Are you buying into the ‘Eat Pray Love’ philosophy?

Like half the ladies in America I went to see “Eat Pray Love” with some girlfriends on Friday night. I hadn’t read the book and probably wouldn’t have gone to see the movie if friends hadn’t asked.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, the gist of the plot is this (at least according to the movie (my friend who read the book said the movie was very different): Julia Roberts is unhappy in her marriage so she asks for a divorce. Then she gets sad so she decides to travel to feel things again. She goes to Italy to eat, to India to pray, meditate and forgive herself and Bali, where she finds lo

As others have criticized before, wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to travel to exotic locations for a year to make yourself feel better? What do poor depressed ladies do? What do depressed ladies who have kids do? (Kids, I’m depressed so I’m going to travel and leave you.)

(If you do have the money and time to travel here’s a look at the sights to visit on your “Eat, Pray Love” tour.)

The movie talks a lot about meditation, of which I’m not a big fan. I find it very hard to quiet my mind and if I manage to quiet my mind then essentially I am sleeping. (They always made us try to meditate during child birth classes. They would turn out the lights and tell us to relax lying on the floor. I would literally be snoring within five minutes.)

In the movie, Julie Roberts does service in India by scrubbing the floors of the temple. I do that every day for my kids. I don’t have to travel to India to do service for people.

I do buy into a couple of conclusions from the movie:

In Italy, a fellow gives a long speech about how Americans look for entertainment but don’t understand the simple pleasures of life. Americans rush through their meals and rush around. I think this is totally true. I do try to make good food for the family to enjoy and try to stop the clock and just focus on being in the moment with my kids or husband (in the pool, lying in bed holding the baby, singing in the car with the big kids).

The old man from Bali tells her that she must find balance in her life. Self and God were on the vertical axis and I can’t remember what was on the horizontal axis. But you needed to be balanced in the middle between these four elements. (I think on that chart mothers would actually do very well: there’s very little time to focus on self and often we’re praying for help!)

So I guess I just wondered how others ladies felt about the philosophy of the movie?

Do you still feel sad if you’re the one that asked for the divorce? Do you lose yourself when you start romantic relationships? How do you avoid that? What do you do if you are depressed?

What part do simple pleasures play in your life? Do you pray and meditate? (Please tell me how to quiet my mind or is that total BS?) Do you have the balance that the old Indonesian guy talks about? Do you think mothers find that type of balance easier than women without children? (We’ve got our own balance problem between work/life but that’s a different blog.)

Do you think this book/movie is helpful to women examining their lives or is it BS?

69 comments Add your comment

Keith

August 16th, 2010
12:45 am

I went to see this movie with a dear friend (a woman) who read the book several times and reminds me quite a bit of Liz. I think you totally missed the point. I’m a guy who actually likes “chick flicks” but in my humble opinion this story is not so much about women but about self discovery, the search for happiness and understanding what it is to love and be loved unconditionally. Watch it again or read the book. I will.
I can only tell you that I’m a man and this story gave me insight into myself. I could relate very much to the author and her dilema. And by the way, you don’t have to go around the world to discover yourself, the author just happened to have the means to do so. That didn’t impress me as much as her journey within.

sumdyude

August 16th, 2010
1:29 am

Happened to come across this blog..the movie sucked big time. It was not well thought out or intelligent enough to demand the price of admission as it did. And India (and the spiritual aspect) was really not portrayed with the depth and grace it deserves. The film guys probably just didn’t get it.
It is no simple task to quiet your mind, and it definitely takes a heck of a lot more than sitting in a meditation cave. If you are serious, you have to make definitive life changes such as going on a vegetarian diet, eating and living well, abstinence from alcohol and drugs, doing yoga or regular exercise and so on. Most people in the west are foreign to such a lifestyle, and hence the inabililty to grasp the concept of a quiet mind. If you eat chicken, your mind is going to run like chicken, if you eat pigs, you gonna get greedy..and so on.
Everything boils down to the clarity of mind, and so all your answers can only be answered by you when you reach that clarity of mind. But it sure is a lot more effort than chatting with friends or shrinks. Hope this helps!!

hail

August 16th, 2010
1:31 am

Are you gay?

