For as long as I can remember, I have known two things with absolute certainty. I wanted to have my own family, and I wanted to write a book.
Wanting to write a book and be a published author came from a very pure place. My love of reading and writing, both of which I have had since I was a little girl. Some of the happiest memories of my life are those which started as a child, going to the library with my brother and Dad at the weekends, getting to choose a selection of new books and coming home and losing myself in a new world through a book. I loved writing in equal measure. Whether it was my diary entries, or short stories, or longer essays, writing has always proved a form of therapy and almost meditation for me. It has been, and continues to be a salve for my soul.
My most cherished dreams eluded me across the years and decades. Sometimes they would appear on the horizon, a little oasis of hope, only as I would inch closer they would disappear, at times vanishing into seemingly thin air, making me question my sanity on all levels.
However, after years in the desert, this last year has seen me birth both my baby and my first book; Chakras and Self-Care.
My book baby is due to be published this week by Penguin Random House, just weeks before my actual baby, Asher, turns one.
And with beautiful synchronicity, Random House (pre-merger with Penguin) were the first publisher I spoke to about my various book ideas almost 15 years ago when I was still an entertainment lawyer in private practice.
Over the years I have written countless book proposals, was taken on by a great agency (and later dropped), had my proposals submitted to various publishing houses and ultimately was rejected time and time again.
A bit like my dream of having my own real-life little family, I had almost given up on the dream of ever being a published author.
I was lamenting this last year when I met one of my sheroes, Elizabeth Gilbert.
Her book Eat, Love, Pray changed my life in 2008 when I had my spiritual awakening (aka my cosmic bitch slapping).
I had a wild year of debauched partying my way through a break up and found myself in California for a month with spare time on my hands. I devoured her book in days and her words and journey profoundly impacted me. I could never have known at that time that over a decade later I would get to meet Liz Gilbert and she would share a few words of wisdom that would simultaneously liberate me and somehow create a portal for my dream to come true.
In true Goop glam style we were both waiting to get our make-up and hair done and struck up a conversation. She cooed over my baby bump (I was five months pregnant at the time) and I shared some cosmic insights as to why she may be feeling funky (we were on the verge of a full on Full Moon, eclipse season was around the corner, and as a Cancer sun, her chart was being triggered).
Of course, I fan girled hard. I told her what I am sure countless other women have. That her book changed my life, that I was so inspired by her journey and her work. Yadda yadda.
And then I shared some of my funkiness. How I knew a book (several books, in fact) were inside of me waiting to be birthed and I felt this intense pressure and duty to birth them. I clearly remember saying, “I have to publish these books, otherwise I have failed…”
She stopped me in my tracks, grabbed my hand and said, “Sweetheart. You don’t HAVE to do anything. You are more than enough as you are, with all that you are doing. Be kind to yourself, you are growing a human. Just remember there are no shoulds. You don’t have to fucking do anything”.
We spoke for a few more minutes, shared a beautiful hug (she’s such a lovely hugger!) and took a little pic and went our separate ways.
But just like that I felt my shoulders drop and a certain tension ease. Liz Gilbert was right. I didn’t have to fucking do anything. Or everything. Writing a book had in some ways gone from a dream and a passion to feeling like a burden that was more to satiate my ego. Here I was miraculously pregnant, married to the most amazing man, doing work I loved and being rewarded for it. I didn’t have to fucking do anything else, ever. If this was ‘all’ I ever did. It would be more than enough. I was enough.
A few hours later, in between my Soulstrology Soundbaths, a lady came and introduced herself to me and said one of the Goop team had suggested she should come chat to me. She was an editor at Penguin Random House and was interested in exploring the possibility of me writing a book.
The irony of this happening mere hours after my conversation with Liz was not lost on me and I knew it was not a coincidence.
As the saying goes, when you let go, you often receive….seems to be one of my biggest life lessons..
However, there are a few more twists and tales in the journey of my first book Chakras and Self-Care…
I never followed up with the editor. I went to London for a long vacation right after the Goop event. When I returned I was over six months pregnant and more in survival mode of getting through the last trimester and all my work (being self-employed is no picnic in the park!)
However, it seems I had a date with destiny when it came to both publishing my first book and Penguin Random House. To keep it short but sweet: someone completely different from another of their imprints independently approached me and I ended up signing my first book deal to write Chakras and Self-Care.
This isn’t the book I thought I would write first. But as I trust the universe and divine order, I know it was the book I needed to birth first. Also, this is a book I could have really done with when I first started my spiritual journey twelve years ago and frankly, one I really needed to re-center this year…
The process of writing this book – with a side of post-partum and while nursing – has been punishing at times. But the book brought me back to myself and my practices. It helped re-align my energy body and re-claim my physical body after having birthed and nursed a human being. I have practiced what I teach, and it works!
Chakras and Self Care provides a straightforward guide to the seven main chakras as well as meditations, visualizations, affirmations, journal prompts, remedies, seasonal rituals and more.
While I doubt it will be winning any prizes, or getting any critical acclaim, my hope and trust is that like so much of what I do, its simplicity will serve as a healing salve to the souls of many who are on their own healing journeys, particularly those who are at the start, and even a useful reminder to those like myself, who are perhaps more seasoned seekers, but need a simple reminder of how to connect back to themselves and life on earth.
I am excited, humbled and grateful to get to share it with the world at large and to finally birth my ‘book baby’.
Cheers to letting go and to dreams coming true, even if they do take decades and countless rejections and ‘failures’.
In the end, trust that we will end up where we are meant to be.