Wednesday Wisdom: Abundant Joy…An Interview with a Mentor…

Thank you for joining me today!  I am so very excited….

Today–in this space–I am sharing with you an interview with a person who is very special to me…I used to dream about having a life full of like minded people, of sharing my gift of clarity openly, of writing and forming community..and now I live that dream!  My heart overflows with gratitude for this day and for all that is in it!  Magical indeed:)  Thank you for sharing it with me..I believe you will be inspired by this very special woman…Jan Lundy of Awake is Good

Jan is special to me because she was placed in my life at a time I was open to all that she so generously shares.  She was one of a few people who ‘took me under their wing’ and guided me along.  I never physically ‘asked’ for such guidance, but my heart yearned and whispered..and it was answered!  Amazing..

Jan sent me her book “Your Truest Self” which is phenomenal but took me a long while to read because I wasn’t yet my truest self.   I was just opening to the concept of celebrating the Feminine Divine as a figure and within me…. growing up without a mother or a mother figure I couldn’t picture Feminine Divine, let alone imagine that I reflected or ‘housed’ her…As I allowed layers to be peeled back, allowed for natural unfolding, the wisdom and insights Jan facilitates through her book, her blog, comments, and emails began to not only make sense, but also fold itself into my Truth…

JANICE LYNNE LUNDY is an Interfaith Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader, Syndicated Magazine Columnist, and the Author of “Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be,” available at Visit her website ~ ~ and her blog ~, recently named as one of 2010’s Top 50 Buddhist Blogs.

I am honored to have Jan here with me today on my site..I thought as we spoke, I would vision us in my clubhouse, perhaps sipping tea or red wine, as the beauty from the harbor inspired us to share:

my clubhouse…and the view of the sunset from the clubhouse..

Jan, *thank you* for honoring me with your visit today…

I would like to offer you snacks…what may I offer to you?….

Joy, how fun to be here! I adore your view. It’s stunning. You are one lucky woman! I’ll take ice tea if you have it, unsweetened. Thank you.

As we look out over my harbor, I wonder, do you like to be in nature, is that something that soothes your soul in any way?  And if so, do you prefer the ocean, the mountains, the desert…

Nature does nurture me,—body, mind, spirit, and soul. It’s my primary “Mother God” connection, for sure, and always delivers me to peaceful inner spaces. For me, it’s all forms of water—oceans, lakes, rivers. I am a water girl, born and bred. Most of my adult life, I have lived on the “big water.” The Ojibwa peoples from our area called it “Gitche Gumee” or “Big-Sea-Water” – Lake Michigan. This is my true home. The connection is so strong, in fact, I wonder if I was a freshwater mermaid in a previous life. (wink)

What inspires your creativity?  How do you then pass that inspiration on to others?

Everything inspires me! People, art, music, the natural world, literature, architecture … I think it has to do with how I see the world— that everything in Creation is sacred, a reflection of the Divine. I’ve perceived the world in this way for as long as I can remember, even to my earliest childhood days. Everything felt quite magical to me. It still does. I realize now (as an adult) that I was and am a “sensitive” and easily receive energetic impressions from things, people, and situations. (Which can be a blessing and a curse! It does invite one to live carefully and consciously.)

How do I pass inspiration on? Oh, just letting it flow through and out however it wishes. A hug, a smile, a word, an essay, a gathering. Whatever way Soul decides it wants to express itself in the world. Each of us has the capacity to connect in this way and be a Divine Transmitter for the greater good. (Does that sound too “woo-woo”?) It’s simply a matter of getting clear about who we really are and aligning our self with that calling. Then it just flows…

You open your life to various mentors, teachers, others…How are they presented to you?  How do you connect?

The most beloved mentors have been “graces.” Given to me, showing up, making themselves known at the most unforeseen times and under the most interesting circumstances. Somehow my soul would recognize them for who they were to become to me, and I had to reach out, speak out, and make the connection. Sometimes that felt risky (to ask for a personal connection) but I did it anyway. Because of my “boldness” in this way, I have been blessed to have some of the most amazing personal mentors, beyond my wildest imaginings. I wrote about 12 of them in my book, Your Truest Self.

My current mentor/spiritual director/soul friend is Sylvia Boorstein, a beloved teacher of mindfulness and metta (loving-kindness). We have been journeying together for 2 1/2 years now and it has been one of the most blessed relationships of my life. She was a friend of a friend. I found her work a few years ago when I was laid low, flat on my back, recovering from a little heart issue. Her writing voice opened up a healing pathway for me, literally! My heart began to open and strengthen. I wrote her, told her so, and we started a private mentoring relationship. This relationship, like the others I have had, feels like a gift from a wise and loving Universe who somehow knows what I (or any of us) need for the next step on the path. And it provides it. Any of us can tap into this and find appropriate mentors. I believe everyone can benefit from mentoring. It makes the journey easier. We just need to ask.

