Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth Gilbert and Jose Nunes (Felipe)

Elizabeth Gilbert and Jose Nunes (Felipe)

I was not rescued by a prince;
I was the administrator of my own rescue.
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

Click on these links to see photos and read my posts about Elizabeth Gilbert’s books and philosophy:

 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert [Book Review]

Elizabeth Gilbert is the quintessenial role model for leveraging a person’s talents to learn how to survive, thrive, and find joy.  When life handed her the lemons of a bitter divorce, she squeezed those lemons into the stratosphere of best-selling books.

Eat, Pray, Love:  One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia was on the best seller lists for over a year.  She’s been on Oprah, and Julia Roberts will star in the movie.

In true Pretty Woman tradition, she rescued herself before she met the charming Brazilian “prince” Felipe.

See also: “Elizabeth Gilbert:  By the Book,” New York Times, Sunday Book Review, June 14, 2012



  Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love [the movie] is fairly faithful to the book.  It brings the book to life with many scenes filmed where the actual adventure took place.  The ashram is different, but the pizzeria in Naples is the Pizzeria da Michele, which Elizabeth Gilbert put on the map.

The photography is magnificently dreamy and beautiful.  I was shocked, however, by the levels of smog ~ especially in India.



Committed  [Book Review] by Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed:  A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage is the natural sequel to Elizabeth Gilbert’s perenially best-selling Eat, Pray, Love:  One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.

Eat, Pray, Love is about the path she took to recover from her divorce.  Ms. Gilbert’s fans were delighted to learn she’d met “Felipe,” a dashing Brazilian gemstone importer.  He too was left broke and broken after his divorce.

“Felipe” visited her in the United States for a couple of years in 90-day increments ~ the length of a visa.

The arrangement worked quite well for the couple until ”Felipe” was prevented from entering the United States by a Homeland Security officer at the Dallas airport.  Essentially, INS got out the shotgun and told them to marry if they wanted to live together.

I loved the book and recommend it highly for anyone who desires a mature, enduring relationship filled with intimacy and unconditional love.  The book is loaded with thought-provoking tidbits that could spark interesting conversation and dialogue about marriage with the person you love.

My greatest disappointment about the book is that there are no photos.



GilbertSignatureBook Review:  Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things

Buy this book. Not on Kindle. Hardcover.  You will want to read it more than once.  You won’t want to deny yourself the sensory pleasure and elegant design of Elizabeth Gilbert’s brilliantly written The Signature of All Things.  It is one of the most enchanting books I’ve ever read.  I savored every word so much that I’m having a hard time sharing the intimately decadent experience of reading it.

I didn’t expect to like this book.  It’s historical fiction rooted in botany.  The term “signature of all things” refers to divine code or DNA.  How can that possibly be interesting?  Oh, my!



Elizabeth Gilbert’s Secrets to a Happy and Successful Life

Do you sometimes feel like everybody else has the answers?  Like everybody else got the Cliff Notes to Life 101?

Join the club.  Elizabeth Gilbert is one of us.  She told the audience at Oprah’s magazine’s 10th anniversary celebration in New York City:

This is the odd situation I find myself now in. . .people think I’ve got my life together. . .they think I can help them get their lives together which is a really odious misconception. . .We all long for that to be true ~ we long to have there be somebody who has solved life. . .we dream of that. . .we come here to events like this to meet those people.  I can guarantee you that every single person who you are going to be hearing speak this weekend is intimately and perhaps very recently is familiar with failure.  What keeps them here is that they are pioneers of continuing on. . .

 “Smile with Your Liver” Lesson from Ketut Liyer

You learn to smile even in your liver?

This smile will make you beautiful woman.  This will give you power to be very pretty.  You can use this power ~ pretty power! ~ to get what you want in life.

“What Do You Really, Really, Really Want?” Lesson on Oprah

When Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the perpetually best-selling Eat, Pray, Love, was on Oprah, she suggested we think about what we really, really, really want.  One “really” isn’t enough to tap into our passions.  What do we really, really, really want?


Elizabeth Gilbert at the YWCA’s Inspire Luncheon

Talents that are unused become burdens and metastasize.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert and Jean Enersen at the VIP Reception

Elizabeth Gilbert and Jean Enersen at the VIP Reception

Joseph Campbell popularized the ancient concept of a hero’s journey.  The hero’s quest begins with a dark night of the soul.  Once the hero crosses the threshold, there is no turning back.  The hero must move forward.  Heros’ journeys are the stories of humanity which have always been for and about men.  Women get consolation prizes and play supporting roles.  Women don’t get to be the hero.  This sends a clear message that women are here to be caregivers who should be happy to sublimate their own needs.

This was the role assigned to Ms. Gilbert’s mother.  Her mother’s generation kept the community tightly knit.  Their talents were untested, became burdens, and metastasized.

