Monday, October 5, 2009

It's Birthday Bash Month!

One year ago this month, the book I labored over for so long, Your Truest Self, was finally birthed.

The process felt as if I was actually midwifing myself, rather than a book. The writing of it took nearly 5 years. It pushed all my buttons, bringing with it the highest emotional highs and the lowest lows I've ever known. I drowned in self-doubt and flew to the heights with newfound confidence. In spite of all of this, I labored in love. And then there was birth ...

I adore this book and I would like to celebrate it's birthday with your help—and celebrate ALL of us who are embracing our truest selves. As you may know I define "our truest self" as:

A woman who is innately peaceful, confident, and courageous; 
generous, joyous, and openhearted. 

The key here is "innately," meaning—these virtues of the Spirit are our essence, our true nature, and it is only an illusion or cultural fabrication that they are not. We are made of Spirit and stardust, with a divine origin and destiny. The journey into our truest selves is the journey of a lifetime. It is about embracing ourselves as holy, whole and sacred, once and for all.

So let's celebrate that we are on this path—together! 

~ There will be book giveaways, plenty of copies of Your Truest Self, courtesy of my publisher, Sorin Books. (Thank you!) I will be giving away two copies each week!

~ Special guests. Two of the "holy women" featured in the book will be with us, giving away gifts of their own.

On October 12, Mari Gayatri Stein will visit. 
Mari is a whimsical artist and yoga/meditation teacher from Oregon and the author of The Buddha Smiles. The "Truth" she represents is: "I Open My Heart to Others and Celebrate Our Oneness."

On October 19, Dudley Evenson will be here. Dudley is a musician and co-founder, with her husband, Dean Evenson, of Soundings of the Planet, a record label dedicated to promoting peace and healing through music. The Truth she represents is: "I Engage in Daily Practices That Nurture My Spirit."

There will be more surprises, too, so stay tuned!

For now, I invite you to ponder this: 

Which of the "Twelve Transformational Truths" presented in the book challenges you right now?

Your answers will help me craft helpful posts for the next month.

The Twelve Transformational Truths in Your Truest Self

  1. I Am Free to Live a Spiritual Life of My Own Making
  2. I Trust My Body's Divine Connection
  3. I Choose Thoughts and Feelings That Honor My Sacred Self
  4. I Engage in Daily Spiritual Practices That Nurture My Spirit
  5. I Cultivate Compassion for Myself
  6. I Experience the Divine in Everything and Everyone
  7. I Know Divine Assistance is Available to Me at All Times
  8. I Acknowledge that Difficult Times Bring Healing and Deeper Wisdom
  9. I Can Create My Life Anew Each Day
  10. I Trust the Divine Timing of My Own Unfolding
  11. I Courageously Live and Speak My Truths
  12. I Open My Heart and Celebrate Our Oneness

I am eager to hear your thoughts .... 

And one more thing. If you haven't done so already, please read my post of October 3 and consider putting your voice in the circle by choosing a new name for yourself. You can read how to do this here.

This "circle member list" is in place of a Blog Roll, so readers can click back to your site to learn more about you! Thank you. 

May each of us give birth to our truest self! Happy birthday!

"Pregnant Women" painting by Steve Gribben.
Don't you just love this?!


Lisa (Mommy Mystic) said...

Happy birthday to Your Truest Self! I am particularly glad you birthed it, because it is now I met you:-) I am also very excited to see your guests this month...
I think the truth I am working with the most right now is probably 'I Trust the Divine Timing of My Own Unfolding'...I have more ideas than time right now, and with young children am trying to pace myself appropriately, without shortchanging either them or myself - never an easy balance for anyone, especially any woman. So trusting that I don't need to rush, that things will happen at the pace that they should, and that it is all OK, is key for me...XOXO Lisa

Anonymous said...

