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     Program 06-16 Guest Elizabeth Gilbert Book Eat Pray Love; The Fine Print
    with Rebecca Bain April 22 & 23, 2006
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from nashville public radio this is the fine print and exploration and celebration of the written word i'm rebecca bain every so often a book comes along that is exactly what i need to read at exactly that time and elizabeth gilbert's eat pray love is just such a point when she turned forty to all appearances leaders had the american dream is he is a husband a house in the country a successful career but instead of relishing her life she became profoundly depressed eventually divorcing her husband jettison her belongings and her career and she took off for your long search around the world to find out who she really was and what she really wanted from life and she divided that year into three four months segments which she hoped would show her more about her own nature she went to italy for pleasure india for spiritual exploration and devotion and indonesia for balance in her life her ultimate goal to say she found
what she was looking for in all three countries is an understatement but it is not the real reason is wrote eat pray love it's the journey of self that was so important that self fulfilling and such joy for the reader to discover i'll be talking to elizabeth gilbert over the course of this next half hour but first he reads from eden prairie life i wish to nominate kiss me oh but there are so many reasons why this would be a terrible idea to begin with giovanni is ten years younger than i am and like most italian guys in their twenties who still lives with his mother these facts alone make him an unlikely romantic partner for me given that i am a professional american woman my mid thirties who has just come through a failed marriage and a devastating internal divorce followed immediately by passionate love affair that ended in the second part of this lost upon mosque has left me feeling sad and prideaux and about seven
thousand years old she really is a matter of principle i would not inflict my son busted up old self and the lovely and salad tonight not to mention that i have finally arrived at that age where a woman starts to question whether the wisest way to get over the loss of one beautiful brown eyed young man is indeed to promptly invite another one and this is why i have been alone in this is why in fact i have decided to spend this entire year in celibacy to which the savvy observer might require then why did you come to italy to which i can only reply especially when looking across the table a tense and giovanni excellent question here you are you're trying to work through a divorce you are living with another man named david as you write in your book and you say because god never
slams a door in your face without opening a box of girl scout cookies or however that allege goes some wonderful things did happen to me in the shadow of all that sorrow for one thing if i started learning italian also i found the indian group and lastly i was invited by an elderly menace amanda come and live with him in indonesia i'll explain in sequence will obviously this book is your explanation in sequence but could you could you give our listeners a little shorter version so they'll understand what we're talking about sure will attend that i turned thirty i went through a big crisis meltdown nervous breakdown when everyone i call it freak out i was married i had a nice house and husband i had a a booming career everything looked very correct you know am indeed enviable that it felt like their ways i was falling apart it was letting somebody else's life i wasn't happy in my marriage i didn't recognize myself in his house and with a lot of effort and a lot of sorrow and a lot of strain
and leaving all that behind falling into a cataclysmic paumgarten variety rebound relationship that was off and so the same time i was going through divorce i was losing the love that i had found after me was just too much loss and in one in one fell swoop and so i've always been a big believer in the healing powers the grandiose action just an endowment and an adult at other times in my life when when things had stalled i think you can kind of jump start yourself you kind of put yourself into action by bag by taking a big journey and a bequest and so this book is all about that i went to italy to india and indonesia and in each of those places i was looking for one aspect of myself but in my humanity that had been lost to me during those years of depression and despair heartbreak and downs i was looking for that one aspect of myself set against a culture that does that thing very well you know so i went to italy to look for the art of pleasure because where else would i had i went to india to explore the art of devotion
and then in tunisia to bali specifically to look for the art of balance between pleasure and devotion or how you create a life that is equal parts and appreciation and gratitude into light and worldly and worldly wonder but also not so committed to the world things that you forget your your connection to the eternal and that was that was the journey it used in your quest for balance you certainly brought it back to the writing of eat pray love it so difficult i think often for people to write about a spiritual awakening that spiritual experience a connection with god or whatever whomever people turn want to turn that it's difficult a lot about that in such a way that people either say oh man he had help or they they grasp onto it too tightly and think this is the only you know the only answer is the only thing i need to do is pray and all things will be revealed you you have a wonderful balance when you write about that in your book
