Soaring- A Teen’s Guide to Spirit & Spirituality by Deneen Vukelic
- Print Length: 209 pages
- Publisher: Soul Rocks Books (March 27, 2015)
- Publication Date: March 27, 2015
- Language: English
This was my first time reading a teen spirituality book. As a 27 year old, I am out of the age range, so I tried to go back to when I was younger, and also tried to view this book as I would have when I was that age. I also looked at it as if I were referring it to some of my younger friends, and overall, just how I liked it. There were some aspects of the book I really enjoyed and thought were excellent points, but also, there were many parts of the book I didn’t agree with. I know for a fact that if I had picked up this book and read it when I was around 16, I would not have finished it. But, I am sure that a lot of people would find this book helpful, motivating and knowledgeable. I will now talk more about the book itself and its array of topics.
A major component of the book talks about your “God-Self” which she describes by saying “…we are individual beings of God. We have our human personality, human ego, but our human self is connected to our true self which is our God-Self. Our God-Self is connected to the God Source of which every being in the universe is connected. Our soul, when it’s released from our bodies at death, merges back into the God Source. Telepathically, intuitively and spiritually we are always connected to God…Each of us, though, is an individual being of the God Source clothed in a human body attached to our God-Self.” When I first read that I was a bit worried it was going to focus on one true God, but I was relieved when she later stated that it would depend on your belief, so it did make it suitable to those, who are like me, and believe there is more than one god or goddess.
The author states that the goal she wants for her readers is to bring your ‘presence’ in as close as possible so that they can achieve ascension, by keeping our physical, mental and emotional bodies as pure and clean as possible. She wants all of her readers to attain perfection in life. I must say, I enjoyed that she said in order to have a harmonious life, you need to have loving, supportive relationships, positive outcomes and happy experiences. I really feel like she wants youth to just focus on the positive, and try to rid your life of negativity. And, I see nothing wrong with that at all. One of my favourite quotes from the whole book is in chapter 1. “Be grateful to be alive each morning and feel the joy of being alive no matter what your home life is. Each day is a new opportunity to do better, to feel and find happiness, contentment, peace, joy and love.”
Vukelic talks a decent amount about intuition, and how to feel in tune with it, and how to trust it. She does a good job of explaining things like clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, inner knowing and mixed sensing. She even gives an exercise so readers can try and focus and work with your intuition. She also talks about free will, and how we have a set path laid out for us, but that all of our “guides, angels, and ascended masters” will assist and direct us when we ask. She says they cannot interfere with certain things due to free will, and also that “Utilizing Free Will is the best way to keep connected with God”.
One of my favourite chapters would have to be chapter 4. She talks all about our energy systems and bodies. She does a great job summarizing and explaining in relatable terms. She gets into both our lower and higher bodies, and also all about the various chakras. With each chakra she gives the name, location, colour, organs connected, emotional and mental traits and illnesses that could be connected to imbalances. I wish that I would have known more about those when I was younger.
She does talk a lot about archangels. In this chapter, there were a few points I don’t overly like. A good example is when she is talking about Gabriel. “White carries all of the colours, and so wearing too much black or wearing black too often will draw to you what you least want, which is negative energies from other people, lower energies from the astral plane and in general the very negative energy that is connected about the planet from greed, anger, jealousy, harness and meanness.” Now, I know all about colours and their meanings, but I do not think that by wearing black you are inviting negativity into your life. Maybe that’s just me, but I know that there are plenty of positive attributes to black, like protection, confidence and self-control. I think the chapter on archangels may be more targeted toward a Christian audience, or that’s the vibe I got from it anyways.
I had some issues in chapter 7 as well when Vukelic talks about karma. Now, I love karma and agree with putting as much good and positivity out into the world. I like that she wants to educated the youth about karma, but I don’t agree with some aspects of how she goes about it. She says we are all born with a plan and “we all carry burdens or challenges that we must overcome in the form of difficult relationships, traumatic life situations, obstacles on our paths, learning disabilities, emotional stuff, and so much more”. Then she talks about how our life purpose is to heal karma debt. She speaks about reincarnation and how each life we work more on more on paying off our karmic debt. And those of us who are new are “light workers”. She speaks about your soul family and the Law of Forgiveness. And that’s where my main issue is. In my life I have heard a lot of people talk about forgiveness. She states “… you must bring yourself to a place of complete forgives for any wrong you have experienced”. She ultimately saying this life and the next will only be good if you forgive everyone and everything. Now, I personally have had many issues with this. Being an abuse and rape survivor I have worked very hard over the years to accept and move on from those experiences. However, the only way I can cope is to be ok with NOT forgiving some of the people who have hurt me. I can move forward and be happy in my life knowing I don’t have to forgive those who have damaged me badly. I’m sure some people will disagree with me on this issue, but some people move on and cope differently than others, and I should ( and many others) be able to do what works for me. Telling someone that they can’t live a good life until they forgive all wrongs seems like it’s setting some people up for more stress than needed. If I would have read this when I was say 13-20 this chapter would have brought me to tears and I may not have even spoken up about some of my past abusers. I don’t think it’s right to force people to forgive.