"I Courageously Live and Speak My Truths"

This is THE one. Ah, if I can nail this one. "Courageously", such a big, big word. I still feel as though that people pleaser that I was taught to be so many many years ago lives and breaths within me. Somehow I get the idea that living and speaking MY truth will cause conflict with others and I do not deal with conflict in a positive way (by the way, I know that is not the truth, the whole conflict thing, but that is how it translates in my head). So for me, this is my challenge.
Still Water

Loves Leading Companion said...

Jan, I was a bit teary when I bumped into this blog of yours today! I am at that stage you explained in so many ways and feel ready to throw in the towel! Of course, I won't, but I just am frustrated because I'm waiting, and then birthing more, and trying to listen for what its supposed to fall into gracefully! It's just really exhausting, this midwifing thing! I have not read your book, though it looks very interesting! I would be interested to hear more about #2, #7 though! ;) Trusting and Divine Assistance! Huge for me! I need both right now more than ever! I'm pushing through something,.. but its darn hard! lol I think I just need the same reassurance I'm often giving out,.. thanks for your subtle perfect alignment today in celebration and where I find myself today, on the verge of celebrating birth, but most of all divine process! hugs, Jen

Sharmila said...

"CONGRATULATIONS and HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to your project! ;) ~Sharmila

Kel said...

happy book BIRTHday

what an amazing image you have chosen to illustrate this post!

and perhaps the reason it jumps out for me is that #2 is a truth I'm challenged with right now

after dramatic changes in physicality over the past year or so, it feels like i'm living in someone else's skin, the mirror reflects a stranger

just writing of this bodily brokeness brings me to tears, and the instinct is to delete my comment, but I know transformation can only come when we are first able to sit with and name what "is"

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! I can only imagine the intensity one experiences when writing a book.

I would have to say that #6 and #10 are the two points that I struggle with the most, although I've been making many more positive gains in those areas.

#6 because it's still difficult for me to see the Divine in Every One.

#10 because that requires patience. My ability to rest in that is getting much, much better and I came up with a very effect method (for me) of triggering that response in myself. I may post about that myself a bit later.


Nina P. said...

Happy Birthday to your Creative Spirit and Wisdom written onto the pages to form your book. What a wonderful celebration!

The biggest challenge that keeps creeping in is number 3. I choose thoughts and feelings that honor my sacred self. It is so much easier to place positive focus on others. I'm working on self acceptance body, mind and soul. It's always a work in progress. I can see the good and potential in others, it's hard to always see it in myself. Another big one is body image, another work in progress.

It's nice to be here among friends. Again Happy birthday! or maybe it should be Happy bookday!
Love and Light, Nina P. (She who reaches towards the Light)

Julie G said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Jan on your successful book. It was one year ago that I read "Your Truest Self" and met you at one of your presentations. I am so Blessed to have your presence in my life.

The Transformational Truth that is challenging me these days is:

"I Acknowledge That Difficult Times Bring Healing and Deeper Wisdom"

I am having some very difficult times with some of my family relationships. It seems to me that the more I open to the Divive Spirit in me, the more difficult my challenges are becoming and I'm having a hard time finding the "healing and deeper wisdom" in these situations. Please hold me in your thoughts and prayers as I do all of you.
Love, as always, Thinking Brown

Jan said...

Thank you all for such enthusiastic birthday wishes. They touch my heart! We will definitely have fun this month.

Wonderful observations. This Truth is a most challenging one when our time "is not our own." The call and needs of young children, as you say, may seem to pull us out and away from our journey, but they actually enhance it and invite us to greater "practice." :-) Trust in the "divine order" of things--esp. our growth--IS key, as you wisely say.

Such wise observations! You and I are on the same page with this one. This Truth has been the one I have wrangled with the most this past year. This people pleasing thing can run deep, as can our desire to not upset others. Both take time to unravel...I am glad that you are dismantling these voices in you. We will be talking more about this Truth this month, so stay tuned! It is a biggie. :-)

It sounds like you are in a very profound place in your journey right now. I feel your agony. May you hold yourself very gently in this time of transition and birth. Remember that it takes 9 mos. to gestate and give birth to a baby. It can take even more time to give birth to new aspects of ourselves. Gentleness, breathing through, sacred rest, trust are key.

