Everywhere she looked, the world was in poor shape. And because
she’d quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol
to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?
In recent times, the self-help industry has exploded into a multi-
billion dollar global industry – and along with it has come every
imaginable type of therapy, healing or general woo-woo. In the past,
Rebecca scoffed at this industry, mocking its reliance on half-baked
science and the way it appears to prey on the mentally fragile.
But as she searched for a meaning of life that did not involve
booze, she found it increasingly hard to rationalize her default
scepticism. This shit really seems to work for some people, she
reasoned. And it’s not like I have any particularly solid alternatives.
Rebecca lives in Cape Town, the undisputed epicentre of
‘alternative’ paths to peace and enlightenment in South Africa. She
decided that over the course of a year, she would embark on a quest
for personal wellness, spiritual enlightenment and good old-fashioned
happiness. She was willing, within reason, to try anything. She would
open herself to even the most outlandish contemporary fads in self-
What followed was a twelve-month immersion in the world of
auras, chakras, hallucinogenic drugs, sweat lodges, sangomas, past
lives and more.
And by the end of it? Maybe she would find some new ways of
thinking and living. Or maybe she would emerge with her prejudices
Either way, it would be a good story.
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