you know it has to be fair but it's not overt think it's a part of it it's not the whole of it yeah i tried really hard to to find a way to discuss spiritual it that reflected the way i feel about it which is that it's something intrinsic natural supernatural both external and internal wonderful comic at times you know a mini think that's the piece that we often miss our spiritual journeys and especially here in the west we divided ourselves so bluntly you know between our spiritual size or worldly sides i think we said forget that there's something thats of inherently funny about his experience and all the sufferings and yearnings as well and in this regard and you know i was very inspired by annie lamont whose work i love and you know i'm not a devout christian as she is yet i read her books and i read her books and i find a lot of spiritual solace and women and i was really happy when my book came out that that one reviewer said she's like an eel months younger yoga practicing sister and a gray you know that's exactly the voice that i
wanted which is looking to tell you what happened to me and to tell you what i'm doing amateur you i'm yearning for even come with me if you like and i try really hard not to offend you you know but we can certainly have some fun with this as well so so that's the voice that i really wanted to have a like you're lying to comparing it to a brown dog you had who was a mixture of many different breeds in nice and people would say what is it in horror what is it you'd say a brown dog and so in describing your relationship with a higher power greater being to say my god is magnificent and that pretty much covers it all doesn't have forgotten what it was they were kind of god do believe in and i believe in a magnificent and i think that's fairly unifying i think most people who believe in in god would say that over a concrete into trouble when we started to chop it up more than that you know this is a book about healing and becoming a whole person a thing for perhaps the first time in your life and i don't know that everybody else that i'm extremely inefficient want to do
unfortunately i don't have the courage to make it happen and i would imagine you've heard a statement from people time and time again as they've come up to you after reading this book we all want to do what you did but we don't have the courage well that's very kind of you to say that i appreciate very complementary if you just say that to me i mean they have to make it clear though that that i think there are things that can tell people took to take big actions in their lives and those things are not always what some courage i mean i don't know a very many people who do a radical renovation of themself from a place of joy and find you know i mean generally you do it because you have been left with no other choice you have been backed so deeply into a corner generally of your home device you know when you're making or you have got to the point where you can't anymore and tonight the patterns in your life that you've created and the destruction that comes with those patterns and you come to a place where you have a choice you can either continue to do the stuff that has obviously destroyed
you and everyone around you or you can fix it and fixing for me came with this very you know a dramatic journey because of with a traveler the toys how have expressed shift in my life kind of literally you know if i can shift my geography often that will make me shift my my interior geography as well but you know it was like i was you know i went into this trip with his big bold chest thumping i'm so courageous i had when i went into it destroyed you know i mean i was a rack when i started the trio is a skinny depleted it's sad on anti depressants you know through therapy i haven't been in divorce court and heartbreak and crying every night max you know and and i wanted to live i wanted to live better and i think that what you do when you're in that state if you make that decision you want a change of life was that you do a kind of cat scan of yourself and carolyn you see like other any hats are there any cells within my being that aren't distracted you know is there any room for expansion here is there anything that still responds to light and joy and pleasure and learning
can i feed that somehow and then you try oxygenate themselves and you hope that that they grow into clusters of health and then gradually you become a fully healthy person this a long difficult process and we are a society of instant fix instead everything instance an instant gratification and i think that's probably and for many people that's and that's what's hardest about them changing themselves you know growing is it's not a quick process it's not and i also think that that with that instant fix society comes the other thing that holds us back which is being locked into what america seems to have come to insist is normality which is going to have a nonstop nonstop relentless driving competitive stress hand and that's something that i think we are chair i mean very few of us in modern culture have escaped back and i actually am very sad to report that we're exporting it you know and it's becoming america's greatest export is this nonstop stress
