On the Wings of Inspiration calls to mind Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way in the way it prompts inner growth and self-reflection through creativity with inspiring images, poetry, prose, and exercises. It is an innovative, spiritually oriented, self-help book that offers combined techniques, from Jungian and cognitive therapies to meditation and creative play.
Singer and actress Cheryl Metrick was meditating regularly when the spontaneous symbolic images and poetry included in the book “just fell out of my head.” Friend, therapist, and fellow singer, Jeree Wade, found Metrick’s images powerful in her own work, and the two collaborated on this book.
Metrick opens each chapter with an image and poem. She follows these with an autobiographical meditation that reflects on both and concludes with an affirmation. Wade then finishes each chapter with her own inspirational narrative on Metrick’s images and words and offers creative exercises, from asking readers to contemplate key questions on that chapter’s theme to offering drawing and visualization exercises. The authors’ voices dynamically cover broad universal themes, including the power of love, passion, and the act of letting go. Each chapter can stand alone, allowing readers to pace the journey as they like.
The book’s main challenge is its physical layout. Its 8.5” x 11” dimension is so text-heavy that it is taxing to read. A smaller page size and more spacious layout would help readers reflect more easily on each section. Similarly, recommended reading lists are habitually woven into the middle of the narrative sections and would be less distracting if placed at the end of each chapter. Another jarring note is the way the autobiographical narrative in Chapter 5 veers from the book’s established structure and lacks the usual illustrative personal anecdotes, instead reading as a suggested reading list.
Overall, however, On the Wings of Inspiration is a stimulating read. Its images and poetry are unique, evocative, and beautiful, and its narratives and exercises are cathartic, often fun, and effective.
Also available in hardcover.