Beyond Human Stories, 2018
Reviewed by Trevor Sharman
Genevieve Boast’s Tough Bliss is a combination of deeply revelatory autobiography and inspirational guide book. Her framework draws from mythic storytelling and indigenous practice and is told with searing honesty which engages through its vulnerability and humanity.
The writing is clear and eloquent and is a model of the process of storying and re-storing our lives which can be open to us all. Her pain in having been wrenched from her deeply loved and connected Colorado home as a child and having to adjust to the culture shock and bereavement of life in clammy England is very moving as is her confusion through adolescence where her life reached a fork in the road, where, with the redemptive opportunities and her connectivity to spirit, she made the most of her chosen narrative of life. With engagement of her intellect and thirst for learning being a strong compass, she was also pulled by emotional and social dynamics which will be familiar to many. The telling of her successful engagement in the commercial world with its pitfalls and mirages will be an experience typical of many lured by the material world and its distortions. Her reflections on her experiences and how she addressed or avoided them are offered as examples of changing the stories available along with exercises and practices with which to facilitate one’s own awareness and development.
Genevieve’s story isn’t just a history, or her story. Drawing on the learning from reflecting on the past and honed self-development and spiritual practices, she continues to actively and courageously seek her true path sharing with us her experiments and self-challenges and shares too, the development of her deep connection with the life and spirit of Earth and what this means to her in terms of priorities and intentions for her future story. She invites us to re-evaluate our own stories and self-beliefs and invites us too to become equipped to explore our futures with intention rather than be passive recipients of experience.
It is a challenge well-made and in this book is both an example and guide as to how to make our life stories our own in service to Life.