Embodying soul: a return to wholeness
a memoir of new beginnings
Valentine's Day, 2020!
Join author Keri Mangis on a mystical ride as a determined truth-seeker unexpectedly meets her journeying soul, leading to the knowledge that self-acceptance is the surest way to joy.
mind, body, spirit | memoir
Serene Voyager, known as Sëri in the Soul Realm, assesses her eternal journey before embarking on her next lifetime in the Earth Realm. Meanwhile, in the Earth Realm, twenty-year-old Keri moves away from her birthplace of North Dakota and unwittingly surrenders her self-worth for safety, her personal power for approval, and her intuition for false promises. Later, when her chosen roles of businesswoman, wife, mother, and yoga teacher thrust her into an identity crisis rather than imbue her life with meaning, she forges a relationship with her soul, Sëri. Through parallel stories, Sëri helps Keri discover that joy derives not from successful role-playing but from knowing who you really are inside your human skin.
“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.”
—Henry Emmons, MD
Integrative Psychiatrist and author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom and The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety
“In this engaging, insightful memoir, Keri Mangis shares her deep wisdom about the journeys we embark on with each human incarnation, and the soul purpose behind all we experience in our ‘skins,’ or bodies. Through her highly relatable heroine Sëri, in collaboration with Sëri’s soul friend Rasa, Keri unfolds one woman’s tale of discovering the Great Truth of our lives and the loving purpose for all that we undergo on earth. Ultimately, she shows us how to discover joy. 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.”
Teacher and author of Navigating Change: Conscious Endings, Visionary Beginnings
“New stories are coming through to heal our collective imagination. Keri Mangis’s Embodying Soul belongs to this emergent art form. Through the lens of her own life story, told with vulnerability, humor, and grace, Mangis invites us into a world where the rich inner landscape of the psyche is always speaking, always full of gifts for us. We receive these gifts—of curiosity unleashed, self-mothering, inner re-wilding—and are set free of the old limits on our imaginations. Be ready, dear reader: adventuring into this book may change you. You may become more aware of the inner conversation between your emotions or begin listening for the voice of your soul, or simply forgive yourself for the times you haven’t listened. And you may remember another gleaming facet of who you came here to be.”
—Opal C McCarthy
Author of the poetry collection SURGE
“Keri Mangis has written a book to be savored over a cup of herbal tea; shared with friends; and, once completed, kept nearby for further reference. Part autobiography, part self-help, part soul-realm imagination, it is a flowing stream of gathering awareness revealing a story many of us can relate to. Each of the major emotions becomes a companion along the way, not just an affliction to be ignored, shoved aside, or belittled. And Mangis’s inventive, engaging style promises humor, depth, drama, comedy, humility, and profound humanity. This is an excellent book.”
—Ronald E. Moor
Healer, teacher, and spiritual guide
“Embodying Soul, a courageous piece of work, speaks to the beauty and pain of the human condition. Keri Mangis captivates the reader with her vulnerability, creativity, and insight, inspiring us to explore the true depth of our souls to better understand ourselves and one another. This book is sure to infuse more purpose and meaning into your life.”
Author of The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Must-Have Guide to Health and
Well-Being and founder of ModernWell
About this book
“Learn to take a joke.”
“Don’t take it so personally.”
“Oooh, touchy are we?”
“It’s not personal, it’s business.”
“Can’t you let it go?”
“C’mon, you’re fine.”
“You need to grow a thicker skin.”
Women in particular are used to hearing some, if not all, of the above statements. Is it any wonder we learn to hide our true selves? Disguise our emotions? Silence our souls? Does it surprise us to think that most of us live our lives with a faint feeling of “something more,” but find we are unable to answer the call?
In a culture that says it celebrates uniqueness and independence, right up until the point it threatens the status quo, should we be surprised that we ignore the twisting restlessness and desire that comes from within us, the part of us that couldn’t care less if it “fits in?”
Unless we consciously choose differently, most of us will find a way to fit in as we are taught, and adhere to what society tells us about what it means to be human. We find ways to not accept or address our emotions—especially anger, fear, or anxiety. And many of us discredit the wisdom and bravery available from our souls, the highest voice of truth and integrity we will ever know, the still, small voice within each of us. Meanwhile, our sense of self-worth, personal power, and our alignment with own integrity is stripped away.
Sometimes, we read a step-by-step self-help book, or come upon an inspiring quote on the internet. For a moment we feel courageous, inspired, and ready to step into our truest selves, what I would call our truest skin, come what may. But the steps are soon forgotten, the inspiration fades and normal life returns.
