Subtitled A Skeptic’s Awakening to the Spiritual Universe, this memoir/map to enlightenment is funny, earthy, and gallops along at a breathless pace. The author claims to have done in 18 months what other revered gurus have spent decades accomplishing: evolve from a fearful, ego-enslaved, perfectionist to a self-accepting, independent, open-hearted citizen of the universe.
The impetus for Julie Rasmussen’s self-examination is a series of panic attacks prior to the break-up of her second marriage. One dose of a pharmacological remedy convinced her she’d rather heal herself holistically. Hypotherapy and self-therapy workbooks, hours on YouTube channels with spiritual teachers such as Wayne Dyer and Eckhard Tolle, a visit to a psychic, and trips to hear live performances by the medium Esther Hicks help her identify the source of her shame and co-dependency. The break-off of a dramatic love affair with a firefighter whom she believes is her Twin Flame, a spiritual connection from a previous life, pushes her the rest of the way to self-acceptance and independence.
Most of Rasmussen’s education in self-love will be familiar to New Age adherents, but she contributes a refreshing, colorful metaphor that’ll be new: “Love is a fire hose…. The fire hose is your alignment to your true self. The hydrant is your true self, connected to infinite Source energy. The planter box is your life.”
The author swears like a sailor. She is honest and relatable. The reader roots for her to find happiness. When she admits that this self-searching is as painful as her first child’s death of SIDS, the depth of her need to heal and the courage required to persevere takes the reader’s breath away. This is an engaging and entertaining narration of one woman saving a life—her own.