In 2017, Anne Bokma embarked on a quest to become a more spiritual person. After leaving the fundamentalist religion of her youth, she became one of the eighty million North Americans who consider themselves spiritual-but-not-religious, the fastest growing “faith” category.
In mid-life she found herself addicted to busyness, drinking too much, hooked on social media, dreading the empty nest and still struggling with alienation from her ultra-religious family. In response, she set out on a year-long whirlwind adventure to immerse herself in a variety of sacred practices—each of which proved to be illuminating in unexpected ways—to try to develop her own definition of what it means to be spiritual.
In My Year of Living Spiritually, Bokma documents a diverse range of soulful first-person experiences—from taking a dip in Thoreau’s Walden Pond, to trying magic mushrooms for the first time, booking herself into a remote treehouse as an experiment in solitude, singing in a deathbed choir and enrolling in a week-long witch camp—in an entertaining and enlightening way that will compel readers (non-believers and believers alike) to try a few spiritual practices of their own. Along the way, she reconsiders key relationships in her life and begins to experience the greater depth of meaning, connection, gratitude, simplicity and inner peace that we all long for. Readers will find it an inspiring roadmap for their own spiritual journeys.
"Bokma invites us along on her yearlong quest for truth, beauty and joy. Reading this book was like watching a flower opening. I learned from her journey."
“What begins as a light-hearted quest becomes a tenderly beautiful and insightful search for connection in a fractured world."
"For everyone who has ever wanted to explore the many avenues to spirituality, Anne Bokma leads the way with empathy, wisdom, and an open heart and mind."
"Perceptive, clever, and honest, this is a book for the time, and bridges the gap between faith and doubt, religion and secularism. A welcome addition to the contemporary discussion around spirituality."
"...more wonderful than woo woo, you won’t want to put it down. A moving and inspiring read!”
"My Year of Living Spiritually is an engaging, entertaining, well-researched romp through the many variations of non-religious spiritual practice. Anyone who's curious about this growing trend in the Zeitgeist will find food for thought and a wealth of information here, along with Bokma's own intriguing story."
"...a brave work that points to life’s inherent value, and our calling to connect with ourselves, each other and the world around us.”
"If you liked Eat, Pray, Love, you will go wild for My Year of Living Spiritually. Bokma’s adventures...will leave you enriched, enlightened and invigorated!"
“Anne Bokma’s tour through the garden of spiritual delights is earthy and entertaining, grounded and informative….It’s all about the journey, and it’s all good.”
"Grounded in a serious story of love and estrangement, My Year of Living Spiritually is compulsively readable, a gregarious account of one woman’s search for meaning."
“…fearless and honest, never settling for easy answers. Bokma gives us a model for how to seek a more authentic and grounded spiritual life with curiosity, openness, and passion.”
"…a candid, fearless odyssey of the heart and soul.”
“...poignant and compelling.” - Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator, October 2019
"If seeking and questioning draws the soul to maturity, then we should all embark on the type of illuminating, and at times hilarious, journey that Bokma writes about so sensitively and honestly."
"Reading this book is a spiritual journey in itself...full of knowing laughs, tears, 'aha' moments and an invitation to a life more truly and deeply lived."