and and i was so disappointed when he went to italy and found that very recently italians have taken up the word spit us out though hillary in that when i talk to my friends in bali when i called him on the phone and say how are you oh very stressful summer and then it's kind of like gripping the world you know and i think it takes an enormous act of fortitude and stubbornness to resist that and i think that that as an american and i am and i live on the eastern seaboard of the united states at the center of global stress and i was a new yorker i mean it can't get more stressed than that you know i think that the deciding you know to say you know i'm rejecting this and i'm going to push very hard against this and not joining us i'm not buying what you're selling here is almost an act of rebellion that i think has served the equivalent to maybe you know a sixteenth century european saying i went to a catholic a name or yes so this is our religion here in this country an
end i think what surprised me is is coming back from the journey and seeing how many people are yearning to cut free from that and yet feel as though they can't because they're bound by all of its trappings the mortgage that the debt the credit cards the competition the ambition all of that stuff it's hard to say no to a bet saying no to it is a very bold thing to do and i think you know attempted a revolution happening kind of one hundred and now i'm happy to be the part of their homes our conversation with elizabeth gilbert author of eat pray love will resume after this brief time out i hope you can continue to check out the fine print the
paintings to pay the pain let's talk now about the three places you visited beginning of course with rome and user link that he's in the right order to accidentally yeah i mean i'm sorry that coming from ashram in india
to italy would have been wrong order it would have been yeah i didn't realize how important you know when you practice how theater when you practice yoga teachers as to the importance of sequencing which is to say that you don't begin your practice you know with like that big pretzel pose you know you begin to gently work and your answer that you just bring your back you know you have to ease into things and i think that that's kind of what italy was for me is that really was the warm up for the whole journey i was in a bad state when i got it i have is coming out of it that i was still still not you know i'm not a very happy person and i was you know was under a lot of stress on a lot of anxiety and it took the italians a couple months to kind of beat out of me my innate protestant sense that i have to be doing and achieving and accomplishing something in every single moment but eventually they were attacked and they managed to convince me that it was actually really okay to spend the afternoon in a park by a fountain reading and thinking about what you can eat next to know which was pretty much what my days in italy where
an no plumped up and i calmed down and by the time i left there i like to say i literally took up more space on the world and literally bigger but i was also expanded and i was ready to go through the arduous time in india of sitting and meditation for hours on end which is grilling and which i would not have been able to do i think right out of divorce court yeah i think that's a very good point he have a hilarious common that you make of this is so great the culture of rome just doesnt match the culture of yoga not as far as i can see in fact i've decided that roman n yoga don't have anything in common at all except for the way they both kind of homes you have the word told well as i could yeah i did try and i brought my yoga mat with the derailment couple times a game late and rolled it and and and i i remember one moment where i felt like the
yoda that with looking at me mockingly saying sorry woody got today little miss had ale quite reform laws you know you know i know if you can even tell me you're serious about divinity i know you're serious about new series about a lot during the morning so and i just i just let that go you know i just had this isn't the time for this and and in a way it's funny and they're you know some people have said to me i feel like the party in italy was the part that was the most of her devotional practice is you know the devotion of eating in the devotion of learning to speak italian and in a way it is it's the devotion of love of indulging yourself in that in healing balm and i think it's funny a question that has come up sometimes forgotten act the state is because it was and that's a self indulgent thing to do and you know to go in and lived in italy for four months and eat great food look beautiful things and an end you know i have a couple hitters about one of them being i never had an italian asking a question on another lending and i just kind of ice have now been back in the states to see how
pathologically it seems we're unable to tell the difference between self indulgence in self care and nuns and i actually really had come to think that it would be pretty self indulgent me to spend the rest of my life and narcissistic misery and depression which is just three years you know and yet everyone's kind of ok with that you know what they're not ok with this is going in and using pleasure and peace and relaxation as a way of restoring yourself funny how horrible to think we're more comfortable with someone being miserable but does the un happy and doing nothing that clear what kind of what kind of society it's interesting isn't it an enemy and i think that's really well put and actually totally accurate i mean i think few people would contest that or much as i would love to continue to talk about round i we do need to move on and that is of course to india where you had your pursuit of devotion and down it's difficult i think to talk about this so
