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Thank you for visiting Current Living Blog. Through much feedback and by going with my gut, I have decided to merge two of my blogs– this one and “Where She Stops, Nobody Knows” which focused on writing, popular culture, arts and more. I am taking several posts from this blog and transferring them to…

SOUL LAB!

Yes, Soul Lab is both a blog and a radio show. From spirituality to pop culture, and from parenting to the environment, it is my mission to get to the heart of why people do what they do… and what that means for the rest of us. I strive to inform, entertain and inspire with interviews, reviews and commentary that is authentic, irreverant, uplifting, soulful and funny. Soul Lab is not just my platform… it’s for you. Enjoy.

Go here for the blog…

Go here for the radio show…

And welcome to Soul Lab!

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Wow! Finally the first official movie trailer for the live action version of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, directed by Spike Jonze!! Looks incredible and I can not wait. Coming out Oct. 16.

Janet Conner, Author of Writing Down Your Soul (Jan. 09, Conari Press)

Janet Conner, Author of Writing Down Your Soul (Jan. 09, Conari Press)

A funny thing happened on the way to this particular installment of Well-being Q&A. I was doing a simple writing exercise where I was describing a very beautiful memory in extreme detail. As I was writing, I heard a loud inner voice which startled me. The voice said “divine writing.” I thought, “huh– what is divine writing?” My mind started really going in a lot of different directions and when I internally asked “What is divine writing?” another voice responded. It said “writing down the soul.”

The next day I kept thinking of this phrase “writing down the soul” and so I finally “googled” it and that’s when I stumbled upon Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner (Jan. 2009, Conari Press). I didn’t get the “your” part, but close enough. I quickly realized that the message I was receiving in my clear and positive writing state was simply giving me a cosmic book recommendation!

I was delighted to learn that the processes in Writing Down Your Soul were exactly the psychic prescription I needed to move forward in some creative endeavors that I had been considering for months.

writingdownyoursoulpc150The book details a process of deep soul writing that helps your brain move into a theta brain wave state which is a perfect environment for receiving messages and guidance from what she calls “The Voice.” Of course one can identify the source of this guidance as anything from God to Universal Intelligence to a thousand different names in a multitude of different spiritual traditions.

I recently asked Janet about the inspiration for the book and how it can help people (even writers) receive answers to the stream of questions that flow through our lives.

CL: What was the initial inspiration for Writing Down Your Soul?

JC: In the nineties, my professional life kept getting better and better but my marriage kept getting worse and worse. Finally, after 21 years together, I told my husband I wanted a divorce on Nov 1, 1996. All the pain welled up inside of him exploded. And suddenly I was wearing an emergency police call necklace. One morning as I was sitting in my living room sobbing, my puppy dragged my untouched copy of The Artist’s Way to me. What can I say, the universe will use any means necessary to get your attention! I started writing that very moment. I wrote “Dear God,” at the top of a page and poured my heart out. I felt better so I did it again the next day and every day after until my heart was healed, I’d forgiven my ex-husband, and I’d rebuilt my life into something far richer and sweeter than the one I lost.

CL: You talk about the Voice. How do you experience the Voice and how is that different from the creative mind?

JC: The Voice is a paradox, a mystery. It is indefinable, unknowable, and yet your perfect guide and truest friend. To help readers answer that question for themselves, I wrote a chapter called “Who or what is listening?” I walk readers through a fun review of a few hundred names humanity has attached to the divine over the centuries. Then, I leap into what science has to say about that unlimited field of knowing. The chapter ends with Rumi’s sweet poem about asking Spirit for a personal and private name and a writing prompt to help you do just that. Everyone in a Writing Down Your Soul workshop gets a name, and invariably it’s quite a surprise.

From then on, you address the Voice by that special name whenever you write. Quickly, you will discover that you are having an intimate conversation. People experience the Voice many different ways. The handwriting may change, the language may change, the tone of the words almost always changes into something deeply loving, gentle, and wise. Some people feel a shift in their hand or body when the Voice takes over. When I am deeply deeply connected, my pen moves quickly across the page without me pushing it. Many people have had the same experience. It’s as if the pen is doing the writing.