Jen

August 16th, 2010
2:22 am

learning to quiat your mind isn’t BS, your mind could be your worse enemy and could hurt you in the most cruel way that no one esle or nothing else in this world, I understand that as a mom you dont have time to travel or even to meditate, but there is a time for you to take a shower and brush your teeth so why you dont star to practice meditation for a least 5 mins or even 1 min, dont rush is like everythinh else you need just practice…. have patience…don’t rush into be perfect in the first try so make time and eat, love and pray… you are right you dont need to trave not even cahnge anything in your life to achive interior peace and happiness.

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[...] Are you buying into ‘Eat Pray Love’ philosophy? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Like half -the ladies in America I went to see “Eat Pray Love” with some girlfriends on Friday night. I hadn’t read the book and probably wouldn’t have gone to see the movie if friends hadn’t asked [...]

tempo dulu

August 16th, 2010
5:11 am

It’s more like a rich selfish woman who goes overseas and has a holiday romance. Nice.

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shaggy

August 16th, 2010
6:54 am

“No matter what happens from here on, I have truly lived.” -Anonymous Climber

Katz P. Ajamas

August 16th, 2010
7:12 am

Just because Julia goes to Italy, India, and Indonesia, don’t beat yourself up. In Atlanta you can…
Go to Buford Hwy to eat, Chattahoochee(smells better than Ganges) river to meditate, and Johnny’s Hideaway for SEX!

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
7:18 am

I have not read the book no seen the movie, so I cannot comment there. Not sure if I will.

I can comment on the fact that while I love my family dearly, I would go out of my mind if I simply was a stay at home mom. I have been home quite a bit this summer and cleaning/laundry/cooking does not do it for me. I have met so many wonderful people traveling and working here in the U.S.
I have not just traveled to find myself but traveling has made me understand what I do need for myself: i.e. I will not be a pack it up and retire to the country person….:) I need city access.

I HAVE enjoyed not being rattled about things while I am home but the daily ( housewife) monotony is not my cup of tea. That is where I have to find balance, I am lucky that I can both.stay home for a while and and travel for work.

Not sure I have the meaning of the quiet place but I do sometimes add a day to my meetings, when I could rush home on the 7:00 p.m. flight and get home at midnight. Instead, I sleep in ( 8:00), read the paper, eat a nice breakfast and take a flight home the next day. I am fortunate I can do this but would not be able to if I were not working.

I do think everyone needs balance but it is not the same balance for everyone. My relaxation is reading a book….all by myself or meeting someone for lunch.

Yes, I pray and remind myself that I am not the one in control of what is happening in and around my life.

You asked for opinions and those are mine. Others certainly may not agree. We are all different.
I meet stay at home moms who are stressed…that is just sheer monotony for me…not stress.

T…when yours are all at school…you need to take some time for yourself…a walk, a bath, a nap, eat breakfast out with a friend …just sit on your back deck and breathe….watch the birds…I have the cutest hummingbirds in my back yard and enjoy them!

Jesse's Girl

August 16th, 2010
7:34 am

Ok…..so this book parrelled my life in many ways. I have yet to see the movie…and in fact, I may not. But I found the book about a year AFTER I began my own soul searching expedition. With the exception of being in an un happy marriage…Liz Gilbert wrote about so many things going on in my life. I had already been in yoga/meditation for a few months when I read the book. I had already experienced feelings of unease…notsomuch with my family life though. More so with my own choices. I had found…and am still finding…that I need to be more deliberate and conscientious regarding my decisions; whether they be about my career…my friends…how I spend my free time (yeah right)…or listening to and giving myself the benefit of the doubt. (this is also why i have been so absent on this site:)

Meditation has been an incredible help in these endeavors. You absolutely CAN learn to quiet your mind. It does transport you….but not to some God-Land…at least not yet for me. But it has transported me to a place within my own mind that I never lended much credence to. I am a more relaxed and thoughtful person.

