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

mom2alex&max

August 16th, 2010
7:45 pm

irisheyes: You SO got that right!!!!!!!!!

Janetoo

August 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

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

Answer: No.

Loved your reaction. Thanks

SALLY

August 16th, 2010
8:47 pm

MJG – I only began to enjoy yoga when I found an instructor that I really liked. The DVDs and TV shows were not relaxing for me. At home, there were too many distractions and the feeling that I was “fitting it in”. At the studio, I am there for a purpose and better able to focus on that purpose without distraction or a wandering mind.
I think you should try it.

Rachel

August 16th, 2010
8:53 pm

I thought it was inspiring to see a woman get up and go travel! Women face a ton more obstacles than men when traveling — they must consider safety concerns, male/female relations and more. It was empowering that Liz went despite it all. But the truth is, she really didn’t consider those issues and I wish she would have. On Pink Pangea (http://www.pinkpangea.com), the first online community for women travelers, women write about how they dealt with those sorts of issues on their travelers. I wish Liz had done the same…

mermain

August 16th, 2010
9:38 pm

I read the book, but haven’t seen the movie. Sounds like it got the plot right though. The book was dreadful, an Ugly American unselfconsciously extolling the virtues of exotized cultures like the good ‘ole Orientalist she is. It is an embarrassment to all Americans.

DB

August 16th, 2010
11:54 pm

Well said, irisheyes! *clap, clap, clap!*

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light

August 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

light

August 18th, 2010
8:47 am

[...] Are you buying into 'Eat Pray Love?' | Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms [...]

joemama

August 18th, 2010
1:28 pm

I’m with Irisheyes… if you are unfulfilled, try serving others by volunteering, or getting a hobby, and maybe things will get back in perspective. That might… just might, be better than trashing a marriage and all of the fallout and pain that causes. I think this holds for both then men and women that tend toward the self-absorbed side.

Shannon

August 21st, 2010
2:24 pm

What a bunch of jealous losers are you — Theresa and bland followers alike.

How dare you criticize a woman for taking a year off to travel — there is nothing in the world that will cause you to grow more than to travel (not take a vacation, but TRAVEL) and learn and become much bigger and better than before.

What small minds are on display here. Petty, pitiful, jealous, small minded — shallow and, frankly, dumbness on display.

Shannon

August 21st, 2010
2:28 pm

Rachel,

Liz was already a seasoned traveler. She was writing travel pieces for magazines already. She’s a New Yorker. The “issues” you say women have were likely not issues at all for her, or for a lot of savvy women. The issues are only issues for the naive, for Americans who don’t understand how to act or “be” in other places. It’s common sense. Just plain common sense. Thank God Liz didn’t waste our time writing about such pedestrian stuff. There are guide books for that.

John

August 23rd, 2010
4:53 pm

Well, I’m a guy but I’ll give you my opinion on EPL. It sucks. The book was good but wrong, and the movie was worse. As for the philosophy, well, this is what is called Ethical egoism (read: selfishness) in a toned-down, Orientalized, Oprahized form. “Self-discovery” isn’t going to make things better – yah just gotta get over it, and the first thing is to be honest with yourself. Because green tea can’t drown human suffering.

John

August 23rd, 2010
4:55 pm

There is, of course, nothing wrong with travel, per say, much like there’s nothing wrong with sex or religion or baseball or iPads or Facebook or paper towel. But to think that you can make yourself “bigger” or stronger by doing so is pretty, well, stupid.

Sam

August 24th, 2010
1:03 pm

I think “Eat, Pray, Love” should have been “Stuff you face, Selfish, Lust”. She leaves her husband to meet and sleep with other men. Pigs-out in Italy. Then feels guilty for being so over indulging in her instinctual pleasures of eating and sex. She seems to be an egotistical woman, who is never satisfied. I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the men in her life, and I am glad that I am not one of them. This moive sends the wrong message to women all over the world, to indulge in sex, food and self is rewarding. Instead I believe that men and women should work hard to not give in to instinctual pleasures. I also think, everything should be in moderation and what about telling the truth to these men in her life.