Can I separate my experience of the Voice from “creative mind”? During my scientific research into what happens when you write this way, I learned that deep soul writers are in the theta brain wave state. Well, that’s also where you have to be to access new information, real creativity, breakthrough solutions. I view the Voice as my source for ALL wisdom, all creativity, all grace. Writing down your soul is simply an easy way for everyone to access that limitless source.

CL: Is writing down your soul similar to channel writing or automatic writing? If so, how?

JC: I don’t think so. I’ve seen demonstrations of automatic writing and it’s tough to decipher. You have to guess what’s there or what it means. Writing down your soul is a daily conversation in plain English (or whatever language you choose to write in). You ask; you receive. And if you don’t understand, you ask for clarification. Once you become comfortable with deep soul writing, you have no doubt that you are connected and that you are receiving clear guidance and direction. My guess is that automatic writing is an attempt to break into that theta brain wave state but it isn’t as effective or clear as writing down your soul because it isn’t a fully developed system and habit.

CL: Are the practices in Writing Down Your Soul designed for people interested in developing better ways to receive answers to life’s important questions, toward writers interested in honing their craft, or both?

JC: My intent is to share this incredibly simple, reliable wisdom habit to anyyone who wants guidance and direction. And right now that seems to be everyone! People who pick up the book or come to a workshop do not have to have journaled before or have any kind of writing experience. This practice is not actually about writing, and it certainly isn’t about writing correctly or well. In fact, trying to write “well” just gets in the way.

Having said that, professional writers do love this practice because it gets you so quickly out of conscious mind and into the theta brain wave state where all art and artists dwell. When I got the contract for Writing Down Your Soul, I started every morning writing by hand and received all the direction I needed for the book.

I invite anyone interested in knowing more about writing in the theta brain wave state (whether professionally or personally) to subscribe to the newsletter at www.writingdownyoursoul.com because you’ll receive a free e-book on writing in theta.

CL: You’re very specific about trying this process for thirty days in a very ritualized way. Why is it important to be ritualistic about Writing Down Your Soul? Can journaling encourage connection to the Voice as well?

JC: Thirty days is important because the science clearly shows it takes thirty days to build new neural pathways and it’s those new pathways—new thoughts, beliefs, emotions, words, and actions—that produce the new and improved life you want. So if you want to see change in your life, you need to build new neural pathways.

I recommend creating a personal writing ritual that includes building a special writing space and saying a blessing that sets your intention to connect with the Voice because the more you surround yourself with a system that supports and sustains your new habit, the more likely you are to experience the full benefits of the practice. People who come to this or any practice sporadically don’t receive the full benefits. Consider changing your eating habits, for example. If you only eat healthy food once in a while, your body can’t really improve. The same applies to deep soul writing. If you only pick up a pen occasionally, you’re missing the opportunity to build a relationship with the Voice that you can count on for wisdom and guidance.

Writing down your soul is not journaling. It’s much much deeper than that. There are many differences between writing down your soul and journaling. At the back of the book, there’s a chart of 18 significant differences. I recorded a video on http://www.writingdownyoursoul.com that explains what writing down your soul is and how it differs from journaling.

CL: What sorts of life changes or successes have been reported by those who have gone through the Writing Down Your Soul process?

JC: There are so many beautiful stories. Sharing them is one of the great joys in Writing Down Your Soul classes and teleclasses. You can read a few at “Testimonials” on the website.

Deep soul writers have received miracles, profound insights into why things happened as they did, final and complete healing of past traumas and relationships, new career directions, and guidance to make changes in their lives.

Sometimes the stories are small and sweet like the woman who asked for a sign that she could trust the Voice. Her yellow tea kettle had burned and she wrote, “Show me a yellow tea kettle.” She went to Target and on the shelf were ten white tea kettles, five red tea kettles, and one bright yellow tea kettle.” Standing in the aisle, she started to cry. A small sign, perhaps, but for her it was huge. It was the breakthrough she needed to really plunge into a relationship with the Voice.

Another woman needed to find a home to rent. She talked it over with the Voice and came up with the specifications: four bedrooms, large fenced yard for the dog, neighborhood, price, etc. Later that afternoon she saw an unusual picture of a tiger with half a white face and half a black face on the front of a real estate magazine. She took it home thinking she’d like to paint that tiger. That evening, her husband turned down a street they’d never been on and there at the end of the block was a lovely house with a “for rent” sign in front. They walked around, discovered that the back door was open, walked in, and there in a back bedroom was the painting of the black and white tiger. When she told that story in class, everyone gasped.

