Carol Lee Flinders, author of Enduring Grace and coauthor of the bestselling vegetarian cookbook Laurel's Kitchen, has struggled to reconcile her commitments to feminism and spirituality. For many years she has practiced meditation at the Blue Mountain Center in northern California with Eknath Easwaran, an Indian teacher from a matrilineal community in India. Flinders has also studied the writings of women mystics, especially Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, and Clare of Assisi.
The author identifies the conflicts between the virtues of the spiritual path and those of feminism namely vowing silence vs. finding voice, naughting self vs. establishing self, resisting desire vs. reclaiming the body, and enclosure vs. freedom. She draws on her own experiences, and the lives of women she knows, to explore why it is important to find a way for both impulses to coexist. She attributes some of her understanding in this area to the writings of Julian of Norwich who taught that femininity, particularly motherliness, is an attribute of God.
Flinders also uses the story of a princess in the Indian epic the Mahabharata and the nonviolent ethic of Gandhi as touchstones for her recasting of a sacred feminine activism. She writes forcefully about the continuing war against sexism and the need to bolster the self-esteem of young girls. Flinders presents a spiritual path whereby feminists can transmute their anger into compassionate service.