much i think it's better when people read about this experience so they can absorb it and think about what you went through but i did have to say richard from texas who was a wonderful person to come into your life he called your groceries because if my hot the time you were made a comment that you do have control issues that you didn't think other people recognized it and his reply back of course was ray charles could see your control issues you know a big surprise to those of us who think we are hiding our control issues so well you know you learn a lot about yourself here yeah i mean it was an amazing experience i mean it's oh it's a rare moment i think in a person's life it's i would say it's one of the peak possible human experiences to go and devote yourself to such an extended period of time of spiritual practice whatever your spiritual practice might happen to be it's something i think that did it is a wonderful thing to give yourself a few can you
join a company of great beings when you do that you know there's a long history of wise and and struggling people who go looking for connection with the divine in various ways and you feel that you're on the path as well and you feel their collective march toward to the needy in you feel that energy in or something really special about that also very difficult and you go into meditation for anybody's ever practiced it they know it's it's arduous you know the only thing i've ever found it harder and less chinese writing at the same time you know also as rewarding you know and it's it's an amazing process to try to do that i got very lucky when i was in india i you know i went there expecting that my teachers would be these venerable monks or maybe even the sort of swami is up in in caves with long beards who only speak once every three months i didn't realize that the greatest spiritual teacher ever encounter would be a vietnam vet from texas named richard who was also at the ashram and who had this am amazing way of taking
extremely esoteric ancient teachings and transforming them into very texas kind of like cut the bs and you're right to the heart of what it is to be human being homilies and he you know i have always thought that have good character comment wherever i go i tend to find amazing people that he was one of the great characters i've ever encountered in my entire life willits do move on now to indonesia and one of them host wonderful character descriptions i've ever had in my life was this terrific man named could to it you had met him earlier he had said to you come back and you will teach me english and know you lived with me and i'll teach you you know my medicine man things and you're sort of counting on that when you first got there he'd remember you i think that the vintage moment of like don't you read joseph campbell and you've read about the arc of a bit of the journey on a vision quest that it always seemed that there's a moment like that where you need
you know the old hag you know or this or the venerable madison manner the shaman and they say to you ok and you have to go get this thing or you have to go on this journey have to go to this destination and you got all these troubles and all these obstacles and you get there and then you come back and you tell them what you've done and they say they don't know who you are and everything has just been reduced down to the fact that it wasn't really about you know the accomplishment that you thought you had to do was about the journey will end them and i have met a total ear two years prior to this trip i had been in bali on a magazine assignment and i had met this man and he had read my palm and again and ten bucks and he had said you know you're coming back to bali nine i this whole book came about because of me trying to organize my life to manifest that crate destination unknown and end upon arrival after all of this obstacles of coming back into his life he had no idea who owns and i just thought that is so perfect exactly where the human experience is light years so it was one of the most tragic comic moments of my life and but i did manage to
convince him that he remembered me and them and i spent several months in his company which was an extraordinary experience to get to him to be that close to somebody that lives in that connected to a culture that devout and in that that special aisle to talk about why in the woman's friend that you had there oh oh wonderful friendship between the two of you and she was going to lose her house she would have no way to make a living for herself and her daughter is just in a terrible thing before her and you did a wonderful thing you wrote about this to your friends and your friends from all over the world sent money so that you can lie why and land where she could build a house she did have a home and a livelihood and i have to move on to the park and so you get this money to lie and she is overwhelmed and overcome at the generosity of all these people she's never met and what happens then
