The Magical Book That Changed My Life

Ok, when we left off my hot naturopath doctor told me I should poop into a vial the size of a postage stamp, and quit drinking. (Is it bad that I was more upset about the quitting drinking part?) He also suggested a few other crazy things like going on the Paleo diet and quitting my job!

All of this was just too much for me, so I did what any self-respecting city girl would do when told to give up her fabulous life. I laid on the floor and cried like a wee babe.

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“Why is this happening to me?” I scream-cried at the ceiling. “Why can’t I have cocktails and gluten like everyone else? Why am I always sick? Why can’t I just be like the girls on Sex and the City?”

More tears.

Small break to eat a sandwich.

Then some chocolate cake. (Clearly, I wasn’t ready to embrace this new diet quite yet.)

Back to the floor.

Now, it should be said at this time that I have an awesome husband who has an awesome new age mom. To protect her identity I will just call her Shmanita. I wasn’t into new age stuff at this time, but Shmanita and I still got along really well, mostly because she’s awesome, but also because she’s the type of person who makes at least three desserts whenever she has you over for dinner. She’s also the type of person who, if you compliment or show the least bit of interest in any object in her home, will immediately give it to you. Here’s a picture of some of the items I’ve complimented at Shmanita’s that are now mine:


In addition to glass tchotchkes and healing crystals, Shmanita also has lots of new age books lying around. The thing about new age books is they make a lot of extravagant claims. In just one short stroll around Shmanita’s living room you could be called to “reveal your past lives,” “manifest your every desire,” or “talk with your angels.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to learn how to do any of these things? Even if you don’t believe in angels or past lives it’s at least worth taking a quick peak at the back cover. So I was always picking up these new age books and Shmanita was always giving them to me. Then I would promptly go home and shove them under my bed.

I had quite a collection going by the time I was laying on the floor of my bedroom, crying like a wee babe that day, and when I rolled over to shovel more cake into my mouth, one of these books caught my eye. It was called, The Life You Were Born to Live, a guide to finding your life purpose, by Dan Millman.


As I looked over at it, something strange happened. I had this strong feeling like I needed to read it, kind of like that moment in Star Wars when the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to Luke and is all, “Luke, take this light saber and use it to free the Ewoks and destroy the Enterprise!” (Or something like that. I haven’t seen Star Wars in a long time.) Anyway, I shoved the rest of my chocolate cake in my mouth and got to reading.

And what I read BLEW MY FRICKIN’ MIND!

Now at this time the closest I would really get to woo woo stuff was reading my horoscope in Cosmo Bedside Astrologer, not because I believed horoscopes were real but because I’m really self-involved and will read anything that’s even remotely about myself, even it it’s fake. Plus, Cosmo Bedside Astrologer was always saying things like, “You will soon fall for a mysterious stranger.” Of course that mysterious stranger never showed and I ended up marrying a man who was the exact opposite of a mysterious stranger. In fact, I have known my husband since I was twelve years old, making him neither mysterious or a stranger.

This ended up working out amazingly well for me, but still it goes to show, Cosmo was wrong.

I found out very quickly this magical book was nothing like Cosmo Bedside Astrologer. In fact, it was totally legit. Of course, it’s not going to sound legit when I tell you that to find out your life purpose you simply have to add up the numbers of your birth date, but whatever. Just try to keep an open mind. And when I say open your mind I mean, just take what I say as truth because I’m about to sound like a crazy person.

So, according to this book we’ve all come to earth for a reason, basically to like learn some spiritual lessons, and heal and grow and stuff. This was a new concept for me and I didn’t accept it right away. Still, this book seemed to know all about me. Really personal details, from my gastrointestinal problems to my insomnia. It also said I would suffer from mysterious diseases, that I was overly sensitive, bossy, self-centered, and that I couldn’t tolerate drugs or alcohol and should avoid them at all costs. Something I’d suspected the last time I got really drunk and took my top off at a party. (We’ll talk about addictive and abusive behaviors in future posts. Pinky promise!)

You can probably see why my mind was blown at this point. How would this book know I was bossy and had diarrhea all the time? How would it know that when I drank too much I had a tendency to disrobe in public? Cosmo Bedside Astrologer was never like. “Yup, you’re going to have pretty bad diarrhea again today. This is because you’re stuffing your feelings AS USUAL. Also you’re allergic to gluten…and alcohol. Stop eating cake and drinking, you masochist!”

But this book, said all that. I mean not in so many words. But close.

Basically the gist of it was this. My mysterious illnesses, fatigue, control issues, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and chronic gastrointestinal problems were all related to blocked creative energy. Why was my creative energy blocked? Because, according to this book, I was creatively paralyzing myself by worrying too much about what other people thought. My health problems were just a symbolic symptom of the state of my soul, whose creative expression was being throttled by my own neurotic fears. If I wanted to heal I needed to cast aside my inhibitions and create something (and also stop eating cake).

