Thursday, 14 June 2012

Eat, Pray, Love and Understand Yourself

My life isn't exactly full of activity at the moment, but I'm loving it. It's great to have time to slow down and decipher how I'm feeling and what I feel like doing (which isn't much). I think I'm finally beginning to understand how to rest without panicking about what I should be doing - at last! Bring on long soaks in the bath and reading too many books.

I downloaded the Kindle sample for Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert this morning. Yes, I know. All the reviews I've ever seen have been at entirely different ends of the spectrum: it's certain that this woman can't please everyone. I do understand the negative views, to be honest. She has already written about praying in English, Italian and Sanskrit (no need to rub it in), and has an inner-voice to guide her when she hits rock-bottom. Hmm. However, I am enjoying it so far.

Gilbert decides to spend four months in Italy, India and Indonesia, whilst documenting her travels by writing this novel. It's quite exciting to read about a woman who rejects everyday life to travel and get to know herself, and I'm curious to see how she changes in the process. I'm going to Italy in September, and this novel has only made me more excited. The culture, art and scenery seem incredible. I studied the language for a set of evening classes recently, and so it will be a great opportunity to see if I have actually learned anything from them.

Gilbert herself does intrigue me, as a woman seemingly so in touch with her wants and needs. Perhaps she just has the confidence to not ignore her doubts. Deciding that you want a divorce means great implications on your finances and mental stability, and so it's not surprising that many ignore the possibility. Even if you turn out in a better place. So this woman is not only strong-willed, but she writes, she's spiritual, she makes friends easily and she's not bad-looking. She goes to Bali to write about yoga retreats. Fair enough.

I think my version of her trip around the world will be a little... tamer. I'm fine working on my identity and spirituality from my home. I have my yoga mat, English countryside outside my window, and peace and quiet (most of the time). I can definitely work on the "eat" and "love" elements, although the former is certainly a lot easier than the latter at times. I'm not too sure about praying though. I don't disagree with religion, I'm just not sure if praying is the way I like to go about spirituality. I often pause and appreciate beautiful things, and think about how grateful I am for everything in my life. I also write my hopes and wishes for others in my journal, so perhaps that is my alternative. For now, that is enough.

I'll write another post on how I feel about the rest of the novel, and if it influences me in any way.

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