Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eat Pray Love

Last week when I went on vacation to West Palm Beach,  I brought the book Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert with me since I knew I would have the chance to start it.   If you have not read the book, I highly recommend that you find some time to read it.    I am only a few chapters in and I was hooked after the first page.    The type of reading I enjoy  the most, is when I get attached and/or feel a connection with the story or a character.  Elizabeth is real and honest in sharing her amazing and heart wrenching story about rediscovering herself.  

Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life.   Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

I truly admire her and find her absolutely inspiring.   I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to leave everything behind and follow your heart.    She made herself a priority and did things for her.   Even as I am sitting here blogging about this book, I am in a coffee shop in my neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon.  I NEVER use do this, except when I was in college but I would be at a library.   I have always wanted to know what it was like being a regular at a coffee shop sitting in a booth watching people come and go, as you sit in front of your laptop while sipping on a latte, and HERE I am one of those people.   I would think as I walked by these coffee shops thinking to myself "how do they have time for this?  They must be in school or something."   To the contrary no.   People are here catching up with friends, spending time with their family, or sitting by themselves with their nose deep into their book.   Work isn't always the main motive in peoples daily lives.   Okay- I am digressing, back to the book.

One aspect of the book I love is each section of the book describes a bead on her mala mantra. A Mala (Sanskrit; mala, meaning garland) is a set of beads usually made from 108 beads.  Malas Beads/ Prayer Beads are mainly usted to count mantras.   These mantras can be recited for different purposes linked to working with the mind during meditation.  Every bead has a meaning and represents something in her book.   As I read her book I think about what each bead would represent in my life.  

Some of my beads would be for some of my most favorite memories with my family.  Another bead would be for moments of heartache.   Another bead would be for my passion of working out.   Another one would be the day I was baptized.  A bead for graduating college.   A bead for the day when I met my boyfriend.   The list is endless but I love thinking about the story each bead on my prayer bracelet would represent.   My mission since the starting of my blog, back in January of 2009, was to help me find balance in my life.    In this crazy busy world we live in, it can be easy to forget to slow down and to get caught up on the things you think matter the most (like your job).    That was my problem when I first came into the business world.   My job was consuming every piece of me and the things I like to do and the people I love were always put to the side.    I didn't like what my job was doing to me so I made a promise to myself to work on this.   Which I look back on it now as being my first bead to my mala bracelet.   
Buddhist Nun praying with prayer beads
Have you ever thought about how much you have experienced, done, and accomplished in your life?   This book has really helped me to take time to reflect on all of these things.    I think it is incredibly important and it helps me to stay grounded.    I can't wait to continue reading her story and to be inspired by her.   Have you ever read her book?   How did it make you feel- did she inspire you?   I would love to hear from you!

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”  ~ Elizabeth Gillbert

1 comment:

  1. Jess great post! I also read this book and loved it. Actually, while I was working in the President's Office at UofL we had her come as part of our Kentucky Author Forum. Unfortunately, meeting Elizabeth kinda bursted the bubble on the awesome take aways of the book. She said that she no longer practiced any of the things that she learned while on her amazing journey. But I guess that is how we all are, we keep things that mean the most and make adjustments to the rest.