Hmm, I thought. Would it really hurt to adopt a healthy lifestyle and do something creative? There was this novel I wanted to write about psychic spies who can enter people’s dreams. Is it possible that if I wrote this novel and did some of the other suggestions in this book I could heal myself?

“No!” said another voice in my head. “What kind of f-ed up world is this where if you don’t write a novel you get diarrhea and become an alcoholic? That’s crazy. No one’s ever healed themselves by writing a novel about psychic spies who can enter people’s dreams. No one!”

This GuyI sighed and reviewed my options, I had two choices. I could continue doing what I was doing. Working hard, playing hard, self-medicating with chocolate cake and wine and crying on my bedroom floor in between trips to the bathroom, or I could do something I’d never done before: blindly follow the advice of a book written by someone I’d never heard of, without doing any further investigation, or getting a second opinion, besides that of the little Obi-Wan in my head.

Guess which one I chose to do?

 (If you’re interested in seeing what your life path is according to this book click here and type in your birthdate for a mini-reading. If what you read resonates with you, you can get the book here to find out more. Just make sure to buy a hard copy because there’s a lot of flipping back and forth.)

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      • your husband says

        and star trek. get ready for hours of SciFi movie enjoyment! Tonight – Empire Strikes Back and Wrath of Khan.

          • Jaunty Joker says

            First: CONGRATS on the blog! awesome awesome!

            Second: Your view of Shmanita’s “new age philosophy” is sweet and novel and is totally expected from someone who didn’t grow up under her “regime” of freakishness (I do love her, of course)…

            Third: Please confine your Star Wars viewings to the middle trilogy (“Classic” Star Wars) and the last 20 minutes of Ep. 3 (the Lava Fight is pretty awesome — but turn it off before the insane Frankenstein-like reveal of Darth Vader – oy.)

            Aaaaand finally: I cannot recommend that you check out Janice Ray (Bay Area local and LONG time friend) twitter: @roundthetable blog: (this is a good post to start with)

            xxxooo THE Jaunty Joker

          • Abbey says

            First: Thank you, Mr. Jaunty. Although to protect your identity I will call you Shmaunty.

            Second: Yes, Shmanita continues to charm me, and not just with her new age philosophy and multiple desserts (although they help).

            Third: As far as Star Wars, I definitely need a refresher course. I really ruffled Smosh’s feathers with that misinformed Ewoks reference. Maybe tonight I’ll casually throw out your line about the lava fight being awesome to try and redeem myself.

            Aaaaand finally: This Janice Ray is awesome. So nice to know I’m not the only one out there struggling with health issues, the Paleo diet, and spaghetti squash. Will definitely add her to my feed.

            Looking forward to having Schmout and her man here in a few weeks!! XOXO

    • Abbey says

      Thank you, Alex. Shmanita is the BEST! And if it weren’t for her generosity I could possibly still be on my floor eating chocolate cake right now. Although, come to think of it, that doesn’t sound all that bad. ;)

  1. says

    This is one of my favorite, favorite books! I’ve been reading Dan Millman’s books since the early 90′s… I read Way of the Peaceful Warrior in high school and was hooked, and even had the opportunity of working with Dan (as well as Shakti Gawain, SARK, and many others) while I was an Events Coordinator at the Learning Annex way back in ’99!

    I’m a 30/3 which makes RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF SENSE given I provide emotional support to creative entrepreneurs (aka I’m a Doula for Hatching Big Ideas)!. Love that this book spoke to you so much, too, Abbey!

    p.s. Rachael Webb mentioned your name this morning, which landed me back on your site to see what you’re up to (which also will explain my Facebook post like-fest ;). So awesome to see how far this has come since we chatted at Jay’s party a year ago!

    • Abbey says

      Wow, Willo! So nice to know that this book is one of your favorites too. That must have been awesome working with Dan Millman, SARK and Shakti Gawain! I’m actually writing a book that was somewhat inspired by “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” and “The Celestine Prophecy.” It came from a desire for more fiction in the spirituality, personal development world. I read those two books and wanted more but beyond Paulo Coelho, there wasn’t that much more. Certainly not anything by or for women in the fiction arena. Anyway, so glad Rachael mentioned me and you ended up on my site this morning!

  2. says

    Awesome! I found your site because a crazy “spiritual girl” friend of mine shared your video on Facebook. And I, of course, shared it as well!

    I always love to hear how people “start” their spiritual journey. I’ve read Dan Millman’s book, and even have a signed copy of Way of the Peaceful Warrior which he signed for me at an event in 2009.

    Loving your blog and absolutely loved your video! Please, please more, please!

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