I believe the world will change only when we change ourselves. And that starts with finding ourselves. And that starts with listening to ourselves, learning to quiet the clamour in our minds and the voices of everyone around us and moving towards what feels right.
It means taking a spectacular and terrifying and ultimately mind-blowing adventure.
I could’ve written those words myself. That’s how closely I identify with them. I’m living them. Everything I believe to be true is summed up in the blurb to Kelly Cutrone’s If You Have To Cry Go Outside. That’s why it breaks my heart that from the cover you’d presume it to be teen-girl wanky shite. Marketing fail, HarperCollins. Her words are my gold dust.
(Unless my version of gold dust is teen-girl wanky shite. In which case, wow. That’s a paradigm shift in the way I see myself in the relation to my entire world, ever. No big deal.)
I’ve had a surprising foray into my made-up version of spiritualism. I wasn’t actively looking for answers, or questions, and yet here I am, knee-deep in blog posts about my higher purpose and angels, and following my heart and heeding the omens and then whaddaya know? At the next most convenient moment of confusion the universe hands me yet another sign that I’m doing okay and I know the only reason that I’m able to be smart enough to appreciate the karmic coaching is because I’ve learnt the necessary lessons that mean I know when to shut up and pay fucking attention.
Also: what’s with all the swearing today? Sorry, mum.
Remember my email friend who asks all the difficult questions? This time he asked me about religion. Well, he actually asked me about it in the email before that, and I strategically ignored him because my religion is based on seven time-zones of simultaneous being and the notion that one day we’ll all explode into magic pink powder if only we want it hard enough. I understand that not everyone is along with me on that.
After his gentle persuasion I told him about my angel theory, and ended up referencing Alain De Botton and his ideas about meditation, or prayer, or continued reflection of our ‘religion’ i.e. that we can’t just learn lessons. (RELATED: WANKY MC WANKERSON MUCH? ALAIN DE SODDING BOTTON?) We have to learn them, he says, and then reflect on them every single day lest we trip up and have to start from zero because we forget what happens when we get drunk with cute boys when we have declared celibacy for a year and NO! STOP IT, WILLPOWER! PAY ATTENTION!
It’s interesting to me, then, that on the day I put all my thoughts about my own personal version of religion down on virtual paper was also the day I re-read Cutrone’s book, since that was a day I was particularly struggling with the whole notion of okay, I decided to do making myself a famous author in London and now I am sat in the apartment I can’t afford to leave because I’m not a PAID author. Yet.
That can freak a girl out, the living off twenty quid a week thing.
Anyway, Cutrone goes into some depth about her own spirituality, and how she follows the teachings of The Mother. In passing, the book mentions how The Mother reached enlightenment at an ashram in India. In Pondicherry, to be exact. Now, I don’t know how I missed this the first time I read the book many years ago, but as soon as Cutrone wrote Pondicherry my brain started doing major dot connecting.
It was right before my 21st birthday when I was in Pondicherry. I was all over India, actually, feeling sad and despondent and unsure about, well. Unsure about everything a 21-year-old is supposed to be unsure about. Mainly I couldn’t shake this feeling that I wasn’t being true to myself, that there was something I was missing. It was of great relief when I found myself in an ashram- only for the one night, I’m aware that this isn’t Eat, Pray, Love- in the south east. I still have my diary from that trip. The night I was in that ashram I swear to freaking BUDDHA that I wrote, I want to learn how to write. I’m going to go to university to learn. 6 months later I started a blog, and within the year was a creative writing student.
FIVE YEARS LATER AND I'M TRYING TO SELL A BOOK.
FIVE YEARS LATER AND I'M TRYING TO SELL A BOOK.
I was surprised by about ZERO when a bit of research concluded what I must've known all along: the ashram I stayed in when I decided I wanted to be a writer was The Mother's ashram. I first discovered The Mother in a dark moment when I needed A Life Plan, and right when I needed her again I got her reassurance through the wanky-teen-shite-looking book when Kelly Cutrone reminded me of her teachings.
I was supposed to rediscover her wisdom this week, when I needed it.
I know it’s totally bonkers, but sod it. If the Divine Mother is with me on this one I’m gonna have to believe I’m on the right path. Right? Or did I just write 900 words that culminated with the idea that a lady known as The Mother will save me from myself and my life as I know it?
Don't answer that.