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Monday, January 19, 2009


Jan Lundy, author of Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, launches her Blog Tour!

Described by her readers, audiences, and colleagues as “practical and poetic, possessing deep and gentle wisdom,” Janice Lynne Lundy serves as an interfaith spiritual guide to tens of thousands of women throughout the United States through her nationally syndicated magazine column in Women’s LifeStyle, as a professional speaker and retreat facilitator, and as a Spiritual Director. She has been recognized for her sensitive and compelling interviews as well as for her gift for connecting with soul-searching women. Jan is an adjunct staff member for the Institute of Spirituality at the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her newest book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, was released in October 2008 by Sorin Books.

Jan is the author of three previously published personal and spiritual growth books: Coming Home to Ourselves: A Woman’s Journey to Wholeness; Awakening the Spirit Within; and Perfect Love: How to Find Yours and Make It Last Forever (co-authored with her husband, Brad Lundy).

The mother of three, stepmother of four, and grandmother of three more, Jan resides on the peaceful shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan with her husband, Brad, her creative partner and soul’s companion.

Learn more about Jan at her website:,
and on her blog:
Contact her at

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Jan's book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

WOW: Could you tell us about your latest book, and who it's for?

Jan: Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be is “a spiritual journey” book. It has an interspiritual focus, which makes it unique in the self-help/spiritual growth genre. It invites women from all walks of life, all spiritual persuasions, to stop and take a look at how they are living.

Our truest self is a woman who is living from her fullness. She is living large, free from fear to express herself in the world as a confident, glorious woman. She has fully embodied the qualities we attribute to Spirit itself—peacefulness, loving kindness, generosity, and so on. She lives a mature spirituality, not one that has been handed to her without having fully explored it first.

Living as our truest self is a lifelong process. This is a journey, a pilgrimage, into our sacred self. I wrote this book through my lenses as a seeker, but also as an Interfaith Spiritual Director who accompanies people of all faiths as they ask the deepest questions about life. What I’ve come to realize is that there are common threads of truth that run through all spiritual traditions. When we can embrace these—what I present as “Transformational Truths—we come home to our truest selves.

The Twelve Transformational Truths are:

I Am Free to Live a Spiritual Life of My Own Making

I Trust My Body's Divine Connection

I Choose Thoughts and Feelings That Honor My Sacred Self

I Engage in Daily Spiritual Practices That Nurture My Spirit

I Cultivate Compassion for Myself

I Experience the Divine in Everything and Everyone

I Know Divine Assistance is Available to Me at All Times

I Acknowledge that Difficult Times Bring Healing and Deeper Wisdom

I Can Create My Life Anew Each Day

I Trust the Divine Timing of My Own Unfolding

I Courageously Live and Speak My Truths

I Open My Heart and Celebrate Our Oneness

Working through the Truths enables us to let go of old, disempowering messages about who we’ve been told we are. It also empowers us to embrace new personal Truths, to connect more fully with our spirit, and the greater Spirit.

WOW: The book features a variety of interesting women. How did you meet these inspirational people?

Jan: Over the last ten years, as my spiritual path widened, I serendipitously met many remarkable women. I selected twelve of them to help me convey the Truths through the testimony of their lives. They are primarily writers and teachers, activists and artists. Some are well known, like country music powerhouse, Naomi Judd. Others are not. The list includes:

Joyce Rupp, OSM, Jan Phillips, Iyanla Vanzant, Dudley Evenson, Sue Patton Thoele, Daphne Rose Kingma, Doreen Virtue, Joan Borysenko, Frances Moore Lappé, Mari Gayatri Stein

This is an ecumenical gathering of women representing many spiritual persuasions. As for my personal relationship with them, a few have been faithful mentors and friends over the years. Some I have never met, having only savored their books and spoken with them on the telephone. Within my book, I share how I have come to know each one and what their light-filled presence revealed to me.

