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The Vital Spark: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire (Paperback)

The Vital Spark: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire By Lisa Marchiano, LCSW, NCPsyA Cover Image
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A renowned Jungian analyst shares a call to action for women who dream of reuniting with their brilliant, creative, and fiercely independent nature.

Within every woman lies a powerful force: a vibrant, sizzling spirit that lives life to the fullest. For so many of us, the burdens of responsibility, caretaking, and social expectations cause us to bury this essential part of ourselves under six feet of niceness. Yet as Jungian analyst Lisa Marchiano says, “Our inner flame of embodied wisdom, sharp-witted cunning, burning passion, and empowered confidence is never truly extinguished.” With The Vital Spark, she invites us on an immersive journey to reclaim the split-off parts of ourselves that enliven and rejuvenate us—and allow us to become who we were meant to be.

Combining personal stories, intercultural mythology, and guidance for inner exploration, Marchiano shares invaluable resources for breaking free from the conditioning that has kept us confined to rigid roles and muffled the sound of our souls. Here she invites us to explore eight core aspects of ourselves: shrewdness, disagreeableness, desire, trickiness, sexuality, anger, authority, and ruthlessness. Each chapter reinforces the truth of our relentlessly human narrative in the truest sense—allowing us to retrieve our “outlaw” energies, our discarded talents, and the deepest parts of our authentic selves.

“When we try to domesticate our wild, assertive, and liberated spirit,” says Marchiano, “she flies away to some shadowy part of our soul, where she waits for us to find her again. Though she can be a bit savage and uncivilized, she is also the very best of us—and what we need to become whole.” The Vital Spark is a guide to recovering our courageous inner spirit so we can access her wisdom, her fire, and her burning aliveness.

About the Author

Lisa Marchiano, LCSW, is a Jungian analyst, author, and podcaster. Her writings have appeared in many publications. She is the cohost and creator of the popular depth psychology podcast This Jungian Life and is the author of Motherhood. Lisa is on the faculty of C. G. Jung Institute of Philadelphia, and she lectures and teaches widely.

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Praise For…

The Vital Spark is the badassery bible whose time has come. It is essential medicine for what ails a woman’s soul. Jungian therapist Lisa Marchiano has offered up a treasure trove of insights and practical guidance for women on how to access their inner passion for life—but even more remarkably, on how to embody it with confidence in the world.” —Sil Reynolds, RN, coauthor of Mothering and Daughtering

“With brilliant, fresh readings of fairy tales and other familiar stories, Marchiano guides us through how we lost our inner fire and how to get it back. The Vital Spark inspires me to become strong, wild, and whole: the kind of woman I admire. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know. I loved this book; I needed this book; I’ll be returning to these pages over and over again. Marchiano’s work is essential.” —Anna Hogeland, psychotherapist and author of The Long Answer

“Using myths, fairy tales, and clinical anecdotes, Lisa Marchiano describes how many traits that are essential for women to thrive get banished into the unconscious shadow. As a result, the vital spark that connects us to our aliveness, power, and authenticity is snuffed out. She takes the reader’s hand and gently guides us through timeless tales to refind our essential selves.” —Connie Zweig, PhD, author of The Inner Work of Age, coauthor of Romancing the Shadow

“In The Vital Spark, Lisa Marchiano leads us on a quest to uncover the wild woman within so that we might come to live our fullest and most authentic life. She shines a wise and feisty light on the hidden and unowned aspects of being a woman and offers us ways to transcend the smaller stories that the over-culture insists we should inhabit.” —Sharon Blackie, PhD, author of Hagitude

The Vital Spark is a sage companion of a book about personal power—crafty, cunning, ambitious, and shrewd—beautifully written and brilliantly realized. As she leads readers through the symbols of fairy tales and cultural narratives, wise, warm Lisa Marchiano guides women out of pleasing, appeasing, and playing nice and toward their own spirited, personal firebrand of psychic freedom. An essential antidote for anyone who has suffered from good girl syndrome, The Vital Spark offers a vision of a heroine with moxie and nerve we can all still grow up to be.” —Sarah McColl, author of Joy Enough

“Marchiano expertly ties together beautifully curated fairy tales with a detailed analysis of the psyche in this exquisitely crafted guide to reclaiming assertiveness, independence, and an understanding of the self.” —Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, founder/CEO of the Gotham Group

“This book could not have found me at a better time as I move into midlife and find myself outgrowing so many of the roles I once played in my family of origin, my marriage, and within various ideological social networks. The vital spark relates to an inner power and wisdom that one can draw upon when circumstances are no longer tenable. It’s about summoning your inner authority in the face of tyranny, without yourself becoming a tyrant. Sometimes life pushes us to the limit, but it’s down in that dark underworld where we can potentially draw upon our deepest inner resources. This book is not only a guide through that distressing space, but also a warm companion. I felt like Marchiano was bearing witness to my own specific life journey, and I found comfort that my personal struggles relate to universal coming-of-age themes. Marchiano is a wise teacher and healer, and I look forward to returning to this book many times over!” —Misha Blaise, internationally bestselling author and illustrator

“Mixing unique fairy tales, myths, and examples from her psychoanalytic practice and her own experiences, Lisa Marchiano unlocks the ways in which a woman can rediscover her internal ‘feminine fire’ that for many, independent of culture and geography, has been exiled and buried underground for too long. In this important and meaningful book that amplifies the ways in which a woman can become the heroine of her own life, Marchiano beautifully renders, with nuance and specificity, how to claim what belongs to oneself; how to honor, access, and beneficially express one’s anger before it turns into festering resentment; how to set and uphold boundaries; and how to open the door to one’s fundamental creativity and intuition, which is easily stifled and silenced by age-old cultural expectations of how a woman should be in the world. All women, at any stage of life, must read this book!” —Alexis Landau, PhD, author of The Empire of the Senses and Those Who Are Saved

“In The Vital Spark, the concept of Lilith is explored as a life urge, but also those qualities of autonomy and assertiveness that women are otherwise encouraged to suppress by family and cultural expectation. She is made up of the outlaw energies of shrewdness and desire, a modern-day woman who does not sacrifice herself and who is prepared to do the soul-work needed to stay in touch with her vitality. Using fairy tales, film, and literature, Marchiano presents a compelling hypothesis, a guide to how to become friends with the boldest, most creative, and alive parts of the self. Marchiano writes with clarity and heart, a voice of truth for every woman.” —Lily Dunn, PhD, author of Sins of My Father

Product Details
ISBN: 9781649631008
ISBN-10: 1649631006
Publisher: Sounds True
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English