Since the success of Eat, Pray, Love, many people have taken on the challenge of writing about the intimate and profound experience of undergoing a spiritual transformation. Author Michelle Cromer adds her Texas spin to the mix with a deeply moving, at times hilarious, definitely unique journey of her own to try to answer those Big Questions in life: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
Cromer leads us through some powerful and often tragic life experiences, as well as the more fun and magical events that moved her to question her religious beliefs and ideas about God, spirituality and inner wisdom. The result is a page-turning story of a woman who could be any one of us, struggling with relationships and career goals, money and purpose, kids and family, and trying to stay sane in a world that doesn’t always offer much help.
Like many spiritual explorers before her, the author does venture into Native American territory and goes to Tibet, but her levelheaded straightforwardness makes her journey all her own - and we get the blessings in her lessons. It isn’t the usual clichéd midlife crisis run to some exotic locale. Okay, there is some of that, but she really is transformed, and not in the ways most will expect. Some of her most profound “aha” moments come from the normal and mundane, reminding us that change, even spiritual change, can happen at any time.
For those of us who have no clue where to even begin, she offers a wonderful seven-stage roadmap that leads us from the wake-up call all the way to the final destination of coming to understand our spiritual nature. The stages are peppered with sidebars and personal stories that add impact to the more “how to” material, making this a practical book with solid tools that can help anyone move along the rocky path of change.
From the first line in the book, (“I was a weird kid”), Cromer had me laughing - but soon I was in tears, and I devoured the book over the course of two nights, embracing her concepts and her experiences as possibilities for my own spiritual growth. This is a wonderful book, full of big Texas heart and spirit, and a lot of common sense to boot, something often missing from many spiritual journey tales. The author never preaches and always tells it as she sees it, and her honesty as she exposes her own life, both inner and outer, is refreshing and rings emotionally true.
Cromer, who also wrote Exit Strategy: Thinking Outside the Box, now runs an organization called Pink Crosses, and how she came to head up this critically important charity is a great story in itself and a perfect culmination of her journey. But you’ll have to take the whole seven-stage road trip to get to it, and trust me - it’s worth every step.