My guess is that you’ve had the experience of talking with someone and the moment the conversation begins you feel a deep simpatico with them. It is as though you’ve known them all your life. Their words inspire you and their kindness, wisdom and presence magnetize you to them. Janet Conner is one of these people for me. Brenda Knight (associate publisher at VIVA Editions and mid-wife of my new book, The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity for Joy) suggested that I contact Janet. So out of the blue one day many months ago, I gave her a call. And since that time I am unconditionally a big fan of Janet’s. Her generosity of spirit and the wisdom that fills the pages of her first book, Writing Down Your Soul and the companion journal, My Soul Pages, are treasures in my life. I’m thrilled to share this wonderful woman with you.
Susyn: What does living an inspired life mean to you?
Janet: The word “inspired” carries for me a sweet spiritual sense of Spirit entering my being. When I say the word, I hear “in spirit.” And that is the way I live. I see my life as having a purpose and I live my purpose every day. So I feel inspired all the time. Everything I write, every decision I make, everything I do is “inspired” that is, directed and guided. Of course, this kind of like makes perfect sense for me. After all I wrote Writing Down You Soul which is about activating that wise loving voice that lives in every one of us.
Susyn: In your daily life, how do you nourish your inspired life?
Janet: I begin feeding myself even before I wake. In Writing Down Your Soul, I share how to write to activate the theta brain wave state. It is the miraculous state in which we have access to break through thinking and real creativity. In fact, according to the brain people, it is the only brain wave state in which we have access to all these good things. Well, each one of us has access to theta first thing in the morning in that in-between state of not asleep, not quite awake. So, I lie in bed with my eyes closed and allow thoughts, ideas, images, and dreams to come to me. This isn’t weird. Turns out artists and scientists regularly do this to take advantage of the rich creative time in theta. I get all my best ideas lying in bed!
Then, I have a spiritual practice that I follow every day before I start working. I say my Soul Vows (the values I hold most dear) aloud and repeat my Writing Blessing, a miraculous prayer I wrote when I wanted my contract. And guess what happened? My publisher overnight mailed my contract dated May 16, 2007, the day I stood in front of my creative altar and spoke my blessing for the very first time. I also do deep soul writing every day and work with my Intention Mandala. (These are all spiritual tools I teach in my global tele-courses.)
Throughout the day, I keep the channels open. I talk to my angels and guides all the time. I ask for guidance and I know I receive it. Often I reread something I wrote and wonder, “Who wrote THAT!” Any time you have that feeling, it’s a really good sign that your actions were totally inspired.
Susyn: What is your biggest challenge in living an inspired life and how do you approach this challenge?
Janet: It’s taken me a few years to really get into the rhythm of living an inspired life around the clock. At first, I had to remind myself, but now it’s a habit, a way of working, a way of seeing the world. Whenever I feel out of sync, I pick up a pen and have a chat with my Beloved Voice or stand in front of my Intention Mandala and renew my commitments, or pick up an anthology of mystical poetry and read the words of the masters. I do something to pull myself back to my center. When I’m frightened, I ask for help. Actually DEMAND might be more accurate. And help always comes. Always. And when it does, that alone inspires me to continue.
Susyn: Who/What has influenced you in living your inspired life?
Janet: My first spiritual teacher, Charlotte Starfire, introduced me in the early ‘90s to Native American spirituality and the Divine Feminine. On the opening night of the first class she quoted Theilard de Chardin, “We are not human beings trying to have a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” That sentence knocked me off my feet and started my life down a whole new path. Today, I carefully choose literature that will help me stay in that awareness that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. At the moment, I’m devouring John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara and Beauty. My heart sings on every page. His Celtic heart is deeply resonating with mine. Looking at the world through Celtic eyes that saw Spirit in everything is a lovely and deeply inspiring way to live. I’m so crazy about these books, I’m going to plan a soul-venture to Ireland and Scotland in 2013. (In 2012, we’re going to see the Monarch butterflies in Mexico and learn from the spirit of the land on The Blacktail Ranch in Montana.)
Susyn: What are you working on now?
Janet: My next book will be The Lotus and The Lily on how to create a life following the simple instructions of Buddha (Lotus) and Jesus (Lily.) Turns out these great masters said the same thing—and it wasn’t get really clear about what you want and ask for it. We’re way off in our understanding of how to create the life we want. The end product of the book and the tele-course is to create an Intention Mandala, utilizing Carl Jung’s wisdom on the mandala as an engine of change. It’s a very powerful tool and I can’t wait to finish this book and get it out into the world. In the meantime, I teach the course.
Susyn: What words of wisdom do you have for someone who desires to live their inspired life vision?
Janet: The first thing I’d say is know that you came here for a reason. As the great mystical poet David Whyte reminds us in a poem called “What to remember when waking,” “You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents, you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.” (House of Belonging) Your soul brought with it a divine purpose. So take the time to go inside and discover what that is. Then, do something every day to bring it to life. When you serve your purpose, you can fall onto the pillow at night knowing it was a good day no matter what happened. There is a joy that comes with living your purpose that is indescribable. And as you live it, you make the most amazing discovery: every moment is inspired.
Learn more about Janet’s work at: Writing Down Your Soul