I’ll say it right here: Embodying Soul, by Keri Mangis, is not normally the type of book I read. What’s unusual about Embodying Soul is that it seems to be a type all its own. Part memoir, part metaphysical exploration, Keri Mangis looks backward to look forward, and make herself whole.
I admittedly was more drawn to the memoir chapters. I have a deep admiration for Keri’s ability to look to her past experiences for complex insight into her current behavior and attitudes. Isn’t that the way it goes? Our early experiences undoubtedly inform the people we become later, but actually picking apart and analyzing those experiences in order to achieve a state of enlightenment is a difficult thing. It requires honesty and a willingness to push past feelings of shame or fear to dig deep– two things that can make us extremely uncomfortable. As Pema Chodrön advises, we need to learn to sit with our discomfort.
The intervening chapters take place on a different, metaphysical plane. On this plane, Keri becomes Serene Voyager and is guided by Rasa on a journey to uncover the pivotal moments in Keri’s life that adjust its trajectory. Fans of sci-fi and Ursula LeGuin will feel at home in these chapters! I found myself looking for and noticing the parallels between these chapters and the memoir chapters. It’s a clever way to organize a book, and the symmetry makes the switch from the earthly plane to the metaphysical plane less jarring.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and learning Keri’s story. I think most readers will relate to the growing pains Keri goes through, both in her personal life and in business. You can find Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness wherever books are sold. To support independent bookstores, consider buying your copy at bookshop.org
About the Author
On the surface, Keri Mangis might seem a gentle yet candid introvert. But peel back a layer and you’ll uncover an inquisitive explorer of inner and outer realms. Peel back another layer and you might see a brave visionary pioneering her own brand of spiritual revolution. She has studied or taught yoga, Ayurveda, herbal medicine, energy work, aromatherapy, Buddhism, Hinduism, Tantra, Christianity, and other spiritual teachings and healing modalities. A Minneapolis-based writer and speaker, her work has appeared in Elephant Journal, Urban Howl, The Sunlight Press, Grown and Flown, Rebelle Society, The Good Men Project, Stitch, Literary Mama, and elsewhere.
“This is a neatly tied-up philosophy that doesn’t rely on difficult metaphysical concepts and wins readers over with playful visual imagery and language. Readers who want their spiritual guidance personable but not edgy will find Mangis a gentle companion on their paths toward self-understanding.”
–BookLife supplement of Publishers Weekly
“Mangis writes in a wholly readable, thoroughly confident and competent manner, making even the fantasy portions of her book seem plausible, which is no small feat, given the nature of her narrative. Her focus on real world issues, as well as real world solutions, give the book a grounded sense of possibility. Unique and inspiring, Mangis’s unconventional memoir is one of the stronger entries in the genre of spiritual self-help.”
–Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★1/2
“A powerful, engrossing survey that leaves [readers] reflecting long after the stories conclusion.”
–D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The author’s principal goal is to inform, and the book becomes a kind of self-help guide that encourages intuition, communication, and letting go. A nontraditional but effective memoir about one woman’s discovery of spiritualism.” –Kirkus Reviews
“These pages offer the voice of a writer of modern sensibility who dares to leap across time and space to unveil the true nature of soul. Rarely does a memoir have such power and beauty to awaken our own souls in daily life. Read this book!”
–Christina Donnell, PhD, Author of Transcendent Dreaming: Stepping Into Our Human Potential
“This is a book about deep living–a book about courage, searching, finding and telling the truth. It shows the rest of us how we, too, can mine the depths of our lives to find what we are really looking for in order to live an authentic, meaningful, and flourishing life.”
–Dr. Henry Emmons, Integrative Psychiatrist and Author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom
“For readers seeking inspirational knowledge about their higher purpose, their soul guides, and the lessons of every life, Embodying Soul is a marvelous, heart-opening excursion.”
–Christine Warren, Teacher and Author of Navigating Change: Conscious Endings, Visionary Beginnings
“The courage of Keri Mangis to engage in a public dialogue with her soul is a feat not to be taken lightly, for her book Embodying Soul will shape how we all communicate with ourselves and rediscover the truth of our souls.”
–Tim Miejan, Editor and publisher of The Edge Magazine