Eat Pray Love is a film about a woman’s quest to travel and heal herself after a messy divorce.
The film is beautifully shot and Julia Roberts does a fine job of displaying the emotional pain of the character Liz Gilbert. She gives up her life as a successful writer in New York and sets off on her travels to Rome, India and Bali in an attempt to change her life.
Liz Gilbert took a risk and took herself out of her comfort zone, she explored not only different cultures and countries, but also took a look at herself on a deeper level.
I, too, have traveled a lot in life — stayed at retreats in India, hugged trees in Greece, stood on my head in the Sahara. The places have amazed me and the people have changed me.
My travels began more than 20 years ago in Australia, where an acute asthma attack stopped my breath and I had to be resuscitated. Three months later, the same thing happened to my sister. She, however, did not survive.
My world shifted.
When you grieve, for a broken marriage or a lost loved one, you ride a coaster of emotions: anger, guilt, pity, regret. You repeat to yourself ways you might have been able to somehow change what made you grieve and you cry for what you see you could not change.
I needed a break from my grieving. I took a ‘holistic holiday’, where I met a yoga teacher who opened a door I, tentatively, walked through.
When I returned home, yoga and meditation had crept into my life. It came slowly. I explored many different methods and teachers. Like Liz, I left for India and California to practice yoga (which I later came to teach).
What did I learn on my travels?
I discovered that wherever I went, I took myself with me. Wherever I went, I needed to look closely at myself and find self-acceptance and compassion and, above all, lose the past that held me back.
Losing the past opens the future. In Liz’s case, when she lost the pain of her divorce and found compassion for herself and her former husband, her life opened.
Letting go frees you up to all possibilities. In Liz Gilbert’s case, when she lets go of the pain of her marriage break up and finds compassion and love for both herself and her ex husband, her life transforms.
My travels continue. They take courage, asking me to step from the painful past and into the free future.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on Creativity
Cherie Lathey has spent the past 20 years working in the fitness industry as a gym instructor and personal trainer. She first started practicing yoga on a regular basis in 1994 after attending a workshop on a Greek island run by the international yoga teacher, David Swenson. The physical and spiritual nature of yoga enhanced her flexibility, strength and balance so much that she decided to train as a yoga teacher. To learn more about her practice, please visit her website.