Soul-soothing book an elixir for the spirit

The author and her husband, Hans, on their wedding day, Sept. 17, 2009. Photo: contributed<
Published November 1, 2011

The author began working on the book a few years ago when her body was racked with pain from mercury poisoning.

In case you’re wondering, “soulistry” is a neologism coined by the Rev. Dr. June Mack Maffin as shorthand for artistry of the soul. Her new book of the same name, published April 29 and subtitled Creative Ways to Nurture Your Spirituality, is a spring tonic that speaks to our very essence.

The book guides readers through soul journeying and soul journalling, prompting them to have profound written conversations with themselves and with the mystery that lies at the heart of existence. Keeping a spiritual diary as a tool of self-discovery, soul travellers work their way through a series of Journal Prompts-inspiring quotations that lead to Soul-Questions. Their responses to those questions are designed to help them know themselves more intimately, to clarify what they really believe about life, relationships and important issues, and to help them grow fully into their humanity.

The almost 80 catalyst quotations harvest the wisdom of sage minds from different walks, faiths and ages. Slake your spiritual thirst on topics ranging from faith and hope to goodness, mystery and wisdom with citations from ancient Chinese proverbs, Buddha, Christ, Navajo chants, Khalil Gibran and Dag Hammarskjold. Each quotation is followed by thought-provoking questions.

Maffin, an ebullient Anglican priest and spiritual workshop director based in Duncan, B.C., on Vancouver Island, began working on this soul-soothing book a few years ago when her body was racked with pain from mercury poisoning, her muscles atrophying and her mind foggy, unclear and incapable of concentration. “For a year, even reading was a challenge,” she says.

The Montreal-born Maffin’s career path has been more varied than most. Sent to elocution class to cure a stutter, the young Maffin was discovered by a producer and became a teenage TV personality, which parlayed itself into her appointment as Canadian editor of a U.S. teen magazine. She studied sociology at Concordia University, taught high school in Montreal and was considering law but digressed into seminary and the priesthood.

She holds a doctorate in pastoral theology and is the author of an earlier book, Disturbed by God. Nowadays, Maffin focuses principally on her ministry of Soulistry, acting as a workshop and retreat leader to help people make the connection between creativity and spirituality, thereby nurturing their souls.

Asked how spirituality differs from emotionality and intellectuality, Maffin replies, “Spirituality gets at the very essence of who and what you really are and what you believe about the important things in life.”

Circle Books, 2011
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and some local bookstores


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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