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Alaska Wellness Review
of The Inspired Heart by Dawn Brunke
See this review on the Alaska Wellness Web site
The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery.
~Fred Alan Wolf
In 1979, up and coming New York artist Jerry Wennstrom destroyed all the art he had created, gave away most everything he owned, and began to consciously empty himself of his identity. Thus, he began a new life—an unstructured way of living, an immersion into spontaneity and a letting go of resistance to whatever life presented. In releasing the form of the known, Wennstrom began his move towards formlessness—a deep, intense journey into the hollowed out, bare bones presence of here and now living.

Sometimes it was easy. Friends brought food; strangers serendipitously offered up messages from God; things took on a dreamy, shape-shifty sort of feel in which deep lessons were learned in a spontaneous flash of beauty.

Sometimes it was hard. People came and dumped their feelings on the floor, regarding the strange, quiet man as a kind of guru, hoping for, expecting, or—worse yet—demanding answers, insights and blessings. There were days without food; weeks of weariness, headaches and worries; dark hours of sharp-edged despair and broodingly heavy, damp blankets of thought.

Through all of it, however, Wennstrom followed his own longing to be open to the energy of life itself. In trusting and learning to appreciate the significance of each moment in his journey, he followed the signs offered to him by everyday living, relying on his intuition, listening to the deeper nature of his inner feelings and honing the grace-carved wisdom of his heart. Thus is the title of this well-written book really quite perfect. For Wennstrom’s journey is one of evocative transformation—and not only for himself, but for his reader, all of us, as well.

“We are at a rare time in the history of our world,” he reminds us. “Consciousness is attempting to come through the spirit of our lives. It brings with it all that we need to live out its gift. At the same time, our old ways of being on the planet are beginning to fail. Our social forms and structures are radically changing and breaking down. Our mother, the Earth, is ailing! We are truly in uncharted territory.”

It is precisely in this sense that journeys such as Wennstrom’s are so important for our world. For it is in the process of releasing our old, outdated ways of knowing that we come to discover they are really much more a projection of what we think we know than what is truly known. Thus we are freed to move ever onward into the new—into the mystery. In such a grand adventure, stories such as these offer guidance. And, they offer promise.

“A time may come when you are asked to let go of everything you think you are and all that you think you possess. If you can give yourself to this process, what will emerge will be a truer self in a truer world. All will be well. All that you had hoped for, all that is most important to you, all that seemed to be impossible or gone forever will be sanctified and returned to you.”

In short, this profoundly moving book offers not only a personal journey of finding one’s true self, but a universal sharing of the awe and wonder of life becoming.

Alaska Wellness