When Elizabeth Gilbert released her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything, the global success of the book extended the author’s journey from Italy, India, and Indonesia to the entire planet. The book held a top spot on the New York Times Bestseller list for close to 200 weeks, and was then turned into a visually striking movie starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.
Eat, Pray, Love chronicles the author’s trip around the world after her divorce in a candid and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and the purpose. An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals.
But reducing Gilbert’s chronicle of spiritual and personal exploration to such a brash description seems utterly unfair; so let’s let the book speak for itself with these notable Elizabeth Gilbert quotes.
Here are 25 Eat, Pray, Love quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey to self-discovery:
You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.
To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced
I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.
I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, ‘There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who’s in charge?
I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on the water.
You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.
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.
The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.
Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.
We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
I am a better person when I have less on my plate.
We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.
Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur?
That’s the thing about a human life-there’s no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.
But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilling yearnings.
God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies.
Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship – a play between divine grace and willful self-effort.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to read the book, you can get your copy of Eat, Pray, Love here.