Ironically, a few of the women I simply stumbled across, exactly when I needed what they had to say the most. Jan Phillips, for example, came into my life when I was writing my first book and the inner critic was being quite vocal. In a particularly bleak moment, I called my editor, desperate for advice on how to continue writing when everything inside me said to stop. “Have you read Marry Your Muse by Jan Phillips?” she asked.“ ‘The Artist’s Creed’ should take care of everything.” She was right. Reading Jan’s inspiring words to the struggling artist within cured my creative woes. So when an invitation came to interview her in 2004 (as a magazine editor), I jumped at the chance. I conducted a phone interview with her first; then we met in person a few months later. Our conversations and my learnings from her work over the years formulated the second Transformational Truth, “I Trust My Body’s Divine Connection.”

WOW: This seems like a book that you could be read straight through the traditional way, or open to a random chapter or essay for a dose of inspiration. What do you recommend?

Jan: This book is a spiritual journey book, a trek inward, with a stepping-off place and a hoped-for destination, and the reader is the pilgrim. By moving through the chapters intentionally, she will begin to unravel old ways of thinking and embrace new ways of being.

I suppose that you could skip around and read about one “Holy Woman” or one Truth, but I do not recommend it. There are some Truths that are more difficult to live out. There is an order to how they are presented in the book. For example, having compassion for others. We can’t feel love and compassion for others if we are not able to feel that for ourselves. Learning to accept and love ourselves as we are must come first.

Your Truest Self is also a “process” book. Each chapter invites the reader to personally reflect upon the Transformational Truth that is presented in two ways. The first is through Reflection Questions that encourage journaling. The second is through “Peaceful Pauses,” meditational practices which enable the her to “practice” the Truth that has been presented. Hurrying on to the next chapter, hoping for the next brilliant awareness to break through, will not help a woman embody her truest self. Sitting quietly, being reflective, taking time for integration, will.

WOW: Could you share a favorite tip or idea included in the book?

Jan: The notion of finding and committing to spiritual practices that calm and center us. Most of us are completely frazzled just trying to make ends meet, get the job done, take care of our families, and more, so we don’t take time to center ourselves, to access our inner peace on a regular basis.

Engaging in daily spiritual practices is key to living as our truest self, a woman who is innately peaceful. Truthfully, I don’t believe anyone can if they have not implemented such practices. We can put our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health on the back burner for only so long before we’re destined to crash and burn. Spiritual practices prevent this from happening. They plant us in our sacred center and plug us into the “God” of our understanding. They offer fuel and nourishment on so many levels. It is vital that we find the practices that suit us. Chapter Four in Your Truest Self shows the reader how—even when it seems as if there is no energy or time in the day to do so.

We are living in very tenuous, stress-filled times. My spiritual practices are my sanity and my sacred connection. Spending time in silence. Walking in nature. Daily writing. Reading spiritual growth literature. Rest. Breath practice. Prayer. I hope that others will seek out theirs, as well, so greater peace can be experienced by everyone, especially in these challenging times.

WOW: One of your Twelve Transformational Truths is about cultivating compassion for ourselves. What are some of the ways we can do this?

Jan: This is a wonderful question because it may be the most difficult life principle for us, as women, to embody—Truth number Five: “I cultivate compassion for myself.”

This Truth is represented by my dear friend and mentor, Sue Patton Thoele. I found her in my early searching years when I was absolutely overwhelmed with life. I was sick and tired—literally—from living on the fast track, trying to be the perfect wife and mother, and just about killing myself trying to make everyone else happy.

It has taken years for me to learn how to be kind to myself, to treat myself as nicely as I treat other people. The journey to living in this way begins by “befriending ourselves.” This is done in baby-steps.

We start by taking small amounts of “Sabbath time” time to rest and restore ourselves. We give up notions of perfection and accept ourselves as being “enough.” We learn to say ‘No’ to what depletes us and ‘Yes’ to what nurtures us. We learn to live in the present moment where peace-of-mind prevails, rather than in the past (with regret), or in the future (with worry or fear). Mindfulness practices help. Befriending is all about learning to honor our spirit so that we live more lovingly, peaceably, with ourselves. Doing so enables us to live more gently with others, as well.

