Ode to Elizabeth Gilbert + Eat Pray Love Book Club - Katie Dalebout

Ode to Elizabeth Gilbert + Eat Pray Love Book Club

Elizabeth-GilbertCat is out of the bag that I’m majorly obsessed with all things Elizabeth Gilbert. I gush about her like a ninth grade girl does about her new crush. I’m re-reading, well actually listening, on Audible to the Elizabeth Gilbert library in preparation for her new book Big Magic coming out on September 22 (yes that’s my lucky number, thanks Liz) which I’m beyond psyched about.

Anyways, as I listen to the Eat, Pray, Love on my walks and drives I find myself savoring it like a really good piece of food. I love every bit of it: the words she chooses, the accents she does for the myriad of characters she introduces in her book, and the lessons I’m acquiring while simultaneously being massively entertained and engrossed in the story. I don’t want it to be over (luckily she has many amazing books) so I decided to enlist my friends (all of you guys) to have a book club with me about it. If you want in just start listening // reading.

large I picked this book because it has many themes that are particularly relevant for myself, my clients and my friends.

Namely, the intensity of emotion from ending relationships, the cultivation of pleasure (especially through food), and the excitement & discomfort of creating a spiritual practice of your own understanding.

All things I’ve been though or rather constantly go through & coach peeps through, so it was nice to sit back and have a book read to me about all the issues I’m going through and helping people through. As she says in the Italy section of the book countless times, “I’ve been there.” and clearly Liz has too. If you feel like joining our little mini book club, I’d love to have you and hey it’s not school so if you just watch the movie  and still want to come there’s no grade so you’re welcome to! (but you should totally listen to it on audible because it’s rad.) Info on that will be sent out in email so make sure you’re on my VIP list or on my FB.

Either way below I’m going to share all my favorite things about Eat Pray Love & it’s author I admire so much. Liz Gilbert couldn’t be further from a one-trick-pony (did you the movie Coyote Ugly was based off an article she wrote for GQ in the 90s?) so below you’ll see all the massive inspiration and creativity she gives to the world through yes her books but also her talks, interview, and just random things I love about her.

Without Further ado 10 cool ways Liz Gilbert has inspired me :::

1. PLEASURE  I once said this mantra to my friends. “Pleasure is your roadmap, follow the fun.” It just poured out of me but I think Elizabeth Gilbert was the one who taught me this. The first section of Eat, Pray, Love when she’s living in Italy is all about PLEASURE and she really does use it as her guidebook for where to go. She finds pleasure in learning the Italian language, meeting new people, but above all from food. This concept of finding pleasure from food (especially authentic Italian food) is not some distant far-out concept, food is something the majority of people find pleasure in, but it’s something I didn’t find pleasure in for a while. Rather food taunted me. It was my greatest source of pain–a far cry from the way Liz relates to it in this section of her book. Reading her Italy chapter had a profound impact in my eating disorder healing. I remember thinking at one point, “Enough is enough, I want to enjoy food like Liz does.” In that moment, I was so over exclusively eating super-foods for fear of changing my body, in fact Liz does quite the opposite in her book, she embraces her changing body and trusts it will bounce back after her months of continuous eating and zero yoga (chapter 6). And guess what? (spoiler alert) it does. In fact, she’s healthier than ever and a few pants sizes bigger. Confirmed the fact that weight is not an indicator of health.

Luckily they did this scene justice in the film version.

There’s this scene in the book where she goes to the farmers market buys fresh asparagus, goat cheese, and a plum takes it back to her apartment plates it beautifully and goes and sits in a patch of bright sun with her Italian newspaper to read her one Italian article of the day. The way she describes this in the book is so beautiful and that scene became my ideal…my ideal for how I think every meal should be eaten ideally. Full on pleasure, awareness, freshness, and a side of sunshine.

I bring this full on pleasure into all areas of my life now. Yes pleasure from food but also from how I wash my face at night to how I dress, to how I work, all inspired by the Italy section of this book.

2. WORDS– She’s so great with words. I know duh she’s a writer and that’s her job and yes, that’s true, but what I really love about her work is that she writes like she speaks. A tendency I pride myself with doing as well but I have no choice because it’s all I can do. I actually don’t know how to write only how to speak so I just do that but typed and I love that it feels like she’s doing that too. Even in her massive amazing novel about 19th Century botany, The Signature Of All Things, Liz’s voice that I love so much remained. Even her usage of language and dialog is on-point. In Eat, Pray, Love  she so loves the Italian word ‘attraversiamo‘ which means ‘let’s cross over.’ I find myself saying it it my mind for fun now every time I cross the street. There is so much sincerity in every aspect of the book even the way she writes the broken English dialog as we meet the fascinating cast of characters that become her homies throughout her travels. That sincerity is magnified immensely when you listen to it on audiobook (yes she reads her own memoir, thank God) because Liz is a master at accents. Her impression of these people (perhaps because she was actually there) gave me a better depiction of them than even the movie did.

