Book Review: What the F#@k Is Enlightenment? by Kamaria G. Powell


Kamaria G. Powell is Changing the Culture of Spirituality with
New Book, What The F#@k Is Enlightenment?

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What the F#@k Is Enlightenment?
Kamaria G. Powell
Publication Date:June 7th 2017 
(Originally published October 13, 2016)
Genre: Self-help/Spirituality

Sitting between the saint and the sinner at church, Kamaria Powell began asking life’s most thought provoking questions and to her surprise, she started receiving answers. What The F#@k Is Enlightenment? takes you on her unconventional journey past self-judgment into an awareness of the Divine within. Let’s face it, life is messy and there are often many detours but the message is clear: You are not forgotten and no matter how many times you’ve messed up, God is not mad at you. Kamaria encourages you to embrace your own spiritual identity no matter how unorthodox it may seem. It is by transforming ourselves that we in turn transform our world.

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Enlightenment has been sought after by many from Immanuel Kant to you and I. Understanding the concept alludes many, as it is often presented in scholarly texts. Well, that is not the case with this book. Written in simple terms and riddled with expletives, this book conquers the concept of enlightenment in terms most will understand. With chapters focusing various key concepts, she creates a friendly introduction. 

Powell defines enlightenment in the following way: 
"Enlightenment is not about a destination as much as it is a journey. Life continues long after enlightenment and will continue infinitely. The wood chopping or the “work” of life is to remember who you are at your core, which is a God fragment. The effort continues well after enlightenment as the expression of God is constantly expanding." 
This is not your most conventional method for discussing such a sensitive topic. However, this book may be appropriate for those who (1) enjoy using expletives (which I do) and (2) are seeking a different view on spirituality. The author has had an interesting life and she shares this with her readers. 

As with most New Age texts, the content aligns with the Law of Attraction, as well as other Universal Laws.  One quote resonated with me:
"What I learned from this experience was that you are not your thoughts. Your mind will often give you false information based on past experiences that have no basis in the reality you are forming today. Your mind is like a tool; it can be used to do great things, but like any tool, if used inappropriately, it can be destructive. Learn to be selective as to which thoughts you focus on." 
It is content like this that changes lives. In addition to the logical arguments she presents, her "girlfriend" tone made this a quick and thought-provoking read.  I cannot recommend this highly enough!!! 

Favorite Quotes

“Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.” 

"Listen to the patterns, transform your life, examine your beliefs, transform your life. Instead of trying to live someone else’s experience of God, place yourself under the microscope. You are your greatest point of access to the Divine; everyone else is simply a guide." 

"Fear is an illusion meant to create an opportunity for growing and healing. It is important that we examine and become aware our fears because they give us valuable insight into where we see lack in ourselves." 

"When it comes to perception, it is imperative that you understand your mind! …The only factor higher than the mind is the soul, ... The mind is the birthplace for all physical manifestation. You can literally change outcomes and solve problems just by your thoughts. ... In every perceived problem, there are intervention points that allow you to manipulate how a situation turns out. It is up to you to recognize when these points occur. "

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

About Kamaria
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Kamaria G. Powell was one of those individuals who never felt like one religion was right for her and she is not alone. In fact, a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center found that 20% of Americans do not identify with any religion, and one-third of adults under the age of 30 classify themselves as spiritual but not religious. Her new book asks an important question: What The F#@k Is Enlightenment?

Kamaria believes in expanding the definition of what it means to be spiritual. She challenges readers to take their spiritual identity into their own hands. By candidly illustrating her own life experiences, flaws and all, she demonstrates how a chaotic, mundane life can be transformed into a more purposeful and dynamic one through the process of self-discovery and finding your own unique spirituality. Do you have to meditate? No. Do you have to pray? No. Rather than following a prescribed set of rules, she encourages individuals to find what works for them, no matter how unorthodox it may seem.

Kamaria G. Powell was born and raised in the dynamic urban community of Boston, Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and went on to receive her master’s degree in education at The University of Massachusetts Boston. 

Following her postgraduate studies, she began teaching for Boston Public Schools. Although she has faced many challenges in her life, she has managed to overcome them through finding her unique spiritual identity. In true teacher fashion, she desires to reveal what she has learned over the years by sharing her experiences.

Getting to Know Kamaria

1. What inspired you to write your book What The F#@k is Enlightenment?

Writing comes very naturally to me. I have always been a writer. As for my book, I want to let people know it’s okay to be a religious misfit. I want to show how beneficial spiritual explorations really is. I am inspired by my experiences growing up with a religious background and over time I have formed my own spiritual identity founded on love and oneness.

2. What kind of challenges have you experienced that you discuss in your book?

Well, my mom started showing symptoms of mental illness when I was eight years old and over time I had to learn to remove the stigma of that in order to understand her better, understand my life, and help heal our relationship. As for my dad, he was incarcerated off and on during my life and so I had to learn early on about independence and self-sufficiency.

3. How did you come up with the name of the book?

Haha. Well, when people read it, it might make them a little uncomfortable because of the contrast. That’s good because as someone once said, “Nothing grows in a comfort zone.” So the title is meant to push you outside of the boundaries of what you think a spiritual person should be. Spirituality is for everyone. There are no boundaries.

4. What do you hope readers gain from the book?

I want my readers to understand that there is no judgment. No matter how unworthy or insufficient
you may feel, you are still an expression of the Divine. All that exists is oneness with the Divine so
create your own path to oneness.

5. What is your future plans with the book?

I want to create a platform to share my story with as many people as I can.

6. How can your readers keep in contact with you?

I can be contacted on my Facebook or Instagram page @wtfisenlightenment. I can also be reached by
email at wtfisenlightenment@gmail.com. 

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