Bare Naked at the Reality Dance: Journal One
by Suzanne Selby Grenager



Bakula Books, 2012. ISBN 978-0-983-64450-7.
Reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
Posted on 03/08/2012

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

There is a lot to like about Bare Naked at the Reality Dance, by Suzanne Selby Grenager. For those tired, jaded, and even disgusted with the plethora of self-help tomes out there, this book may be all you need.

Grenager approaches this material from a very real, very personal, perspective. This is not simply an exploration of spirituality, self-attainment, personal enrichment or growth processes; yet it is all of those and more. It is just as the subtitle states—a journal. It is intimate for Grenager—she writes from her own angst (a word she discusses) and her own experiences, and for the reader that is sometimes both uncomfortable and hard to read. Most women have been in places much like those this book embraces, scrabbling for answers both within ourselves and from those wiser and more evolved than ourselves.

Grenager presents her thoughts in a forthright manner, detailing her experiences from October of one year to the January of the next. She addresses self-care, ego, dealing with prickly feelings, and opening up to happenings in our lives that are both driven by our personalities and those that external influences bring to us, wanted or not! She names herself a "spiritual scribe," which is a perfect definition of what she provides. There are boxed sidebars (for example, a definition may be provided, as for "The Shiva Lingam") and thoughts written as sidebars, in lovely scripted print, like this one—"Of course I had to strike out on my own to uncover and fully express all of who I am." These are not distractions, but ways to repeat or impress the concept in the reader's mind. Whether the reader is new to self-exploration, or an experienced teacher in the arts Grenager embraces, the fact that is, she presents things in a delightful, honest and functional way that isn't so "woo-woo" that we can't understand or learn what she has to teach.

Each of us has her or his own path, and it meanders to and fro, sometimes entangling with the paths of others, and sometimes providing us with a lone trail to walk and ponder. Grenager's words, her own experiences, encourage us to observe ourselves and our own processes of discovery. It is an unusual approach, journaling her awakenings in specific actions and with specific results. We cannot duplicate her outcomes, but through reading Bare Naked at the Reality Dance: Journal One, we can begin, or further, our own evolution. We meet those who have influenced Grenager's spiritual seeking, and populate her world encounters in India, Egypt and other far-reaching places.

Having read this book, I am eager to read more, and this quote propels me toward my own discoveries. "...How I can dance in grace with the two seeming opposites, will and surrender." What will you discover?

Read an excerpt from this book.


A Barnard College graduate, Suzanne taught school in the Indian Himalayas and was NBC Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. A former Philadelphia Inquirer education columnist whose work has appeared in Yoga Journal, she was an early Kripalu Yoga student and teacher and, later, an award-winning Kripalu regional leader. Certified in the body-mind Rubenfeld Synergy Method, Suzanne served for ten years as a life coach. Visit her website.

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