I have no plans currently to travel the world trying to discover the other “Jesse’s Girl”:) But the notion is one that I have considered when the children are tad older. Even if its nothing more than taking 2 weeks to myself for a trip while they are out for the summers.

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
7:37 am

@ Jesse’s Girl…since I am having trouble sleeping at night, some have suggested yoga…I would love your opinion. Also, taking a trip is GREAT! I take a trip with my sister each year and we LOVE it.
I think I would be sick of myself after 2 weeks, if I went alone….LOL.

Fat guy and skinny guy

August 16th, 2010
7:43 am

Eat love pray is probably an entertaining movie. I will never know because Julia Roberts is so two-decades ago. The movie that deserves our scorn is “Inception”, a convoluted mess that come across like a cross between “Ice Station Zebra” and editing floor footage of “the Matrix”. The movie that wouldn’t end. (2+1/2 hours of me not caring about the characters) The miscasting of the century award (Ellen Page? ) The production must have know it was in trouble soon after they started this total failure. There’s no way you can look at any frame in this and not know that it stinks. They had to know.

They just had to. I got a cell phone call halfway through this movie and the other audience member asked me to put it on speaker. I saw Inception at a dinner theatre and I kept asking the waitress to repeat the littany of specials. “Can I substitute the fries for the coleslaw? Is the fish from the Gulf? ”

Now the threat of ingesting fish from the Gulf of Mexico in that theatre contained all the dramatic tension and danger I experienced. Notice how the dialogue weaves into the action and advances the narrative without a voice over. A bipartisan effort to ban voice overs from all movies could lead to real legislation. Its the only thing we all agree on, I hope.

Hollywood blows. I know it. You know it. And the millions of Chinese people starving in Asia (and who can’t go to dinner theatres, the lucky skunks) know it.

Flipper

August 16th, 2010
8:25 am

Is their anything worse than listening to middle to upper middle class, white women whine about how tough their life is?, and, is their anything more pretentious than when the same women assume that the rest of us want to listen to the drivel that is the recount of that woman’s steps to “self discovery”? Get over yourselves!

TechMom

August 16th, 2010
8:32 am

Flipper – isn’t a “mid-life crises” the traditional phase that men go through when they reach the point of ’self discovery’? What’s wrong with women doing the same thing?

PW

August 16th, 2010
8:37 am

The message of the movie is that you have to take time for yourself by yourself. You don’t have to travel to exotic places to do that but it is imperative for your well-being as a person that you take time. Parenting does not have to be the all life consuming proposition that so many of you make it out to be.

Having been a parent, and a single one at that, for over 30 years I can tell you that unless you find time to be STILL and give yourself an opportunity to relax, meditate and reflect, you will burn yourself out as a parent and a spouse. Meditation is not just about sitting cross legged on the floor saying “Ohhmm”. You can meditate as you walk through Atl’s Botanical Gardens or on a track. You can meditate while listening to music in the house (not in the car because you could crash).

Create time for yourself away from your family at least once a month even if it’s just for a few hours.

Flipper

August 16th, 2010
8:44 am

Men dont sit around and whine about it, they act on it, buy the Corvette, motorcycle, etc. and keep their collective mouth shut. It’s hard to smirk when your whining. Homes are being lost, jobs cut, crime is rampant, these are extrememly difficult times to live in, not the time to buy into Nancy’s or Betsy’s personal growth (?).

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
9:02 am

@ PW:
Parenting does not have to be the all life consuming proposition that so many of you make it out to be.

I could not agree more. Especially since I am now home without my kids and have not even cried one tear here.

I adore my kids but my life is bigger than my kids.

We just took some things ( Chegg books JJ :0) out to our daughter and another girl who lives near us. This is a girl we do not know but she needed something from her home, close to us. I spoke with her Mom.

