If you’re on the spiritual path, you know that this intense journey through the veils of the ego into the essence of the Divine within you is not for the faint of heart. If you have a spiritual teacher, mentor, or therapist, your spiritual guide will probably dole out one blow to your ego after another, and it can be hard on the human to endure these blows. If you don’t have a guide, if Life is your teacher, then your circumstances are probably bringing you face to face with all the ways you’re consciously or unconsciously harming yourself and others. What is revealed can sting. It’s not easy to have the courage to stick with it.
As I wrote about here, I’ve always found myself with at least some resistance to spirituality, even as I’m simultaneously drawn to all things spiritual. I feel better after I meditate, but getting me to sit down crossed-legged in front of my altar is like pulling wisdom teeth. I love going to dharma talks at Green Gulch Zen Center, but as much as I resonate with the Buddhists, they just feel so… zen. I find myself wanting to wear a red dress and burst into song in the middle of a group meditation. As much as Jesus is my favorite, I find myself strangely drawn to Hindu goddesses like Kali.
It’s been this awkward push-pull for much of my adult life.
But I finally found a spiritual teacher who helped me understand my mixed feelings about spirituality - and the great news is that she has a new book out!
INTRODUCING SERA BEAK’S RED, HOT, & HOLY!
If you don't know Sera, she's a Harvard religion scholar who is fascinated by the Divine Feminine, and in case that sounds too dry, she's also a sacred prostitute (you'll have to read the book to understand what I'm talking about!) Sera is committed not just to the high-and-mighty masculine realms of conventional spiritual practices, but to the dark-and-dirty, red wine stained, blood RED realms of deep, rich, earthy feminine soul work. In other words, Sera is all about helping people reach the Divine via the wisdom, intuition, bad-ass truth, and sexy sauciness of the feminine that exists within us all, regardless of gender.
I absolutely adore this book. I mean I gobbled it up in 2 days right before filming my public television special, when I REALLY should have been rehearsing my lines. It was that good.
I won’t spoil any of the juicy parts (and oh boy, this memoir of Sera’s love story with all things Divine is HOT HOT HOT), but let me share with you one of my favorite parts.
In part 1 of this 5 part blog series about a feminine way to manifest your dreams, I wrote about a more feminine, “eggy” way to operate when you’re trying to bring into form something you desire, such as a business, a book, an art project, or a vision. While the masculine “spermy” approach requires pushing and striving, usually to the point of exhaustion, the feminine “eggy” approach requires setting clear intentions, making your desires known, and then trusting that, when your desires are in alignment with the highest good, the Universe will rush to your aid and send an army of dutiful little sperm your way in order to help you bring your desires into being.
All Desires Aren’t Created Equal
Now mind you, this approach is not to be confused with popular “law of attraction” notions put forth in The Secret and such. I’m not suggesting that all you need to do in order to make a Ferrari appear before you like magic is to imagine the Ferrari and then wait for the Universe to plop one in front of you.
Sure, the masculine approach still works if what you desire is a Ferrari. You can work your ass off, earn hundreds of thousands of dollars (or however much you’ll need - I don’t keep tabs on how much your average Ferrari costs these days), and go buy yourself a well-earned Ferrari. But the Universe is less likely to join in on the fun, unless you intend to use that Ferrari as part of a campaign to end world hunger or cure AIDS or convert neo-Nazis into open-hearted lovebugs, in which case, hell - you’ll probably get a dozen Ferrraris plopped in front of you.
As my friend and business partner in the Find Your Calling program Martha Beck teaches in her book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, a more effective way to bring a dream into form is to feel for what wants to happen in the collective consciousness, in service to the highest good, then surrender any attachment to it while moving faithfully in the direction of your joy.
In other words, the feminine way of operating is unlikely to succeed if what you desire is purely materialistic, focused solely on your personal gain, or attached to desires like fame, power, or adulation. Not to say there’s anything wrong with desiring those things - there’s not. But when you move in the direction of the highest good for all, while following your joy and trusting completely in the Universe’s desire to help you achieve those desires, you’d be surprised how many material rewards and personal gains come flooding your way.
I had no idea why I signed up for the workshop with Sera Beak, author of The Red Book, other than the fact that I’d had dinner with her, along with sisters Leslie and Kris Carr a year and a half ago. The minute I met her, I knew Sera would become one of my spiritual teachers.
What I didn’t realize is that Sera was about to give language to an inner struggle that has plagued me on my spiritual path, one I’ve never fully understood or been able to explain.
Over the past six years, ever since my Perfect Storm cracked me wide open, I’ve been waking up from my disconnected complacency and walking a spiritual path that has brought me increasingly closer to the Divine. In many ways, this has been the biggest blessing of my life. I have felt divinely led, felt the peace and serenity of a personal relationship with a spiritual presence, learned to trust that the Universe has got my back, and become brave enough to take big, scary leaps of faith, knowing I will always land butter side up.
In other ways, stepping onto the spiritual path has been the biggest ass-kicking of my life. Waking up is not for the faint of heart.