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Review: 'Eat, Pray, Love'.....a journey towards "bien dans sa peau"!

It seems 2012 will be an interesting year after all! Even though it is only a few weeks into January, I have already been kept busy with interesting events and inspired by my lovely friends......plus there is still the Chinese New Year of the Water Dragon, which will on the 23rd of January 2012, to look forward to! There will certainly be more on the Chinese New Year celebrations and the Qi Pao in the following posts. Just as I have been inspired by those close to me, I would like to offer a little spark of inspiration to all of you....my darling readers....and hope that 2012 will become a flourishing year of goodness for all.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort."
~ 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Book ~'Eat,Pray,Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert~
Those of you who have been following my blog may have already heard me sung high pitched praises for the book 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert, which has inspired me to go on a new journey of discovery and healed my grizzly wounds in ways that I can not explain with words alone. It is perhaps by coincidence that I completed the book towards the end of December, but the feeling of a new beginning could not be more true. As I put the book down after the final page a question came into my head; "So what did you learn?" The plethora of ummmmsss and aaahhhsss from my thoughts could have danced across pages and pages of the new year as I continued to seek my one conclusion. The book had stirred a series of emotions within me and I knew I had to write a review on it.....it is the desire, the passion and the gratitude that moved me so strongly. You only have to take a peek at the number of glowing stars on the Amazon reviews to know that it is a highly recommended read, and so I will not bore you with empty praises, but instead I will try to express why this book has resonated echos within me long after the final page.

The crucial ingredient is of course empathy, which as most of us know, can be filled with personal biases....but it is also the sharing of experiences and the stimulation of ideas or theories that captivated me to continue the journey with Elizabeth Gilbert. Despite my Malaysian roots I have never been to India or Indonesia, but from my own love of yoga and meditation in the journey to seek balance.....to some heartbreaking events and experiences of losing oneself that threw me off this dedicated course called life......I knew her feelings were true and admired her courage to seek peace within herself at all costs. To find that balance within yourself once may not be the most difficult task, but to keep within that balance throughout life no matter what is thrown at you is the crux of the biscuit.
The Film ~Eat, Pray, Love~ with Julia Roberts.
What I liked about the book was that it was not just a story about a woman lucky enough to be trotting the globe for a year, but there were ideas and information about culture, religion, lifestyle, people or places for the readers to learn or explore. Not many may know why Buddhist prayer beads have 108 main beads to symbolize perfection, or how the Balinese see all new babies as Gods of pure goodness who must not touch the ground until the transition to humanness. Many who are new to meditation often ask me what I gain from it or how hard can it be........but for me these are not the questions I ask myself. I simply meditate because I want to, and I feel a sense of balance because I meditate. Stilling the mind in meditation does not mean that you cut out every single thought until you feel empty......the mind often functions and runs like a wild horse, so to stop it in its track will be unnatural and forced. Meditation therefore requires listening to your mind openly and reaching an acute awareness of your wild horse....this is the focus, essence and hard work that I felt Elizabeth Gilberts was able to depict accurately in the book. The film by Julia Roberts on the other hand was a different matter, and I was left disappointed as well as dissatisfied with her adaptation of the book......as she was unable to capture the essence of Gilbert's courage, the thirst for the discipline of yoga, or even the vibrancy of different cultures that she brought to life in the book. The character and events that jumped effortlessly out of the pages of the book seemed pacified and less beautiful on the silver screen. The passion and life of the main character seemed to fall apart in the movie, which left me with a simple image of just one woman trotting around the globe rather than an inspiring journey of discovery.

My conclusion of the book 'Eat, Pray, Love' can be summed up by the new French phrase I learnt recently......"bien dans sa peau" which is 'to feel good in one's skin'. How many of us are truly comfortable in their own skin? What does it mean to be truly comfortable and feel good in one's skin? Perhaps it is merely a temporary feeling or perhaps it is just a state of being, but to me it is a lesson. It has taught me that no matter what new challenges are flung in my way or what new people enter my life, I need to see them first as a worthy friend and second as an invaluable teacher. It was one woman's journey towards the simple achievement of feeling good in her own skin, and through the beautifully intricate details this one woman was able to spin a web to inspire many more women on a journey towards "bien dans sa peau". Finally, I leave you with an idea that struck a cord within my mind and invited gratefulness in my heart:
"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." 
~ 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert

Until the next time,
May xx
PS: The photos in this post are not mine but have been borrowed from other sources.

Comments

  1. Lovely and inspiring post May. When i saw you yesterday I could tell you are definitely in that path towards inner happiness . Good work May Loh .

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    1. Thank you my dear....see you soon! xx

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  2. both the film and book are awesome, i love it! especially the scene where it took place in Bali, nice scenery. great review dear <3

    http://mithakomala.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks sweety! :) I felt so inspired by the book that I felt I just had to write a review on it! Also thanks for the follow back....hope you've had a great Lunar New Year!
      May xx

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  3. btw ive followed you back dear :)

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  4. I haven't read the book, I only saw the movie at the cinema, and I liked it. Me and books never had a good relationship >.< lol.
    xoxo
    http://shinigami-u-openingmymind.blogspot.com/

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    1. Lol....I just love reading.......but I suppose nowadays there are audio books and kindles so it makes reading more fun! So please do try to give this book a go if you ever get the chance....its a really good story.
      May xx

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  5. Great post and recap!!!! I actually haven't finished the book yet, despite that i bought it last year in March!!! LoL...but you have reminded me to go back to this book, thanks=)For some reason,i found the beginning really interesting and inspiring until she got to India then i started slowing down.

    And i agree, Juliet Roberts really failed to capture the character that i built in my mind whilst reading the book. When i watched the movie, i really just felt like i was watching a woman travelling around the globe.But i do think books tend to be better than their movie version.

    Wow, you do yoga? That is amazing! I only tried it twice during my gym membership as we had free classes for it, and i was told i wasn't "flexible" but that it could be worked on, lol. I'm sure you are super flexible, hehe.

    And i couldn't agree more regarding about finding the balance in life. It's so often that its keeping that balance that is soo hard. Lets hope we find the balance this year and may you get what you wish for!!!:) And lets put 2011 behind us, yeah baby!!!!!!!!!!;)

    p.s. once again, thx again for reaching out to me and for your encouraging words:)

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you so much Cinz for such a lovely comment! Lets hope 2012 will be a whole lot better than last year for both of us! It can only get better now!! :)
      Please do finish reading the book if you get the chance and yoga is definitely worth trying! It is so much more than just flexibility....it works on the body as well as the mind. Really good for relaxation, solving aches and working on breathing. I am not that flexible either as I only do yoga once a week by myself at home, but I feel better afterwards and it usually relieves any aches, pains or tiredness.
      May xx
      ps: You are most welcome and I am glad that I did reach out to you.

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~Thank you so so much! I love hearing from you and appreciate every beautiful comment. Please feel free to follow and walk with me too.....have a fabulously lovely day my darlings!
Until the next time,
♥ May xx

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