Thursday, August 22, 2019

Book Review: Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action by Seane Corn

I wasn't sure about this book. I'm not really into yoga and yoga celebrities induce eye-rolling in me, and it also seemed like a woo-woo kind of book. But I needed to read it for work, so I did. And I'm glad I did. It wasn't what I was expecting at all.

First of all, it isn't a yoga book at all. It's a book in which Seane talks about yoga a lot, although more as a concept and a belief and lifestyle, rather than a physical events. But it's about the principles and core beliefs of yoga, not the movements or poses. It's not about yoga to lose weight or get healthy or gain flexibility. None of that. If you get into yoga and those things happen, good for you. But yoga is about applying the many underlying principles about how to live a good life, to your own life. You can be yoga without ever touching a mat.

It's also about Seane's personal journey. It starts off as she's a bartender in a sketchy but fun bar in the East Village in the late '80s when it's a very dangerous and rundown place. When her friends at the gay sex bar she works at start dying of AIDS, she starts rethinking her own life and how she can live it better. In her daytime waitressing job, her bosses are vegetarian and do yoga, and she decides to give these things a whirl in order to clean up her act somewhat, never expecting it to completely change her life. But it did. She eventually moves to LA and through yoga--and also therapy and a hilarious life coach--she starts to deal with traumas from her past, her not-great coping methods, and the results of those. After years of working on herself, she starts to give back to the community, with varying results, and also in ways that show her how far she still has to go, to reach perfection. She starts with the Evolution of the soul, and moves to the Revolution.

The book isn't overly preachy (and I was highly sensitive to that going in) and she very much emphasizes finding your own way. It's a tad pedantic when it comes to the principles of yoga, many of which overlap with Buddhism, so I was already familiar (having taken a class in Buddhism in college). Those parts might bog down for people who are baffled by the unfamiliar words and names and concepts. But she's really trying for an accessible introduction to these principles, and an easy-to-understand outline for how you can improve your life--and eventually the world--should you want to make things better. She very much emphasizes that everyone has their own path, although one area in which she's very rigid, is that radical honesty is the only way through--not just to others, but most importantly with ourselves, in seeing our flaws, our prejudices, our assumptions, and our areas for growth.

If you're looking for some help in changing things up and improving your life, Seane Corn can be an excellent guide onto a path. She hopes it will be a good path for you. I do too.

This book is published by Sounds True, which is distributed by Macmillan, my employer.

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