I gasped in delight as I pulled Soulistry from its shipping envelope and saw the delicate image of dandelion seeds drifting on a gentle breeze. I smiled at an image of June Maffin’s thoughts wafting like the seeds of that dandelion, and wondered if they would sprout and multiply like the humble dandelion in souls around the world.

I was not disappointed. The slender volume packs a virtual universe into 144 pages. The seeds are contained within 80 quotations and the probing questions that follow each. These pages contain enough journaling prompts to keep a person writing for years, exploring and expanding with each small thought. The source quotations demonstrate the expansiveness of Maffin’s personal spirituality, including Christian classics such as St. Augustine and Thomas Merton and branching out into the whole world — American Indian, Chinese proverbs, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Anaïs Nin, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Jesus … Without an overt word, she demonstrates that faith and spirit transcend boundaries of limiting belief structures.

The quotations and question-prompts would be a rich meal unto themselves, but she doesn’t leave it at that. The book begins with a brief Preface explaining how to get the greatest benefit from the book and a short Prologue that gently nudges anxiously questioning minds into soothing channels of encouragement. Any reader will appreciate at least a couple of her six appendices. She gives simple instructions for making your own Soulistry Journal volume and tells the inspiring story of the health affliction that led her to discover the combination of soul and artistry. Two more appendices will appeal to the inner organizer or librarian within many readers. She gives brief background sketches of each quoted person and lists the quotations alphabetically by the titles she assigned.

Even if you never write a word, this uplifting volume will give you plenty to think about, but your life will be much richer if you do record your responses to prompts. Orderly souls may prefer to begin with the first and work their way through in an orderly fashion. Free Spirits may pick and choose, selecting those quotes and prompts that resonate most strongly on any given day. Some may prefer to write simple, spontaneous answers and move on. Others may spend hours over a period of days or weeks drilling deeply into specific questions, fully mining their riches. However you use this book, your life will be richer for letting Maffin’s simple seeds take root in your soul.

Sharon Lippincott
StoryCircle Book Reviewer
http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/soulistry.shtml

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