How to Eat, Pray, Love ... From Home

"The first step in coming home to yourself is to change your environment,'' said Sarley of Kripalu, which hosts yoga retreats and educational programs.

If you can't get away to a retreat or on a trip, take a yoga class locally, he said.

Halle Eavelyn, whose Sprit Quest Tours hosts an "Eat Pray Love" themed tour to Bali, where participants meet some of the characters in Gilbert's book, eat a four-star meal and read from and discuss the Gilbert's book, suggests finding touchstones for your journey, even if you cannot physically travel.

Find books, travel stories, photographs or other physical objects that illicit positive feelings. It's a trick she suggests to her clients to make the magic of their journey last after they return home.

Someone unable to travel can also use the same trick to help focus on what they want, whether that's a trip or simply a feeling of relaxation or being centered.

Eavelyn also said it's important to "Give yourself permission to take what you need." At New Years, she decided to escape her everyday routine by going silent for a week.

The last-minute effort did not go very smoothly, she said, because she wound up spending a lot of time explaining herself via e-mail.

Still, it was worthwhile, she said. "Not talking helped me to be able to shift (my thinking). It was very powerful as far as my own growth."

Writing is also helpful for many who are on a journey of self discovery. In a 2007 appearance on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," Gilbert told viewers to keep a "Happiness Journal."

"At the end of every day, write down the happiest moment of every day," she said. "It's a way of reminding myself what really makes me happy, and what doesn't. And you know, every day also has its crappiest moment of the day, but I decided not to keep a crappiest moment of the day journal. And learn, and study, and look back and see what is it consistently. "


Gilbert's own journey was inspired by her painful divorce and the end of a volatile rebound relationship. She spent most of her year-long adventure committed to remaining celebrate.

After she'd allowed herself the pleasures of Italy and the devotional explorations of India, she traveled to Bali where she sought to balance the two, something she said she achieved naturally.

In Bali, she stumbled upon love with a Brazilian man 18 years older than she.

Committed to Love

The two are now married and living in New Jersey. She chronicled her ambivalence about marriage in the book, "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage," published in January.

Therapist Gilchrest O'Neill, who wrote "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage," said "Eat Pray Love" inspired several of her clients to take a look at their own marriages.

"They wanted to just evaluate their marriages, based on the fact that she [Gilbert] believed her [first] husband was her soul mate,'' she said. "How do you just end your relationship with your soul mate?"

Indeed, there is no way to know how many divorce filings have been initiated in the aftermath of reading the book. Or, how many credit Gilbert with helping them heal from divorce.

Anecdotally, it appears that Gilbert's willingness to reject what many would consider her perfect life -- married to a good man who loved her, a great job, a big house in the suburbs, and to write about it, empowered some to launch their own journeys through divorce, travel, and new relationships. And she has spawned a slew of copycat books.

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