Moving on though, that was all part 1. Part 2 goes into Your Divine Purpose. She talks about divine beginnings, which is about our ‘blueprint’. And then she gets into innate abilities, talents, skills and educational learning. “Every single person is here for a reason, and has a mission to serve humanity”. I did really love a lot about this section. She tells youth to appreciate and use their talents, to use them and that we are all unique and special. She has a very comforting point when she says “Many, many times when something didn’t turn out the way we had hoped, we think if only I had done this, or if they had done , or chose this person to do it better, or that the situation to create a better outcomes. You can drive yourself nuts going over and over different scenarios in the, “would have, could have, should have” category and to what end. You can’t change the past. But, you can learn from it, or simply accept the outcome as having happened exactly as it was meant to be. When we accept a situation even if we don’t like the outcome, we actually begin to look at it from a different perspective”. I really like this, and I’m positive that would make a lot of youth feel better. I struggle a lot with this, especially looking back at when I was a child. I used to always talk about “if only I was stronger, if only I had hid better, etc. “and I wish someone would have told me a long time ago what she wrote.
The author talks about a soul family, and all about various relationships. She uses and example story to help explain how karma plays a major role in your life and how all the people you meet are meant to be in your life. She does focus a lot on family, but it’s nice to see someone acknowledge that your friends can be just as important in your life. I’ve always been one of those people who considers my friends my family (mainly because I don’t have a lot of my family in my life) and so I really liked how she did that.
When she talks about personal challenges, obstacles and health lessons in chapter 12 she says a lot in a small chapter. She talks about how things go wrong- and that’s life. But that “Everything happens as it’s meant to, and there are no oopsies. You cannot learn anything from success or perfection. You can only learn from mistakes, difficulties and obstacles.” I totally disagree. Yes, granted, you will learn from the obstacles in life, BUT, you can completely learn from positives. I learned a lot from some really positive, rewarding experiences. When I was a teenager I learned I deserve to be happy, I learned I’m intelligent, I learned that I don’t have to follow down one path, I learned I can find my own religion, I learned how to draw. I learned how to love living creatures. I could go on and on. To say you can’t learn anything from success seems kind of silly to me.
Moving on to part 3 of the book she talks about health and healing. She starts this section off with “Your health is connected to everything you have learned thus far. Your illnesses, accidents, everyday cuts, bumps and bruises are not as random as you would think. Every single physical problem has its cause rooted in your emotional and mental state, or connects to issues surrounding your karma and life lessons for this life. Even accidents are reflective of your emotional attitude and metal state, though they seem random and accidental… everything that happens to you physically, emotionally, mentally or accidentally- you attracted to yourself. And I mean everything. This is a hard concept to realize, accept and learn from. “It is hard for someone like me to ponder indeed. As a child I must have attracted some pretty negative things to have gone through what I did. And as I grew into a teenager and adult, I still went through countless horrible life experiences. I did learn and grow from this, and consider myself to be a pretty strong person, but it’s scary to me if I attracted it all myself. This concept is a struggle for me, as I have worked through a lot and it took me years and years to accept that “it wasn’t my fault”. Well, what I get from this is that, no, it is indeed my fault. And I don’t want to live in that reality. I can imagine some struggling teens reading this book and coming across this chapter. No person who suffers through abuse, rape, etc should EVER feel like they caused it or deserved it. So I really don’t like how she says “And I mean everything”.
Chapter 15 is a very good chapter and I think it would be VERY beneficial to many people, myself alike. It talks all about what you eat and how it impacts how you feel. She goes into depth about all sorts of good things like water, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and super foods. I think a lot of teens don’t know what they are all eating, and this would be very educational and again, I would have loved to read this chapter when I was a teen. I didn’t care too much about what I ate back then and this would have maybe opened my eyes a bit earlier. I’m happy she included it in this book. You are what you eat.
