eat, pray, love

In 2007, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was released as a book.  Women all over the world were excited to read this memoir – a story of heartache, change, self-discovery, religion, and travel.  I truly found the book hard to get into – and it lagged in the middle… but I kept on pushing through, knowing that I wanted to have this book under my belt.  I admired the book because it showed me a woman’s battle with commitment and expectations.

I was excited to hear this book was being adapted for film – and would feature Julie Roberts as the main actress.  The movie was set to debut on Friday, August 13th, but a few girlfriends and I were lucky to receive advance screening passes (via @BreatheDreamGo on Twitter).

I don’t really feel like I’m giving any spoilers… but if you haven’t seen the movie and want to be completely surprised – perhaps you should stop reading… now.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie immensely.  Some people have been very critical of Julia Roberts role and have said that the movie isn’t realistic (i.e. regardless of Julia Roberts’ stumbles, she still has the sweet life – and most people don’t).  I felt like the movie was a ‘feel good’ – and could absolutely relate.  Maybe that’s because I am an ambitious career-focused woman who has been going through an immense amount of change, or maybe it’s because I am a world-traveller to my soul.  I have no idea… what I will say is, if you are open-minded, enjoy Julia Roberts, have read the book, want to learn about the world, OR are unsure about your future (whether it be career, relationships, health, etc)…. SEE THE MOVIE.

At the end of the day, the message of the movie hit my heart.  A few concepts that I took away from the movie:

  • In North America, we focus on entertaining, we don’t understand the concept of pleasure.  I have always been an “entertainer” or “host”.  I plan parties and organize events. I expect for people to RSVP promptly, to dress appropriate for the event, for the food to be awesome, the crowd to be social, and the next day… for everyone to say it was the time of their lives.  Does this idea of “entertaining” have anything to do with “enjoying”? No.  My mom raised me to be this way and to her it was part of being an independent woman.  The movie reinforced the fact how much these “things” don’t matter… relationships, laughter, and spending times with others is far more important than trivial things such as napkins, decorations and RSVP’s.  Would you rather spend your time with 40 people or 4?
  • We live in a world of expectations. Expectations to only have good days, to be successful, to have perfect relationships, zero family issues, etc etc.  No one is perfect we all know that, we keep telling ourselves we are imperfectly perfect.  Yet, we still expect everyone to have their A-game ;) on all the time!  ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ shows a woman’s battle with the expectations that have been put on her and her journey through Italy, India, and Bali teach her to enjoy.  Appreciate you.  Live in the moment.  Always improve… improve, improve, improve, but don’t get caught up in what people “want you to be”.
  • Everyday people settle living in misery because they are scared of change.  I am truly not surrounded by a lot of complainers in my life, but I know they’re out there… those people who say “ugh, I hate my job”… “my boyfriend drives me crazy”… “I wish I had more money”.  Well we typically wait for them to do something about it… right right? Set a goal, develop an action plan, and make positive change.  If they don’t do anything about it, we want them to get out of our lives…. [well at least I do! no negative Nancy’s please!]  I know, sometimes it just isn’t that easy.  It’s important to remember that change is good.  The movie highlights, that society and individuals need to be prepared for endless years of transformation.
  • So you screwed up… made a mistake… regret your actions.  Now you are waiting for forgiveness.  At the end of the day it is a big waste of time, so forgive yourself, and move on.  You cannot control when someone will forgive you, so why worry about it?  Forgiveness is part of the grieving process and eventually that person will get there, until they do, let them be.  Don’t rush the process, it will do more harm then help.  Don’t believe that them forgiving you will mean they have accepted your behaviour – it just means they have decided to move past it.  All relationships take work.  Treat your friends, family, coworkers, significant others, etc as you want to be treated.  Accept mistakes and learn from them.
  • If you lose balance, you lose power.  Often people freak out when they lose power.  The concept of “my life is falling apart”… ahhhh.  Sometimes to get through life it is important to lose power and be vulnerable.  It truly takes a secure person to be vulnerable and put themselves out there.  To lose balance for LOVE is part of living life.  Take a risk and don’t look back.  But always remember… you absolutely deserve someone who will love you, no less than you love yourself.

Lately, I have felt like I’ve been at a crossroads. What to do? What to do?  This movie gave me the clarity that I desperately needed.

In the beginning of the movie, Julia Roberts is asked “What’s your word?”  A word that describes what you are, not what you do.  I’ve been thinking about this concept over the past few days; I think that even if your word changes over time, it’s important to have one.  I have yet to determine what mine is, but will let you know when I do.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

The most brilliant line in the whole movie…. “I think you have the capacity to, someday, love the whole world.” Let’s all strive for that k? ❤

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ premieres today.  Check it out.

PS – I may read this book > ‘Drink, Play, F@#k’, one man’s search for anything across Ireland, Las Vegas, and Thailand.  If you’ve read it and recommend it, let me know!


  1. Alex vonr August 14, 2010

    I saw the movie last night and it touched my heart on so many levels. I journaled my thoughts immediately when I got home. Your thoughts was what I was thinking indeed. Especially with Pleasure, Forgiveness, and Love. One thing I would love to share with you is the line in the whole movie that really got me:

    • “A life in ruin is a gift, it leads to transformation”. I may be misquoting it a bit, but it made me feel good about my professional life going up in smoke in mid flight b/c of the economy. I went through a lot to move past this b/c I worked my ass off and loved my job. It hurt deeply. But over a year later, I have gone through a lot of healing and I realized that I am so much more fulfilled, balanced, and happy with the ME that I am today, rather than the ME I was back then. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jillian. Like at the end of the movie…we are all teachers to each other. Thank you!

  2. Zoey August 21, 2010

    Really great post, Jillian. I’m seeing the movie on Wednesday with the friend who suggested I read the book after I watched Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk ( I loved it).

    Probably the greatest thing I took away from reading the book was Pleasure, which you’ve done a great job of comparing to entertainment. I’m now conscious of pleasures large and small and doing my best to ensure I only do what I want to do with my life (to the extent that it’s viable and I keep myself healthy and safe, of course).

    Fantastic blog, I’m glad I finally looked at your twitter profile :)

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