Elizabeth Gilbert, Published 2007
Read Dec 2007-Feb 2008
From the Cover:
“In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want – husband, country home, successful career – but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.”
I enjoyed the author’s witty writing style, however, I have to disagree with the many reviewers on Oprah using this book as their so-called spiritual guidebook. I do think it’s important for people, especially women, with their numerous roles today to find balance in their lives. However, the author’s whiny excuses and reasons why her marriage wasn’t working annoyed me. I ultimately felt bad for the husband, instead of sympathizing with the author.
I read this book over a course of about two months, reading it probably only once or twice a week. After I got past the first third of the book where she explains her relationship and life failures…I really became interested in the people she met along the way, especially once she arrived in India and Bali. It’s fascinating how the people that come into our lives, at any point, help steer us in our own life journeys.
There are many good tidbits to take away from this book. One major point in the book that I like is that there is more than one way to find yourself, to find balance, and to find your way to God.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with your soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.” – Richard from Texas
“To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver.” -Ketut from Bali