WOW: Writing this book must have been incredibly rewarding. What have been some of your most personally fulfilling moments with this project?

Jan: I view this book as the work of a lifetime. It embodies the “inner work” I have done on myself for the past 30 years. To put it out there for everyone to read has been both terrifying and exhilarating. It’s risky, but I believe taking this risk has provided me with the greatest growth I’ve ever experienced. I feel like a different person than when I began the process of writing it back in 2004.

After self-publishing three books, to have Your Truest Self purchased by a publisher has been a dream come true. And then to have that publisher be one that was so soulful and supportive of my interspiritual focus was an act of grace—Sorin Books (an imprint of Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN). For me, this was an affirmation that a new day is dawning. When a primarily Catholic publisher can launch a truly interspiritual book, hooray for us all!

Other rewarding moments? Having Your Truest Self presented as one of 25 featured books at an “Author’s Feast” at the Great Lakes Bookseller Association Fall Trade Show was very exciting. Standing in front of all those bookstore owners, alongside John Grogan (Marley and Me and The Longest Trip Home) was surreal. Receiving the first 5-Star rating from an “official” book reviewer, Midwest Book Review, was pretty cool, too.

In truth, the most rewarding moments have been those I’ve spent with other people. Sharing this journey with my husband, Brad, has deepened our intimate relationship in wonderful ways. He has been my creative companion throughout and I am grateful for his love. Witnessing joy and pride on the face of my 80-year-old mother has been another. I am so happy she is still walking this earth to share these fortuitous times with me. The love and support of my family mean more to me than anything.

And the women I am meeting along the way. Oh, my, they take my breath away! They are so beautiful and strong and resilient. I feel incredibly humbled when I meet them at book events, or on my blog, or through e-mail. They tell me about their journeys into their truest selves and I often weep with joy at the beauty of their souls. Yes, it is the women who have touched my heart most deeply…

WOW: Do you have any parting words of advice to share with our women writers/readers?

Jan: Keep writing. Keep believing in yourself and the power of your words to heal, to uplift, to inspire.

These are fearful times, dream-dashing times. Yet, you have a boundless future with unlimited possibilities if you can become familiar with fear and rise above it. The deepest, truest part of you, your spirit, wants you to be all that you can be; to live the divine freedoms latent within you—inner peace, confidence, courage, joy, and profound love for others. If you cling to your fears, especially fear of failure, you cannot fly. As the Persian poet Rumi reminds us, “You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”


WOW: Want to join Jan on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

JANUARY 19, 2009 Monday
Jan will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Jan's book!

JANUARY 20, 2009 Tuesday
Jan will be stopping by Allena Tapia's blog, Freelance Writing.

JANUARY 21, 2009 Wednesday
Jan will be stopping by Joi Sigers' blog, Self-Help Daily.

JANUARY 26, 2009 Monday
Jan will be stopping by Mom's Spark!

JANUARY 27, 2009 Tuesday
Jan will be stopping by Tammie McElligot's blog on Women's Lit.

JANUARY 28, 2009 Wednesday
Jan will be stopping by Cheryl Phillips' blog, The Daily Blonde.

JANUARY 29, 2009 Thursday
Jan will be stopping by The Mental Fitness Center.

FEBRUARY 2, 2009 Monday
Jan will be stopping by Joanne DeMaio's blog, Whole Latte Life, for a lively discussion.

FEBRUARY 4, 2009 Wednesday
Jan will be stopping by Deena Peterson's blog, Deena's Bookshelf.

FEBRUARY 5, 2009 Thursday
Jan will be stopping by Allena Tapia's blog, GardenWall Publications.

FEBRUARY 6, 2009 Friday
Jan will be stopping by Darlene Devoe's blog, Raising Socially Anxious Children.

FEBRUARY 9, 2009 Monday
Jan will be stopping by Allyn Evans' blog, Happily Ever After Today.

FEBRUARY 10, 2009 Tuesday
Jan will be stopping by Donna Vokenannt's blog, Donna's Book Pub.

