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Friday, September 16, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love - my take

I think in an earlier post, I admitted that I've watched a few chick flicks in the past.  It's not something that I go around bragging about but when I was a single guy, it gave me perspective and helped me try to understand the opposite sex-the operative word being "try."

So I'm watching another chick flick last night on cable.  Not my choice mind you.  I would have kept the channel on Two and Half men but the remote was not in my hands.  Consequently, I had to sit there and watch Eat, Pray, Love.  Yeah, a Julia Roberts film.  The redeeming factor was that it was not a Nora Ephron film  (she's the ultimate chick flicker).  I had seen parts of EPL while channel surfing but had not seen it from the beginning.  Admittedly, the film was pretty good plus it's rare that I can get the wife to sit there and watch any film for that length of time.

I'm not going to really delve too deeply into the film because most of you have seen it including the guys reading this blog (I know who you are ; P ).  But I found the film touching a nerve and a sensitive one at that. (Note:  I started writing and couldn't help but refer back to the movie in some depth so sorry, I fibbed a little.)

Liz decides after a failed divorce and being in a cougar relationship that wasn't going anywhere, it was time to take a leave of absence for a year.  She decides on Italy, India and Indonesia.  I think I missed why but it doesn't matter.  What I related to was the fact that she had the cojones to leave a job, a relationship and her material goods to embark on a journey of self discovery.  She picked Italy because she wanted to be wowed by food and basically achieve a food orgasm.  She did not want to worry about the weight gain and eating stuff that's healthy.  She wanted to taste life and remove dietary restrictions.  It was the start of opening up and freeing herself from the self-imposed restrictions in an effort to conform to society in the US.  Along the way, she meets some really cool people.

What I got from Eat portion of the movie was the following quote:

Luca Spaghetti (Giuseppe Gandini): "Americans. You work too hard, you get burned out. You come home and spend the whole weekend in your pajamas in front of the T.V."
Liz: "That's not far off, actually."
Luca Spaghetti: "But you don't know pleasure. You have to be told you've earned it.

What an awesome concept?  We know entertainment but we don't know pleasure.  We work hard and bust our ass during the week and for what? To stay in our pajamas, veg out, then get ourselves sick Sunday night worrying about work on Monday.  Where is the freaking pleasure in that.  I think Luca here was trying to say : Live in the moment.  I know I sound like a broken record, (is this term relevant in 2011), but I am constantly reminding myself and hence reminding you in my blog to Live in the Moment.  Liz's compulsion in the film is to control things around her without letting things be.  It's something I know  I do personally.  It's the idea that if we can control our environment, then things will be less chaotic.  But I've also learned in the past couple of years that life has a way of righting itself and control is only a perception.  Consequently, we get caught up in the trappings of daily life and we put restrictions on what we can or can't do and ultimately, deny our own pleasure. 

Sometimes the restrictions are self imposed and sometimes they're imposed by those closest to us.  I'm not saying go hog wild and lose all sense of value or morality nor am I saying cut off ties with those you love.  What I'm saying is make your choices and do what's best for you.  Those that love you will hopefully understand and hopefully you will understand that life really is about choice.  God put us here as sentient beings and differentiated us from animals by giving us the ability to choose.  It's this ability that decides whether you will be merely entertained or pleasured.  Be open to the possibilities of pleasure and recognize the denials and I can almost guarantee that enjoyment will be increased exponentially.   This means letting go of the past and not stressing over the future.  If you're working, enjoy your work and focus on that.  When you're done, be done.  If you're with family, then be with family-not distracted and irritated about the issue at work.  Focus on what's happening now.  Try it.  I'll know you like it.

This is part 1 of a 3 part series.  As I said earlier, this movie touched a nerve and I really liked how it was broken up into 3 segments.  Liz Gilbert the main character and author of the book sums up life in three simple words-Eat, Pray, Love.  

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