Brownies, St Michael, and the scholarship

On Saturday I announced through my newsletter that I was giving one scholarship for my telecourse, Plug In! The Intersection for Writers. Today, I made the selection. As usual with me, giving away a scholarship was a more profound experience than I expected. Here is the email I sent to the three dozen applicants. I am sharing it on my blog because it’s such a sweet story and because it illustrates the power of working in The Intersection.
Friends,
I cannot tell you what the last three days have meant to me. When I sent the email offering a scholarship for Plug In, I don’t know what I expected, but I was not prepared for what I got: email and after email after email with your soul-stirring, life-affirming, and often eye-popping stories.

I met many of you in person this past year, but other names were new to me. I heard from people who live ten minutes away to people who live across the country and even across the pond. I heard from every kind of writer from published authors, to writers with a manuscript, to writers with no words on the page but who feel their book pushing to be born. I heard from people who write poetry, children’s literature, memoirs, self help, spiritual discovery, and novels. I heard from visual artists too. The visual artists spoke eloquently about their personal relationship with both the brush and the word.

I thought you’d like to know my process because it’s a fun illustration of how things work in The Intersection. I read every email. I wrote each name on a slip of paper. I blessed each name. I emptied out my blessing bowl (which holds an ongoing collection of evidence of Spirit in my life) and filled it with your names. Then, I drove to St Michael’s with water, my journal, and the bowl of names.

It always smells delicious at St Michael’s. I don’t know why, but it always does. But today was something else altogether. Today the air was infused with chocolate. I took huge sniffs. Brownies, I thought. Brownies freshly out of the oven. Was someone baking in the neighborhood? Maybe, but when I left an hour later, the scent of brownies was as strong as when I arrived.

I was alone in St Michael’s the entire time. Not even the caretaker was there. I sat down and picked up my journal. As always, I wrote the date first. 1-25-2010. Go ahead, add it up. It’s an 11. If you’ve followed me at all, or read my book, you know today was destined to be an 11! Next, I had chats with Michael on the page about this whole scholarship thing being his idea. I was reminded that last year in an angel reading, he said in answer to all my questions: “You don’t understand how important this book is.” You’re so right, I wrote today, I had no idea what an impact this book would have on people’s lives. Thank you for letting me read all these glorious emails reminding me that my work changes people’s lives. Michael’s recent quote showed up, too. Three weeks ago in a post-Christmas angel reading, when I asked about what will happen to Writing Down Your Soul when I put all my energy into writing new books, Michael said, “It’s in my hands now.” Well, Michael, I wrote, the winner of the scholarship is in your hands, too.

And with that, I chose a name.

Lori Schaffert

Lori is a visual artist in Clearwater, FL. She heard me for the first time years ago when I spoke at Unity Church of Clearwater about Spiritual Geography. I think it was 2001. That evening she gave me a pencil drawing of myself and I tucked it in my bible where it has stayed for years. A few months ago, Lori came to a writing down your soul workshop at Unity Church of Palm Harbor. When she introduced herself I blurted out, I remember you, you drew my picture!

I’d like you to meet Lori through her own words in her scholarship application:

“I am an artist and it is my greatest desire to bring God’s creative energy into manifestation through my hands and heart. The difficulty lies in staying out of the way and un-learning the self-imposed limitations and crippling doubts that have become my deeply ingrained pattern of thought. I have named 2010 ‘The Year I Find My Voice’ and know this course would direct me on that path.”

Please join me in congratulating Lori on her scholarship to Plug In. And on her year. How divine. The year she finds her voice. What a perfect name for all our years. We are all plugging into the divine to find our voices and speak with those voices in clear joyful tones. And when we all do that, when we all do the work we are here to do, the world truly is a better place.

Thank you for taking the time to let me know what Writing Down Your Soul has done, and continues to do, for you. I am so blessed in you.

Janet

Do you want to subscribe to the Writing Down Your Soul newsletter? Click on the tab at the top of this blog. You can also review the course outline for Plug In! The Intersection for Writers. Early registration with a hundred dollar discount continues through Tuesday Jan 26.


The Life Around the Corner Part 3: Ask for help

The most amazing street in New York

The most amazing street in New York

If you’ve ever heard me speak about Writing Down Your Soul, you know that the magic happens in and through and with the theta brain wave state. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise, but your conscious mind is useless. Unless you’re making dinner or filling the tank with gas or doing something else that requires conscious attention, it isn’t much help. To build a soul-directed, joy-filled, purpose-driven life, you gotta slip into theta as often as you can. Including–or especially–at night.

So, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was awakened in the middle of the night with a reminder: “Nice post, Janet, but you forgot something important about Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd. Tell them about the churches.”

Ebenezer Gospel Tabernacle on Malcolm X

Ebenezer Gospel Tabernacle on Malcolm X

Of course. I remember. I remember looking to the left and right and up and down and being floored by the beauty and size and variety of the houses of worship–one more jaw-droppingly gorgeous than the next. I saw traditional mainline Christian churches with stained glass windows that begged you to step inside. I saw Jewish temples behind ornate iron gates. I think I saw a Christian Science church with those classic pillars. And I’m pretty sure I saw something that said LDS. I remember being surprised to find LDS in Harlem. And I saw lots of store front churches with names that shouted: Get Your Salvation Here! On any given block between 116th and 125th, there were at least three churches.

So what, you ask.

So what? That’s a big clue to how you get to your Life Around the Corner. Maybe the biggest clue. Pray. Ask for help. Get out of your conscious, worry-filled, useless mind and access the universe of guidance and support that is everywhere around you.

Want to see the wonders of Malcolm X Blvd exactly where I was walking? Look at this glorious slide show. This is why God created Google, I think. I can’t believe how effortlessly this exquisite tour of the exact blocks I walked fell into my hands this morning. I know it’s for you!

But you don’t have to be on Malcolm X Blvd to find divine assistance. Or even in a church. Although, it’s lovely to sit in the cool dark of your favorite church or temple or shrine, you can commune with heaven anywhere and anytime.

This is me having chats with Michael

This is me having chats with Michael

My favorite shrine is St Michael’s in Tarpon Springs, and lord knows, I get amazing guidance sitting there, but day in and day out the Voice guides me sitting right here in my “writing chapel” (aka my office, aka my third bedroom).

However you pray–in a pew or in your yard, or sitting in your writing chair–the reminder is to simply do it. To connect. To ask for help. You are not alone. Heaven wants you to reach your Life Around the Corner. And it is reaching out to help you. Reach back.

So tell me, how do you reach back?