A young woman in graduate school started writing and realized within days that she was in the wrong program for the wrong reason. A fifty-five year old teacher worked out a totally new career on the page. When I saw her a few months later, she said for the first time in her life, she’s truly happy knowing she’s doing the work she’s here to do.

One of the most stunning stories is of a minister who received guidance on the page that it was time to retire and move back home. He argued with the Voice on moving. After all the real estate market is a disaster. But the Voice was clear and his home sold in two weeks at full asking price. Everyone in class considered the sale of that home nothing short of a miracle. But here’s the real miracle. Within days of getting back home, he was diagnosed with stage 5 cancer. He said, “Now I know what the Voice meant by ‘home.’”

Everyone receives guidance and direction when they write down their soul. The guidance is rarely as big as change your career or move to Michigan. Often, it’s how to shift your thinking—and THAT guidance can be the richest of all.

CL: Do you have a few tips for writers experiencing difficulty in starting or completing a project (novel, memoir, screenplay, etc.)?

JC: I’d start with learning how to write down your soul so you can slip into theta on a regular basis. Writing in the theta brain wave state is effortless. And amazing. When I read what I wrote in theta, I always wonder, “Who wrote this; it’s so good!”

I know writing in theta works because I had to complete my book in less than 3 months—which I have since been told is technically impossible. But I used the theta brain wave state day and night and finished it easily. And my editor said I’d done something that had never been done before: “a self-help book that’s a page-turner!” (Trust me, I don’t take credit for that!)

CL: What are five of your all-time favorite books that you enjoy recommending to people?

JC: Well, if I could have only one book, it would be The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master by Daniel Ladinsky. I keep it next to my bed. Number two would be Love Poems from God, also by Daniel Ladinsky. I’m a huge fan of mystical poetry. If you’ve seen the book, you know I scattered snippets of mystical poetry throughout Writing Down Your Soul. I also love David Whyte’s poetry in The House of Belonging. If, like me, you’d like to know what Jesus really said, I highly recommend Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz and Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg. Those two books will alter your understanding of that great teacher forever.

But please don’t think I only read spiritual stuff. Paul Auster is at the top of my literature list. The New York Trilogy, especially The City of Glass is beyond superb. Writing like that isn’t human.

And I read The Return of the Osprey by David Gessner once a year when the ospreys return to the nests near me. I’m a little obsessed with ospreys. When you read Writing Down Your Soul you’ll see why.

Where were you when you first learned about the Law of Attraction? For many of us, The Secret brought perspective, familiarity and organization to a universal principle that was somewhat elusive and undefined. It was an exciting starting point which introduced a new generation of seekers to the power of deliberate, positive thinking and the undeniable abilities we have to manifest whatever is in our highest good. In The Secret, we were delivered a variety of teachers offering personal experiences and perspectives to help people begin to put into practice this powerful law in practical and unexpected ways.

Dr. Joe Vitale was featured in The Secret and is a world-renowned motivational speaker, author, teacher and entrepreneur. He is the author of the international #1 best-seller, The Attractor Factor, the #1 best-seller Life’s Missing Instruction Manual, the #1 best-selling e-book Hypnotic Writing, and the #1 best-selling Nightingale-Conant audio program, The Power of Outrageous Marketing, among numerous other works.

I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Vitale a few questions regarding his current work and how his understanding of the Law of Attraction has evolved.

CL: In your latest book, Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More, you talk about the how people settle into self-limiting beliefs that keep them from leading their best life. What are some of the pillars to the Hawaiian System that help people overcome this tendency, and how did you discover it?

JV: The system erases any and all limiting beliefs, without you needing to know what they are. I discovered it from Dr. Hew Lew, who teaches workshops on the subject. The whole idea is to take total responsibility for everything in your life and ask forgiveness for it from the Divine. Dr. Hew Len was able to help heal an entire ward of mentally ill ciminals using this mehtod, as I reported in our book Zero Limits.

CL: You speak a lot about intention and how important it is to establish a solid intention before one can manifest desired results in any area of one’s life. Is there an optimal way to set an intention?

