We are finally doing this! I will keep the intro short because I want to dive right in, but I if you could see me right now, you would see a smiling woman because I can’t even remember when was the last time I finished a book. It’s sad that I just even typed that because I actually LOVE to read! It’s one of those things that just makes me feel at peace. It almost feels as if I’m traveling to another world or inside someone’s mind. Speaking of traveling, I have enjoyed being Liz’s companion of her travels. It seems like I may be one of her last companions because several of you have actually read it and even seen the movie (which I hear is great by the way). But, if like me, you have not read the book or seen the movie, I still want to encourage you to pick it up. Circling back to feeling like a travel companion of hers, I was also able to learn a lot about myself as s woman, spiritually, emotionally, and overall just following my heart and desires. She has such a strong yet vulnerable personality that really captivated me and motivated me but also reminded me to never stop pursuing what really sets my soul on fire.
The book is set up in three books, each with 36 small and quick chapters. Each section represents a time in Elizabeth Gilbert’s life she spent in Italy, India, and Indonesia. The story begins with incredible high hopes and spirits as Liz is a very successful writer, apparently happily married, and a wonderful home in New York city. All things that sound like a dream, except Liz was suffering inside with the idea of fulfilling other people’s expectations of where she should be in her life. Babies, happiest marriage and beyond happy with her writing. Although her career was exactly what kept her going, she was struggling in other areas, crying herself to pieces night after night.
One night after crying in her bathroom for hours and feeling incredibly overwhelmed, she prayed for the first time. She asked God for help and a sign of what to do. Suddenly, she heard a voice. It sounded like her voice but also different. The voice told her to go to bed and rest, as she would need it for what was to come. This part I think is incredibly crucial to the book, because it’s essentially what sparks her voyage. She doesn’t know it at the time, but the prayer aspect sticks with her. The power of prayer is so huge!
Months later, Gilbert separated from her husband. She wanted the divorce to end peacefully, but her husband refused all settlement offers and held her hostage in the marriage for years. Liz was confused, alone, and saddened by her husband’s hatred of her, but her spirits were lifted by a new love—David. She fell madly in love especially after moving in with David when her husband had taken both their house and apartment in the city. Their love was passionate and playful, but things slowly changed after 9/11. The stress of her divorce and the attack on her city was too much for Gilbert, and she became needy and it seemed like the more she longed for David’s love the more he withheld it.
This beginning part is so important to grasp because it’s why Gilbert was drawn and almost felt compelled to begin her soul searching voyage. After her first breakup with David, she fell into a deep depression. The only thing that helped was her new found interest in an Indian Yogi Guru. She started to learn about meditation and decided she wanted to visit this Guru’s Ashram one day. At the same time she was determined to learn Italian and no better way than live in the culture day in and day out and surround herself with the pro’s at the language. These were destinations that consisted on pleasure and spiritual devotion, but also endless self growth. Ending the trip (book) in Bali was really the last stop in learning the balance between the two.
What I loved the most about this book was the raw and almost never ending struggles, which sounds odd but that’s what made it real. It was relatable on so many levels to me personally; spiritually to my personal love life. While she was in Italy she vividly described her locations; where she learned and practiced, as well as the food, the culture itself. Being in India and waking up at the crack of dawn trying to master Gurugtia, to roaming the streets of Bali. Through out the book felt as if I also grew up a bit myself and understood that my own desires are worth pursuing no matter where they take me or how long the take to bring to reality. Captivated me from start to finish.
Till the next post!
Xo, Guadalupe ♡