After the birth of her first child, a lawyer goes on a spiritual quest to “believe in something bigger than myself.”
Until she had her daughter, Kumar, a former legal executive for Google and Warby Parker, was skeptical about religion. She had been raised by practicing Jainists and had attended Catholic school as a young girl. But motherhood changed her. As a parent, she wanted a “spiritual home” where she and her daughter could comfortably live. So Kumar dedicated one year—and after that, an indefinite period of time—to exploring spiritual practices around the world. Her quest took her to Brazil, where she met with John of God, a man who claimed an ability to channel saints, doctors, and scientists and who had earned Oprah Winfrey’s admiration. Later, she traveled to Peru to find a shaman who could offer her a “direct route to God” through ayahuasca. Other trips took her to India, Mexico, and Japan, where she sought out healers, spiritualists, and psychics. Closer to home, she visited SoulCycle, a gym that offered spin classes infused with “a heavy dose of positive thinking set to very loud dance music”; a tequila-drinking “dirty” medium who gave her messages from dead relatives; and the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. Kumar also explored the Wiccan religion and befriended several practicing witches. While its respect for women and nature resonated deeply with her, she soon saw that Wicca lacked the omnipotent dread-banishing deity that she also desired. The revelations Kumar experienced ultimately did not change her life, yet each experience helped her understand that the secret to any form of spirituality lay in the “magic” of ritual, belief, and hope it offered people. Candid and entertaining, the book suggests that finding insight into bigger questions about the meaning of life is far less important than knowing all people are united in their desires for health, happiness, and love.
A pleasantly thought-provoking memoir.