The Year of the Body: Week 8
in which deep soul writing meets deep body writing and falls head over heels in love
Friends, soul writers, lovers of prayer,
When people hear my name, their first thought is: oh, yes, that woman who wrote a book on soul writing. And that is me. I did write Writing Down Your Soul and tens of thousands of people have read it and begun a mystical writing practice.
But this isn’t the life I expected. Or planned for. Or asked for. Or even imagined.
Prior to stumbling upon a way to drop into the mystical theta brain wave state while journaling, I was a human resource consultant. That career made sense because in 1982, when CNN was barely off the ground and struggling financially, the president told me we had over 100% turnover in the critical entry-level video journalist position—and my job was to fix it. And fast. So I did. In 18 months, I hired 159 VJs and we went from over 100% turnover in this critical role to a 1.3% failure rate.
When my husband and I moved to Florida in 1984, that success story got me hired as a headhunter. After 11 years running a search firm, I became an independent consultant and started teaching companies a radically different way to hire, based not on the standard job specifications but on the underlying but unidentified motivations and behaviors that predict satisfaction and success in that role.
There is nothing in my background that gave me, or anyone who knew me, any hint that my HR consulting life was about to disappear and a whole new life was about to walk on.
I tell you this because I think it’s important to know that who I am today as a prayer artist, mystic witch, writer, and prayer intensive creator is not, was not, and never could have been the result of a linear goal-oriented process.
I did not set a goal to discover deep soul writing.
Shoot, when I discovered it, I didn’t even know what was happening. I didn’t know I was dropping into theta. I didn’t even know what brainwaves were. All I knew is that if I showed up every day, pen in hand, began a conversation with a divine Voice, and worked up the courage to ask big scary questions, suddenly—miraculously—the guidance I needed would pour onto the page. All I had to do was follow it.
I did not set a goal to publish the seminal book on deep soul writing.
I didn’t know I was a writer. I’d never taken a single writing course. If you had told me I’d write 7 books in my 6th decade and in my 70s I’d start writing a whole new genre of prayer, I’d have stared at you agape.
I did not decide to become a prayer artist.
How could I? There’s no such thing. I know, I googled it. I was awakened in the night 3 years ago this week, hearing a clear and commanding female voice whisper, “prayer artist” in my left ear. It frightened me. Because I knew that prayer artist—whatever that was—was about to change everything. And it did.
And I surely didn’t decide to step into the shoes of a mystic witch.
That dropped out of the sky last August 2 when Rabbi Tirzah called me a “21st century witch” in a stunning endorsement she wrote for the relaunch of Writing Down Your Soul (coming in April).
If I tried to create a resume for Janet Conner—something I was really good at back in my HR days, not even I would believe it. It would make no linear sense. Yet here I am. In love with my life, my Goddess, and my Holy Work.
I am so clearly not in charge.
I’m not the one setting goals.
I’m not directing this roadshow.
And I love it this way. Because She who is in charge sees possibilities in me that I could never imagine. She calls and I say yes. It’s that simple. That mysterious. And sometimes, that terrifying.
What happens after yes is always a surprise. A delightful surprise, but a surprise.
I had one of those surprises last month when I signed up for a somatic writing circle with Tanya Taylor Rubinstein.
I met Tanya in one of Perdita Finn’s circles. If you’ve been in any of my prayer intensives with Perdita, you know how magical she is and how profound it is to sit in circle with her.
Last March, Perdita Finn and Clark Strand, authors of The Way of the Rose, led us in the first rosary intensive. Eighty hearts flew open in love for the original rosary, the ancient goddess rosary, the rosary the church tried so hard to suppress.
Today, as you read this, Perdita is wrapping up a most extraordinary prayer intensive, Take Back the Magic, Take Back the Dead. The members of this intensive are all rather surprised to discover ourselves falling madly in love with the dead as all our old fears dissolve and we discover the dead aren’t actually dead. No one you love is ever lost to you.
Talk about a radical shift in perspective. All we can talk about in that intensive is how loved we feel. (It will be available in an on-demand version this spring)
I met Tanya last June when I signed up for my first class with Perdita on working with the dead. I love everyone in Perdita’s circles, but there was something about Tanya. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was some under-the-skin sisterhood in her.
So I signed up for Tanya’s newsletters. And one day she offered a Somatic Writing Circle.
I didn’t know what Somatic Writing was, but hey, it’s writing. And I’m all about the mystical practice of writing. And somatic comes from soma, which means body. And the great joy of the mystical life for me, is discovering just how holy the body is.
When our patriarchal religions tell us our bodies are sinful…well, not only are they lying, but they’re lying because they want to control our bodies—especially women’s bodies.
And I’m not having it.
So I blithely showed up for my first Somatic Writing experience with Tanya. And something happened. Something just like the first day I picked up a pen and a divine Voice answered.
Following Tanya’s simple loving instructions, I came fully into my body—which was delightful. I thought, oh, this is going to be fun.
And then came the big surprise. She had us have a conversation WITH our body.
Suddenly, I was asking those big juicy questions, not of a divine Voice, but of my own bones. My gut. My spleen. My bones.
Tanya taught us the 5 different trauma responses and then led us to ask our body where it holds those trauma wounds. And my body answered. I was flabbergasted.
My body knows so much. So much that I didn’t know. And never thought to ask.
The healing was powerful and visceral. It was real. Just like the dead want to be heard and loved. My body wants to be heard and loved.
With trauma out of my cells, my body can begin to tell her story. The story she has been longing to tell.
I couldn’t wait for the next somatic writing circle. And the next. And the next. And the next. I told friends. They came and had the same eye-opening, body healing experience. After four circles, I asked Tanya if she’d lead us in a prayer intensive on Somatic Writing. And she said, yes.
Tanya is a writing coach. She is a performance artist who has appeared Off Broadway. She has coached and guided others to create their own performances including many Cancer Monologues. She is an actress, poet, writer, mystic.
Over the last 30 years, Tanya has developed and trademarked the powerful, magical, transformative writing process of Somatic Writing.
When we got together to record the video on the page for this intensive, we discovered just how much we have in common. Right down to what happened to both of us last August.
We had the best time making the video. Be sure to watch.
Then say yes. And wait to be surprised by all the magic that happens as you experience Somatic Writing.
This is the only time Tanya will teach Somatic Writing in a prayer intensive format.
You will receive all her foundational materials and teaching videos in addition to four live sessions on Tuesday, March 9. 16, 23 from 7-9:15 pm Eastern, and a closing ceremony on Sunday, March 28 at 2pm Eastern.
Everything is recorded and available for viewing within 24 hours. Friends across Europe are already registering and offering to host UK and European watch parties at times that work for the participants.
- If you love deep soul writing, this intensive is for you.
- If you sense there’s a story inside you that wants to be told, this intensive is for you.
- If there’s trauma stored in your body that you want to release, this intensive is for you.
- If you sense you are a mystic, but are not sure what that means or how to claim it, this intensive is for you.
- If you are ready to say yes to the Mystery and Magic within, this intensive is for you.
Come and liberate the story your body has been longing to tell you for your entire life.
to the joyful surprise of hearing the voice of the divine speaking through your blood and bones,