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Deserts to Mountaintops is the inaugural anthology from Soul Speak Press, chronicling 22 women's voices and their unique journey from the desert of self-abandonment to the mountaintop of self-love. Each chapter focuses on one woman’s specific story that recounts how she has reestablished a relationship with her intuition, reconnected with her truest self and experienced the hard-won joy of reclaiming her VOICE.
The inspiration for this collection of essays, stems from the lead author, Jessica Buchanan's, own self-abandonment experience in 2011. Even though her intuition was screaming at her not to go on a project mission for her NGO in Southern Somalia, she ignored what she knew was true and went anyway. The result of silencing her truth, changed the trajectory of her life, and nearly killed her. She spent 93 days living in the deserts of Somalia at the hands of land pirates who held her hostage for a 45-million-dollar ransom demand. She was starved, beaten and abused until by order of President Obama, SEAL Team VI parachuted into the desert on a moonless night, and rescued her. While Jessica's story is wild, her experience and practice of self-abandonment is NOT unique, and in the last ten years of her healing journey, she has learned so much about herself as she has climbed the mountain back to self-love.
Throughout the chapters of Deserts to Mountaintops, readers will connect with these women's experiences as they cover themes such as overcoming abuse, alcoholism, toxic workplaces, single motherhood, mental health, and suicide- just to name a few. These women have struggled to make their voices heard- and reclaimed them in a powerful way.
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FREE Companion Guide
Read along with the Deserts to Mountaintops: Our Collective Journey to (re)Claiming Our Voice with these thought-provoking discussion questions based on each author's story and chapter. Perfect for group discussions or book clubs!
Deserts to Mountaintops: Choosing Our Healing Through Radical Self-Acceptance
While Jessica experienced many opportunities for reflection and self-transformation during her time as a kidnapping victim, one of the most powerful truths she uncovered about herself was her disordered relationship with food. In the months that nourishment was repeatedly withheld as a form of punishment for failed ransom negotiations, Jessica realized she had been holding herself hostage for most of her life—with food. Throughout the course of her captivity, Jessica committed to the journey of examining her pattern of disordered eating and vowed to find a way to set herself free.
Deserts to Mountaintops: Choosing Our Healing Through Radical Self-Acceptance is a collection of nineteen women's voices, born out of Jessica's own struggle to love and accept her body, soul, and mind. Operating under the belief that we cannot heal fully in isolation, she has assembled a group of courageous women to generously share their stories of mental health disorders, chronic illness, disordered eating, sexual identity, and body reclamation. The result is a transformational guidebook for any woman who is committed to exploring self-compassion through the lens of radical self-acceptance.
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Interested in becoming a contributing author for one of the upcoming anthologies? We are taking submissions now!
"I have always taken to writing but never given a real published platform to share. When I learned there was room for my voice in DTM, I grabbed it. I didn’t let my fear and anxiety even let me think twice about not taking the chance, because I knew Jessica was a guide, pillar and visionary. She effortlessly brought a collective of beautiful women together who will be forever connected by this experience, and who are all sharing themselves for their own healing and for that of others.
Jessica guided, encouraged, nurtured and pioneered. I couldn’t have written such rawness if she wasn’t there to hash it out of me. She’s opened up a door for me, and held space, for one of the first times in my life. To manage all these women and give enough of herself to make each feel like they’re in the spotlight has been an incredible experience."