Soulistry - Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality encourages readers to re-connect with the intangible soul-essence of life and experience rich spiritual growth. In today's culture, people are becoming aware of the importance of balance in their lives: physically, intellectually and spiritually. Through a series of over 80 inspirational quotations (from ordinary and extraordinary human beings around the world living in different centuries) along with accompanying Soul-Questions, this unique book encourages readers to embrace life in new ways.
SOULISTRY is a marvelous method of finding the silence and attention that a healthy soul requires. If you are looking for greater depth, richness, and fulfillment in your life, this book will help you find it.
Dr. Larry Dossey: physician, speaker, author, advocate of spirituality in healthcare.
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Table of Contents
Preface: How to Get the Most out of this Book 1
Soulistry Journal Prompts and Soul-Questions 8
How To Make a Soulistry Journal 98
Soulistry Journal Prompt/Soul-Question Author Biographies 100
Soulistry Journal Prompt/Soul-Question Titles 118
The Soulistry Story 127
Soulistry Retreats and Workshops 130
who am i? 132
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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. Quill says: This beautifully creative, peaceful book will enable the reader to look within and peacefully nurture their soul while developing their spiritual nature.
Some months ago, I visited a nutritionist physician to get help with my diet. Part of aging, I suppose. Among the many things I learned, besides that my favorite foods are verboten, of course, is that writing down everything you eat is the most effective way to control your diet. Twice as many people who journal their food intake succeed at permanent weight loss than those who do not journal. Journaling is good for the soul as well. "Soulistry" is a name coined from "soul" and "artistry" used by June Maffin to describe what she intends to help us do: discover in creative ways the deep mysteries that are hidden in our souls. It's about "spirituality," in other words, but in a very nuanced and developed way that avoids the usual vague platitudes. While the author is a Christian priest, anyone of good will who desires to learn more about his or her true self will find this book very useful. Soulistry (Artistry of the Soul) is first of all how to reveal to yourself what is happening with your soul. Or in less exalted language, to help you answer the question, "Who am I - really?" at least to yourself. But you do not have to write a journal to get a great deal out of Soulistry. Maffin has collected over many years a series of what she calls "prompts", which are quotations to help focus on some specific area of your life, as you then ask yourself some questions. So for instance, she quotes Desmond Tutu for a "prompt": "There is nothing you can do that will make God love you more. There is nothing you can do that will make God love you less." Then she follows with eight questions, three of which are: . Do you believe that God (Creator, Holy Other, Higher Power, Spirit, Holy One) loves you? . If so, is that love conditional (if so, on what is it conditional?) or unconditional? . Can you recall instances when you tried to do something to make God love you more? (see page 12) It is a simple, powerful technique to get you to think. But the "prompts" and questions also elicit an emotional response, as well as intellectual, which can lead you to ask more intimate questions of yourself and ponder personal stories and experiences. With the passage of time, your answers will change and develop, As the author says, this is a technique to get yourself out of ordinary time (chronos), into moments of self-revelation (kairos). Furthermore, you can use this book over and over. Maffin has provided a very useful cross-index so that the user easily can find a theme, a quote, or a short biography of the wise person quoted, to mull over a first time or a hundredth. Here is my favorite prompt (at this point in chronos): A Cherokee elder sitting with his grandchildren told them this story. "In everyone's life, there is a terrible daily fight-a fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil - this one is negativity, fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, frustration, boredom and deceit. The other wolf is good - this one is joy, serenity, self-control, humility, goodness, confidence, generosity, truth, kindness, gentleness, love, patience and compassion." A child asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins the fight?" The elder looked him in the eye. "The one you feed."(Page 52) If you haven't guessed, I am not by nature a journal-maker, ho
