Recently, I read the nationwide bestseller Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I mostly read non-fiction books on Buddhism or informative semi-manuals like Fast Food Nation. Nationwide bestsellers aren't usually what I prefer cuddle up with, but this book was given to me by a friend who was extremely excited that I should read it. I could tell she had been deeply affected by the book, so I gave it a go.
After just a few pages of reading I thought to myself, "Everybody should be reading this!" As it turns out, everybody was! Everywhere I looked I saw another woman reading the book or if I went into a bookstore it was on the "Staff Recommends" shelf.
Eat, Pray, Love is an exceptionally well written account of one woman's breakdown to breakthrough transformation that I would encourage all women (and men too!) to read. Especially if you are going through a heart wrenching break-up or struggle with the guilt of dealing with depression in an otherwise-seemingly-fantastic life. There are several miracles that take place throughout Ms. Gilbert's journey but the most miraculous part of the book for me is how the author retells her tale without apology.
Thanks to Gretchen's heads-up, I was able to see Elizabeth Gilbert recently on Oprah. It wasn't a choice in Oprah's book club; it was just an interview with Ms. Gilbert about the book and the world's reaction to it. After you read the book, you should definitely go to oprah.com and watch the fantastic conversation.
My favorite part of the interview is when Elizabeth described the two daily practices that she does to keep herself in balance. I have been practicing these two simple daily rituals for the last few weeks and have found them to be rewarding and informative.
The first happens first this in the morning. Everyday when she wakes up she writes and then completes the following question in a journal:
What do I really, really, really want.....?
She remarked that the three reallys are very important because she wants to record what she really, really, really wants in her life. It is not a list of the things you might like but a list what you deeply desire. I look forward to evaluating the patterns that will emerge from recording this statement over a period of time.
Her second practice is to take that same notebook before she goes to sleep and to record:
The happiest or most joyful moment of my day was...
This helps brings gratitude to the forefront and, for me at least, has made me re-evaluate the activities I am doing on a daily basis. The most interesting part of looking for Joy throughout the day is that, because I have been looking for it, happiness seems to be popping up everywhere.