July 18th, 2024

Local author pens book on spiritual personal development

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on April 3, 2024.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan Author Cat Charissage, displaying her own cover art, has penned her first novel "Wildflower Seeds: the Beauties of a Reflective Life," which she calls a spiritual personal development novel.

Contemplative writer, artist, and educator Cat Charissage has published her first novel, “Wildflower Seeds: the Beauties of a Reflective Life.”

“It basically holds the wisdom of what I have learned experientially, throughout my entire adult life, which is really good. And the subtitle is called the beauties of a reflective life. And what I mean by that is that I’m trying to explain how and why having an inner life is a political act,” said Charissage of her book which she calls a spiritual personal development novel.

The book is all about how all of us would benefit from a minimum 20-minute a day habit of either rest, reflection, nurturing creativity, basically getting away and unplugging from the forces around us that are always making a scattered, said Charissage.

Charissage said her novel offers inspiration for approximately 100 different practices of self-meditation along with a description of five different categories such as word, image, dream and story, silence, and embodiment.

Charissage said in her book there is a section where she talks more about imagery, referring to her own experience living in Toronto. At the time she would take the bus and noticed women on the bus.

“I began really noticing that the pictures that we were fed in advertising had very little overlap with the women that I saw every day on the buses going to work…

“I always felt like kind of disheveled and shabby and overweight, and not at all like the model on the Lancome cosmetics or anything like that.”

“And when I started seeing these women on the buses and subways…They wore their emotions on their face in their bodies. And I began realizing that, wait a minute, this is what real life is like, not the advertising.

“And then I began to analyze, well, it’s because they want you to buy a product. But also they think that the way that to get you to buy a product is to become a stereotypical idea of what the male gaze wants, like, what is considered sexy at this time in history and in this culture,” said Charissage.

She created the front cover art of the novel herself. She said another topic her book discusses is the understanding of body and belief.

“I talk about things like, how were you taught to think about your body? Who told you about things like menstruation? Who told you about sexuality and how sexuality is supposed to be contained in your life? Is that something you agree with or not?”

“Wildflower Seeds” can be purchased locally at Analog Books or through Amazon.

Charissage said her novel being spiritual comes from a place of non-denomination or non-faith orientation.

“The book is written from kind of a tone of non-denominational and non-faith oriented. I talk a little bit about God language and why I don’t use it because I want people who have needed to get away from that whole sector of life, to still be able to find an inner life and richness.”

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