JV: The best way is with what I call an Inspired Intention. There are intentions from your ego and intentions from the Divine. The stronger ones come from the latter. Align yourself with that and nothing is impossible. I talk about this in my book The Attractor Factor (second edition).

CL: Since participating in The Secret and the publication of several of your books including the second edition of The Attactor Factor, has your personal understanding of The Law of Attraction changed or evolved? If so, how?

JV: Yes. I see that the Law of Attraction is a good start but not the ending. There’s also the Law of Right Action. There’s also the reality that you aren’t in charge of the entire universe; the Divine is. I explain this in my new audio program, The Awakening Course. At some point you have to surrender to a higher power.

CL: Is it possible for someone to manifest great financial abundance while working passionately in a traditionally low-paying job? In other words, how can someone committed to a career with modest income enjoy the benefits of financial wealth and freedom?

JV: Easy. I have a new audio program explaining all this called The Secret to Attracting Money. Money can come to anyone through products they create. I wrote my first books and products while working a full-time job.

CL: In The Key: The Missing Secret for Attracting Anything You Want, you talk about counter intentions. What are those, and can you share a couple of ways to overcome them?

JV: A counter-intention is the direct belief oppposite of what you say you want. An example is you want to lose weight. That’s the intention. But the counter-intention could be, “If I lose weight, I won’t feel safe.” Counter-intentions will stop your intentions from happening. I offer ten ways to get clear in my book The Key and seven ways in my audio program The Missing Secret. The easiest way to get clear is to love yourself and your limiting beliefs.

CL: What are some simple steps that individuals can take within one week that will begin to help them on the path to personal fulfillment, prosperity and happiness?

JV: The simplest thing is to feel grateful for what you have right now. Too many people want to feel grateful after they attract something good. It doesn’t work that way. In the movie The Compass I tell the story of shifting my life by feeling grateful for a pencil. It all begins right now, with what you already have.

CL: What are just five of your all-time favorite books that you would whole-heartedly recommend and why?

JV: The Book of est changed my life by putting me into the est seminar; Why Is This Happening to Me Again?explained how we keep creating the same problems; The Magic of Believing taught me the power of belief; 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class (is) a masterpiece; The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (is) eye-opening about how we have shadows to our public selves.

I loved the movie Once and was incredibly pleased that Glen Hansard (of popular Irish rock band The Frames) and Markéta Irglová won Academy Awards for their song “Falling Slowly.” I think this montage is a beautiful representation of two like souls coming together to co-create from the heart. Enjoy!

I believe there is a universal dialogue that is happening all around us at every moment of every single day that we are on the physical plane. This dialogue is designed to bring us into a state of harmony, peace and prosperity in all areas of our lives. There is a dramatic unraveling of old beliefs and systems that happens when a person decides– consciously chooses– to walk in the direction of spirit. This walk is the journey back to your true self, your original nature. In many ways, we have been conditioned to ignore these signs from God, our guides, angels, universal intelligence, Source energy. As children we are surrounded by other older beings who have suffered the same addiction to paying attention to only that which is apparent to the naked eye or what people have unwittingly called “reality.” All we see is a chair, a plant, a face, a rock– a whole pictiure which we collectively and individually create. The light bouncing around this planet is the canvas of our thoughts, and we create what we see in the physical plane.

But what would happen to you, and what would happen to the story of your life if you decided that everything– even as something as solid as a tree– were simply molecules vibrating at different frequencies? What if you accepted that everything– money, people, cities, the natural world– were all vibrational extensions of the universal intelligence of which we are all very active and vibrant parts? You would understand that your thoughts give you the power to create your own world in any way you choose.

But that’s quite a leap of faith, isn’t it? Perhaps on a spiritual level this makes sense to you. Maybe even on an intellectual level this is in line with other information and teachings that you know to be true from either firsthand experience or through observation. And let’s say that you even have a sense on a deeply emotional level that you are, indeed, a child of God– a being that is so perfect, and so complete that the idea of fully accepting your power raises your vibration so intensely that it might even bring a deep, throbbing sense of relief to your whole being, or perhaps even tears of joy to your eyes.