You seem to enjoy gathering groups of people in various settings…what is your role within these groups?  what do you take away from these gatherings? 

Joy, I was a classroom teacher for many years so I love being a facilitator, a gatherer of hearts, sharing resources and information. I am also a perpetual and passionate student.

(As a child, nearly everyday after school I would slip into our basement and play school some more. I played a dual role, going back and forth between pretending I was the teacher at the chalkboard [yes, we had one] and being the student sitting in the desk [we had one of those too!]).

So when I am with others, no matter what role I play, I love to learn from others. I love it when we share our stories … Everyone’s story touches my heart so. I grow. Expand. We all can.

What makes your heart sing? 

Oh, too many things to name! So I will pick one. Kindness. Tenderness. When people are kind and compassionate to one another and I witness it in some way, I am brought to tears, but they are tears that swell with joy and gratitude. In those moments I feel so blessed to witness our basic goodness in action. We can be “God in skin” to one another. May we all …

When you are most bold in your vision..what does that vision hold for you?

It is a vision of surrendering to the Sacred and allowing it to use me as It desires. Sometimes I get a little wimpy about this because I am sort of a home-body chick. Sometimes the idea of “big and bold” causes a little anxiety in me, so there is a constant (but gentle) push and pull going on inside of me, inviting me to let go of control and surrender … and to trust the process.; to trust my own unfolding.

A current new vision I am holding for myself involves bringing my “work” to the internet in new ways. I will be launching an online course in the fall: “Buddha Chick.” Cool, huh? It’s a soul-searching but fun, interactive, mentoring-based, course for women to get calm, clear, and wise—once and for all! I’m a very practical chick (double Capricorn) who is keen on sharing what really works—sidewalk spirituality, I call it. So stay tuned! Perhaps YOU will join me, Joy? You are one cool chick, after all.

*grin* thank you…”Buddha Chick’ sounds delight filled…

When you hear the phrase color your would you do so?  Describe that world for us…

With multi-colored, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic crayons! I adore and celebrate our diversity. All the different ways we live and love and celebrate and “worship” and create excites me. And when we can put aside our barriers and boundaries to embrace our “unique sameness,” I get ecstatic.

(Did I mention that for many years I taught anthropology and comparative religions? I loved it. I am a spiritual anthropologist at heart, if there is such a thing. LOL)

You recently took a sabbatical to write..may you describe a bit of that experience for me…

It was incredible. I had never been that kind to myself, to give myself permission to take off from the busyness of life for a full month, and do only what my heart desired. (Which was to sit under an ancient banyan tree and write each day, walk the beach, read, rest, etc.) I am still processing and gaining insights into how I was changed by that time. I feel like a very different person today because of it. I’d highly recommend the same for you someday, Joy, but your kids would have to be a little older, obviously. Mine are out of the nest now (for the most part—ages 20, 26, 28) so a sabbatical was a matter of timing. It was well worth waiting for! I’m fairly sure that someday there will be a book about that experience of sitting under the tree for 30-days and what that ancient one had to say.

Thank you so much for sharing….is there anything that your heart would like to share with my readers…

Love and be happy. Really, that’s all that matters.

And be kind. Life is difficult. Everyone struggles. An attitude of kindness can change a life, can change our own in spectacular ways. Shangri-La can be the real deal … but we have to create it, choice-by -choice, action-by-action. Wishing will not make it so.

I love kayaking, after we are done, I will kayak, would you like to join me?

Oh, boy, gulp! I have never been kayaking, and, truthfully, that brings up a little bit of fear in me. I love the water, but I don’t like the idea of tipping over. Ok, breathe …

Yes, let’s go. I trust you as a wise guide. I‘ll also do some metta for myself and for us. Whenever I feel anxious or worried, I do metta (loving-kindness practice.) It always helps!

May we be safe.

May we be strong.

May we be happy.

May we be peaceful and ease.

 Thank you, Joy, for sharing yourself and your beautiful harbor with me in this way. You are a blessing to me and to so many others. Your joy is effervescent! Your goodness shines.

By the way, do you have a life-vest?

LOL..I sure do…

Thank you Jan..My heart overflows with Love and I am glad to share that in this space…*Anything* is truly possible…indeed!

