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Perseverance by Margaret WheatleyReviews of Perseverance

Perseverance – A Pocket-Size Prize
A review by Margaret Wolff

Several years ago when I was writing IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE, I had the great good fortune to interview Margaret Wheatley for the book. Meg is recognized on five continents as one of the foremost organizational consultants of our time. She is smart; sharp. She is deeply perceptive and compassionate. She sees to the heart of things and easily opens herself in service to the Greater Good. Meg wants to make the world a better place.

Though her writing and consulting on organizational management continue, Meg's latest book speaks to the heart of human striving. PERSEVERANCE is a pocket-size prize that offers guidance on how to daily, consciously, choose to keep on keeping on. It is a handsome, richly textured little volume. Inspiring quotes from various world traditions, graceful watercolor images, and handwrought calligraphy enhance Meg's thoughtful essays on what trips us up and what paves our way, and elicit ways of looking at a situation that, in themselves, help lift us above the fray.

Finding fresh perspectives is foundational to Meg's approach to perseverance, to all her work "When we are overwhelmed and confused," she says, "we reach for the old maps, the routine responses, what worked in the past . . . To navigate life today, we definitely need new maps . . . The maps we need are in us, but not in only one of us. If we read the currents and signs together, we'll find our way through."

To that end, PERSEVERANCE takes a bold look at these currents, the ties that bind, what impedes us -- guilt, anger, fear, blame, boredom, loneliness -- as well as what supports our journey -- steadfastness, choosing, clear seeing, and play. Meg understands how these feelings, how our reticence to ask for what we really need and the names we call ourselves in the night all effect the direction of our lives. Thus, she urges us not to give in or give up; to examine our lives, our thoughts and experiences; and to "speak up about the things we care about." She encourages us to "rename ourselves," to "find a name that calls us to become fearless," that helps us develop our innate capacity for greatness and "calls us to our future self."

Meg's lovely book is both a meditation on perseverance and a call to action. It inspires personal transformation. It makes it easier to entertain the must needs inherent in the spiritual journey. It helps you feel less alone in the thick of things. Where we end up is always up for grabs. "Perhaps," as Meg says, "holding true to the vision and not losing our way is enough for one lifetime."

Margaret Wolff is the author of “In Sweet Company: Conversations with Extraordinary Women About Living A Spiritual Life.” Her women’s spirituality retreats create openings for women to explore how to live in ways that feed their soul. To learn more, visit www.insweetcompany.com.

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Subscribe to the Email Preview Series, "For Persevering People"
If you'd like to sample Perseverance and also be able to work with the book's material immediately, I invite you to subscribe to a free, web-based subscription series I've created: "For Persevering People."

Every week, for 8 weeks, you'll receive two pages from the book. The book's design lends itself well to this format; every page contains a provocative quote and a brief essay exploring one theme. This series is offered free and you may cancel at any time.


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