I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love right now, and I think I'm falling in love with it. Perhaps because I feel like I'm becoming a better person as I'm reading it. The kind of person who is more sure of herself, less afraid to make mistakes, and more willing to live fully in the present. Liz Gilbert just took me on this amazing trip to Italy, and now I am living with her in an Ashram in India soaking up the wisdom that she is soaking up from the unique people around her as she learns the art of devotion, develops a yearning for God's presence, and makes me want to teleport to that very spot in India right this second. She describes her first night there, in the cool temple courtyard surrounded by the gardens, underneath the starry midnight sky, accompanied by the voices lifted up in song with the beat of the drums increasing in speed and excitement as they greet the approaching new year.
Even though I am not physically there, I feel like her experience has become a part of me, a kind of yearning for more beauty and more sacredness in my life. Because that is what I felt when I read that particular passage. I felt as if I were stepping into something sacred and passionate.
And then there are the people who speak words of truth and encouragement into her life, words that propel her on her journey of healing. Here are some of my favorites:
Teenage Indian boy: "Take seriously. Make punctual. Be cool and easy. Remember--everything you do, you do for God. And everything God does, He do for you." 131
Richard from Texas: “Stay put Groceries. Forget about sight seeing—you got the rest of your life for that. You’re on a spiritual journey baby. Don’t cop out and only go halfway to your potential. You got a personal invitation from God here—you really gonna turn that away?
Liz (aka. Groceries): “But what about all those beautiful things to see in India? Isn’t it kind of a pity to travel halfway around the world just to stay in a little Ashram the whole time?
Richard from Texas: “Groceries, baby, listen to your friend Richard. You go set your lily-white ass down in that meditation cave every day for the next three months and I promise you this—you’re gonna start seeing some stuff that’s so damn beautiful it’ll make you wanna throw rocks at the Taj Mahal.”
More from Richard from Texas:
“Big deal. So you fell in love with someone. Don’t you see what happened? This guy touched a place in your heart deeper than you thought you were capable of reaching, I mean you got zapped kiddo. But that love you felt, that’s just the beginning. You just got a taste of love. That’s just limited little rinky-dinky mortal love. Wait till you see how much more deeply you can love than that. Heck, Groceries—you have the capacity to someday love the whole world…”
Liz responds to this epic, heart-revitalizing statement: “But…I seriously believed David was my soul mate.”
Get ready for another epic piece of wisdom from Richard:
“He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. …”
So that’s just a little taste of the book and some passages that opened up a different way of thinking to me. If you ever get the chance, this book is a great read.