We will be talking more about these particular Truths this month. Hang in there. You can borrow my mantra if you like: Believe, breathe, and be well!

Thank you. Glad to have you here. :-)

Well I am very glad you did not delete your comment! It is received with open arms here. :-) Sometimes just gently giving voice to these issues breaks their hold upon us. It's as if we offered up a deep dark secret and now we can see it more clearly in the light of day. I bow to you for doing so.

This Truth about the body does create a firestorm in many women. I know it did me; still does when I see the pain it causes women. We will talk more about this Truth this month knowing there is at least one in our circle who is struggling. I hope we can help you return to a place of peace with your body, embracing it as sacred, no matter what condition it is in....Glad you are here. Blessings upon your dear body and you!

Well, you are certainly not alone in your choice of Truths. It is difficult to see the Divine in others who are unkind, egocentric, rude, angry, etc. And it does take patience. But I also think it takes deep compassion for ourselves to be in relationship with difficult others. By loving ourselves more, over time, we do arrive at a place of more loving vision for others. We will be sure to talk more about that Truth this month. Thank you for your sharing! Hugs.

Truth #3 is big! And a major one to navigate through each and every day. Minute by minute, in fact. With 60,000 thoughts a day to deal with, we ARE a work in progress. Continuing to choose and hold ourselves in compassion as we do so is vital. Choosing Spirit over and over again...Glad you are here and we will be talking more about the Truth too.

It takes such trust to know that the path we are on, especially when it gets very rocky and painful, is the right one. Such is the path of surrender to the lessons that are unfolding, even though we may not like them or want them.

As you know, staying faithful to our spiritual practices helps. Going back to silence, meditation, & prayer can help us stay calm and clear so divine wisdom can shine through. May you continue to breathe in the Sacred and know you are loved...Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to Your Truest Self. I love this book and glean more wisdom every time I return to it. Joy! Ingrid

Nadia - Happy Lotus said...

Hi Jan,

Congratulations on the one year birthday of your book! Yay! That is wonderful. :)

As for the list, number 5 and 10 speak to me at this time of my life.

Even though I know these truths already, it is always great to be reminded because every now and then, I go off track. So thank you for the reminders so that I can reinforce these concepts in my consciousness.

Have a beautiful day!

Rebecca said...

Dear Jan, Happy Birthday to "Your Truest Self"! Like Lisa, I, too, am glad for its birthing because it brought me to you, and your blog outreach is such a blessing to me. The truth challenging me right now is #10 "I Trust the Divine Timing of My Own Unfolding" because I am 51 and I vacillate between feeling a sense of urgency or a bluesy feeling of regret for all the time I've put off my dreams. And this ties right along with #11, "I courageously Live and Speak My Truths," which is another huge struggle for me. That's why I'm here though, your gentle wisdom is so helpful and encouraging. Dream Dancer

Jan said...

You are so kind and such a faithful friend. Thank you. I am glad that we are connected heart to heart. I wonder, is there a Truth you are feeling particularly challenged by these days?

Oh, the Truth of gentleness! This is such a big lesson to learn, especially in a culture that fosters doing, pushing, achieving, and more. This was my major lesson for many years. Caused many problems, especially to health...

And #10, Trust, a mountain to climb for some of us. May this coming year be one of creating compassion for yourself and trust in the ALL.

Another vote for #10, Trust. In times of doubt and fearfulness such as those we find ourselves in now, trust in ourselves and in the Divine are key. Especially for achieving our dreams.

And #11 too. Truth speaking, living our authenticity to the world. We will definitely be talking much about these two Truths in the coming weeks. In the meantime, may you continue to trust in YOU, the divine being you are.

As for me, right now? I have a tendency to think I need to do everything myself. That the outcome of all that I do depends on my "good work." So it is Truth # 7. May I continue to turn toward the Holy, the angels, guides, saints and sages who are ALWAYS here to lend a hand--or a wing!

Thanks to all of you again for your birthday wishes. I am still dancing...

sallymandy said...

