Excerpt: “Where Am I Going?” by Michelle Cromer

Today please help me welcome former ad exec and Tarcher nonfiction author Michelle Cromer.  Today Michelle is sharing one of her favorite excerpts from her latest (Balboa Press/Hay House) release about The Age of Meaning.

Michelle Cromer is the author of “Exit Strategy” and a children’s book. She conducts workshops in which participants learn how to tap into a deep well of spirituality, serenity, and purpose. A woman of contradictions, Michelle believes that spirituality and capitalism can co-exist, that you have to sit still to get somewhere, and that – despite her best efforts – there are some questions for which the answers only come when you stop asking. .  She lives with her family in El Paso, where her nonprofit works to bring justice for the missing and murdered in Juarez.

Part travel guide, part memoir, Where Am I Going? Moving From Religious Tourist to Spiritual Explorer takes the reader on a journey to finding this meaning in the same way that Michelle Cromer did for herself, through seven stages that connect each of us to the deepest part of our souls. This inspiring story of Michelle’s own quest for meaning in her life is a welcome departure from the typical preachy self-help book. Always spiritual, sometimes dangerous, often exotic, her search–as told by this funny, complex woman is a powerful lesson for anyone who also finally asks the Big Questions and begins their own spiritual journey and quest for purpose.

 Excerpt from

Where Am I Going?  Moving From Religious Tourist to Spiritual Explorer

Turn on your TV on any Sunday morning and listen to some of the sermons launched from “pop Christianity” pulpits across the United States. According to these preachers, all we need to do is pray for what we want—to have faith—and all of our prayers will be answered when we want them, how we want them, and where we want them. Put your dollar in the slot, push a button, and wait for the answer to your prayers to roll down the chute.

Such preachers don’t corner the market on entitlement. The New Age movement, with its “law of attraction,” is yet another way of treating the universe like a cosmic Coke machine. The law of attraction tells us that if we simply think hard enough about it, “the universe,” aka God (by whatever name), will bring us health, wealth, success, and love. The law of attraction argues that thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) can affect things outside of the mind. Essentially, if you really want something and truly believe it’s possible, you’ll get it. (So . . . we’ll all win the lottery.) But be careful; according to the law, putting a lot of attention and thought into something you don’t really want means that you’ll probably get that too. So stop worrying about that piano falling out of the sky . . . because it will.

All of these people who preach entitlement are under the vulnerable and dangerous illusion that you can manipulate reason and, by extension, God. In an attempt to make sense of our complicated lives, we desperately try to make sense of what happens. So we take a law of science and manipulate it to fit our beliefs and superstitions. But why? Did I miss something? Why would anyone assume any of those things about God? Just because we have found a way to light a match doesn’t mean we can see through all of the darkness. Why pretend that we can?

Life may be easier to deal with if we believe that there is a reason why bad things happen, but this expectation is also a recipe for potential disaster. Those who seek this easy way out may find themselves confronted with greater despair and sorrow when their illusions crumble. Surviving pain and disappointment in life will require more than just letting go of the consoling belief that the universe is a reasonable place; it will require that we create a new and meaningful life. As we surrender our overreliance on the world of reason and its false security blanket, we emerge understanding that all the things we pretended to know never did satisfy our thirst for understanding the world around us.

But what will guide us though the rough waters of life? How will we make it through the unprecedented transition from having it all mapped out for us to starting over completely?

If God isn’t a cosmic Coke machine, and we kick reason to the curb, what’s left?

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  1. Some years ago, the State of Montana placed small white crosses along roads wherever there was a fatal accident. It served as a reminder to drive safely.

    Perhaps Michelle and/or the city fathers of Juarez should put up Pink Crosses wherever a woman was murdered, abducted or last seen. This would serve as an ever-present reminder that while the crosses are there, the problem still hasn’t been solved.

    We know from experience that expecting the universe to act as a “Cosmic Coke Machine” to bring those women back to us just isn’t going to do the job.

  2. Pink Crosses is the nonprofit. An extremely important message which resounds with me. Many thanks for this post and your thoughts.

  3. a wonderful posting…thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. This book looks fascinating would love to read it! Her nonprofit is called “Pink Crosses” 🙂

  5. I’ve spent time when raised Catholic wondering if God would think I’m worth it and also have spent time in the laws of attraction world policing my thoughts. Both left me pretty empty. This book sounds like it might offer a gentler approach to knowing God.

  6. I already love this book. Thank you for sharing this excerpt. My birthday is this weekend (October 1st) so a free copy would be a fantastic birthday gift!
    The name of the nonprofit is Pink Crosses.

  7. This looks like a fascinating book. The nonprofit is called Pink Crosses.

  8. The nonprofit is Pink Crosses. I hear amazing things, I cannot wait to read this book!

  9. What an intriguing excerpt and a wonderful cause. Pink Crosses seems to be a great way to help grieving families. Thank you for the oportunity to learn more about this woman.

  10. When I sought to read this book, I never made the connection between the author and Pink Crosses, the organization that helps to bring some semblance of solace to the families of the murder victims (mostly women) in Juarez, and an organization that helps to draw attention to this heinous situation.

    Now, I’m even more excited to read this book!

  11. Sounds like a book that everyone could benefit from.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Pink Crosses is the name of the non-profit the author started.

  12. Pink Crosses is the name of the non-profit. So cool that this giveaway is on this blog! I entered to win this book on GoodReads but wasn’t chosen. Maybe I’ll be luckier this time around!

  13. I am intrigued by the descriptions of the book I have read both here and at GoodReads. I am very interested in both spirituality and activism. The name of Michelle Cromer’s non-profit organization is Pink Crosses.

  14. The nonprofit is Pink Crosses.

  15. The nonprofit that the author started is called Pink Crosses.
    I am subscribed to this blog.
    The book sounds really interesting. Thank you so much for the chance! 🙂

  16. The non-profit is Pink Crosses. I’m actually surprised; I woke up wide awake and received a message that this would be the last day to comment for a chance to win this book. Another sign that this is something I need for my life. For if I hadn’t woken up, I would have been too late. Thank you for the chance to read it and for the chance at a new life after I read it.

  17. The non-profit is Pink Crosses and I must add that because Michelle Cromer is new to me, after I saw her book on another site, I did have to Google this answer…didn’t feel it fair to answer without searching and reading the “about” on her website before entering here. Thank you, Stephanie and Michelle Cromer, for this opportunity. Regarding this book I’ll just say without getting too personal, that I am a single mom of two girls in complete spiritual/religious/life/confused/lost limbo so most definitely this book sounded amazing from the first time I saw it on GoodReads….It would be great to win, but I see it as a must read either won or purchased….so good luck to all and enjoy!! 🙂

  18. The nonprofit organization is called Pink Crosses. Would love to read this book, thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Pink Crosses is the name of the nonprofit organization. Religion/Spirituality, different or the same? Isn’t it all open to interpretation? The Universe is one, and all in it create its essence/energy. Live in the moment and try not to harp/worry about things we have no control over. Enjoy the journey on the path you subconsciously selected. Where Am I Going? seems to be an insightful look into one’s own journey of growth and self discovery. Would love to win this giveaway! I will win this giveaway!

  20. The name of her non-profit is Pink Crosses.

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