It's hard for me to believe that it's been ten years since Eat, Pray, Love came out! In 2007, I was seeing a therapist who recommended that I read it. I had just moved to Hawaii after my divorce and I was raw and I felt insignificant and unworthy. I was initially resistant to reading any type of inspirational book so I wrote her suggestion off. But one day in a bookstore I saw it sitting there and the cover was beautiful and it seemed to be calling out to me. So I decided what the heck and I bought it. Boy, was I in for the ride of my life!
Now a new book has just come out to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Eat, Pray, Love. It's a compilation of readers short essays sharing how the book changed their lives. Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It is nearly as powerful as the original. Reading about all the lives that were dramatically altered because of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir is inspiring and incredibly heart warming. I love hearing stories of transformation!
I've never devoured a book the way I devoured Eat, Pray, Love. I was hooked right from the start. I highlighted and re-read and analyzed and even made a Word document with my favorite passages. I told all my friends about what an amazing book it was. At the end of the book when Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her future self waiting for her present self to catch up, I knew my future self was waiting for me too and I knew I needed to read more inspirational books. So I went to Elizabeth Gilbert's webpage and looked for her suggestions on other books to read. She recommended Pema Chodron.
Pema Chodron changed my life too. I looked her up on Amazon and found that she was highly rated and recommended so I ordered everything I could of hers. I immediately set out reading her books and listening to her retreat recordings. I had so many "A ha!" moments reading and listening to Pema. The first and most memorable was when Pema described the hook, or "shenpa", when something gets under your skin and irritates you and you go off. That was so me! I've always had anger issues. But after Pema, I actually started catching myself when I would get "hooked" by something someone said or did and now I would laugh about it instead of loosing myself in it, getting angry about it or acting out because of it.
I was so changed already that one day when I got together with a close friend who had been away he mentioned that I had a new glow and that something was different about me. I told him all about Eat, Pray Love and Pema.
My love of inspirational books has only grown since then. I have discovered Eckhart Tolle now. His book, A New Earth was another transformational read for me. Eckhart talks about when he was depressed at one point in his life and he thought to himself "I cannot live with myself" and then he realized what his thought meant - that there were two of him. The "I" and the "myself" that the "I" couldn't live with. There is the mind (or the ego) and there is the consciousness that witnesses the mind. Our minds can run us ragged without us even realizing it. But we can become aware of our minds and we can control our minds. It takes practice. Meditation is the key.
Shutting down my ego and living in a new state of presence and consciousness has been an ongoing goal of mine ever since reading Eat, Pray, Love. Is it easy? NO! I fall back sometimes and let my anger take over and my husband kindly reminds me to get back on track. Which is funny because I taught him about this stuff!
Is it worth it? Absolutely. There is so much peace in being more aware and letting go. I wouldn't be married again, this time to the love of my life if I hadn't learned what I learned nearly 10 years ago starting with Eat, Pray, Love. I wouldn't have a beautiful three year old daughter who is the light of my life. And I wouldn't have finally just published my first novel, a life long dream.
Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert! For being brave enough to go on your adventure and for being brave enough to share your story with the world.
What did reading Eat,Pray, Love make you do?
If you are interested in reading my novel, Naupaka Blooming, you can read the first chapter for FREE!
I'm a romantic at heart with an overactive creative mind and an artistic soul. I've always been an avid reader - I read as much as I can as often as I can! Writing has been a life long dream that I haven't allowed myself to pursue until just recently. In April I finally published my first novel - Naupaka Blooming, a Hawaiian Reincarnation Romance. And now I'm working on the first book in a new fantasy thriller series called Summer's Shadow.