Meanwhile, the hero comes home but doesn’t weave his experiences into the community.  This results in a loss of the soul.  When women give and men strive, neither is enough.  Ms. Gilbert believes we need to create a new archetype to weave together giving and striving:

DO IT.  Don’t let anybody or anything stop you.  Come back to the village.  Use your life to serve others.  Make it possible for others to have their adventures.  Wherever you are standing is your village.

 Romancing the Buddha Lesson from Michael Lisagor

Michael took much of the mystery out of Buddhism for me and simplified the philosophy in terms I can comprehend:

. . .personal and social transformation. . .begins with people taking responsibility for their own lives and gradually projecting their increased wisdom, courage and compassion into their surroundings. . .Buddhism empowers us to reach our full potential.

World peace is achieved as people fill their lives with compassion and purpose.

9 responses to “Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love

  1. Pizzeria Da Michele has been a famous eatery in Naples for many, many years and was certainly NOT put on the map by Ms Gilbert’s book.
    No disrespect to the author or the movie but I was appalled by the Naples scenes depicted in the film.
    The writers chose to follow the untrue, archaic stereotype and reduce this wonderful city to no more than a place where one ‘gets mugged in a museum’. What utter nonsense!!!
    I’m so disappointed.

  2. Jenny,

    Since I’ve never been to Naples, I appreciate your point of view. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

    It has been a long time since I saw the movie. I vividly recall the food in Italy ~ especially Pizzeria Da Michele ~ WOW! I don’t recall at all anything about a mugging at a museum. The apartment she rented sticks in my mind because I envisioned when I read the book that she stayed in lush places.

    My overwhelming memory of the film is the food in Italy and all the smog/fog.

    Anne Caroline

  3. This film about this post menopausal self indulgent female was so boring that it was torture to watch it until the end.

  4. Elizabeth Gilbert is not–and was not–menopausal when she made her journeys. Your sexist view, that “post menopausal”, that is, old women are not interesting and that self-reflection in such women is necessarily narcissistic. Sorry that you still feel the need for patriarchical judgments on women.

  5. Lucia,

    It has been a long time since Brooklyn Dekker left that outrageous comment. I totally agree with you. I have learned that a narcissist’s judgements are more a reflection of their own narcissistic projection than an accurate assessment of another person’s life.

    Whenever I have a WTF response, I have learned to question the motives of the person who made outrageous, incorrect, and invalid assumptions.

    I will admit this isn’t easy, but it helps a lot when someone like you has the courage and takes the time to ask WTF? Thank you for leaving your comment. It means more to me this evening than you can probably imagine.

    I am profoundly grateful for the sexy role models who prove that women of a certain age are sexy as hell. It’s ironic that we get most interesting to men about the same time we’re done with their nonsense. Men don’t get good until they are 50, and women who are 50 are typically weary of waiting for them to grow up already.

    Best of the best,
    Anne Caroline

  6. well put…you see, Brooklyn simply hasnt lived long enough to appreciate that self reflection is a woman’s personal attempt to learn from those people places and events that made a mark on her life. At our age, you finally get enough time for yourself to think on it, learn from it and make success and failures count toward something! This book was uncanny,in how it so resembled my personal life-and probably for many other women. I seriously doubt that should be classified as being narcisistic, but rather just Damn smart…

  7. I just saw the movie and I was not impressed. Maybe the book is good and the things written in it might be great, but I am sorry the movie isn’t.
    For example: To use Julia Roberts who have sunken cheeks telling the swedish girl to eat and don’t worry about the extra pounds/kilo’s doesn’t make sense. To see them later trying to fit themselves into pants that are too small and not comfortable makes it ridiculous.
    Maybe if Hollywood had used a different actress I might have enjoyed the movie more and maybe would have believed the “wisdom” she supposedly gained.
    Now it sounds superficial… Not impressed

  8. I am currently reading the book. My Reiki Healer suggested it to me after i told her I’ve had an itch to travel for about a year now. I am an artist, mostly a poet, and I have been craving to explore areas I’ve never seen, expanding my topics and of course, overall experiences.

    As I began reading the book, I saw how it related to my sister’s current separation, i thought it was too coincidental. But later on in the book, especially in India, I realized how it related to me on a more soulful perspective. I’m in Indonesia right now, so I haven’t finished yet. I am in my mid twenties and have experienced (for about two years) now the need and importance of having a balanced life, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. I have grown so much in the past 2 months alone. This book is just a reassurance about my journey in life right now, considering that I am reading it at a very crucial time in my life, not necessarily a negative time though.

    Anyhow, I have yet to see the movie. I am assuming it isn’t as in-depth as the book is. I will give it a look once I’m done reading.

  9. My husband and I just got finished reading this book. It will stay on my shelves for many years to come. ‘Eat, Prey, Love’ has inspired me to look deep within myself and follow my spirituality. I truly am greatfull for the writings of Elizabeth. Seeing as I am only 23 I believe this book has helped me grow past my young age. I look foward to the future. 🙂

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