It was fun to see our daughter and give her a hug and kiss: hello and goodbye. Others were saying “hi” to her, in her dorm. I am thrilled that she is making a new world for herself and that I can give her the space she needs. My husband put some things together in her dorm and I talked to the girls. They filled me in on what had been happening.

Moms do need to keep their own interests and activities kindled or perhaps they will have to buy a Corvette and act like a fool too. Men may keep their mouths shut but the old saying still rings true;

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Flipper…FYI…this blog does tend to draw a lot of MOMS and we are known to whine sometimes.
I am usually fine listening to a bit of whining, as long as I can take my turn too :)

abc

August 16th, 2010
9:41 am

Eat Pray Love is a Cosmopolitan Magazine movie. That chicks relate to this drivel illustrates that the reason they’re unhappy is that they don’t much like being themselves. To say it’s trite is generous. Save your money.

Pamela

August 16th, 2010
10:14 am

I agree — save your money.
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the emphasis on men. A gal pal and I just saw the movie — neither have read the book. She turns to me and says “does that mean you have to have a guy to be happy?” No, but that’s what Hollywood thinks we want to see in movies.
About the quieting your mind — the best thing I’ve heard and read to explain it is Jill Bolte Taylor’s amazing journey during and after a stroke. Her book is “My Stroke of Insight.” and you can see her tell her story on Ted. So meditation is about turning off the left side of your brain – the one with language and tuning into the right side of your brain. http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

DigALittleDeeper

August 16th, 2010
10:44 am

I think it’s total BS.

I believe women are most happy doing the things we love to do, with or without a man.

Jesse's Girl

August 16th, 2010
10:50 am

MJG…..yoga and meditation has helped me greatly in regards to getting fantastic sleep! Insomnia has long been my companion and since I have always shyed away from medications…unless we are talking some satanic migraine….this was a very logical next step for me. People often talk of “finding themselves”…but its really just reintroducing yourself to yourself:) Fiding balance and your personal center is what its about. Learning to quiet my mind during bed-time hours was a huge struggle for me….and still is at times. But I simply cannot say enough about the mental and physical benefits of this practice.

And for those poo-pooers of this….I ask you to give it a chance. It beats the hell out of giving into some cliche’ mid-life crisis.

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
11:22 am

JG…I have tried every sleeping pill out there and I may as well be eating Skittles…nothing works for me. It is typically when I am heading out or out of town with a lot on my mind. I have slept well this summer but am not earning any $ LOL! I take Melatonin but even that does not always work. Guess I should check into it…maybe get a DVD?

To me, it is kind of like chiropractic…do not poo poo until you have tried it. It has worked for me.

Thanks!

DB

August 16th, 2010
11:32 am

I’m not much into navel-gazing. When I need to turn off my brain, I grab a good book and get lost for a few hours. I usually come “back” rested and relaxed. I don’t know if I’m “balanced” — but I’m happy and look forward to life. I have work that challenges me, volunteer work that feeds my soul, children that give me joy, and a husband whom I adore and respect. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and leisure enough to explore the world around me. If it’s not “balanced”, it’s close enough. :-)

I probably won’t make an effort to go see the movie — I like Julia Roberts, but watching some woman wander the globe in an effort to escape her life and find another, better one is just not my idea of a good time.

[...] Are You Buying Into ‘eat Pray Love?’ | Momania: a Blog For Busy Moms Are you buying into ‘Eat Pray Love?’ Is this book/ movie helpful to women examining their lives or a bunch of BS? … (I think on that chart mothers would actually do very well: there’s very little time to focus on self and often we’re praying for help!) So I guess I just wondered how others ladies felt about the philosophy of the movie ? Do you still feel sad if you’re the one that asked for the divorce? Do you lose yourself when you start romantic relationships? …Click Here [...]

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
12:11 pm

DB…for what it is worth….I think you are balanced….:)

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
1:16 pm

DB: I think you are doing just FINE!