FEBRUARY 11, 2009 Wednesday
Jan will be stopping by Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog, The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

FEBRUARY 11, 2009 Wednesday
Jan will be stopping by Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog, The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

We also have several more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Jan Lundy's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at:

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Jan Lundy's latest book Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be.

Free Ebook: Visit Jan's site and sign up for her newsletter to receive a FREE copy of her ebook The Awakened Woman's Guide to Life. 90 pages of inspiration and practical strategies for experiencing more peace, confidence, courage, and joy in your day-to-day life.

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Blogger BronzeWord said...

Great sounding book. I especially need that show compassion to self. Wow right on insightful. Thank you.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Dearest Ladies,

Happy Monday!

I am so happy to be on tour, beginning with The Muffin. I especially love the fact that I can sit here at my desk all day and chat with you. Nothing else calls but to be present, communing with kindred spirits.

I'm also happy because I'm not on the "real" road. It's single digit freezing out there and the snow just never seems to stop! Indoors I'm cozy and warm. All that's missing is a crackling fire and a bakery fresh muffin. Lemon Poppyseed, please.

My heart is full just thinking about the delightful day ahead of us. So stop in and say hello. Ask me a question. I'd love to get to know you better.


6:06 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

How exciting to be starting your Book Tour, Jan! Best wishes, and lots of fun. I'm looking forward to hosting you next month and getting more dialogue going.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi there-
Thanks for stoppping by. Yes, compassion for ourselves may be the most difficult precept to embrace. I think it's even harder for self-employed women or women in the helping professions. We are hardwired to take care of everyone else first, or the job first, then attend to our own needs. Often, we're so exhausted from doing the former, we don't have the energy to take good care of us. I'm the poster child for this lesson, and thankfully, I'm finally getting it. It's taken me until mid-life to do so and then I still fall down on occasion and push myself way too hard. It's a big lesson for all of us to learn.

And I don't think it's about balance or time management. (Been there, done that!). It is about finding a more harmonious way of being with ourself. It's about lovingkindness. I love that word!
Lovingkindness. Doesn't it just feel good to say it?!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Joanne,
Me too! An exciting day, for sure. I am looking forward to being on your site soon. I've enjoyed our "soul" connection and appreciate the similarity of the lenses through which we seem to view life. I'll say here publicly I've learned much about blogging from just watching what you do so well, so effortlessly (or so it seems). I appreciate your generous presence on the web and in life. Cyberhug!

7:12 AM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

This book couldn't come at a better time for me. In my mid-thirties, I'm finally feeling true to myself, though life and circumstances do get in the way of inner calm. I've dubbed 2009 my Year of Zen and try daily to live this way.
I'm very excited to get my hands on your book and would love to welcome you to my blog for a stop on your tour. I think your insights would be most beneficial to my readers who come there for a dose of writerly inspiration and positive thoughts on daily living...

8:58 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Mary Jo,
Nice to meet you! Kudos to you for your intention to be more peaceful this year. You know what my favorite peaceful sounding word is? Equanimity. That's what I want for myself in 2009—equanimity. You too, I'd guess. Let's take that vow together!

And thanks for the invite. I'll pop on over to your site and take a peek. Blessings of peace to you.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D. said...

Hi Jan,

Your book sounds like exactly what I could use at this moment, as I strive to provide myself with some regular time to explore my spiritual self. Not always easy as a writer and the mom of a 1-year-old!

It's also fascinating to see you launch this blog tour. My first book, Writing through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen, was published last year, and the blog tour sounds like a great way to connect with wonderful souls out in cyberspace! I'm eager to follow your journey.

Warm regards!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Nice to meet you! I can only imagine how busy your life was be with a 1-year-old! I just spoke with a lovely young mom (of two, under age 5) who is having her first book published by a big NY publisher. She's already working on the second! I asked her how she did it— writing, mothering and more. "Thank God for baby swings!" she said.

