The Nature and Nurture of Passion
by Gregg Levoy
What inspires passion in your life? And what defeats it? How do your lose it, and how do your get it back? In this exuberant and compelling gook, Gregg Levoy, bestselling author of Callings, explores how you can cultivate not just a specific passion, but passion as a mind-set — as stance —that helps bring vitality to all your engagements, from work and relationships to creativity and spiritual life.
Vital Signs examines the endless, yet endlessly fruitful, tug-of-war between passion and security in our lives — the wild in us and the tame, our natural selves and our conditioned selves — and shows how to stay engaged with the world and resist the downward-pulling forces that can drain our aliveness.
Vital Signs also encourages courageous inquiry into our dis-passion — where we're numb, depressed, stuck, and bored in our lives — so that we can rework these tendencies in ourselves, claim our rightful inheritance of vitality, and get our spark back.
In this book, you'll learn that:
- Passion can be cultivated. Turned on as well as turned off. And this happens most readily at the level of the gesture and the moment, not the five-year plan.
- Passion is in the risk. In the willingness to step from the sidelines onto the playing field.
- Passion breeds passion and disinterest breeds disinterest. If you lack passion in your own life, your other relationships—your partnerships, friendships, communities, classrooms, corporations and congregations—will be denied that energy.
- Passion is more than exuberance; it's endurance. It's sometimes shoulder-to-the-wheel stamina and patience on the order of years.
- Passion in intimately related to health. To the degree that passion is vitality, honoring your passions enhances your vitality.
Drawing from centuries of history, art, science, psychology, and philosophy, as well as in-depth interviews with people who rediscovered and reignited passion in their own lives, Vital Signs offers an expansive menu of possibilities for claiming or reclaiming your passion. It will help you maintain a keen awareness of where the pulse is and a determination to plug into that place.
Gregg Levoy, author of Callings:Finding and Following an Authentic Life, is a former columnist and reporter for USA Today and The Cincinnati Enquirer, and has written for The New Your Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, American Health, and other publications. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico and has spoken and conducted workshops at numerous universities, organizations and conferences.
"Gregg's extraordinary powerful storytelling, captivating language, and insights into what ignites human hearts with awe make this book impossible to put down. He reminds us that our inclination to seek out enchantment and wonder needs regular maintenance and that raw experiences, intensity, and aliveness are what stimulate us to ever grander perspectives of this fascinating thing called life. I love this book."
—Edward Viljoen, author of The Power of Meditation
"This magnificent work, brimming with gorgeous prose and life-enhancing stories and insights, reveals how the cultivation of passion is key to energy, love, creativity, health, and just about everything else that is good and true in our existence. Gregg Levoy offers us a thrilling new map to the vital core of all our becomings. To read this book and follow its principles is to stop boring God!"
—Jean Houston, PhD, author of The Possible Human and The Wizard of Us
"If you want to fall in love with life, this is your guide! Vital Signs is a road map to living life using your passions as a compass."
—Dennis Merritt Jones, author of Your ReDefining Moments and The Art of Uncertainty
Read a review
of Vital Signs
by Rev. Ruth Barnhart here