I feel much the same way as DB. And while I may not feel as strongly about it as **Flipper** does, I think he may have a point.

I think very little of men that have a so-called “middle age crisis” and go out and waste money on new cars, clothes they look ridiculous on, clubbing, or worse..women. So I think even less of the type of woman that Julia Roberts is playing in that movie. I think it is selfish and wrong.

Consider how awful the economic situation is here and how much people around the world suffer in terms of poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, despair, abuse, abandonment, I think it’s completely self-absorbed to be discussing a year long trip around the world to “find yourself”.

I am trying very hard not get lost in the first place. That’s why while I love mothering and I adore my children, they do not “make me”. I have other interests that are just mine. I have relationships that are just mine. I have a marriage that is just mine. And work that is just mine.

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
1:17 pm

DB: I think you are doing just FINE!

I feel much the same way as DB. And while I may not feel as strongly about it as **Flipper** does, I think he may have a point.

I think very little of men that have a so-called “middle age crisis” and go out and waste money on new cars, clothes they look ridiculous on, clubbing, or worse..women. So I think even less of the type of woman that Julia Roberts is playing in that movie. I think it is selfish and wrong.

Consider how awful the economic situation is here and how much people around the world suffer in terms of poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, despair, abuse, abandonment, I think it’s completely self-absorbed to be discussing a year long trip around the world to “find yourself”.

I am trying very hard not get lost in the first place. That’s why while I love mothering and I adore my children, they do not “make me”. I have other interests that are just mine. I have relationships that are just mine. I have a marriage that is just mine. And work that is just mine. Enough.

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
1:18 pm

T, why is comment not being posted? Second time!

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
1:18 pm

DB: I think you are doing just FINE!

I feel much the same way as DB. And while I may not feel as strongly about it as **Flipper** does, I think he may have a point.

I think very little of men that have a so-called “middle age crisis” and go out and waste money on new cars, clothes they look ridiculous on, clubbing, or worse..women. So I think even less of the type of woman that Julia Roberts is playing in that movie. I think it is selfish and wrong.

Consider how awful the economic situation is here and how much people around the world suffer in terms of poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, despair, abuse, abandonment, I think it’s completely self-absorbed to be discussing a year long trip around the world to “find yourself”.
I am trying very hard not get lost in the first place. That’s why while I love mothering and I adore my children, they do not “make me”. I have other interests that are just mine. I have relationships that are just mine. I have a marriage that is just mine. And work that is just mine.

BlondeHoney

August 16th, 2010
1:26 pm

Not into the chick flicks myself so no, haven’t seen this movie & don’t plan to. If the movie is all about taking time for yourself, I’m all in favor if that; it’s been all about me ever since my boys left home and started college :) And I SOOO agree with PW; I have a very good friend who teaches middle school math and has 3 children 10 and under; every bit of free time she gets she is always trying to catch up on chores, etc and rarely if ever takes time for either herself or her relationship with her husband. I think she may pay a heavy cost in the end…sad

rules

August 16th, 2010
1:35 pm

Im so sick of movies by Americans for Americans that tell us how lazy, dumb and selfish we are. And we are all so fat and cant stop rushing around long enough to enjoy life. Why do I want to pay to be told that again?

FCM

August 16th, 2010
1:46 pm

“I will never know because Julia Roberts is so two-decades ago”

AMEN!

I think soul searching periodically is good for well…the soul! It allows you to take stock in whom you are, your journey thus far, and where you think your supposed to be headed. That last one is the tricky one, it is easy to get caught up in where you want to be headed instead of where your supposed to be headed.