Well, the trick to finding inner harmony is putting ourselves in that swing too, on a regular basis, to restore and rejuvenate ourselves. In my book, I focus on our spirit (and the greater Spirit) because when we are alignened with our truest self—who we are in the Spirit as we have come to understand it—all is well. And WE are well! But it's a hard road to walk at first, so many distractions and potential pitfalls. But it can be done.

I welcome your presence on the tour and I hope we can talk more about this.

Blessings of well-being to you!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hello and thanks for sharing with us. Your books look particularly interesting to me. It is interesting that you end this book tour blog post with comments about flight.

Has it ever come up that someone was on that path and doing quite well, but faltered, and now is trying to find their way back to that inner balance? Thinking of a book I'm reading right now about what Icarus would have done if he hadn't drowned in the sea, but instead, found his way back to the labyrinth (Delsol 2003).

10:32 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Allison,
Welcome! You pose a very good question. Yes, I think it is the nature of the spiritual journey to falter, fall, and lose our way. The journey is certainly not linear, a spiral is more like. The model of the labyrinth is perfect because no matter how far and wide we wander, we inevitably end up back in the center—our sacred center—though we undoubtedly return a different person than when we left.

In my own life, I have moved out and away numerous times. Gained access to new wisdom and new parts of my self, then journeyed back in. Always arriving back in the center restored, made anew, if you will. This is the heroine's journey of which Joseph Campbell wrote.

If our intention is strong to live fully as our truest (most sacred) self, we will engage this process again and again. I know I will!

May your journey be blessed!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Kafka said...

Hi Jan.

How are you? The list of supporting women is incredible.
My fav. is #9. "I Can Create My Life Anew Each Day." It's my fav. because whatever happened yesterday that was negative or unpleasant I can scratch out, ignore, or pray about the next day. I always try to do something new or different each day; as well as learn something new each day. Each day is always a new, fresh start.

I have several inspirational/motivational blogs in my favs folders and will be adding yours as the newest one. Thanks.

Poetry is powerfully inspiring and spiritual as you mentioned Rumi. I have read some of Rumi's poetry and also some of Matsuo Basho's poetry (Haiku) and find each work to be inspiring and uplifting.

Your parting words are spot on.

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." ~Helen Keller,~

I am happy you launched your new book and are going on tour. I am happy to have been a part of today.
Good luck on your journeys!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Michelle,
Thank you for sharing YOUR wisdom with us. I, too, subscribe to the Truth of "begin again, no matter what, begin again." We can never fall too far to get up, dust ourselves off, and start over.

Michelle Tsosie Sisneros, a gifted Native American artist, represents this Truth in my book. She was raised on the Navajo reservation, but devoid of spiritual life. At the age of 10, she descended into alcoholism. Her story of recovery is remarkable. And, no surprise, guess what brought her back to the land of the living, enabled her to embody her truest self—creativity! Specifically, painting. She is a self-taught artist who feels the Divine move through her hand. She is also a lovely writer and poet.

May the Muse reign supreme in all of our journeys. And as you say, great poets do help...

1:00 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Hi Jan!

I'm so happy to read the lively discussions. :)

I have a question for you that probably many writers face as well: How do you maintain a peace when your to-do list is a mile long?

Thanks in advance,


2:38 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

This is a wonderful question, Angela. My "To Do" list is ever-present. It never seems to change or get any shorter. What has changed is my attitude toward it.

Even though our list may loom large, we can approach it with present-centered awareness. With mindfulness. This means we are fully aware of how its presence is affecting us. If it feels overwhelming, we slow down breath, and trust that if we take just one step at a time, we will make progress. It's all about progress, not perfection! We can also name the emotion we are feeling, for example— "overwhelm." Acknowledge it, breathe through it, sit with it a spell. It's amazing how an emotion, even a strong one, can pass away, given a little time.

Taking our list, step-by step, one moment at a time is helpful. In truth, we will always be busy. There will always be a lot to do. If we can be OK with that fact in and of itself, life can feel quite different. Personal practices for creating inner peace are very helpful. My book offers lots of suggestions for these, my blog too.

Believe, breathe, and be well!