what happens then is you know are a reminder of my dad's favorite athlete no good deed goes on what happens then is that i went into the vortex the narnia of this is real estate for the next three months trying to convince her to actually buy a piece of land she's sitting on this money this all quite a lot of money that had been raised by quite a lot of people that was in her bank account in in converted into indonesian rupee which is a prince and has a reputation for disappearing over and you know so i was really worried about this money not going into buying her home and she's told installed installed and couldn't find the jamaican of course the bunnies have a great spiritual connection to land and so it has to be you know to have these were talks in which you could translate as shia the essence of a place and you know for her is a healer percent of talks he was particularly high in every place that we went to look at it by had bad toxic too close to a river too close to a cemetery to close to a town it's on a corner if you have an accordion go bankrupt if it's you know she had all this or superstitions and numbed and months and months and by she had to have auspicious dreams before she could buy the land
aleve bought it i couldn't leave his money with her and in the end what finally happened is that she said she had found a piece of land that was more expensive than the money that we have and she wanted to buy this whole parcel and slowly i began to realize what she was trying to do is get more money at least that she could by the way and which i realized at the moment she said well if i have a bigger place we can build a hotel a hot towel to monsanto's woman didn't have money to buy her daughter you know lunch and now she wants a hotel and that's when i realize she was really tried to take me you know i know him but i was guided through that experience by another character we can introduce who is a man that i had since fallen in love with her in that valley who was a brazilian living in delhi and he'd been there for many years and he gave me a wonderful piece of advice which as you have to understand the level of poverty in how these people think it's not that she's a manipulative and evil person it's not that she doesn't need your help it's just that she sees us her last chance to ascend to a higher standard of living and this is how a lot of bodies get by is by sweet
fleecing westerners it's what happens in a lot of developing countries he said don't hate or to reject her just don't be taken advantage of that keep the friendship as well announce and somehow we managed to work our way through that and she now has a lovely house and i now have a lovely friend elizabeth how hard was it to come back to the united states you know it wasn't hard it was exciting and i i had people that i had missed the life that i wanted to see for one thing i also had a new life to build it wasn't as though i was coming back to my same old life my same old home ice in old routine i didn't have a life a home or a tune i had you know through my divorce and everything i got rid of my i had nothing that they came back to accept the promise of trying to build a new life for myself incorporating into at some of the treasures of of the travel in the experiences that i'd had so if there was an excitement that they came back to that said you know i don't wanna be that church which is you know who gets to control over the world to live in bali get a brazilian lover and come back to american go geez why that was so stressed
you know i came back and i was like not everyone is just you know i'd say that china to be totally pejorative but you know when you do step out of that and then re entered it is astonishing it is kind of heart stopping to see how much stress people in this country live under and how that is considered to be normal in fact it is huge in a street known america for for what we call stress management as though it's something that you need to learn to adapt to you know whereas i keep thinking what about stress or education can we do anything to stop this you know rather than having to adjust our delicate human organism around this incredibly unnatural amount of anxiety can we change the world somehow so that it's less of a pounding driving just reinforce and now and i'm not sure that the society can do that as a whole though i do see people trying to do it individually elizabeth gilbert author of the wonderful memoir eat pray love
and that this conclude our program for this week and i hope you enjoyed it and i hope you'll join me next week as well when together we'll check out the fine print for national public radio i'm rebecca bain fb
The Fine Print
Program 06-16 Guest Elizabeth Gilbert Book Eat Pray Love; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain April 22 & 23, 2006
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An episode of WPLN's The Fine Print, featuring guest Elizabeth Gilbert speaking on her book "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia".
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Chicago: “The Fine Print; Program 06-16 Guest Elizabeth Gilbert Book Eat Pray Love; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain April 22 & 23, 2006 ,” 2006, WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “The Fine Print; Program 06-16 Guest Elizabeth Gilbert Book Eat Pray Love; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain April 22 & 23, 2006 .” 2006. WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: The Fine Print; Program 06-16 Guest Elizabeth Gilbert Book Eat Pray Love; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain April 22 & 23, 2006 . Boston, MA: WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from