Do you need to travel the world to do this? NOPE. Watch “How to make an American Quilt” same idea only done 15 years ago. Watch Remember Me (now out on DVD). “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Sex and The City” any of these really. Shoot I found a new way to look at life this summer from watching these movies in this order–while my kids were gone: Remember Me, Dear John, When in Rome, The Ugly Truth.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 16th, 2010
1:59 pm

momtoalex — I am finding it –

Ida Gudenzi

August 16th, 2010
2:44 pm

I think we have alot to …think about..in the book and the movie

Christine, WhyGoFrance

August 16th, 2010
2:51 pm

As someone who writes a travel guide for a living, I think anything that gets people to get out and travel, for any reason, is good. In that way, I like the EPL wave. But the thing that bothers me is that she got an advance to write EPL, and the travel expenses, etc. – which begs the question you asked – what DO poor depressed women do?

Evie Sacks

August 16th, 2010
2:58 pm

I really do think It all comes down to that struggle for balance, which I think was brilliantly conveyed in the book, and darn well done in the movie. I’m co-author of a new book Eat, Nap, Play – also about balance but relative to kids and families. It’s about how to have a great time with your kids and grands without the big spend. Simple, authentic stuff and, we’re told, fun to read!

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
3:46 pm

Sorry for the triple post everyone!
*hides in shame*

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
3:51 pm

@ christine, I have only now been to all 50 states in the U.S. I have not yet been to Europe but want too and most likely will try to do so. I agree that getting out of your own orbit is good. I have learned so many things from the people I have met. My mind has been stretched and I have made wonderful friends from Florida to Alaska! I met a 22 year old student a week or so ago who has been to his state and the neighboring state. I urged him to travel and made a few suggestions. Hope he does so!

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
3:52 pm

ooops to…sorry!

Sam

August 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

In the book, she’s able to afford the trips because she got a book advance.

DB

August 16th, 2010
4:01 pm

@MJG: I’m always shocked when I realize how little some people have gotten around this big, wide, wonderful world. Even in just the United States, there is incredible variety and different brands of beauty, whether you’re talking Everglades or the redwood forests. There’s something about seeing how the rest of the world lives that makes you think about your place in the world. My kids are equally shocked when they talk to fellow students in college, and are amazed at how many of them have never been on an airplane, much less out of their home state. It was a real eye-opener for them and gave them a new appreciation for the opportunities they’ve had to stretch their horizons.

FCM

August 16th, 2010
4:35 pm

Not been to all 50 states….CO, CA, WA, VA, WV, NY, MA, SC, NC, FL, AR, KS, TN, KY, OH, IL, IN, FL, TX, AL, MS, LA. 22 not to bad, almost half, at least I ventured outside my home state.

JoDee

August 16th, 2010
4:51 pm

I bought the book and never finished reading it. the whole ” I don’t feel like being married anymore” thing really bothered me and I couldn’t get past it. Maybe it was a book about self-discovery, but I couldn’t help thinking that she should have done the soul-searching before she committed to a life with her husband.

There are so many avenues to self-discovery—things that a woman can certainly do without leaving her husband and family.

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BlondeHoney

August 16th, 2010
6:40 pm

DB & MJG, agree totally…shocking how many have not travelled anywhere outside their home & can’t imagine a life without travelling to other places because it enriches you and broadens perspective on the world. Been up & down the east coast from New Hampshire to my home state of Florida, KY, TN, NC, SC, LA, IL, PA, AL, TX, NV, WA, la Isla del encanto (Puerto Rico), Mexico, and Spain. Wonderful experiences all

irisheyes

August 16th, 2010
7:36 pm

How about instead of spending enormous sums of money to “find ourselves” on an extravagent trip, we reach out to others? When life seems too tough, volunteer at a shelter, take a mssion trip to a disaster area, or just find a organization near you who helps people in need. This past summer, my dad just helped a family who was living in a trailer they bought for $400. They had both lost their jobs, and they were on the edge financially trying to raise their kids. When you see a mom who has almost NOTHING, suddenly the fact that I might not feel completely “fulfilled” (whatever that means), doesn’t seem so important.

motherjanegoose

August 16th, 2010
7:44 pm

FCM…you have time to catch up with me, I know you are not 50 :0!

Fifty states was my gift to myself for being 50 and I only had one to go.

Now, I have already been invited back to Montana, my last state!