Eating, Praying & Loving in Troy

As this academic year comes to a close, 2011 continues. Let's allow it to carry forth with fervor - filled with indulgence that is not gluttonous, spirituality which is not exclusive and love that is infectious and wide-reaching. That's right: Eat. Pray. And most of all, Love.

For the residential readers committing to learning about one woman's "search for everything" across her three symbolic Is. Let us venture into Italy, India and Indonesia!

Ask everyone. Please.   

Our Mantras - and My Shorelines

"[One] purpose of mantra is to transport you to another state, rowboatlike, through the choppy waves of the mind. Whenever your attention gets pulled into a cross-current of thought, just return to the mantra, climb back into the boat and keep going. [These] great mantras are said to contain unimaginable powers, the ability to row you, if you can stay with one, all the way to the shorelines of divinity.”

One of my most unconditionally consistent mantras is that of family.


Another that carries me is friendship - truly: sisterhood.

I am so fortunate - that the firmest of vessels through the rockiest of storms have led me to such amazing shores.

What are the mantras that guide you back to shore?

This is SO us.

This is SO us.



I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.
—-Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat Pray Love

When I finished the novel, I couldn’t help but feel fresh. It called to me from a place of spirituality, and self-discovery. 
- Ruthie

For the love of Tutti

"So that’s the final lesson, isn’t it? Sometimes, when you set out in the world to help yourself, you inevitably end up helping…everybody."


Though we might begin with Eating - in Italia - my first dedication to this TEPL effort is in the spirit of loving everybody…which LG learns about in Bali. If I can do one thing at USC to feel rewarded on May 13th, 2011, it will be to do good unto and inspire those who come after me. You girls. It mights seem a round-about way of thinking of it, but I’m determined to fully realize that an an independent and self-fulfilled life is not self-centered. As my colleague and fellow leader Laura Small said, individualism does not equate to selfishness. We simply can do the most and best we can by loving and respecting ourselves enough to be able to help and love and motivate those around us that much more.


What’s been the most rewarding selfish thing you’ve ever done? What the best time you ever had loving yourself? Where did you have the most rewarding experience loving EVERYONE around you? And where have you best achieved balance?

My Bali

On my own trip to Southeast Asia, I was fortunate enough to be able to bicycle through the miserable tropics…

try spiky fruits straight off the forested curbs of Pulau Ubin…

enjoy unrivaled company…

and be almost as inspired and infused with BALANCE as Liz may have been.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."