(Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure reading this won’t spoil the ending or even content in the book for you, in case you haven’t read it, but it may impact your approach to reading it.)
While on vacation last month I heard an awesome review of the book Eat, Pray, Love, which prompted me to go out and pick up a copy as soon as I got back. I was hooked from the first couple of pages and began to tell other people about it. I found Liz Gilbert’s writing style to be laugh-out-loud funny at times, and painfully raw and gut-wrenching at others, but all in a good way. Sometimes I felt like I was there with her.
I really appreciated how she put her emotions out there and sort of raked them over the coals, no matter how personal they were. I’m actually in awe of that, because it’s never been something I was comfortable sharing, even with close friends. But obviously we all “feel” and we all can relate to others feelings, whatever they are in any particular moment.
Like Liz, I am very open-minded spiritually (as you might have guessed from my blog subtitle) and love hearing about different perspectives and practices, as long as they are not being forced on me or I don’t feel someone is trying to “convert” me. There are many ways for us to express our spirituality and work on “seeing” with our hearts, but it would be tough to maintain any balance in our lives if we spent even one minute criticizing someone else’s beliefs or practices.
So I fully embraced her openness to considering and trying out new things and her earnest approach to seeking and building a relationship to her “God” who is in her, who IS her on a fundamental level. The details of her journey, combined with some sound advice from the lay people who also became her friends at the Ashram, made for an excellent story and I took a lot away from it.
It’s also great to know, as a friend pointed out, that we can (and should) all make our own similar journeys without leaving our families/jobs/countries and going to live in an Ashram in India. We make the journey for and within ourselves, and have all the resources around us that we need to do so.
All that said, I really could have done without the section on her final stop, Indonesia. From the beginning of that section it felt random and forced, for the sake of the book and completing the assignment, and less for the value it added. That last section felt like it took an otherwise unique, interesting and heartfelt story of a spiritual journey and personal path toward healing, and forced it into a format that would best complete a novel.
Still, it was her journey and her book and I feel happy for having read it. I will still recommend it to friends but with the caveat that the first two sections are the meat of the book and if you run out of time, don’t worry about what happens in Indonesia.