A manifesto years in the making.
We all have something to say. Some of us choose to say it loudly. Proudly. Clearly. With conviction. Some of us choose not to say it. Out of fear. Out of respect. Out of the desire to please and placate and be liked. To stay neutral. To stay safe.
We all have various ways of expressing that thing we need to say. Through song. Through dance. Through painting. Through film. Through cooking. Through speaking. Through writing. Through math. Through research and study.
I’m of the belief that it is through connection with others, in whatever form that takes most effortlessly for you, that we find healing. Some heal through dance. Or painting. Or film. Or cooking. Or speaking. Or writing. Or math. Or through research and study.
Or some combo of them all.
I’ve always found healing through writing. Even as a kid, when I was punished and sent to my room I’d end up writing pages and pages of feelings. Poetry. Random phrases. It continued through into tween then teen then adulthood, and it got me through some of my most difficult years—especially those plagued by the arrival (and lingering visit) of ED (a.k.a. eating disorder).
So it’s no surprise to me, in hindsight, that I ended up writing a book. And while I started writing it in earnest in 2016, in early 2017 I started writing a different book. One book was about my journey through food and body. The other was more of a “how to guide” blended with a cook book. It wasn’t until I hired myself an editor in late 2017 that I realized… it was all one book. The Google document quickly grew from 150 pages to 301, and when it was all said and done and beautifully designed… I found myself holding a 448 page manifesto.
manifesto (as defined by Merriam—Webster): a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Manifesto. A book to interact and connect with. Yes, I wrote this book as my own manifesto, but its entire purpose is to guide you to find your own voice. To discover your own inner Glowing Goddess Guru Beast.
So here’s a little excerpt from the intro:
Who knows why we put off the things we really want to do.
I don’t know what this book will be, but I do know that I have been imagining it for years.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it best (thanks, Eleanor):
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ’I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
I can’t write a book! I’m laughing out loud because… this is utter ridiculousness! But, I must.
The simplest place to start for both you and for me is with the why. Why am I sitting down to write a book? It’s a good question. One that I never thought I’d have an answer for.
The Book (which is what I’ve been calling it for the entirety of its existence to this point) has been rolling around in my brain for years. It came to me one day in the midst of a Bikram yoga class, which is, if you’ve never heard of Bikram Yoga, a brutal practice of 26 postures in an hour and a half, 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity class. Bikram was my introduction to yoga, and Bikram was all I knew of yoga for the first two years of my yoga journey. Two years in which I practiced this hour and a half class nearly every single day. Two years in which I spent approximately 49,275 minutes, or 822 hours, practicing the same 26 postures. Two years in which I spent time with just me on my mat, staring into the mirror at my body and the postures. It was during this draconian practice, as sweat ran out of every single pore of my epidermis and I dreamt about what I would eat when class was over, that The Book came to my brain, and there in my brain it has sat.
Recently The Book has gotten louder. The space The Book occupies in my head has begun to fester. It is no longer patient. It’s ready. And so I HAVE to write this book, but that in itself, is not an explanation.
Why do I HAVE to write this book?
I’ve heard it said (and have incorporated it so deeply into my bones) that sometimes you have to know what you don’t want before you know what you do… so, in the spirit of that, these are the reasons I don’t HAVE to write this book:
For you, new friend, who is reading these words in the (hopefully) not too distant future. My ego would like to say that I am writing this book with you in mind and that this is a noble undertaking. “This is to help other people. This is a selfless act.” Nice thought, but it’s not a complete truth.
For money. We all know that writers, actors, and artists are not in it for the big payday.
Because I’ve taken writing classes and have been told I have a way with words.
Because I read Little Women as a child and dreamt of one day becoming a modern day Louisa May Alcott. (I always aligned myself more with the artsy Amy March, Louisa’s real life sister May Alcott. Which... in hindsight is horrible. Amy is NOT a very redeeming character, but I really think I identified with her intense hatred of her nose.)
I am writing this book for three succinct reasons:
I am afraid.
I am angry.
I am passionate.
Afraid, Angry, Passionate.
Why am I afraid? Why am I angry? Why am I passionate?
You’ll have to read the rest to find out. But know this:
Talking about this one part of my life experience candidly is a passion of mine because I truly believe that the more we talk about how messy we are as humans, the more permission we give ourselves to BE. Be messy. Be real. Be vulnerable. It’s the trying to be perfect. Flawless. Put together. Trying to BE by controlling?
THAT is misery.
It’s been a long road to get where I am today. The road trip hasn’t always been a barrel of laughs with a kickass playlist and great snacks. It hasn’t always been miserable stretches of desolate highway and speed traps, either. And I’m certainly not going to pretend I’m done.
I’m still messy. You might as well know that now, before we go any further. But maybe you’re messy, too. Maybe you will see some of yourself in my mess. I ask you to promise, as you read, to identify rather than compare. Your story isn’t the same. No two people’s stories are. It’s the lens we see life through that dictates experience.
Identifying is a step towards vulnerability and humility.
And that’s my wish for you, dear new friend. That you will read these pages and identify with the messiness in you. I give you full permission to not be flawless.
To not be picture perfect, glamour shot beautiful, but instead to be resplendent in your absolute rawness and authenticity.
Here’s to you, friend.