3. PRAYER– Her quest for finding God through finding herself in this book is something I connect with deeply. I’ve been on something of a quest to find both things in the past few years only I’ve done so staying on one continent. There are so many valuable lessons about prayer and developing a spiritual connection of your own understanding through this book that I can’t even count. But mainly the theme of collaging together pieces of philosophies, religions, and cultures is what I resonate with most. That’s what I’ve been I’ve been doing for the past few years on my spiritual path. I realize now without guilt that I can take the parts of all the religions and spiritual practices that I like and leave the rest. I believe there is both truth and dogma in all religions and spiritual practices. The truth is we all have to take our time to find what works for us. Taking what resonates and leaving what doesn’t seems simple yet there’s another step you have to do to make that work. To know what resonates for you, you first have to know you. Getting to know yourself has to be the first step to figuring out what works for you in cultivating a spiritual connection of your own understanding. I help my clients with this all the time. First I coach them to “date themselves” aka figure out who they authentically are and what they even enjoy // brings them pleasure, then we can dive into life purpose and developing a spiritual connection of their own understanding.

Laura in Greece, being all artistic and cool.
Laura and her cool boyfriend Anthony just you know, relaxing all cool by the beach. omg. How cool are they? I can’t even handle.

4. TRAVEL– Nothing on earth makes me feel more free than being alone on an airplane. Whether I’m going to New York, which I do fairly often or travel to another continent which I don’t do nearly often enough, few scenarios make me feel more free. I always get this feeling when the plane is about to take of where I think, ‘Woah I could have somehow gotten on the wrong plane and end up anywhere in the world.’ While that probably terrifies most, weirdly I’m comforted by it because this makes me feel invincible and like I’m magic and with the snap of a finger I could literally end up anywhere. Which is basically true, except the snap of the figure is money, time, and a passport.  There’s this part in the book where Liz Gilbert talks about her love for travel and that it is just a part of her, I resonated with that. I think there are some of us who value travel more than others. For instance, I heard this podcast with her and her friend and fellow author Anne Patchet where they discuss Anne’s nature as a homebody who has no real interest to see the world in the way Liz does // did // still is. I’ve decided for myself I have that travel bone. Even since I studied abroad in college and got to travel to Spain, Portugal, and Italy I’ve been itching to do it again and rereading this book only made that itch stronger than ever. Bottom line:: to me there is nothing more freeing than travel and you have permission to do it if it is a value of yours. It’s not that hard. If it’s a value you’ll make it happen, you’ll save the money you’ll get the flexibility at work, whatever basically the stars will align but YOU have to make the choice to set things in motion. My best friend Laura (yes she’s the creative genius behind why anything I do in WWLand looks cool) is a perfect example of this. She wanted to travel but she had a really awesome full-time job, however she still made it happen. All she had to do was ask and next thing she knew she was on a plane to Greece, Turkey, and Bali. Since then she lives in Australia with her rad boyfriend she met on that trip. Now I know what you’re thinking, she should write a book about this it sounds like a modern day Eat, Pray, Love situation (I’m on her, hopefully she will) but for now be inspired by her story and let it show you that if you value travel you CAN travel. I can. We all can. I’ve gotta take my own medicine on this one…brb. Planning my next trip, I will be accountable on Instagram.

5. LOVE – Now this one I’m admittedly still figuring out but what I realize now, is that all of the above must be in tiptop shape before this one can even remotely come together, as proved by Liz in Eat, Pray, Love. There’s a reason why she doesn’t meet her Javier Bardem until the very end of the book, she had to get her inner shit together first. Once we do the following things and do them well; find ourselves, find a spiritual connection of our own understanding, fill ourselves with pleasure, and feel free through whatever that means to you (perhaps travel but not limited to that), then it’s inevitable that you’ll need a new assignment–a new stomping ground to learn and grow and that’s when the Universe will bring you a relationship aka your next teacher for personal growth. Relationships are assignments to bring up all our stuff, they become our mirrors and our guides, they teach us what we need to know. We can’t however, look to a relationship or a romantic partner to heal everything in our lives, we have to do that for ourselves first like Liz and Laura and I are // have done in our own unique ways. It’s a process, sometimes slow but your relationship will be the gravy on your already buttery fluffy mashed potatoes not the entire warm dinner plate…fill yourself in other ways so you’re not asking too much from the relationship, because let me tell you “Be everything to me, I need you.” is not a good pick up line. When you find someone from that place of wholeness, you’re attracting a really cool person. For example, just watch this video real quick about the type of dude Elizabeth Gilbert attracted.

Well that’s my wisdom on all of this. If you want to join my spur of the moment book club get on my VIP list & I’ll send you an invite. Until them eat, pray, and love. A lot. Oh and if you need the book, get it on audible, I’m telling you it’s so much better when the real author reads it to you omg.


One thought on “Ode to Elizabeth Gilbert + Eat Pray Love Book Club

  1. Hi Katie! I hadn’t read this book in a couple of years – but when I read your post here I was inspired to read it again. Now I’m smack dab in the middle of the book and I’m entirely reminded of how “can’t put it down” amazing this book is. It makes me want to dig deeper into life with every page!

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