Did I Forget To Read The Fine Print in Eat, Pray, Love?
Was it at the end, or is a secret message hidden within the book? Because I missed the mark. I thought the book was a guidebook, not a fun novel to read. Was that just me?
Reading, my favorite hobby.I think the secret message is, JUMP
See what happens, but let's see what Liz Gilbert has to say about this.
"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."
― Elizabeth Gilbert
Let me back up. For the 1% of you who don't know Eat, Pray, Love, or Elizabeth Gilbert.
Elizabeth Gilbert, was in an unhappy marriage, depressed in life, a struggling writer. She wanted to learn Italian, and see the world. So she decided to travel to Italy to learn Italian, India to search for a meaning to life, and Bali for fun/love. All in one year's time.
Ok, very watered-down version. My writing is nowhere close to Liz Gilbert's artfully crafted words.
The book is the story of her year of travel
I must have watched the movie 100 times, read and listened to the book a dozen. Whenever I am feeling sad, I watch the movie. It's weird but makes me feel good.
So I think it seeped into my pores. In 2018 little did I know I set out on my own version of Eat, Pray, Love. Mine just lasted longer.
I have always taken a long time to learn things, language, love, self-love, you get the picture. I am a slow learner, and that is just fine by me.
My version of Eat, Pray, Love
I was 38, living in Los Angeles, with a good job, but unfulfilling. I just knew there had to be more to life than going to work and paying bills.
As naive as I was, yes even at 38. I just had this gut feeling to go with my intuitions. Do the one thing I would regret if I did not do it.
That one thing was to pack a bag and travel the world.
My theory "so what if I hate it, I am a nurse, I can come home and get a job". I am very fortunate that I am a nurse and have this option.
I am also a native English speaker which means I can teach English online if I need a job or money. So I jumped headfirst and went to Colombia, as my first stop on my South American journey.
My eat phase
From there I traveled throughout South America and ate my way through the continent, especially in Argentina.
If you have not had Argentinian empanadas or dulce de leche you are missing out on life. I am pretty sure I gained some weight, but I was having fun and knew the weight would come off. As it did.
I then flew to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia and entered into a whole new culture.
I call this my pray phase
I got deeper into yoga, spirituality, and being more mindful. This was not my intention, however, I was vegetarian at this time and felt more connected to the earth.
I also was meeting a lot of yogis as well as others with the same mindset. We all seemed to be on a spiritual path of some sort.
Also being in places where such genocide has occurred is quite intense. It really makes you think about your own life and what kind of life you want to lead. Also, the legacy of the kind of person you are.
Thinking of how can I be a better person, for those around me, and for all the lives that I may impact in the future. I am blessed to have the life that I am living.
To be able to look back and be able to reflect on what I have learned and how I have changed is incredible. It is not something that would exist if I did not trust that intuition inside of me.
That I will forever be grateful for, the ability to listen to myself, my intuition, my higher self.
Step out of the way of the ego, the mind. The ego is a false sense of self, that is just a mask we wear to prevent pain. Yet, that is the part of us that must die to move forward to joy and love.
Then my COVID phase (she must have skipped this part in the book)
I call this my "disaster" phase. Everything I learned and worked hard for came crashing down. I spend COVID in Argentina. When borders closed we were unable to leave.
I ate too much, I started drinking again, I dated the wrong men.
So I had an eat, pray, love disaster for the first 4 months!
After 4 months I stepped into the:
Not of another person of me. I chose myself. If I couldn't learn to love myself who would? If I have no love inside of me I would never love another.
I do not take love and dating for granted. So I knew that to love myself I had to stop drinking alcohol. That was just hurting me and keeping me sad and depressed.
I was pretty angry at myself, for all of the "work" I had thought I did on myself. I watched it fly out the window.
Maybe I was just another lost, broken soul wandering aimlessly in this world. So I went back to what had helped me all along.
I stopped drinking, started doing yoga, and started eating more fruits and vegetables and less dulce de leche and less pizza!
I also started volunteering again. Once the restrictions were lifted I was able to travel out of the city and back to the country. This was exactly what I needed.
I started reading, writing, and exercising more. The magic bullet. When I left Argentina I went home to visit my family.
My cousin gave me the biggest compliment.
You seem happy.
I was single, not drinking, and my life was perfect. I don't know what happened, something just clicked and I feel like I had a second ego death during the time of my "disaster".
Yet this was what was needed for me to realize who I am in this world and what I need.
Then I moved to Colombia. That is when external love showed up in my life. I met a guy.
I was determined to stay single, I did not want to date, every time I date I fall apart. Not this time.
5 months going strong, and sometimes when I feel myself slipping. I recenter and rebalance.
Am I saying it is forever, I do not know. No one does, but it is for right now, and I am ok with this.
It will never be perfect. I will constantly be course correcting. That is how life is. It is flowing, it is up and down, it is movement.
Static is boring, we are made of mostly water, and fluids, we need to move, adapt and adjust.
If I take everything I learned during my ups and downs and how to recenter myself when I start to wobble. My balance is brought back to equilibrium.
If I am not healthy and happy with myself. I can not give to another person. I still choose me first. My happiness. I am also not here to fix anyone except me.
I also do not expect anyone else to "save" me. That is never another persons job.
So in so many ways, I became Eat, Pray, Love in my own way.
Just remember you can never run away from your problems. Travel isn't always the solution, but getting out of your own way is.
This can be done anywhere.
Let me know have you had an eat, pray, love journey? If so what part are you at?