In my experience, signs are literally everywhere. But there are two critical components to living in a world where these important signs can direct you down your holy path. Try this three part process and see if signs begin to appear in your life. I have received incredible inspiration from Sonia Choquette regarding this work, and encourage you to check out her work. If you’re open to the process, I believe you will manifest signs quickly and frequently. And this should comfort and support you in your spiritual development.

1) Ask for signs. The Universe is like a patient and wise teacher. You are never without guides, angels and non-physical teachers of every kind who are eager to help point you in the right direction. Even if you do not completely believe that signs are real, just sit quietly for a few minutes and open your heart and mind to the possibility that there are many entities waiting in the wings to be your support. Ask them for it. Try saying “I am ready and open to receiving guidance from my guides, as well as signs to point me in the direction of my dreams and greater purpose.” Because I believe that finding your purpose (and it can change a lot or a little along the way depending on what your calling is) is truly the path to prosperity in all areas of your life– relationships, money, health, everything.

2) Pay attention. I know this sounds simple and somewhat like a teacher telling her students not to slouch in class. But whether you are new to this journey or a seasoned student, being present is one of the most powerful spiritual principles that humankind has had the good fortune to embrace. As Alan Watts said, “Be here now.” In relation to this process, once you have asked for signs, move through your day expecting them to appear at any moment. Do not dismiss anything. Every person, every phone call, every e-mail, every destination, every experience has the potential for presenting a spiritual roadsign for you.

3) Act on them. So what if you’ve actually been seeing signs? Maybe you received a voicemal from a long lost friend. Call her back. She might have an offer, a piece of information, some wisdom or perhaps something physical like a job or a material possession that is trying to come your way. Perhaps you’ve been struggling with a weight issue and you find yourself stuck behind a bus in traffic with a new weight loss ad that looks intriguing. Give them a call and find out more. Maybe you’ve been struggling with your financial situation. Simply asking for a sign from the spirit world letting you know that they are there for you is just enough to reinvigorate your belief in the universe. This gives you the conviction and courage to follow your intuition and allow the universe simply to do its job. Sometimes signs are extremely simple. They are brief and powerful indicators that your guides are with you, and that God is present to take care of you and whatever you are struggling with.

Signs can do so many things, but in experience they allow me to continue to believe in the universal process and its laws. They strengthen my faith and keep me on track emotionally and intuitively. They reinforce my spiritual process and allow me to concentrate more fully on what it is I want to manifest.

So how have signs worked for me recently? Be prepared to be amazed:

1) As I recently began to work with my guides and angels, I set out a deliberate intention with them, as I do everyday now… “Send me signs that you are with me.” Two days after I began doing this, I was literally cornered by an old woman in a store full of people who came up to me and said “I need to ride down the street after I finish my shopping. My legs hurts and I would appreciate it.” I instantly told her I would absolutely take her to her destination. We met in front of the store and I helped her into the car. She told me her name was Nancy and that she felt drawn to get off at the bus stop nearby to pick some things up at the store. “I had to meet someone,” she said. “I guess that’s you.” She looked remarkably like one of my very favorite aunts– a striking resemblance, really. This aunt had taken care of me when I was a baby and toddler, and we were very close. So Nancy proceeds to tell me that she had recently given everything away– her car, her possessions, most of her worldy goods to become a missionary and to counsel people who needed spiritual guidance. She said she felt very guided by the Holy Spirit and that if she could do anything for me, to let me know. I told her she already had. I dropped her off and we parted friends.

2) The day before yesterday I checked one of my online accounts where the username that I have is accompanied by a user picture/logo that I downloaded several years ago. I’ve had this same logo in place for at least four years and never changed it. Remarkably, my logo had been mysteriously replaced with the image of the angel which is at the top of this blog entry. I scoured my account to see how this could have happened, and there was absolutely no way I did this myself. My husband was equally dumbfounded and delighted. “That is definitely a sign that you’re moving in the right direction,” he said. And I agree.

3) Today, I asked my guides to show me some blue glass. I had been disappointed recently that I had tried to manifest some peonies– one of my favorite flowers– all week. No luck. But today when I was visiting a client, I was pleasantly surprised that in the kitchen of the office were two blue glass vases in the windowsill over the sink I had never seen before… and one of them had peonies in them.

I have a variety of other examples, but the ones that are most fun are the ones you will experience in your own life. I hope you can share some of them with me!

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