James Strecker Reviews the Arts
YOUR SOUL AT A CROSSROADS (With Steps You Can Take Not to Lose It) by VALERIE HARMS
Posted on November 26, 2013 by strecker
While Valerie Harms’ latest book, Your Soul at a Crossroads, is a concise 100 pages in length, its 17 sections draw on the author’s lifetime of intense exploration into inner and outer worlds. The result is a spiritually seductive and life-affirming guide for those with some inkling that their existence has profound but, as yet, unrealized goods to deliver. Happily, one tends to trust Harms as an advisor because, in the book’s deeply personal autobiographical passages, she verifies that she well knows from experience both life’s sorrows and its epiphanies, its loves and its losses. One is impressed and reassured by the range of her experience, since Harms has taken, over the years, many paths to reach some understanding of herself and her world. She has also documented a number of these spiritual journeys in other of her books.
Consider these previous works: The Inner Lover which explores how to use passion for another as a means to self-empowerment and not to the usual entanglement; Dreaming of Animals which addresses our present and potential relationships with a variety of animals on a physical and psychic level; National Audubon Society Almanac of the Environment: The Ecology of Everyday Life whose “sections include ecology relating to our bodies, homes, communities, land and ocean, global politics”; Celebration with Anais Nin which is based on “an intimate weekend conference with Anais” ; and even Tryin’ To Get to You, The Story of Elvis Presley -and, yes, she knew Elvis and, yes, that’s the two of them on the book’s cover.
Most essential is Harms’ training and extensive experience as an Intensive Journal Consultant. Harms has here selectively recycled a few appropriate aspects of the Intensive Journal, a method created by depth psychologist Ira Progoff, one of the author’s mentors. Always, however, references to other books and methods are integrated into what one senses to be a unique approach. One also senses that resources which have been of benefit to the author of Your Soul at a Crossroads might be of use to the reader as well. Thus, one is thankful for the evocative, if necessarily brief, introductions to, say, Ira Progoff, or Carl Jung, or sexual groundbreaker Annie Sprinkle and her Eco-bliss.
We each have a life and Harms is willing to share hers, make an example of it, make it useful for others. She is also willing to explain the methods she has used to expand her realm of consciousness in order to exist more fully as a human being. In Your Soul at a Crossroads, Harms sets up an accepting context for the reader’s exploration into the meanings of existence and makes such exploration seem inviting, invigorating, fulfilling, and absolutely essential. It’s a book that invites one to live the riches of the unknown and, at the same time, it provides the techniques to be more fully alive as one does so. It’s a gem of a book.