In a nutshell
The whole world knows what Eat Pray Love is all about, so I’m going to skip this bit. Ok. Maybe a short description. It’s mainly about Liz going on a self-discovery journey that revolves around the Pursuit of Pleasure (in Eat, the first part of the book), followed by Pursuit of Devotion (Pray) and Pursuit of Balance (Love).
What I liked
My favourite parts were ‘Eat’ and ‘Love’ maybe because I could relate to them. In Eat, I realised that I must/should live my life to the full because I live only once! I’d do my best in everything I do, try everything at least once, travel; just make myself happy! I mean, its only when you’re happy that you can spread happiness right?
In Pray, I find the spinning engine theory her friend Sean, whom she met at the Ashram, shared with her was pretty interesting. He said to find peace, imagine the universe is a great spinning engine and that you want to stay near the core of it – right in the hub of the wheel, not the edges where you get distracted. The hub of calmness is your heart, where God resides within you. Just keep coming back there and you’ll always find peace. I could relate to that; I love the ‘quiet moments’ I share with God each time I go to church especially after receiving the Holy Eucharist and when I let my mind rest. Sometimes I speak with him, but these days I just focus on Him.
Another part (in Love) that struck me (that made me cry, to be exact) was about Wayan, where she wanted to get the most out of Liz’s good intentions to help her build a new, bigger, more comfortable home. She wanted Liz to raise more money for her to build a much much bigger home to not only run her current business, but to also build a ‘nice fancy hotel’ there. I was appalled by it. How could someone do that? I was fuming in anger as I read this, until Felipe said this to Liz (felt almost like he was telling me!),
“Don’t get angry about it, whatever happens. If you get angry, you’ll lose her, and that would be a pity, because she’s a marvelous person and she loves you. This is her survival tactic, just accept that. You must not think that she’s not a good person, or that she and the kids don’t honestly need your help. But you cannot let her take advantage of you.”
Felipe’s message kind of changed my perception. Almost immediately, it made me empathise with Wayan and the negative energy left me. I think we all must know when to draw the line, because there are people out there who’d take advantage of kind, generous souls. We can’t blame anyone, because to some, it’s their way of surviving, or it’s just how they are.
What kept me hooked to her story was also the the way she told it. Her sense of humour, intelligence, acute observations, and most of all, her honesty. I feel that she’s the sort who could add humour to everything she experiences; whether good or bad. She’s also not afraid of showing the world who and what she is. It’s really not easy writing a story where you have to be truthful to yourself as it’d mean you’d have to open your closet of skeletons to the world too.
What I found intriguing was, every part of her journey had a closing before she moved on to the next phase. It felt as though this entire journey had been planned just for her.
There are many quotes that I liked. These are some:
“It is better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”
“I have good idea, for if you meet some person from different religion and ge want to make argument about God. My idea is, you listen to everything this man say about God. Never argue with him. Best thing to say is, ‘I agree with you.’ Then you go home, pray what you want. This is my idea for people to have peace about religion.”
And….my favourite phrase definitely has to be “pretty power”! (Hail Ketut!!! hehe)
Although I do wonder…
Is self-discovery really all about journeying out on your own? Well, maybe for someone who could afford to do so…If not, I think it can be done internally as well, probably by meditating in your own room, or reading, or talking with God, write,…But that’s just my opinion. What do you think?
What I felt
On Pray. I thought certain parts were a little draggy (I skipped a few pages). Maybe she was trying to live up yo that ’36 tales’ idea she had thought out for this book…
Gilbert strung these 108 tales and divided them into 3 sections about Italy, India and Indonesia; i.e. there are 36 tales in each section. She was 36 when she wrote this and it also goes along with the structure of a japa mala (a string of beads, something like a rosary) that is strung with 108 beads, the number held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to nine, which is three threes. And three is the number that represents supreme balance. (As explained in her Introduction)
And Richard from Texas has recently passed away *sob*