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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert changed my life.

That might sound melodramatic but it’s true. My love for this book has grown over the years as I have learned to appreciate the true impact it had on me.

It is 15 years this year since I had my life changing pituitary surgery. In itself that changed my life, but after that surgery my lovely friend Lisa Williams invited us out LA to stay with her as part of my convalescence. We had been friends with Lisa for abut six years, since she lived in the midlands, she had been a huge part of our lives, but little did we know just how important she was going to be.

We went out to LA the Easter after my surgery and Lisa showed us all the sights and gave us the full Hollywood experience. 

 

Why is this relevant to Eat, Pray, Love, well, on the final day of this holiday Lisa took us to an amazing bookshop in Hollywood called The Bodhi Tree, which is sadly closed now, but it was the most magical shop. We spent hours there looking through crystals, books, journals, oracle cards, candles… our daughter thought it was a magical paradise. It was certainly the perfect place to spend the last of our holiday money!

When we left the shop, Lisa handed me a bag which contained a beautiful goddess journal and a copy of Eat, Pray, Love.

When I thanked her, she just replied that I needed them.

It was truly the most magical holidayYou can see in this photo that my features still hadn’t quite returned to normal, but I was feeling so much better I can’t tell you. 

Anyway, we boarded our flight home, and as our daughter watched the children’s programmes on the little tv, I opened my new book. I hadn’t read a book for pleasure since before Laura was born, it felt really indulgent.

KATE BEDDOW and Lisa Williams

After years of reading nothing but picture books to be sitting with a memoir in my hand felt wonderful, but as I started reading in the relative solitude of the plane I was transported into a life I couldn’t even imagine. Elizabeth Gilbert walked away from her marriage to go on the most self indulgent trip around the world I could imagine. Visiting Italy just for the food and language, going to India to visit an ashram and then back to Bali to visit a wise man who had once said she would return and spend time there.

It was so far from my life, it felt like a fairy tale. 

I had had a real awakening after my surgery five months before. I realised that even though I wasn’t able to do anything productive the world had kept spinning and my daughter was clean, clothed, fed and happy. This had given me permission to release a little of my control over life, but this book gave me another layer. 

Eat, Pray, Love, gave me permission not only to let other people do things that needed to be done, but to do things for me, just because I wanted to do them, because they made me happy. 

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It isn’t easy…

When you have been living for everyone else for years, it isn’t easy to just suddenly start doing things that make you happy. 

Some changes just happened. We finally fell pregnant so for a year or so my focus was on that enormous change to our little family. I did continue to read and started inhaling every self help book I could find in the search for greater meaning, and as soon as our son was born I started to make little shifts. I signed up to do online courses, started really thinking about what I wanted to do for a living not just choosing the easy options. 

I did a counselling course and completed all my Reiki training as a way to keep on top of my own health issues. I quickly realised the power in energy work to support others though and began doing treatments when I could fit them around the children. 

I was also using my goddess journal and started writing, not a daily account, but an emotional outpouring of how I was feeling every day and my dreams and aspirations. 

The combination of those two gifts was powerful and Lisa was right, I needed them.

I wonder if there is a book that springs to mind as you read this as having changed your life? I know there are several books that have had a profound impact on me, perhaps I will share some more of them in future articles, but for now, I would love to know the book that changed your life. 

Perhaps there was a book that made you a reader, or that spoke to you at just the right moment, like Eat, Pray, Love did for me. 

 

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Did you enjoy this article? Why not take a look at these on a similar theme?

10 books that will change how you live your life

Are you still learning who you really are? 

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