"So, the paradox of prayer is that it asks for a serious effort while it can only be received as a gift. We cannot plan, organize or manipulate God; but without a careful discipline, we cannot receive him either." (Henri J. M. Nouwen. Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life) Just as Nouwen describes prayer as a paradox of gift and self-discipline, nurturing our spiritual health is also a contradiction of terms. No matter how we work, struggle, and strive to be closer to God, it is His movement to embrace us that draws us into His heart. I read a new resource this week that is helpful in creating space in our lives for God. The book is called Soulistry - Artistry of the Soul - Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality by June Mack Maffin. Using one of my favorite practices - journaling, Maffin provides 80 inspirational quotes and spiritual reflection questions to explore. She writes, "Journal writings are meant to be personal conversations - with yourself; with yourself and God. Writing your responses to the Soul-Questions can clarify what you believe/think about certain relationships, issues, life, yourself. This is your opportunity to know yourself more deeply and to make time to listen, to think, to pray, to meditate about what you believe - really believe. You may find that your responses to the Soul-Questions raise additional questions and if so, record those questions in your Soulistry Journal for consideration at a later time." As I read this beautifully written and encouraging book, a sense of peace fell over my heart. Her questions following the quotes are some of the best thought-provoking ones I have seen. She introduces topics not always explored like the spirituality of play, doing what you think you cannot do, and risking frustration. Often when we dig deeper into new words, we see God with fresh new eyes. June Mack Maffin presently lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada and "delights in facilitating Soulistry retreats and workshops, working on her next book, and nurturing others on their journey as Creative Spirituality Artists." She has her Masters in Divinity, a doctorate in Pastoral Care, and is ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada. Her experience is vast in such areas as a radio and television personality and writer; book author, provincial information officer, high school educator, wife, mother, group facilitator, counselor, book and magazine editor, spiritual director, retreat leader, Anglican priest, school chaplain, and Creative Spirituality Artist. If you are hungry to grow deeper with God, I encourage you to explore Soulistry to help nourish your spiritual life.
Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality by June Maffin is a book of journal prompts and questions that are intended to make you think more deeply about the spiritual aspects of your being. She stresses the importance of the Soul-Questions as being that of clarifying what you believe and think about relationships, issues, life, and yourself. The guide is broken up into a number of short chapters, each consisting of a prompt on a specific topic and related questions. Each prompt consists of a relatively short quotation of a few lines that Maffin has taken from the work of a wide range of spiritually informed and wise teachers who have shared their deepest thoughts with their disciples and followers over the ages. These individuals, for whom she provides a short biography at the end of the book, come from across the world, across cultures and across religions. The topics that Maffin covers include all the basic human emotions, including fear, joy, gratitude, and love, as well as a host of other spiritually related aspects of being. The number of questions that she asks per topic is less than ten, and usually four or more. You could either consider them by yourself, or in a small encounter group or workshop. Each question is probing and direct, being meant to stimulate your thinking and to advance your journey towards spiritual awareness and health. Maffin has found, over the years, that she has experienced spiritual growth as she has asked Soul-Questions of herself, and that is the purpose of this guide to greater spiritual awareness: she wishes to encourage you, the reader, "to connect more intimately with your spirituality." Maffin's approach is logical and rational-she provides you with guidance every inch of the way, so that throughout the book she acts as your spiritual mentor and guide. Maffin recommends that, when reading this book, you should keep a journal in which to record your responses to the Soul-Questions that she asks, after you have reflected on the Soulistry Journal Prompts that she provides. If you have never before done any form of journaling, she provides a brief and simple guide on how you can set about doing so. The Journal can also be used for any other questions that arise from those already asked. Maffin also teaches you how physically to make a soulistry journal from basic materials. Maffin concludes Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul by explaining how, when she was suffering from mercury poisoning, she found that developing her artistic potential enabled her to overcome the pain that she was experiencing at the time. Using her own learning curve as an educator, Creative Spirituality Artist, writer, and spiritual director / soul friend, she came to develop a series of Soulistry Workshops and Retreats, which she has held since then all over North America and Europe. Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul encapsulates such work and makes it available to a wider audience than might otherwise have been possible. All those who are keen to advance their spiritual awareness would be well advised to acquire this helpful and thought-provoking guide.
""Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality" by June Mack Maffin, should come with a warning label. "Warning: this book propels us into God-time, into God-space!" If we take the book's provocative Soul-Questions seriously, answers well up from our souls and we will be motivated to go further into ourselves than perhaps we have ever gone. I did and confronted new information about myself which opened me to transcendence. I encourage you to read this book and encounter the Divine in new ways."