In 2010, I joined an Author competition called The Next Top Spiritual Author. The whole idea of a spiritual book competition felt a little uncomfortable to me. After all how could there be competition among people whose goals were to get closer to spirit? Part of the competition involved submitting a book proposal, which I needed to submit to publishers anyway, and the possibility of getting a publishing contract was enticing, so I joined the competition despite my misgivings. In the middle of the competition, my mother passed away and a surprising thing happened. My Next Top Author journey companions were a great support to me during mom’s transition. The connections have stuck. I thought I was entering a book competition but what really was happening on a spirit level was a way for amazing writers around the world to connect and support each other. Some of my author friends have published the book they were promoting in 2010. Some are still in process or have moved on to other projects. I am fortunate to be able to write today about one of the authors I met through the Next Top Author experience —Jacob Nordby and his book The Divine Arsonist.
The Divine Arsonist is the story of a businessman who worked hard to climb the ladder of success only to have something whisper to him that perhaps there was something more to discover. This is his journey of discovery told in a blend of the personal story and fiction. It immediately spoke to me of the question: When do we start dreaming a new dream for ourselves and our world? The old ways are burning us out. That’s where Jacob is at the beginning of his journey. There are so many elements of a shamanic journey, vision quest or hero’s journey from old mythology: meeting spiritual guides, being challenged to endure rites of passage, time in the wilderness, facing the shadow and opening to all the levels of reality beyond our day-to-day “get it done” consciousness. The writing is luscious, descriptive and an easy read. I could have easily read it in one sitting but I forced myself to turn off the light at night and savor it over the course of several bedtime reading sessions. There are beautiful teachings that you want to grab the highlighter to remember.
Jacob’s journey toward finding his light is an invitation or challenge to go on your own journey, to claim your own light. It is a tale that reminds us that life is short and that we are choosing the world we live in right now with each thought and each action we take. It is a story that reminds us that sometimes we have to let go of everything that we think we know to become the person we came to earth to be. Even though I’ve had my own awakening moments, Jacob’s writing made me want to commit to living them on an even deeper level. Isn’t that what we want a spiritual book to do?