Soul Vows is a beautiful, gem of a book that sincerely questions and guides us on how to live our life on our own terms—not the morals and the ethicsSoul Vows is a beautiful, gem of a book that sincerely questions and guides us on how to live our life on our own terms—not the morals and the ethics or the rules imposed on us, but the sacred principles that sprout from us, that come from our divine being.
I absolutely love Janet Conner’s books and have read them all. Soul Vows is her latest, an exploration through the ancient chakra system to arrive at a set of personal principles of the soul that she calls “soul vows.” What vows can be more important than the ones that we make to ourselves? Conner has been on a quest to discover the workings of the soul and the true self since she penned her first book Writing Down Your Soul, by far the best book on soul writing that I have ever read. I find this book even challenges Ralph Waldo Emerson’s classic quintessential essay on the soul, The Over-Soul, in its insights and understanding of what we believe the soul to be. Her follow up to that, The Lotus and the Lily, which incorporates the teachings of Buddha and Jesus for a 30-Day Soul Program, is equally eye opening and transformative. Now, she has arrived at the next step in her exploration of the soul: discovering the personal principles that can help pave and support one’s soul-driven path.
She focuses on the seven chakras, the energy centers of the body, and makes explorations with each chakra. She then confronts paradoxes that lead to discoveries. Each discovery helps the reader get closer to his or her own soul vows, striving towards divine unity. Conner seamlessly weaves in mystical poetry and spiritual insights from other writers to bolster her prose.
Soul vows are the principles with which you live by, how you want to conduct your soul-driven life, and find the divine presence within, your ultimate compass. Conner writes that the fourth heart chakra is key, and it’s at this point where she begins to ask her readers to write down their soul vows. The soul has plenty to say, she says, and it wants to commit to values, to make each individual the highest, most authentic being that it can be. Writing down these vows should feel good, she says. Your soul vows should belong together, feel complete, be your own, and vibrate with power. Conner shares her own vows in her pages. They are part of her daily prayers and posted in her personal space. After closely following her journey, I came up with my own.
I wanted to share them:
Be true to yourself and trust your inner voice. Let your soul direct, your mind confirm. Finish what you start. Listen & love without judgment. Befriend yourself, rely on yourself. Seek strength & guidance in your connections. Respect your boundaries and others. ...more
What is the Mystery Experience? It's everything that you can imagine is spirituality. It's the soul, it's the ineffable, it's what's felt and left unsWhat is the Mystery Experience? It's everything that you can imagine is spirituality. It's the soul, it's the ineffable, it's what's felt and left unsaid, as Emerson said, "the action of the soul is oftener in that which is felt and left unsaid than in that which is said in any conversation." Rumi said, "we are a brush in the hand of the mystery that is painting this soul-making universe." All of the most famous poets, thinkers and artists lived this mystery experience and I believe the author made a good attempt to convey it, or his vision of it to the reader.
The problem is that this book could be cut by half. It needs a good edit. Too much of the author's wonderful insights (the author is a philosopher himself) are bogged down by his own chatty language and it waters down his prose. Still, it was an intriguing read and I thank the Goodreads friend who recommended it to me! ...more
An unbelievable, eye opening read on the origins of love per Greek mythology! Every writer and reader should read it! I can't believe it escapes me foAn unbelievable, eye opening read on the origins of love per Greek mythology! Every writer and reader should read it! I can't believe it escapes me for so many years!...more
The title sounds inviting but there is nothing adventurous about this book and definitely not worth the read! Absolutely zero material that a spirituaThe title sounds inviting but there is nothing adventurous about this book and definitely not worth the read! Absolutely zero material that a spiritual reader wouldn't already know. The author should have at least added a different or unique spin of his own on this subject. I would tell my goodreads friends to pass on this one!...more
It is rare to find a book on aphorisms as raw, sincere and compelling as Gay Walley’s The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable. Written from her own experiIt is rare to find a book on aphorisms as raw, sincere and compelling as Gay Walley’s The Erotic Fire of the Unattainable. Written from her own experiences as a writer, artist, wife and lover, her insights here are as universal as they are personal. Walley is a true student of the soul, love, art, life, and has a watchful eye on the workings of the universe. She also displays an uncanny understanding of human behavior. Her words remind me of British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes’s musings of art and life and Norman Mailer’s writings on the creative process, namely his book The Spooky Art. She is a published and acclaimed writer, the author of several novels including Strings Attached, Lost in Montreal, and Duet, short stories, and the play Love, Genius and A Walk.
This book is best read through in its entirety, preferably in one sitting—very doable. Though these aphorisms are each short and compact, they flow together like the crests and troughs of the infinite ocean. The ocean is in fact, one of her subjects. The first time I read the book, it read like a meditative poem, the second time, like a reflection of the collective unconscious. Either way, it was an experience in itself, and one truly worthy for all readers.
