What does it mean to leverage feminine wisdom in today’s world? Last week I had the immense privilege of attending a day-long workshop facilitated by Mirabai Starr on the eve of her book launch for Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics. Distilling the mystical wisdom of women through the ages, Mirabai led us through a day of exploring some feminine approaches for contemporary challenges.
What does it mean to decolonize your spiritual life? I began to answer this question at the 2019 annual conference for SDI (Spiritual Directors International), surrounded by spiritual practitioners and leaders from around the world. I learned that decolonizing spirituality is for everyone, as it is more about creating authentic connection than about resurrecting ancient rituals that may or may not hold relevance for us. If you are looking to deepen your spiritual life from a decolonized perspective, join me in this 3-part blog series where I explore a process for spiritual decolonization.
I feel like I’ve come to diverse reading later than most. It was only after starting my Bookstagram account, working on a Book Festival, and my painful journey through graduate school that I’ve become aware of the issues of representation in books and publishing. I am grateful for this new awareness and proud of how I continue becoming more intentional with my reading choices. But lately I’ve come to a startling realization: reading diverse books is difficult for me! Sometimes when I see a work by a marginalized author or perspective, I won’t want to read it even if it sounds interesting. Horribly, there are some days when I think I don’t want to read diverse books anymore! In this post I’m going to explore why I think I am burning out.
As a mixed-race individual living in the United States who encounters everything from the inevitable “Where are you from?” to being screamed at, my motivations for reading this collection were a tad selfish. I picked up this book because I thought it would be exclusively about immigration and race issues, and wondered if I’d see any aspect of my experiences reflected in these stories. While race and immigration are prominent in this collection, Maxine Beneba Clarke doesn’t limit herself to these issues. What we have is a poetic and deeply empathetic short story collection about the various forms of marginalization. These stories explore the theme of foreign soil in fresh and unexpected ways that expanded my awareness of how people experience otherness.
Would you rather be covered head-to-toe in fur or be smooth in all the right places but have a tail? Framed as a question posed during a Galentine’s Day Party, this is one of the many humorous ways poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva explores the intersections of body hair, race, and American culture. In other words, she writes about what it’s like to be a hairy, non-white girl in the United States. Funny and personal, this collection offers a bold and empowering voice for any woman who understands the struggle with body image.
A fantasy novel inspired by the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Justinian I, Sailing to Sarantium offered a breathtaking journey that swept me away. In the glittering, dangerous city of Sarantium, author Guy Gavriel Kay crafts a stunning tale where those with the fiercest intelligence and enough daring can have the world. If you love fantasy or historical fiction, this series may become your next obsession.
Book: Eternal Life by Dara Horn
I picked up this book because I thought it was pretty. Like any superficial reading decision I gambled with my limited and therefore extremely precious time. But the gamble paid off because Eternal Life gave me a refreshing experience, one I haven’t had since I first read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. This book had me reconsidering my approach to life and made me question, not for the first time, some of the more unsettling aspects of how American culture approaches death. Continue reading “Eternal Life ~ A Fresh Look at Immortality”