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I’m all for eating, praying and loving, but…

February 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I’m all for eating, praying and loving as much as anyone, but today’s Elizabeth Gilbert event had me eating the inside of my cheeks, praying for the warm up acts to end and feeling a little less than amorous. If you’re going to feature an author like this one at the last half hour of a four hour ordeal, tell me ahead of time, ok?


Before I go any further, I must clear myself of  an ingrate’s guilt that’s mounting in my chest because: 1) the event was free of charge;  and, 2) it was a benefit for breast cancer, specifically Memorial Healthcare System’s annual “Breaking the Silence” event.

Even though I had some issues with how the day was organized, I was happy to share the experience with 1,000 other (mostly) women. I will say that the person presenting the “yoga portion” of the program must definitely practice what he preaches. He was so mellow that I was fantasizing about paint drying on a wall. (Please remember that I have the patience of a gnat.)

Onto the nectar of the dry, parched flower of a day, Elizabeth Gilbert. This Eat, Pray, Love mega-bestselling author had  things to say that impressed me. I want to share some of them with you before I waste all this space with my curmudgeonly remards.


Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert was funny. She warded off inevitable questions at the pass by letting us know that she did marry her Brazilian lover. The one she met in Indonesia. (Wouldn’t you like to say that?) She also assured us that although she wrote about some very soul stirring and life changing moments in her book she was just like the rest of us. The moments of our enlightenment are just that, moments, she said. They come and go and we must indulge them when they visit.

Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t meditate everyday, she doesn’t keep a rigid schedule of exercise, but she does advocate 20 minutes of silence a day. Or at least all noises shut out except for cat purring. She calls it her “silence bath” yet claims that some people call the practice as napping. Either way sounds delicious to me.

She also used the visiting analogy when addressing genius or the mystical part of us that comes a courting in our flourishes of creativity. She advised that we keep up our hard working momentum so that we don’t miss these visits. 

Another morsel that resonated with me was her reference to the importance of remembering “to thine own self be true.” Next to “love thy neighbor as thyself”, that’s one of my favorites. She did add her special trademark when she ended her program with “to thine own self be kind.”  

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks very much like she writes. Amusing, eloquent, engaging, she comes across like someone you’d love to see a movie with and go out and talk about it after. Her globetrotting life has been quite full and adventurous but she reminded us to not covet what we see in other people’s lives. We’ve all been there, but we mustn’t stay. Our own works in progress needn’t be measured against others. Something in the order of the how we-all-put-our-pants-on-one-leg-at- time theory

We can look forward to a new book by Elizabeth Gilbert about marriage. We heard the back story of how this book almost never came to be and how listening to her gut caused her to trash a few years of writing, miss her publisher’s deadline and return with a better version after offering to relinquish her advance. Now she can’t wait for us to read the new book and neither can I!

I have to say, I give a special measure of kudos to this author for the deal she made with her publisher for Eat, Pray, Love. Can you imagine having a fully funded year divided evenly between Italy, India and Bali? What a coup! Luckily, Elizabeth Gilbert did a fine job of taking us with her.  Thank you for that.

And now for some Elizabeth Gilbert trivia:

Did you know that the movie Coyote Ugly was based on an article she wrote years ago about her experience as a mixologist at the infamous New York bar? A former barkeep myself, I was especially dazzled by this point of trivia. 

Cool. (not the movie, her contribution)

I’m a little tired so I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of what she said but I am glad that endured the three hour prelude of programming that preceded Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk.

I’m in admiration and can forgive myself for missing a beautiful beach day, sort of.

Comments (3)


    I really enjoyed reading what you had to say and how you said it. It read like a conversation which tickled me. It’s wonderful – I love seeing old friends making a mark in this insane world and you seem to be doing that Kim. Remember Al Anderson from Montclair – guitar player who went on to play with Bob Marley? Well the original Wailers are going to be in Florida this month. I’m don’t remember where now but I’m sure you could find out if interested.
    Blessings, Kim – Pete

    Comment by Peter WellsMarch 6, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    I liked the eating part the best. No surprise if you know me…

    Comment by KimMarch 3, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

    Sorry, but I tried and tried, but couldn’t get past the
    eating part of the book….one of the few books I couldn’t finish. People tell me it got better…?????

    Comment by kittyliterateMarch 3, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

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