extreme, I felt the need to explore the workings of my own inner being.

And what I discovered was that this woman, surrounded by the peace and serenity of the Ashram, had experienced the life I was meant to live. Wow, didn’t see that coming, did you? Neither did I. 🙂

When I understood this, the jealousy quickly passed because I am truly thankful for my life and everything in it—my family and friends and career. However, while immersing myself in the daily rituals of an Ashram is still on my bucket list, I’ve discovered that I don’t need to leave my family to discover inner peace and serenity.

From the comfort of my home, I’ve been doing SOUL work, inspired by the awesome courses offered by Christine Kane. I’ve always been fascinated by this “woo-woo stuff” (as Christine calls it), but my busy life has left me little time to indulge this yearning…until now. There are changes afloat, and I’m embracing each one.

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, or seen the movie? If so, did the book or movie unleash any long forgotten dreams or desires?

And finally, what’s on your reading table this month?

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on February 4, 2015, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m busy reading my RITA books this month, Shelia. I read Eat, Pray, Love years ago and remember not liking it much. I’d love to go to Italy to eat, but her other two stops seemed a bit indulgent. I’m a practical girl at heart and after a day at the Ashram, I’d be so bored I couldn’t stand it. Perhaps I spend too much time alone as it is. I’m glad it sparked something inside you, Sheila. Introspection in any form is never a bad thing.

  2. Wow! What a great experience you’ve had and are having. I watched the movie and loved it, partly because I love the main character/actor and it would be so cool to just get up and leave everything behind and “experience life” without any ties. But just for awhile, in my case. I wouldn’t want to actually dump my life and start over again. I think doing something like what she did in the book would be beneficial for sure and yet, as you say, maybe one CAN do that from the confines of their own home/life.
    Right now I’m on a John Green jag. I’m reading An Abundance of Katherines. I really love his writing.

    • I wouldn’t want to dump my life and start over either, Patti, but self-discovery fascinates me, especially since I’ve spent most of my life trying to be everything that everyone else needs me to be. (That’s the good girl/perfectionist syndrome.) 🙂

      I’ve never read anything by John Green. I must try him. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I really like your review, Sheila, and relate to much of what you’ve said (and, in part, to Elizabeth’s journey). I need to reread this book! Fortunately, it’s on my bookshelf at home. 🙂

    • I do feel like the more I look inward, Janna, the more I’m at peace with myself and everything around me. I hope you gain new insights when you read the book the second time. 🙂

  4. I’m glad you had such a powerful experience, Sheila. I think Elizabeth Gilbert is amazing, but the idea of that book has never appealed to me. Maybe because I’ve always felt connected to my spiritual side, I don’t see exploring spirituality as an activity but a state of being. The idea of an Ashram just puzzles me. But hooray for you for taking the journey that’s calling you! We all need to do more of that, whatever our individual journey may be.

  5. Wow, Sheila, I really enjoyed your take on Eat, Pray, Love. I haven’t read the book (yet) and have seen only bits of the movie but will add both to my to-do list. I have read Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things and loved her voice and the way she developed the story. Highly recommended – and also about a woman discovering herself, although in a very different way. Great post!

  1. Pingback: Caught Reading: February 2015 | Sheila Seabrook

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