Walley begins with love and marriage. This is her forte. Her insights are so piercing that I found myself transformed by them, questioning my own ideas of marriage and love. Having been married and divorced herself, Walley has definite opinions on these matters. On infidelity she writes, “There is no doubt that sex with a lover is initially more erotic because it is not held down by the gauze of the marital. It eventually loses its pleasure because it is not held together by that same gauze.” Ultimately, she believes that, “The death of a marriage through infidelity feels like a murder. It haunts.” On marriage, she urges her friends to stay married. “They complain of boredom, resentments, coldness,” she writes. “I say, Work it through. You have woven something deep. How can you think it can be ripped out?”
She shares aphorisms on a gamut of subjects, including art, writing, music, friendship, work, even commercialism and talent. “Talented people demand intense relationships,” she writes. This is so true. She continues, “They must talk deeply and be emotionally honest at all times…If they are not working at their art, they are working in their mind.” And as for creativity, she reveals that there must be urgency in the artist’s message, as well as passion and love, necessary to awaken imagination, otherwise the craft can feel like an arduous job. Spirituality is another core topic. On this she writes, “How long our own inner lives take to manifest is solely dependent on how much of our own anxiety we are ready to give up.” She urges readers to rely on their hunches, and ultimately, to rely on themselves.
Her aphorisms continue to flow, one into another, until we come to the end: the last topic she tackles is “The Future.” She sums it up in a poignant meditation. “My face tells me that time is not infinite,” she says. “One must do what one intrinsically believes is important now. There is no time to do otherwise.” I took her advice about the future, and knew that from time to time I would return to her words again, when the mysteries of life would stump me. ...more
What is a soul mate? I don't think the author here really explains it, so it is left as a mystery. I admit, it is difficult to define such a spiritualWhat is a soul mate? I don't think the author here really explains it, so it is left as a mystery. I admit, it is difficult to define such a spiritual concept in concrete terms, and his title does say "honoring the mysteries of love and relationship," but an attempt to explain how people connect as soul mates would have been helpful.
Ultimately I found this book to be not so much about soul mates, but about the author's own beliefs about the workings of the soul and our connections with others. His explanations mix in his own experiences, myths, and the ideas of philosophers, poets and archetypal psychologists, but I felt that he neglected to explain how such a relationship works in our present day society.
I would recommend this book, but I think the reader may be more confused about the concept after reading it than before. It is an ephemeral and magical account of the topic, but lacks a real attempt to unravel or solve the mystery. The author is happy to leave the soul and its dealings as a mysterious, ineffable and unexplainable aspect of our lives. So where does that leave us? In my opinion, nowhere.
So be it! Let's leave it as a mystery. But I would have rather read an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson or a poem by Rumi if I wanted to remain on such amorphous grounds!
I had no idea what shamanic dreaming was before I picked up this book by spiritual writer Robert Moss, who has penned a plethora of books on dreaming.I had no idea what shamanic dreaming was before I picked up this book by spiritual writer Robert Moss, who has penned a plethora of books on dreaming. For those who are unfamiliar with shamanism, a shaman is a spiritual practitioner who has mastered the art of journeying beyond the body to communicate with spirits, guides the souls of the living and the departed, and brings them healing.
Dreaming The Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole introduces shamanic dreaming, or how to be your own shaman through your dreams. For shamans, a dream is a journey of the soul, a “spirit messenger.” Soul loss can happen when we suffer trauma, bitter disappointment, or violent shock. The soul then may leave the body to escape. Symptoms of this can be low energy or depression. Shamanic dreaming is a way to reclaim our soul.
The author does go through step-by-step instructions on how this can be done, but only a small part of this book is dedicated to this exact practice (there are thirteen levels of shamanic dreaming). The rest focuses on the soul journey and dreaming, including ideas from Carl Jung, the Sufis, poets of the soul like Yeats and Auden, and the power of animal spirits—ravens, owls and horses, to name a few.
Though I found the book to be incongruous in its presentation of the practice of shamanic dreaming, I also found it to be compelling read. My favorite exercises included journeying into your “Soul Tree” (where at its upper branches you can look into the future), “Secret Library” (where you can access any kind of information that interests you), and meeting “The Soul of the Soul,” (a term given by Sufis, otherwise known as your Greater Self).
“Meeting the Soul of the Soul” was my favorite chapter. Moss says this is the friend of the soul that will never lie to us, and will never judge us. It is the Self on a higher level than the ordinary self (thus the capital S!). A strong connection with this Greater Self is pivotal for healthy and peaceful living, and this chapter can show how to foster that bond.
Ultimately, Moss says that the most important knowledge comes through reclaiming what the soul knows (the timeless Sufi poets Rumi and Shams of Tabriz tirelessly repeated this maxim), and that the road to soul recovery is to take a dream and make it a gateway for a personal journey.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the author’s writing style, which is as lush, fluid and colorful as his ideas. His pages opened my eyes to dreaming and taught me new aspects of the soul. I started having vivid dreams myself, of butterflies, sailboats and killer whales, dreams that guided my days and enriched my nights. ...more