When I was approached to write the book 18 months ago, I could not have forseen the journey that lay ahead. The experience spanned from exhilarating to excruciating to hilarious. Here are a few notable moments I am reflecting back on as I write this message:
My first week of writing, when I had the bright idea to rent a little Summer cabin on the beach in Holland. It turned out the cabin was a shed in someone’s backyard, with the main house occupied by a kind, yet somewhat lecherous older gentleman who spent the entire day smoking and leering at me from his outdoor table a mere 10 feet from my glass front door.
To make the week even more interesting, it turned out the beach was on the other side of a nature reserve which took several hours to cross and hence I saw the beach only once! My romantic notions of leisurely writing and taking long windswept beach walks were rapidly replaced by the reality of being stuck in a very small cabin with massive writing procrastination. Looking back now this feels hilarious, but at the time…not so!!!
Next came six solid weeks in my writing shed in the oppressive Ojai summer heat. I’d get up at 6am, make tea, do a few practices and go into my shed at 7am. Most days I’d stay in there until midnight, only leaving for short food grabs and bathroom breaks. I’d nap on the sofa, watch every old episode of Game of Thrones, discovered all kinds of new ways to entertain myself that were not writing and finally, I wrote.
And as I did, I discovered that I absolutely loved it! The task of organizing a lifetime of experience and knowledge into readable chapters helped clarify and sharpen the material and gave me a new outlook on my own work. The creative process enlivened me and created ripple effects in all areas of my life.
The hardest and in hindsight most meaningful moment in the entire process was submitting the final draft. My deadline was December 15th and I had planned on returning from Europe and taking a week to finish the final edits and submit the completed manuscript.
Then, on December 4th my home and entire property were destroyed in the Thomas Fire. In an instance I lost everything I owned and cherished, including some of my beloved pets.
There is no adequate way to describe this experience, but the real triumph was that the very practices of embodiment, the engagement with trauma, and the meeting of life in each moment I wrote about in the book kept me going and saw me through completing the book. This is what I remember most when I hold the finished book in my hands.
It’s been an incredible journey and my sincere wish is that this book is used as a resource, a manual of sorts for living an empowered, embodied life in these unprecedented times. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it and I am so looking forward to hearing from you!
Over the past few weeks I have been reviewing all the photos I had taken over the past years, mainly of my altars, books and the statues I had collected throughout my travels. It’s been bittersweet to see all the items I had carefully collected and displayed in the photos and to know that they are all gone….except, they now live on in these photos, which are now part of my brand new website.
It has been both poetic and healing to create the new site and layering all these pictures into a rich and beautiful offering. I am happy to report that we added new informational content as well as new events, and you’ll find all book related news and bonus offerings here.
In these next few weeks we’ll be hosting book launch parties, where I’ll be reading from the book and signing copies in Los Angeles, Ojai and Amsterdam. Come and say hello if you’re nearby!