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A letter from Janet Conner  •  June 11 2017 •  janet@janetconner.com
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Janet Conner
exploring the fields of the soul . . . together 

“You were made and set here to give voice to this, your astonishment.” Annie Dillard

Deep Soul Explorers,

I have a packed shelf of books about writing. And I love them all. But there are two I reread every year as I teach Plug In for Writers: Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.

Each time I return to these weathered pages, I am swept once more by the visceral love these two have for writing.

But then, how could it be otherwise. Don’t physicians love the wonders of the body, ministers the beauty of the soul, psychologists the mysteries of the mind, artists the palette, musicians the scales, and dancers movement itself?

Me. I love writing. I love everything about writing. And I love writers. That’s why I enjoy interviewing authors on The Soul-Directed Life so much. I learn something from every guest.

Take last Thursday. Carl McColman was on the show talking about his new book, Christian Mystics. He opened the show with this Wendell Berry poem, “The Real Work:”  

It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

I burst out laughing and repeated: The mind that is not baffled, is not employed. Baffled. Isn’t that the greatest word!

Yes, I am baffled by so much.
I am baffled by life.
Baffled by The Mystic.
Baffled by prayer.
Baffled by the creative process.
Baffled by love.
And totally baffled by the liiving, loving, personal presence of the Divine Feminine.

Baffled is my new favorite word.

It comes on the heels of other words I love. All gifts from writers writing about writing.


“You were made and set here to give voice to this, your astonishment.” Annie Dillard


“Your fascination reveals your deepest connection to the life force; if you follow it rather than what society tells you you should follow, you will be all right.” Joseph Campbell


“If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.” Ray Bradbury

And now, thanks to Wendell Berry, I know that this astonishment, this bafflement, this love is my real work!

But of course, you knew this all along, didn’t you. You open the pages of my books and inhale whiff after whiff of all that I love.

I did not figure this out for myself. It was Brenda Michaels of Conscious Talk Radio who showed me. She was interviewing me for Soul Vows in 2015, and she kept saying, “I can feel the love. I can feel the love. I feel it! I feel it on every page.”

I was utterly delighted that someone in Seattle who’d never met me could feel my deep love lifting off the pages of my book!

The same thing is happening on interviews with Brenda, Dr Pat, Maryanne Comaroto, and Gary Goldberg for Find Your Soul’s Purpose. They all blurt out, “I can feel the love!”

So it’s time to change how I describe myself on my website. It’s time to convey as clearly as I can the love I seed into every page (and every newsletter) I write and every show I host.

I don’t think there’s an author “bio” quite like this. I call it “My Beating Heart.” Because, well, that’s what it is. 

Marina took the key words and made an adorable heart cloud!


I’d love to hear your reaction to My Beating Heart.

  • Do the 8 lines convey who I am?
  • Are they compelling?
  • Do they entice you to want to know more about me and my books and courses?
  • Or, conversely, do they make you want to run away with your hair on fire!
  • Is anything missing?
  • Do my loves inspire you to explore your own beating heart?
  • What are your sacred desires?
  • What are the great joys of your life?
  • What is your Beating Heart telling you about your real work?

About Janet

Thank you for your feedback. You can post on my personal Facebook page, the Soul-Directed LifeFacebook page, or send me an email.

And, if you have friends who would resonate with My Beating Heart, do please send them to my site. Invite them to start getting these Sunday letters, read my books, and perhaps join a course.

to the beauty and majesty of our “beating hearts,”


PS: If you want to find your real work, you might want to walk the sacred spiral to Find Your Soul’s Purpose





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Janet Conner
 exploring the fields of the soul…together 


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