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Happy inspiration derived from author's life, hard times

Mandi Miller went to the School of Hard Knocks — her words — to derive the wisdom she imparts in her book Soul Light.


Soul Light: Solutions for Embracing Life’s Challenges and Living a Life You Love

By Mandi Miller

$14.97 ($3.33 on Kindle)

116 pages

INDYROX Publishing

Available through her website and at the Bookstore on Perron, Lahari Yoga, and Audreys Books

Has life got you down and you're having trouble getting your spirits back up? That's understandable. Things are tough enough without a pandemic and all of the other strange and unhappy things going on to give you the blues.

Local author Mandi Miller hopes to offer a soulful boost with her upcoming book event. Her first book Soul Light was inspired by some of the darker times in her life, but she took even the saddest moments as lessons for a better life.

"There is so much more to life than what we see in front of us," she said. "We all have a purpose. We are all here for a reason. The truth is we only have so much time here, to learn, to love, to adventure. What is it you really want to do? How is it that you truly want to feel in this life?"

Miller has been on the path to these realizations since she was a teenager. That's when tragedy struck her family. They were on a road-trip vacation and a drunk driver crashed into them, killing her mother. 

"That was the beginning. You have the hardest, hardest moments and for some crazy reason, the biggest clarity pops up. It's trauma, but other things are going on at the same time. There's revolutions that are happening inside yourself."

Three years ago, she went through cancer. She saw it as a great challenge, for certain, but she also saw it as a gift.

"They're hard and painful, but it's lessons that you can't buy. The knowledge you can come up with, for whatever reason, these are my lessons, and these are my truths, but I've always felt like they can help other people that don't have to go through that to learn this."

She wrote Soul Light with the purpose of spreading her wisdom to others. She calls them her life's truths and lessons she has always felt a need to share with the world. The result of her passion project is a book that is not an easy read, and it wasn't intended that way. It's more of a workbook because it asks you questions only you can answer for yourself.

"It's a bit of a challenge for yourself," she continued. 

"We're only here for so long. We don't know how long that is. What do we really want to do with the time we have? How do you want to feel? How do you want to spend it? What's inside you that's most important without the outside noise? And how do you get back to that and the power that we have? We only control ourselves and the power we have to be able to lift up other people as well as ourselves, and the connection. We're all connected."

Miller is hosting a special event, The Happy Hour of Inspiration, in which she will offer some excerpts from the book to attendees. She intends for it to be a light evening despite the seriousness of the content. Of course, life doesn't always need to be serious, and this friendly local writer is there to inspire everyone to get the most enjoyment out of their own lives.

The former hairstylist and real estate agent said she loves people, and she loves her life, too.

"I'm just totally passionate about humans and our relationships," she added.

"I thought, if I don't ... get [the book] out there now, what if it is too late? Then I’d regret not doing it, knowing I should have done it when I had the time, or I was in the right space. It created an urgency after cancer. That's twice now in my life I've been challenged with facing death. ... It's hard. You put yourself out there when you write. 

"Ultimately what I want to do is ... I want to encourage people and motivate people. That's my big vision. Now I've got my book behind me … there's the backbone, and now we can go forward. That's the dream."

Mandi Miller's Happy Hour of Inspiration runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24 at the Bookstore on Perron, 7 Perron St. Visit EventBrite to learn more and to pre-register.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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