Eat Pray Love and Kali

I’ve read the amazingly successful blockbuster bestseller “Eat,Pray, Love.” It’s a well-written, witty, entertaining memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have to admit, I’ve been scratching my head as to why is has been among the top 10 books for how many years now? It’s good, but is it really that good?

Okay, I admit I feel a little jealous of someone who gets a large enough advance to write a book so that she can take a year off and travel to three great parts of the world to find herself. And then come home and make millions on the book and then see it become a movie. A charmed life. It’s every author’s dream and it’s like hitting the lottery. Only a few of us make it that big.

On a whim, I went to see the movie version. Besides the fact that I practically cried when she was in Rome( I missed the pleasure of Rome that much!),I was struck by her guilt. Here’s a story of a woman who constructs the life she think she’s suppose to have with a nice guy only to discover this isn’t really her. She doesn’t know who she is really.

She dismantles her life, hurts her husband along the way since he is part of the fall out. Then she has to deal with her feelings of guilt for hurting him. This is not how she has seen herself, as someone who hurts people. Like many women, she gets tangled up in the question, Do I have a right to pursue what I want even if it hurts others? Shouldn’t a life be led that is true to oneself or is this an excuse to be selfish?

Given that most divorces today are initiated by women, there must be a lot of women out there feeling the same guilt. I call it the Kali complex. Kali, the goddess of creation and destruction, shows us that women have two sides. If you are going to create a new life, are on the path to authenticity, there will necessarily be destruction. Women as creators/nurturers don’t like to think of ourselves as also destroyers. It’s the iron in Iron Butterfly.

Why women are the initiators of divorce is another question that I hope to address in my next book.

So why is this book so popular? Most book readers are women and I think Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey to transform herself gives women permission to transform themselves. Although for most of us, it’s not such a charmed, and quick transformation as it was for her. Nevertheless, it is a path worth taking, one that you often can’t even override if you wanted to.


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13 Responses to “Eat Pray Love and Kali”

  1. Jose Sykes says:

    When I read the book last year, I had just lost my job, was looking for a new one and eating everything that was bad for me, so I enjoyed Liz’s misery and newfound joys. But now that I’m content, in this new phase of life, I find myself annoyed by people who create their own drama and then whine about it. Don’t mention this movie again Birute, you’d be better for it, and I know your usual posts are! 🙂

  2. Peggy Hobbs says:

    I loved the book, and yours Birute. I thought Julia Roberts as Liz was fantastic casting. The trailer looked awesome. I smiled every time I saw it. Turns out, I loved everything about this movie except the movie.

  3. Lortab 7.5mg says:

    I will challenge other members of my sex to go and see it. Not to be afraid to feel identified or even chocked up. I can assure you it’s not going to diminish you manliness in any way and will awake your appetites, big time.

  4. Mr. Squirrel says:

    There is so little of consequence taking place that I don’t understand why this is a movie. Plenty of books have plots that don’t equate into a two-hour film and many of those actually have tension. Liz’s only conflict is from her own sociopath concepts. She’s established early on as a poor playwright, highly gullible, and dare I say spoiled. These are not desirable traits. It’s amazing how easily everyone accepts Liz. Italy, India, and Indonesia extend nothing but open arms and everyone who she turns to for advise is essentially the same character with the one exception being Richard from Texas (Richard Jenkins)—the sole character that doesn’t seem to exist for Liz’s personal amusement. I haven’t seen such a patronizing, boring, alleged comedy in years. Eat Pray Love is a marathon that will surely test any burgeoning relationship and possibly cause a divorce. Girls, if your male friend can stomach this you’ve either found an idiot or a liar. Pray for mercy.

  5. Iflycoach says:

    I did read the book but, I had hoped that this was going to be like “The Bridges Of Madison County”. The film so much better than the book thanks to Meryl Streep’s Francesca… not so here.

  6. RealHigh says:

    I could see how this movie would appeal to some people as an escapist fantasy — every once in a while, most people think about pushing the eject button on their life and doing something completely different. Still, the impulsive-decision, life-changing journey of self-discovery is a common movie type, and others have done it far, far better.

  7. WindowSeat says:

    Whine-Whine-Divorce-Whine-Cry-Travel-Whine-Eat-Whine-Feminist Bullshit-Whine-Elevate Importance-Whine-Whine-Travel-Whine-Attempt Meditation-Whine-Get Better at Meditation with help of Hippie-Whine-Elevate Importance to Unknown Levels-Whine-Whine-Travel-Whine-Whine-“Fall in Love” I think that is pretty much it. Do not see this film.

  8. Martha Monroe says:

    The movie… I felt self conscious and embarrassed somehow. Is this the model woman we should be inspired by? Oh my God! She’s like a bad replica of a mediocre man (thought you might find this comment interesting Birute).

    • In the spirit of your comment, someone told me that women will have reached equality when we have as many mediocre women heading fortune 500 companies!

  9. I twittered this..Ubbertwitter…yeah