Monday, August 16, 2010

eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert

i mostly liked this book. i found her self-indulgent and narcissistic at times. but i appreciated the general message and i enjoyed the way she phrases things. i took several quotes away from this book that describe exactly how i view things. she phrases it just right. i read this book out of curiosity, not because I needed help finding happiness. but i can see how this might really help someone figure out how to dig themselves out of an emotional hole. i would recommend it to friends who might be trying to find their way.

some of the quotes i loved from the book:

"the best thing we can do, then, in response to our incomprehensible and dangerous world, is to practice holding equilibrium internally – no matter what insanity is transpiring out here."

"flexibility is just as essential for divinity as is discipline."

"imagine cramming yourself into such a puny box of identity when you could experience your infinitude instead."

"the yogis, however, say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. we’re miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. we wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. we have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. we don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self which is eternally at peace. that supreme self is our true identity, universal and divine."

"the search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. you cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people."

"a family in my sister’s neighborhood was recently stricken with a double tragedy, when both the young mother and her three-year-old son were diagnosed with cancer. when Catherine told me about this, i could only say, shocked, “dear God, that family needs grace.” she replied firmly, “that family needs casseroles,” and then proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. i do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this is grace."

my absolute favorite: " . . . people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like a fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. but that’s not how happiness works. 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."

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