Once in a while you stumble across a person who’s actually lived the life some have fantasized about but never had the courage to pursue. Stella Vance is one of those. She’s lived and worked in several countries all over the globe, enjoyed searching through myriad philosophies and religions of life, and experienced love in a number of satisfying, if not all permanent, relationships.
In Dancing With Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit, Vance tells the story of her life decade by decade, but not from a lofty vantage point, glossing over the darker elements. Neither does she write in a tell-all fashion about her haunts, taking down those who have done her wrong in the process. The book is honest and open, and she leaves it to the reader to make their own decisions about her life choices, while openly admitting to what all those were. Yes, there may have been drugs, lots of sex, addictions, and abortions, but there is also what appears to have been a lifelong search for the mysteries of life that we all wonder about, yet let grocery shopping and TV-watching get in the way of exploring.
There are a host of universal theories that Vance ponders and studies as she attends workshops and gets to know self-styled gurus in the realms of higher thinking and enlightenment. Reincarnation is one of her beliefs, and she is fairly clear on who her past lives have been and how they impact her present. She also presents the notion that a soul chooses their parents prior to birth and in turn accepts the challenges they will experience during this life.
Vance has lived and worked all over the world – a nomad of sorts who seems to be uneasy whenever her roots get too established. She is able to recount so much of her life because of a journaling habit that started rather young and continued on and off. But this has enabled her to retell events in detail. It’s a lively and giving spirit that shares details that would be hard for the average Joe (or Josephine) to share with a friend, much less the world at large. Not all the events of her life that she relates are particularly attractive, but by sharing it all she definitely has the element of forthrightness.
The book wraps up with a list of forgivenesses to friends and family who caused her pain and the lessons she learned from those experiences. It then delves into the subject of life should mankind graduate to a utopian mindset. While this may be nice in theory, time will tell if we develop to a place where money is meaningless and people work to the betterment of all. Love, of course, would be a mainstay.
Dancing with Duality is a very interesting book. For those who gravitate towards New Age themes, you’ll find a person who has studied as well as practiced a host of ideas and theories. It’s not so much that there are new themes presented, but the fact that Vance worked to put them into practice – something many would like to think that they do, but don’t get around to. The book is well written and flows through the decades of her life, changing as the times do. Would that we all could have the courage as Vance does to share the elements of our lives, both light and dark, in such a detailed and honest manner. You’ll feel like you know her, and you’ll feel a bit better about admitting to your own darker side as well.