Embracing Your Soul Vows: A Q&A With Janet Conner

But the even more miraculous awareness is what happens when thousands of us live our soul vows. I think is how we can create a living heaven on earth.

How do you pray your soul vows?

They are the first prayer of my day. After Rabbi Shefa Gold and Devi Matthieu were on The Soul-Directed Life talking about chant in the ancient Hebrew and medieval Christian traditions, I asked my soul vows if they wanted to be chanted and sure enough they quickly taught me their simple rhythm and melody. Now I don't say them, I chant and sway them. Something powerful happens when you express your prayers with your whole body.

In Soul Vows you walk the reader through seven deep soul explorations of the chakras. Why?

The chakras have been sneaking their way into my personal soul vows and how I teach them from the beginning. Early in my relationship with my soul vows, I spoke them aloud one morning and burst out laughing, I had created seven vows that match the chakras!

But I didn't connect the dots to the path to soul vows matching the chakras until after the "new I" revelation. I was in deep soul writing talking about the soul vows course and I suddenly knew that the journey to release your false vows, receive your soul vows, and begin to live them mirrors the journey of Shakti awakening in the first chakra and traveling through the chakras until she is united with her beloved Shiva in the seventh. It's a universal story of the soul seeking union with the Beloved.

It was a "duh" moment! I threw out my 125 page workbook and started from scratch to write a whole new Soul Vows that gently walks the reader through seven deep soul explorations of the seven chakras. It's a great map of the journey to divine union.

In each of the chakra explorations, you talk about paradox. Why?

Aaah, paradox! I love paradox. I swear that's where the Divine abides. But we don't like paradox. In our well-trained, left-brain, logical minds two opposites cannot be true at the same time. But when we shift our view of paradox from a problem to be solved to an invitation to divine mystery, the apparent opposites dissolve and a new, more expansive truth emerges. Play with paradox and you are playing with the Divine.

Soul Vows is peppered with mystical poetry. Why?

Because the mystics tasted this union with the Beloved. And then, they couldn't help themselves, they had to share it. And the ideal container for mystical truth is poetry. I fell in love with the great Sufi poets Hafiz and Rumi while researching Writing Down Your Soul. As I began to write this book, I asked to be led to the perfect poem to capture the essence of Soul Vows.

Daniel Ladinsky, the famous translator of the poet-saints, was on my radio show reading Hafiz. He had selected the poems in advance. Suddenly he veered off script and said, "I just feel I need to read this" and launched into "Each Soul Completes Me" from A Year with Hafiz. The poem ends with God saying, "I am made whole by your life. Each soul, each soul, completes me."

That's the astonishing truth of life and of Soul Vows.

Learn more about Soul Vows in the Patheos Book Club.

4/1/2015 4:00:00 AM
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