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Posted June 1, 2011
Who hasn't dreamt of traveling the world to discover their spiritual meaning? That is exactly what Elizabeth Gilbert does in her memoir Eat, Pray ,Love. The book captures Liz's spiritual journey and self-discovery through Italy, India and Indonesia. Liz takes you with her as she comes full circle, in her travels we watch her learn Italian in Italy, set herself free in India, and fall in love in Indonesia.
Gilbert, 41, was born and raised in Connecticut on a small Christmas Tree Farm. From an early age Liz knew she was destine to be writer and throughout her college career while studying Political Science at the University of New York, Liz spent her evenings writing. After college she spent time traveling the world to gather information to write fiction novels. Liz has been a finalist for several writing Awards and her work at GQ magazine earned her three National Magazine Award nominations.
After and awful divorce and an on again off again relationship Liz feels she needs to escape her life in New York and travel the world to rediscover her own self meaning. She's also seems to be fulfilling a Balinese medicine man's, Ketut, prophecy. Ketut is someone Liz met prior to her decision to travel the world in search of something. Ketut reads Liz's palm and tells her that she will have two loves, she will lose all her money but get it all back quickly, and that she will return to Bali to practice English with him. Before leaving the Balinese medicine man, Ketut handed Liz a picture he drew during meditation. The picture was of an "androgynous human figure with four legs and no head" (Gilbert). Ketut tells Liz that "in order to find what she is looking for she must keep her feet grounded and stop looking at the world trough her head; she must look at the world with her heart" (Gilbert).
While traveling through Italy she enrolls in a beginner Italian class and finds a love for food that would make any carbohydrate lover jealous. In Italy while celebrating with her new friends she learns that every county has a word and later Liz is asked what her word is. Liz, like most American's, identifies as being a daughter, sister, and writer. It will be months until Liz discovers her true word that she feels describes her completely. As a reader you can identify with the struggle she has a identifying herself outside of who she is and what she does.
Liz has now arrived in India and is staying at the Ashram owned by her Guru. There she meets new friends that will help her find her spiritual path and let go of all the guilt she feels from her failed marriage and failed relationships. Meditation and prayer does not come easy for Liz, she finds it difficult to quiet her mind and focus on the prayers being said. Liz soon finds herself at the top of a tower overlooking the Ashram property with a note from a poet she has made while staying in India, the paper contains instructions for freedom. It is there on that tower that Liz let's go of all the emotional baggage she has carried with her about her divorce.
Indonesia is Liz's last county on her year long journey of self discovery. She returns to Ketut, who happened to forget her. She described the drawing that he gave her so many months ago and eventually he remembers her. She begins rewriting and copying all of Ketut's old notebooks full of medical information and other life lessons he has learned throughout life in return Ketut tells Liz to continue practicing meditation but this time "sit and s
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