Janice Lynne Lundy,
Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be
(Sorin, 2008)

This spiritual living guide by Janice Lynne Lundy purports to help the reader discover, or return to, the "source within." The idea is intriguing, but for me, overall, it fell somewhat short. In many chapters, this book failed to capture my attention or sustain my interest.

The format of the book is based on 12 "Transformational Truths," which emerge from the author's reflections on conversations with spiritual, wisdom-filled women such as Joyce Rupp, Naomi Judd and Doreen Virtue. It is meant to be read in an unhurried fashion, giving time at the end of each chapter for reflection and a "peaceful pause," which helps the reader contemplate the lessons imparted. The peaceful pause includes a light meditation, nothing new for the more experienced, but perhaps appropriate for those at the beginning of their spiritual awakening and not having much experience with meditation.

However, the beginning of each chapter is a little too long in describing how the author came to know each woman, and a little too short on how to live the transformational truths that result from the interviews. I found myself drifting off quite often, having to pull my concentration back in and reread the last paragraph or two. I put the book down frequently, and repeatedly did not pick it up again for weeks at a time.

Then suddenly, at the end, came a chapter I was drawn to, which seemed to be written just for me. The subject was Mari Gayatri Stein, someone with whom I was not familiar. Chapter 12, the shortest by far, discusses the concept of "spaciousness," the practice of Metta, and the Way of the Bodhisattva, all new to me. Ah! A place to begin anew. These little pearls gave me tools with which to reevaluate my life and my service to others and the world. Chapter 12 spoke directly to me, where I was in my life, and it occurs to me that you may find a chapter of your own here that will touch you, too.

Yet still, the majority of the book just did not consistently hold my interest. There are positive things to be found here, and I respect the author's life-long spiritual quest and applaud her efforts, but this book definitely did not impart either deep spiritual meaning or life-changing knowledge for me.

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

14 April 2012

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