Those of you who have been following my blog and reading what I post on Facebook know what a profound influence Tosha Silver has had on my life and my work. The way in which we met was magical. Christiane Northrup and I had been teaching a class to the Whole Health Medicine Institute (we're enrolling WHMI now, in case you feel called to join us!) Christiane insisted that all of us go out right that second and buy Tosha's book Outrageous Openness. I bought it instantly and was halfway through reading it the next day, when I was on a plane to LA to film a documentary, when I got online on the airplane, looked up Tosha's website, realized she lived right across the San Francisco Bay from me, and decided to write her a gushing fan letter. It went something like, "OMG, you don't know who I am, but I'm in love with your book, and I live in San Francisco too, and we should . . . um . . . totally be BFF's!" I signed up for her newsletter list because I knew that whatever Tosha was drinking, I wanted a Big Gulp of it.
Once upon a time, I had the crazy thought that I had to save the world single-handedly. I won’t bother to list the number of ways this thought was misguided. Wait. Strike that. I’ll list a few ways in which I might have been totally off base.
What if it’s only my ego yearning to feel worthy that drives me to feel like it’s my responsibility to save the world?
What if I’m just judging the world as wrong, when on some cosmic level, it is perfect the way it is?
What if it’s impossible for any one person to save the world—yet paradoxically, it’s also the only way the world can be changed?
What if Margaret Mead was right when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has?”
What if it really takes a village to create a movement—and movements are what we need to really shift consciousness and lead to genuine change?
What if we can’t really change the world from the same egoic consciousness that created the problems in the first place? What if global transformation is only possible with a radical shift in human consciousness?
Certainly, you can make an argument that there are many things in the world in need of changing, but if you dive into the non-dual teachings of the spiritual realm, you can also make a case for how everything that is falling apart has cosmic significance, how as a species, perhaps we have chosen to journey this far into the disruption of Oneness, this far away from Love Itself, just so we can choose as a collective to participate in a revolution of love. (Listen to Charles Eisenstein and I explore this issue in a free teleclass The Revolution Is Love).
Perhaps Love Itself is yearning to reclaim its role as the central operating principle of our lives, and when we let it, it leaps us into inspired actions that change the world.
I travel a lot, and I meet the most well-intentioned, beautiful beings who are fighting against the injustices of the world. They stand for ending sexual violence against women, the destruction of Gaia, climate change, social inequality, and any number of other very good causes. I appreciate that these people are DOING something to heal the world. Their passion seems admirable and their commitment and self-sacrifice command respect.
Yet, I find something about the energy of some forms of activism weighing heavy on my heart.
We’ve all met the angry feminists that lash out at men, the rainforest activists who judge those who drill in the Amazon, and the Occupy activists who hate the 1%. But how can we possibly co-create a more beautiful world if we’re coming from the energy of judgment and hate? As one of my spiritual teachers said, (forgive her language), "Fighting for peace is like f*cking for virginity."
When I was in Australia speaking at the Uplift Festival in December, 70 spiritual self-help leaders, elders from the indigenous tribes of five different nations, and change-the-world activists spent a week before the festival participating in an ongoing conversation about the intersection of spirituality and activism. How do we marry the principles of "Being" that we learn through our spiritual practices with the practices of "Doing" embodied by many activists on the front lines of global change? Are we better off sitting on our meditation pillows, raising the vibration of the planet and emitting frequencies of love into the world? Or do we need to get off our pillows and go DO something? Is there a way to be even more effective by merging the two?
So . . . (cue the unofficial theme song of this book, Sara Bareilles “Brave”) my new book The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind, & Soul comes out today! You can find out more about the book at TheFearCureBook.com. This website also includes a special gift I created for you—the "Prescription for Courage Kit," which includes 5 guided meditations I recorded with my musician friend Karen Drucker—one meditation about getting in touch with the voice of your Inner Pilot Light, one about dealing with uncertainty, one about moving beyond fear of loss, one about how it's a friendly universe, and one about Oneness.
The Prescription for Courage Kit includes almost two hours of guided meditation—as a gift and celebration of today's launch of The Fear Cure. Karen and I had so much fun recording these meditations. The field in the studio was palpable. You could actually feel a pulse in the room, like angels were there with us, helping us serve you. I can't claim credit for any healing, calming goodness you might find in these meditations. I feel like Karen and I just got used as instruments of service, and something Larger Than Me came through us and landed in these meditation mp3's. I hope they help fear cure YOU and bring you peace.
When I returned from Albany, New York, where I was filming the PBS special for The Fear Cure, I came home to galley copies of my new book The Fear Cure! The gestation process of birthing a book is a slow one, much slower than birthing a human. So it’s always exciting when you get closer to meeting your book baby. But it also feels quite vulnerable to the ego. Mine prattles on with thoughts like “Will anyone like my book? Did I go too far over the edge into the spiritual realm with this book? Who am I to be writing a book about fear?”
Of course, if you’re crazy enough to try to write a book about fear, all your fears will come rearing up too! As I held the book galleys in my hand, I could feel the edge of that fear, but I was able to use my spiritual practices to bring me back to peace and trust in the Divine much more quickly than I once could, and that’s what I hope this book will do for those who read it. When I tune into my Inner Pilot Light, I know that this book will have its own journey in the world. I trust that whatever is in the highest good will come into being, and I don’t have to worry or grasp or control the process. It’s safe to let go and let God. The perfect outcome for my book baby is already chosen and I can just surrender into the flow of it.
As Joyce Carol Oates so eloquently said, “I never understand when people make a fuss over me as a writer. I'm just the garden hose that the water sprays through.”
That sums up how I feel about this book. Tosha Silver reminds me often to banish the word “my” from my vocabulary. This isn’t “my” book. It’s God’s book, and I choose to let God bring this book into the world however God pleases.
That said, surrendering something like a book into the hands of the Divine isn’t about passivity. Sometimes the Divine fills us with shakti, and the shakti courses through us until we leap out of the chair to take inspired action. And that’s what got me to my computer to write this, because I realized YOU CAN HELP bring this book into the world! I have two requests, in case it feels yummy to help spread this message. But first, let me tell you a little about the book.