Published by Broadleaf Books on January 9, 2024
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Devotional
Buy on Amazon
Get ready to heal from your past, get real about the present, and imagine a delicious future by rebuilding a living practice that actually works for you.
So many of us are leaving conservative faith traditions behind, rightly saying goodbye to toxic theology, bigotry, and harm. But in the process, we often lose our rhythm of gathering, prayer, and worship. We may even lose our sense of connection to God. And we think it's our fault. But spiritual coach, speaker, and podcaster Kevin Miguel Garcia is here with a reminder: "We don't need saving because we were never in danger. We don't need to get found because we've never been lost. Everything we need to connect with the Divine is already inside us."
What Makes You Bloom is a guide to creating your new spiritual practice after your life or faith has fallen apart. When going to church, praying, and reading your Bible just doesn't cut it or outright disturbs you, this book will show you how to cultivate new, meaningful spiritual practices--like stillness, presence, breath, and movement--that will help you overcome the pain of your past and root yourself in the present.
Through stories, insights, and guided meditations, Garcia explains how the goal of every spiritual practice should be about the attainment of peace--about finding what truly makes you bloom. Along the way, you will discover that the smallest changes in your life can bring about the biggest transformations, and that a feeling of bliss is only a few breaths away.
What Makes You Bloom is a shocking affront to my conservative evangelical upbringing….and that’s okay. Every time I think I’ve deconstructed to a place of progressivism, I meet someone like Kevin Garcia who reminds me that there is much, much more to explore. It’s a challenging book. Even in places where I’m like “Whoa, hold up, I don’t think I can go that far,” Garcia’s winsomeness and passion at least make me listen to his voice and consider his words.
Look. There are chapters in this book entitled “This shit is fucked up” and “Let that shit go.” If that makes you cringe a bit, this book is for you. If it makes you call it of the devil, then it definitely isn’t. Bloom writes to people who have some Christian faith background but now aren’t sure where they’re at or what they believe—there’s plenty of those people walking around In the introduction, Garcia writes “You are wondering if there’s still a place for you in the family of God…I’m happy to say yes.”
Each chapter of the book is meant to be a one-week journey. Garcia explicitly asks that readers not speed through the book, but take time to truly engage with it and the practices it suggests. Throughout What Makes You Bloom, Garcia interweaves their own personal story to really make this a book of solidarity. Garcia’s not an enlightened guru showing you the one true way; rather, they are simply here to share their experience. If it sounds New Agey, it’s because it is—and Garcia would likely take that as a compliment. Garcia is heavily influenced by Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles, a 1976 text she alleges she received from Jesus himself. So. Yeah.
But for every “How can he believe this?” thought I had, there were ten thoughts of “This captures it perfectly.” Where I believe Garcia errs, he errs wildly and unabashedly on the side of Love. Sometimes discomforting and discomfiting, What Makes You Bloom invites readers to tear down the religious walls they’ve constructed or had constructed for them and instead live a wild, vibrant, faith bathed in Love and Peace. At very least—my strongest takeaway from the book is simply that religious trauma might kill, but that death can lead to the resurrection of something more substantial and real.