by Rebecca Antsis
There are two types of books in the New Age literary genre: those that speak down to you from high on the mountain, and those that make the journey with you.
Rebecca Austill-Clausen’s inspirational memoir, Change Maker: How My Brother’s Death Woke Up My Life, belongs firmly in the latter. Austill-Clausen takes readers with her through the series of unlikely events that catalyze her unexpected spiritual blossoming.
Originating from the tragic passing of her younger brother, Austill-Clausen’s grief catapults her onto a path of transformation. Over the course of less than a year, she goes from “Type Triple A” workaholic to profound seeker and spiritual adept, splitting her time between managing a thriving occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology practice and exploring her quickly evolving spiritual life, rich with fantastic meditations, visualizations and encounters with spirits, shamans and guides.
Within the body of the book, Austill-Clausen’s voice resonates as powerful yet inclusive, effervescent with joy at her discoveries while constantly understanding the need to ground. Although not shy to relay the pure wonder and majesty of her experiences, Austill-Clausen also does not disguise her doubts, nor does she pretend she does not harbor some reticence in sharing this new dimensionality to her life. “Multiple times a day, I questioned the reality of …I did not even know what to call it… my spiritual enlightenment? At the same time, I had never felt more alive, more in control and more at peace with myself.”
The format of the book is organized month-to-month, inviting readers to travel alongside Austill-Clausen, step by step, and experience her wonder as it grows in this remarkable narrative of awakening.
At the close of each chapter is a one- to two-page companion section entitled “Illumination.” These interludes engage readers with guided meditations and affirmations, encouraging us to explore and integrate the ideas contained within the previous chapter.
At the close of the book is a personally curated compendium of resources, should the reader choose to learn more about the subjects mentioned throughout Change Maker. It is quite special, as if we are being given access to Austill-Clausen’s personal bookcase, and a sampling of the hundreds of books that accompanied her year-long spiritual intensive.
Austill-Clausen has written a book that is a memoir of bereavement, a riveting tale of spiritual unfolding and something of a sampler Course in Miracles for those seeking an entry point into New Age topics.
Change Maker includes illustrations by Micki McAllister.
Rebecca Austill-Clausen is an author, reiki master and occupational therapist who has served over 100,000 clients. For more information, call 610-363-7446, email Becky@CompHealthWorks.com or visit RebeccaAustillClausen.com.
Rebecca Antsis is a Pennsylvania-based writer, multimedia performer and editorial associate for Natural Awakenings BuxMont. Connect at RebeccaAntsis@gmail.com.