January 26, 2014

Sometimes, Lightning Has to Strike. ~ Keri Mangis {Review}

My Healing Experience and Introduction to The Way Lightning Splits the Sky, by Peter Churchill

I must be a close cousin of the snake. As such, I recently stepped into my new, shiny skin! Like the snake, prior to the unveiling of this skin my vision turned cloudy, dull and inhibited my ability to “see.” But unlike the wise snake that hunkers down and waits out this period patiently, I fought. I resisted. I demanded answers. So my body stepped in, in a painful and direct way: chronic urticaria (hives).

Hives for me have been cyclical (every seven years or so almost my whole life) and I’ve come to know that their presence is indicative of a time for deep soul searching, whether I want to or not, whether I have time or not.

While my skin is itching, burning and angry, my soul demands to be heard and addressed. It’s time to ask myself the hard questions about who I am and what I want. My body will not accept anything less than the whole naked truth as the rest of my life is put on “Pause.” “Resume” will only happen when my soul searching is complete to my body’s satisfaction, and with the appropriate life changes instilled.

During this recent episode, I found writing to be a helpful part of the process of sorting out my truths from my masks and misperceptions. The most powerful piece I wrote was for elephant journal: An Urgent Call to Free Yoga.

This article was an unfiltered expression of my passion and frustration about the current state of yoga.

I knew that my perspective was not a wildly popular one and was perhaps even divisive, but it was my perspective. And speaking my truth was critical to healing. Nerves almost prevented me from submitting this article, but I exhaled slowly and hit “send.”

Shortly after my article was published, I received a direct email from Peter Churchill, commending me on the article and inviting me to read his book, The Way LIghtning Splits the Sky. Since I had not heard of him or this book before, I looked into it cautiously (who knows these days?) but based on the reviews and synopsis I ordered it. It turned out to be the best thing I could’ve done.

During my reading and ultimate savoring of his book, I experienced the first sense of relief from my hives, and by the time I completed the book, my hives were gone. How? Because this book helped me release what remained of my old skin, get my “sight” back and step into my new skin! It met me at a crossroads and pointed out a direction that became more real and possible with each turn of the page.

What was helplessness and inertia turned into positive energy and enthusiasm. Where there was staleness and emptiness, I breathed in words of pure, fresh hope and inspiration. I regained my strength and power. My consciousness expanded.

And naturally, my health followed.

Clearly this was an important book for me personally, but I’m introducing it to the healing and spiritual community at large because I think it can do even more good for more people. Personally, I have grown tired of the same old recycled new age ‘visions’ that aren’t supported by real action and courage. Done with the systems of healing/enlightenment that profess theirs is the only true way. Weary of the guru/disciple model failing time and again. We need a break-through and this book provides it.

This book is both a beautiful, reflective and honest memoir and a privileged look into the ahead-of-its-time practice of a true modern-day healer. This book puts out a call to usher in a new kind of spirituality and healing with a definite Yin emphasis (go Kali!).

Allow me to share a few quotes that provide glimpses of what is available in this book:

  • The new (or authentically old) kind of physician, healing practitioner, yoga teacher or spiritual mentor is highly skilled in his or her craft….He or she constantly calls each one to wake up to his or her own innate healing power and spiritual freedom.
  • The caring heart is more important to a healing friend than any knowledge, methods or techniques, or even any sacred pouch containing rare oils, gems and medicines…[it is the] caring heart that heals and restores every living being.
  • No matter what form our outer work takes, if we choose to use our awareness to link with the Sacred as we simultaneously serve others and perform our daily actions, we allow for the miraculous to regularly manifest in the midst of ordinary life.

For those of us who desire to be the change we wish to see in a world that critically needs healing, for those of us who have the courage to lead a new kind of spirituality and healing, this book was written for us. It is a living companion, a guide and a source of laughter, connection and joy. It may be the best thing you do for yourself in in the New Year!

For myself, I am hive-free and back to work, albeit with a new sense of direction and purpose.  I am hopeful that in seven years, I will not go through another episode but if I do, I will be most grateful if Peter has a new book out by then to carry me into the next stage!


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Asst. Editor: Edith Lazenby/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Amazon.com


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