3:03 PM  
Blogger Loren Christie said...

Dear Jan,
The book looks wonderful. The idea of "honoring your sacred self" is one that I try weekly to pass on to a group of teens I mentor as a youth minister. Thank you for reinforcing this and other "life-freeing" ideas in your new book. Best Wishes!
-Loren Christie

3:24 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Loren,
Thanks so much! I love that you are conveying a message of honoring our sacred selves to teens—a lesson we can never learn too early in life. As a former high school teacher myself, I can relate. Congratulations on your soulful work with the next generation. Blessings!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Elisabeth Kuhn said...

What a wonderful and timely book. I agree with you on the centering power of spiritual practices especially in times of great stress and emotional and other turmoil.

Good luck with your tour and getting the word out. I'll let others know about you too and may make a post on my own blog about it.


5:44 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Elisabeth,
I appreciate your kind comments. Yes, our spiritual practices are what center and sustain us. So many of us forget to connect with these practices when times get tough. Even the most simple of them like walking, artistic pursuits, or time spent in silence can plug us back into our sacred connection. It's just remembering to do them when the pressure builds. We seem prone to "Spiritual amnesia" (smile)

Thank you for the networking and the invite. I'll check out your blog. Be well!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Jan, this is such an interesting discussion - thank you!

I wonder if you could offer advice to those of us who tend to live more in a place of fear than of peace. I worry too much, fearing losses in my life, and know that fear is, at times, ruling my life. Any advice on becoming more "present-minded" would be gratefully received.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Virginia-
This may be one of the most significant issues going for us today: how not to live in fear and worry. Here goes...

When we are caught up in these emotions, we are not focused on the present moment. The mind (and our ego self) are habituated to focus on "what's next." The more we can dwell in the present moment the better off we will be. To do this we literally need to retrain the mind. This can be done through mindfulness practices and there are many books on the subject. One of my faves is by my dear friend, Sue Patton Thoele: The Mindful Woman. Sue is very upfront, funny, and practical. Another is Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Truly, living in the present moment where inner peace resides is a PRACTICE, and it TAKES practice, as well, if you get my drift.

Another practical resource is a column I write called "Pockets of Peace." It's online at Michigan Women's Forum. (This is also the subject of my next book.) The Pockets are practical exercises for accessing inner peace when life is challenging. My blog site offers lots of tips, too.

This fear/worry thing is also a matter of faith. How much do we trust? A big question that each of us must answer. It seems the more faith we have, the more trust we have in a benevolent universe, the less we are haunted by fear and worry. A predominant presence of fear and worry in our lives may be a spiritual wake-up call.

I hope this helps. Blessings of peace to you!

6:35 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Hi Jan,

Your answer to Ginny is so right on. Believe it or not, I actually never thought of fear the way you explained it--the focus on "what's next." So simple, and so true.

Also, thank you for your advice on my To-Do list. Especially the part about perfection. I have a little problem with that one. ;o)



7:09 PM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Hi Jan,

I have to admit I read that line twice about your book being published by Ave Maria Press (I'm Catholic, so it's okay for me to say that :-) But the spiritual journey of finding your truest self is a universal struggle, I think, that crosses religious lines as well as age limits. I have a 21 year old daughter that could benefit from some of your transforming truths. Maybe "Your Truest Self" should be on her required college reading list?

7:16 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

What an incredible, empowering message to be able to share with women around the globe. Your heart and warmth shine through in this interview, Jan, and I can feel a sense of greatness glowing through you. It's truly inspiring!

When I look deeper within myself and those around me I realize, we are all so much more than we have begun to be. Touched by fear and disconnected from spirit life twirls about in an endless eddy of chaos that keeps us busy but doesn't lift our soul. It must be truly magical to know that you are doing things to change how people see themselves and live their lives.

Thank you for all you give.
Rebecca Laffar-Smith

7:23 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

You are dear! I'm a recovering perfectionist, don't you know? I recognize one when I meet one. (smile/hug) It's all about lovingkindness. A lesson I didn't learn until my mid-50s. Thank God I am learning it now. Life is alot easier when we are gentler with ourselves.


