August 21, 2010 8:28:00 PM
David Creel -
"Eat. Pray. Love."
These three powerful words are on a lot of lips this season, due in large part to the New York Times bestseller by that name and now Julia Roberts'' stellar performance on the big screen. The book first caught my attention a few years ago, when the author was sitting next to Oprah, selling her Pollyanna approach to a new-age spiritual journey that took her to three places in the world.
Mostly, and I think she would agree, the lessons learned where not so much about Italy, India and Bali as they were about finding one''s way back to oneself when lost. Who hasn''t dreamed of unplugging, disconnecting from the chaos and mayhem of life? If only for a short while, it can help you on the road back to yourself.
Oprah put it on her book club list, and I didn''t think much more about it. I certainly did not take time to read the book, and the next thing I know Brad Pitt produces the movie version of one woman''s expedition: a voyage into the unknown waters of herself. So often we detour from our own roads like a rickety old bicycle with a flat tire, bouncing across bumpy overgrown pathways until we smash into reality. Right then and there, we begin asking questions, wondering who that person is in the bathroom mirror and defining ourselves in all the wrong ways.
I have been there, and I feel certain you have, too -- a quiet moment that comes out of nowhere, the noises of the world fading into the background, the wind ceasing to blow and, for an encapsulated second, the sound of your heart beating in your chest, intensifying with each deep breath. When thrown from the bicycle of your life, it''s not so simple to just get right back on and keep pedaling. That is the fundamental message of this diary of self discovery, and the movie''s cast shines.
It''s not selfish to want to live your life, truly live it. One great line from the movie is that sometimes only from ruin does true transformation occur. Think about that! Also, "One must swim the moat to get to the castle."
Julia, with her contagious laugh and innate radiance, allows herself to enjoy eating, praying and eventually realizing love. The end is the greatest of all with her declaration to herself that all those people in the past are teachers and that God lives "inside us, as us."
I have never wanted to eat pizza more and will be booking a trip to Italy one day just to find that thin crust cheese "lover" that she had a relationship with in the movie. The meditation is something I struggle with on a daily basis. It''s hard to unplug with a new season of "Rachel Zoe," the "Housewives of D.C." and "True Blood," but I will keep praying, and no doubt eating.
And yes, I love. Now, I am on my bicycle and heading for a new adventure in life. Are you coming?
David Creel of Columbus is a former salon owner and has written for several newspapers and magazines. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at email@example.com.