Vukelic talks about energy, and how to understand your words and thoughts. I’m sure most people reading this know lots about energy and how it can really impact you. I believe in putting as much positive and loving energy out there. I know how much it can change your life, when you stop focusing on all the negatives and develop a positive outlook on life. I think she hits a lot of great points in this section. She talks about how you can’t change others and that you can’t control people. She speaks about how some of the few things you can control is your thoughts and emotions. “You can’t control your environment externally. But, you can control your thoughts. “ I like how she brings up things like gratitude, as I find a lot of young people I know lack gratitude, and I also think teens can be too hard on themselves. Reading the section on negative talk, whether about yourself or others I can see how it can impact and help youth. She talks about how bad things like gossip can be. I was a little perplexed when she did say “Consider it a relief to have no opinions about anyone. Because then you don’t need to drain your mental focus or energy on people or situations that have nothing to do with you and your life. This is what is called detachment.” She says you can still care about your friends and acquaintances, but she wants her readers to be detached so they don’t carry any of their emotional stuff as their own. I personally try to help my friends when I can. I care a lot about them, the good and the bad. If I can take some time out of my life and focus on them and try to help them get through a rough patch (yes, taking their burdens into my life) Because then both they and I feel better if we can get through it together. I’m not about to tell my friends I don’t want to listen to them vent because I don’t want to be burdened with their problems. I feel like that wouldn’t make me a very good friend, especially when they have been there for me. I think a lot of teens form life-long friendships in high school and teaching them to detach from their friends doesn’t quite work for me. But, again, maybe that’s just me.
When she gets into the topic of spiritual protection, she wrote “True unconditional love not only heals, but it can transform a person or situation for the better.” I love this. Teens and children should all be taught this from an early age. If everyone focused more on unconditional love, the world would be a better place. But, then, when she switches to indirect negative energy attacks, she loses me again. I understand her saying to try and limit negative energy, but, how she explains some things doesn’t make me a very big fan. She tells her readers not to watch violent movies and TV shows (horror/action/thriller) She also says not to listen to certain types of music, to avoid playing video/computer games and to not to contact sports. She warns readers to be careful what kind of entertainment they seek. Now, as a fan of all the things she listed, it’s easy to see why I disagree. I enjoy action and horror movies, I listen to heavy music often, love gaming and participate in martial arts and roller derby. I do a lot of it as a type of release. If I’m having a bad day, and I go to kickboxing, I feel so much better after. If my mind is racing and I’m feeling anxious, I’ll pop in a scary movie to give me something different to focus on. Listening to music like Alice Cooper can relax me or pump me up for the day. I strongly disagree with this and it kind of seems controlling. Especially when teens are discovering who they are as a person. I don’t see anything wrong with a teenager wanting to do any of these things.
I didn’t mind her chapter on how to learn from difficult relationships and situations, and although I don’t agree with some of it, I think for the general teen it would be beneficial and a good read. I really loved her chapter on healing yourself. It’s a great alternative to regular prescription medications and treatments if that’s your thing. She write about affirmations, flower remedies, meditation, reiki and other things. As a teen I would have really enjoyed this section. I was a very depressed, anxious, suicidal and pained youth. Getting into Paganism changed me into a better, happier person and this chapter would have helped me a lot during that transition. I have used many of these techniques to better my life, and I know many teens would feel the same. Excellent chapter.
She ends the book talking about beginning your journey. She does a small summary and I love one of her paragraphs right at the end. “The underlying theme of this entire book is about the power of unconditional love. That is the foundation of everything you want to build in your life. Without it, you stumble, crumble and die. Living in unconditional love though is joyful, peaceful, abundant and successful.” I really like that that’s her goal and her point. I think that this book would be a good read for many teens, for those who already have a faith, or those who are still finding their path. There were for sure some parts of the book I didn’t agree with at all, and I know as a teen, I would have only liked about 1/3 of the book. All in all, not bad. It for sure has pros and cons, and I think a bit of it is hypocritical. I wouldn’t overly suggest it to anyone who has also been though some trauma, as it seems to downplay it and it made me feel like I should blame myself more and that I must have lived a pretty horrible past life to deserve what has happened. It’s a mixed review, but if you have a pretty confident, happy teen, I can see this being a good book for them to read.