Eat, Pray, Love - My Own Experience with the Book

Recently, I was traveling for business with one small book to read - Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Now, I'd read that book before and had been stunned by it. But, apparently enough time had passed that I forgot how emotionally consuming it can be. I have some family history touched by some of the events in that book. Maybe that creates the depths of darkness the book evokes. Maybe not. Either way, it certainly was not good reading for a short jaunt to Las Vegas and back.

So, in the Minneapolis airport, I hit the bookstore to see what would fairly substitute in my need to read. That's when I came across Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. My friend Julia had recommended it months ago. Honestly, I don't know why I'd waited so long. I've come to learn that I relish the memoir format and this one would be no exception.

I won't belabor the events and flow of the book. You can click on the link above, go to a bookstore website or read the book to find out for yourself. I'll simply tell you how it affected me.

I was reminded of my own connection to God and that my perhaps unconventional beliefs and rituals are by no means unique. In other words, I was comforted. And, I found myself longing to have a deeper relationship with my self, that part of me that doesn't live for the shoulds in life, but instead allows a full human experience to unfold. Sure, I am not at liberty to travel the world for a year. But I can certainly find ways to make every day a gift to myself.

What I wonder: What would it be like to be away from home, a stranger in a strange land, for a year of my life? How does one have a similar experience closer to home? If you had a year to spend however you wanted, what would you do?