By: June Mack Maffin
Publisher: O Books
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2011
It is during times of adversity that we begin to ponder the meaning of the universe and our very existence. Many begin to think they have nothing to offer the world and that nothing they ever did was worthwhile. Some dwell on all the wrongs that have been done to them, yet others move beyond the negative and look inward toward their souls and think about what they can give to others. June Mack Maffin was one whose strength and faith brought the Creator into her heart many years ago. Mercury poisoning had atrophied her limbs and had begun to silence her voice. It was a world that held nothing for her. Her inability to read kept her from traveling into a world beyond her suffering, yet one night she was moved to create beauty out of an object where there was none before.
June had pulled a mirror from a closet, not to reflect on her battered body, but to add a “variety of embellishments.” This simple act stimulated her right brain. Was there any hope for her? She began to dialogue with her Creator and he responded positively: “Develop your right brain. Healing will come.” (pg. 127) June unexpectedly became an artist and much later began to connect with her soul. This yearning was the spark that eventually led to the creation of Soulistry—Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality.” For years she began to collect quotations that would have great meaning to her. June expanded the collection and developed a series of intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, and soul-searching questions … “Soul-Questions.” These questions “will encourage you to connect more intimately with your spirituality.”
June briefly discusses two Greek dimensions of time, kairos and chronos. Chronos are those mundane activities we engage in daily without giving much thought to. Kairos are those with which we are able to “get in touch with our true selves.” Those may embrace things like the smile of a baby, the smell of a beautiful rose, the laughter of a child … the simple things that touch our soul. Each quotation in this book is followed by questions that ask you to reflect on moments in your life. June says that “Journal writings are meant to be personal conversations—with yourself/with yourself and God.” (pg. 1) The quotations are drawn from a variety of sources from all religions and people from all walks of life with questions that ask us to look inward and encourage us to “embrace life in new ways.”
As the reader browses this book they will immediately connect with June as she attempts to guide us to examine our lives and rejoice in our souls. “Soulistry” is the combination of two words, “soul” and “artistry.” As I read I could easily see where I could pull from the questions and quotations and develop my artistic, creative side as well as nourish my soul. One need not journal to benefit from this work. For example, the “Soulistry Journal Prompt” quotation by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “So many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wins while just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs,” easily makes us think about those around us. I found it quite easy to connect with kairos and leave the mundane behind for a while as I retreated. In the back of the book are brief biographical sketches of authors and a complete listing of Soulistry journal prompts (quotations).
Quill says: This beautifully creative, peaceful book will enable the reader to look within and peacefully nurture their soul while developing their spiritual nature.