I chuckled when I read your words. Some people balk when they hear my book was published by a (primarily) Catholic publisher (esp. those folks who know that I am not Catholic). They're building a great roster of new authors who are ecumenical/interspiritual in focus, which just makes me so very happy. I believe this is where we are meant to be, in dialogue with one another, sharing our similarities, and celebrating (and finding value in) our differences.

Yes, the truths we hold the most dear, I believe, are universal. It would be wonderful to have college-aged women read this book. I can only imagine how it might help them to flourish in life, with fewer pitfalls along the way. Thanks for visiting with me. Peace.


Your kind words touched my heart. It has been a very long journey, my friend, and I am in a good place at this time of my life. It was not always so. I inherited some pretty serious worry genes from my family of origin, along with anxiety genes too. Anxiety and fear go hand in hand. The road has been long and winding, but full of healing, wonderful mentors, and soulful women like yourself who inspire and uplift. I believe that once we walk through enough episodes of fear and come through the other side, a grace sets in. I'd say this is my "grace period." May you also find yours... Blessings!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Hello Jan,
Your book sounds like something I could use right now. Stressed beyond belief, but a lot of it is of my own making (career choice, family obligations, etc). Add perfectionist tendencies to the mix and the I become one stressed-out writer. :)

Luckily, I enjoy what I do and seek out time for peace every day. It helps me center myself and reprioritize what is important.

Best of luck on your blog tour! I look forward to reading more about your book.


9:07 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks for touching base. I appreciate the sharing of your "story." I say with all candor and care, that I have been there and done that.

It is so important for us to find ways to keep ourselves calm and clear, not just once a day, but all throughout the day. When my three children were young, stress was my middle name. After ten years or so of stress-filled living, I lost my health. I couldn't work for an entire year. All I could do was work on my inner self and emotionally regroup to regain my physical health. It was a life-changing journey for me. A very difficult one for my family. That year made me who I am today. I teach and write for women about this very topic because I hope to help them avoid going through a similar crash and burn situation.

Stress is insidious. It literally eats away at our well-being and causes dis-ease. Long term stress can have a devastating, cumulative effect on us. Please take care of you and, as soon as you can, find ways to make a shift. Not to be overly self-promotional, but my book can help. I promise. Smiles and Hugs!

7:16 AM  
Blogger Krysten said...

What a nice interview! I agree that we are living in stressful times & I think I'll take the advice of taking time to take a walk out in nature. Sounds like a great book and very helpful!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hi Krysten,
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the interview. May those walks easy your stress and boost your creativity!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Dear Ladies of the Muffin,
It was wonderful to be here with you on tour with WOW-Women on Writing. I enjoyed our soulful conversations, hearing your insights, and bearing witness to the passion with which you are living your lives. I hold you in my heart as I continue on the tour. I hope that we'll stay connected and deepen our friendship.

I chat daily with folks at my blog:, so please stop by. I am always open to answering questions. Being here with you in this way jumpstarted my creativity in an interesting new way. In the future, I think I'll be answering questions about the spiritual life (in the vein of what we did here) on my blog, so thank you for that nudge to my Muse.

May your journey be fruitful and blessed!
All Love,

6:59 AM  
Blogger darbyscloset said...

I love the way you describe this book, it sounds like a real gem! So many insights for us the reader to discover, I can't wait to start on my journey! One of the women I'm surprised you didn't mention (for interviewing) is Marianne Williamson, she is always rooting for women to be real.
Thanks so much for your post!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

5:19 PM  
Blogger Wow! said...

And the winner of the comments contest random drawing goes to...drum roll...Michelle Kafka! Congrats Michelle!

I'll be emailing you to ask for your snail mail addy. :o)

How we choose the winners: we write down the names of all those who commented on a slip of paper and put them into a hat. Then I have my hubby draw a name. Old-school, yes.

If you didn't win this round, try again! We have them often.

Cheers & happy commenting!

8:41 PM  

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