The real world—the world of rules, limits and boundaries—teaches us, ever so subtly, that if we want to find success, approval and essentialness, we must reject our inner world. We must suppress our emotions and hide our true selves beneath masks and roles and duties. We learn that if we want to make it, we must sell, sacrifice, or otherwise silence our own souls.
The spiritual world—the world of magical thinking and skys-the-limits—teaches us that if we reject the outer world and move inward to listen to our soul, we can find eternal peace, joy, and maybe even enlightenment. But to do so, just like in the real world, we must learn to sequester our emotions if they don’t fit in, and sideline our more wolf-like natures.
Which truth is the right truth, what I refer to in this book as the Great Truth? Must we sell our soul to live in the real world? Or, must we shed our human skins to connect with our soul?
In this book, I share my desperate journey to shrink down, cut off, or otherwise mold myself to fit inside each of these worlds. I planned to continue until I matched the definition I applied to a successful, happy person. But the struggle created an untenable situation within my own body, one that forced me to address all that had gone ignored.
Through showing my own journey, I make the case that the two worlds—the everyday and the spiritual—are not so separate after all. Nor must the desires of our divine souls and our human egos be forever at odds. There is, in fact, a way to wholeness. The Great Truth, that which I sought with such voracity, is not one thing, but is inclusive of all of life, the light and the shadow. We don’t need to squash the messy, the sidelined, and the undesirable emotions. With them, instead of despite them, we will find the humor and connection we all crave. Instead of hunting down some great truth “out there,” we can let our inner world inform, entertain and lighten up our paths.
In a Gallup poll taken in November 2016, 77% of Americans view our nation as divided. Yet we don’t need polls to know that this is true. We can feel the division, especially in the wake of the 2016 election—in our workplaces, in our families, in our neighborhoods. But one of the things I took away from my spiritual studies is that “what is here is elsewhere, what is not here is nowhere.” In other words, the division we see is ultimately pointing to division that exists within each one of us as individual.
It’s the division between the lives we are leading and the ones we wish we were, between the words we want to say and the words we actually speak, between the joy we think we should have and the joy we actually capture. It is this division—the split between ourselves and our souls—that we are called now to heal.
Only while on a road to healing ourselves are we best equipped to heal the wounds of our fractured nation.
Now, more than ever, we must find our voices and speak out. We must find the courage to stand up for what we believe in. But we can’t do any of this well until and unless we first reunite with our soul. And the best way to get in touch with our souls is to speak directly with our souls, as I have done in this book. Sprinkling in a little magic never hurts either!
this book is for you if...
You’ve always sensed that there’s more to this world, and this lifetime, than meets the eye. Now, you're ready to explore this "something more."
You've often been called over-sensitive, and yet hardening yourself to the world has never made you happy or feel satisfied.
You consider yourself a seeker of truth, and hunger for knowledge and ideas.
The meaning and purpose you’ve longed to find inside roles, identities, jobs, or relationships remains elusive, and you’re seeking something deeper and more sustainable.
There’s a voice and energy inside you wanting to burst forth, but you’re not sure if it’s safe (PS – it’s not, but we need to do it anyway!)
You often find yourself having to “stuff” your emotions. You’ve been told, or come to believe, that emotions cannot be trusted, yet you wonder if perhaps they are wiser, and more important, than we allow for.
You’ve often felt as if you had to “earn” your place in this world through accomplishments and status, and yet the constant race for belonging and acceptance has taking its toll on your health and well-being.
You’re ready to step into your own authority and power—after too many years of giving this power over to other people.
You're ready to live this life as your soul always longed to—with adventure, wonder, connection, and passionate engagement.
Upon finishing this book...
You will be able to see your own life through a different lens—that of your soul—and perhaps this viewpoint will allow for healing and growth in a way no other perspective has.
You will be able to seize the opportunity to heal your relationship with your emotions—even come into an ally-ship with them in ways that are not so frightening or overwhelming.
You will perhaps get a glimpse (or more!) of your own soul animal—the companion that represents the most integral part of what makes you you, and what must be given great care and attention.
You will find greater trust in your own voice and convictions, and feel ready to speak them and live them.
Your personal stores of courage, strength, boldness, curiosity and freedom will be replenished and renewed to use however you wish.
You may find yourself contentment and gratitude as true companions in your life.
You may no longer feel the need chase after temporary happiness, in any form, for you will have connected with a more sustainable inner joy.
about author keri mangis
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. Embodying Soul is her first book.