The Writing of Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness
A Memoir of New Beginnings
By Keri Mangis
WHEN I BEGAN this book six years ago (coming February 2020), I was in a place in my life we in the spiritual community often call a Dark Night of the Soul. Several ventures of mine had ended abruptly, and I wasn’t sure what was next. I felt I understood what my skills and strengths were, but I couldn’t find a way to put them to use in the world in a way that would be recognizable to others (i.e., safe) as well as satisfying to me. Plus, I was tired of trying so hard, and making (seemingly) no progress. I was having an identity crisis (isn’t this what all mid-life crises are at the core?)
With guidance and support, I dug past the surface questions until I arrived at my core questions:
Did my soul know and remember what it was like to be human before choosing this lifetime?
Did she know about the disillusionment, betrayals, loneliness, and disappointments?
Did she know all of this, and still say “yes”?
This was how the Soul Realm perspective of my book began, which alternates with a more common Earth Realm perspective. Writing with these two parallel perspectives (and eventually watching them merge) allowed the stories to be seen through the eyes of the soul as well as the ego. As it turns out, they look quite different!
I began to realize that I was living my life exactly how my soul had always meant: with a lean toward adventurous new beginnings, and the opportunity to slip into many different human “skins”—roles, identities, titles—to see what there was to learn. She, my soul, never expected me to “figure it out.”
NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE REALIZED
This realization filled me with gratitude and forgiveness toward myself. Much healing happened during the writing of this book. Rather than seeing my life as a series of false starts and premature endings, I saw it anew as a rich journey of new beginnings, continued growth, and soulful evolution.
It was then that I realized this book was no longer simply a personal memoir, but a collective one. All of us have stories in our lives that we don’t quite understand why they happened, or what we were supposed to learn from them. But our souls do, if we only stop to ask.
For most of my life up until this point, I was trying to find a skin—a role, a relationship, a title—which I could wear that would make me permanently happy and content. In this book, I share my desperate journey to shrink down, cut off, or otherwise mold myself to fit inside each of these skins. But the struggle created an untenable situation within my own body, one that forced me to address all that was being ignored.
I had to turn inward and decide: Am I someone I can live with, faults and all? Am I someone with whom I can be happy? Am I someone I can honor and even adore just as I am?
I can thank my own Endless Curiosity, who appears in this book embodied in the form of a silver-eyed wolf, for not allowing me to give up and disappear into the folds of society. It is a testament to her importance in my life that I made the decision to make her a character. For I learned that her nature, like that of a real wolf, was very seldom invited inside the places that actually needed her most—schools, churches, and businesses, even yoga centers. I eventually learned to love my Endless Curiosity even more than I coveted approval and belonging. Now, Endless Curiosity is with me everywhere I go. Her wild nature can be intimidating, but it is also often the catalyst for change, conversation, and above all, wild, soulful creativity.
As I move into the next stage of my life, I’m not trying to grow ever-thicker skins—quite the opposite, in fact. I’m letting myself be more vulnerable, more fully seen for Who I Am. Now, I am living porously—no boundaries, no apologies. Any skins I try on from this point forward, I will wear as they were meant to be worn—soul-side out.
Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness—A Memoir of New Beginnings, is a memoir. But it is also an invitation for each reader to take a journey to the center of their own soul, to ask how their soul views their life. It is an invitation to slip beneath one’s outer skins to find out who we are at the core. It is an invitation to come to a place of living with courageous, unconditional self-love.
Keri is a curious seeker and truth speaker, an Earth Realm explorer and Soul Realm mediator, a philosopher and boundary-free visionary.
She has recently begun a podcast entitled Awaken your Power, which you can find on her personal website: www.kerimangis.com. In this podcast, she seeks to redefine power from something we try to get from the outside world to something that we cultivate from within.
Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness will be available on Valentine’s Day. 2020. For information on the book, the launch party, book readings, and/or to pre-order your copy, visit embodyingsoulbook.com.