Sah D’Simone, a self-described “queer, immigrant, flamboyant, brown person,” recalls a breakthrough moment in his exploration of Eastern spiritual traditions for his book Spiritually Sassy: 8 Radical Steps to Activate Your Innate Superpowers (Sounds True, Sept.). “I was on a 30-day meditation with 250 fucking people and only three people of color,” he says. “No, honey! Spirituality doesn’t have to look all white and Zen the fuck out.”

]Sassy, D’Simone explains, means that you are “unafraid to live out what is in your heart, to be a fierce motherfucking boss.” Two other f-words—freedom and fun—appear often as well. He calls the steps laid out in his book “homework for the heart,” with instructions such as “spray spiritual bleach on the belief systems that have kept you stuck.” The goal: “Simple—freedom, honey,” he says, echoing lines from the book.

D’Simone’s radiant, barrier-busting bona fides and “cultivation of connection” is what drew senior editor Diana Ventimiglia to his book. “Spiritually Sassy is a mission and daily practice of being fierce, funny, fashionable, knowing your worth, inspiring and helping others, of being the authentic you no matter what shows up,” she says. And, because D’Simone is “rooted in deep spiritual tradition,” she adds, “those who resonate with that won’t need to see a frilly campaign to connect with him.”

D’Simone says he wants to take copies of Sassy Spirituality to LGBTQ centers in major cities, because “the queer and people-of-color communities think joy is a privilege for the few. No, boo! No, honey! We all have access to joy.”

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