Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Vital Signs

by Gregg Levoy

In his book, Vital Signs, The Nature and Nurture of Passion, Greg Levoy explores this most basic quality of human nature. He is not only investigating the passion of desires, but the elemental aliveness that yearns to be felt and expressed. "Passion isn’t necessarily about happiness, nor is it always a peak experience." Levoy shows how our vitality shows up in all our emotions, through the painful as well as the pleasurable times. He says it is more than exuberance, it is also aligned with our endurance, our willingness to trust, and stay with the inner callings in our hearts. 

He approaches vitality and passion from many schools of thought, and many perspectives, shared by his own and others' personal stories. This brings his book alive, the very reading of  which can stir our human  emotions. He invites us to look within to uncover our true desires and in the process to bring to light the beliefs and ways of being that may have dampened those desires. At the same time that he takes us on a journey within, he also  invites us to step more fully into our world. He provides exercises for releasing the hold of  the programs that have kept us from feeling our spirit and than presents ways to reacquaint us with our passions and rekindle our natural vitality. The book can look dauntingly long, but it is jammed packed with inspiration for life.

Review by Rev. Ruth Barnhart, a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.

Vital Signs is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

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