Hello Jan, and first thank you so very much for your thoughtful and heartfelt words on my blog the other day. They mean a great deal to me. I felt encouraged and "heard." Many thanks.

I'll be reading along and following you here as I can. I am personally challenged most by the second truth about my body. I live in dis-harmony with my body. I look forward to reading and learning more abou what other women are practicing in relation to this.

Congratulations on the birthday of your book. I'm happy to have found you here.

Jan said...

You are welcome. Your blog is wonderful. :-) Disharmony with the body, as you say, is a challenge. When we are experiencing disharmony with our body, chances are we may also be imbalanced in mind and spirit too, as all are related. Our body truly can be a gateway into the Sacred and I will look forward to addressing this further here.

Have you ever read "Divining the Body" by Jan Phillips? I would strongly recommend it. She is the woman in my book that represents this Truth about loving our body. And she is very much a feminist. You would enjoy her viewpoint, I believe. And the practical tools she offers for making peace with our body. Blessings!

twila (whimsical mystic) said...

I think I struggle the most with #6 and #7. After almost 2 decades as an agnostic, then a spritual awakening that unfortunately landed me in a fundie church for 20 years...these last years have been me finding my own place, trying to establish my own spiritual practice...and yet...I struggle with the idea of "Divine" with a capital "D". I was so wrong for so long about so much when it came to god-stuff that I don't trust myself not to stumble off down another dead-end path. Plus, I don't know if I can even believe in a "higher power" again, although I do find incredible beauty in the symbolism of myth.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

"I cultivate compassion for myself"

Just learning compassion for myself. My yoga teacher is excellent at keeping me focused on the two wings of a bird--compassion and wisdom. Great at extending both for others, just learning to apply to myself.

"I trust the Divine Timing of my own unfolding" is huge for's been broken so much in my life that I'm afraid to trust..that fear sometimes shadows my faith. I remind myself it all unfolds exactly as it is supposed to and is led by a Divine hand; but there are times fear's shadow takes a while to dispel.


Rose - The Center of My Self said...

11. "I Courageously Live and Speak My Truths"

I share many of the previous poster's feelings. I know my Truths and live them, but refrain from sharing them with others unless I know and trust that I'm with people of like beliefs. I've been viewed as a bit "woo-woo" and so I try not to freak people out by sharing all that I know.

Blissdweller said...

Happy Birthday to your lovely book!
I think I am working on #'s7,8 and 9, they are all linked. Have a happy birthday week! xoxo

Jan said...

Whimsical Mystic,
What a journey you have been on! It does take time to navigate all this, with patience, and kindness to self. I have faith that you will find your way through self-compassion, as well as the support of other seekers. Rebuilding trust does take time. :-) I sense you are really on your way. Glad you are here!

Yes, they are all related. And they build one upon the other. (Did you notice that?) Hard to skill-build in one area before we have progress in the one before. For example, we must learn self-love first for how can we possibly love others when we scorn ourselves? Here's to more joy on your journey!

More trust building. As women, we can be so vulnerable when it comes to relationships, institutions, and more. Again, takes time to believe in our goodness and the goodness of others when there has been so much hurt. I sense with you, too, that you are finding your way into greater wholeness. Just Breathe!

I certainly identify with you on this one. It is sometimes best to honor our journeys by holding them close. Discernment helps us know who to share with and how, and how much. Trust again...

Sandi Delia said...

Happy Birthday to Your Truest Self!

Reading the list felt like I had walked into an ice cream shop with all of my favorite flavors. Each truth was surely to be delicious, but one jumped out as the flavour du jour....

9. I Can Create My Life Anew Each Day

Having committed to myself to write on a daily basis, I am amazed at what happens each and every day. I find another piece of myself, another truth, or another belief to be cast aside. The daily practice is truly becoming my means of awakening to a new life.

Bright Blessings,
Angel Wings

Jan said...

Angel Wings,
I am so with you on this one. Writing is so powerful for doing just what you say--we can see ourselves more clearer, make wise choices and uplift ourselves. Good for you! May you create a blessed day for yourself.