Much peace,


  1. #1 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on August 11, 2010 - 11:38 am

    Absolutely beautiful interview! Two incredible women, sharing space in an awesome place.

    Jan, you are gentleness personified and each time I read your words I am calmed. I adore Sylvia Boorstein’s writings, too; you two make a great pair! And what a phenomenal tea date that would be. I’m planting the seeds of intention right now: all of my favorite blogging women together, enjoying afternoon tea in some lovely location.

    Jan, when I hear Joy speak of how you helped her on her journey, my heart smiles. I am quite fond of Joy (like many of us are!), and want the very best for her. To know she’s had a mentor in you puts my soul at ease.

    I love how you wrote that being sensitive to energies can be both a blessing and a curse. I’ve found the same thing. On the one hand, it’s wonderful to walk into a new situation and be able to “feel it out” and have an inner knowing of what various people and things are about in relation to my own energy. On the other hand, the deepness of my feelings sometimes stops me in my tracks.

    Jan & Joy, this interview started my morning off wonderfully. I thank you both, and am sending big hugs & lots of love to you!

    ~ Megan

  2. #2 by Jan on August 11, 2010 - 11:55 am

    Joy, I am so happy to be here today. Thanks so much for having me! What fun. And I am here “live” – really – at my desk today working on a new project, so if you have a question or comment, I’m here. xo

    Hi Megan,
    Oh, so good to hear from YOU too first thing this morning! We are definitely a mutual admiration society.

    About “being sensitive.” I am not surprised to hear you are “gifted” in this way too. I think being born this way (and I believe sensitivity is inborn, a “wiring” issue) invites us to get in touch with our inner self early on. Many folks I know who are walking a profound spiritual path are deeply sensitive. And, yes, it can stop us if we are not aware of its power and can cultivate it. I was quite teased for it when I was young (were you?) and used to feel embarrassed by it. Even today people say “You are just too sensitive!” Instead of apologizing as I used to, now I can say ‘Thank you!’

    Are you familiar with the book, “The Highly Sensitive Person,” by Elaine Aron? One of my dearest mentors, Sue Patton Thoele, who is highly sensitive herself, told me about it. It was a life saver for me. You and others who are “sensitive” might find it helpful.

    Blessings to you this day!

    (p.s. This is too weirdly wild. You are the 3rd person in less than 24-hours who has made the suggestion to me for a CA get together soon. Holy synchronicity! Yes, let’s plant the seed…

  3. #3 by Tess The Bold Life on August 11, 2010 - 1:41 pm

    Hi Jan,
    What a wonderful interview. I’ve not read any of Sylvia Boorstein and love how you connected. How inspiring. Congrats on your award for your blog, that alone is amazing.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your online course and Banyan Tree book! Two terms that resonate with me are “God in skin and sidewalk spirituality.” And those cranyons you talk about…can they be distributed on every adult desk please and everyday we shall color in unison and hang our artwork on the wall. xo

  4. #4 by The Exception on August 11, 2010 - 1:43 pm

    I have been a silent follower of Awake is Good for a while and find so much in the words and thoughts that are expressed. Sometimes the words are exactly what I need to read. Thank you Jan – and thank you Joy for the interview!

  5. #5 by Jan on August 11, 2010 - 3:08 pm

    Dear Ms. Exception,
    I appreciate your kind words. Even though you have been silent, it hugs my heart to know that you are there. I backtracked to take a peek at you. Nice to know you! And am so glad to find you are a woman of integrity and passion and verve who lives with an open heart. Metta to you…xo

  6. #6 by Jan Lundy on August 11, 2010 - 4:03 pm

    Hi Tess!
    I appreciate your support as always. I am glad that we are connected! You would truly enjoy Sylvia’s books. She is definitely interspiritual: A practicing Jew by birth and “tribe,” and a Buddhist by choice. Might I suggest: “It’s Easier than You Think.” I am confident you would resonate with it. (Very practical!) Also, “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist” which would tickle your funny bone.

    And, yes, the crayons. May we color our world with understanding and compassion and appreciation for how wonderfully different (and yet the same) we are. Hugs!

  7. #7 by Sara on August 11, 2010 - 8:33 pm

    Joy — This was one of the best interviews I’ve every read and the most interesting:~)

    It makes me want to meet Jan very much. I loved so many of the things she said. I loved it when you asked her what inspires her and she said EVERYTHING. What an open soul:~) Also, your questions were excellent because they touched the heart and were not just the “what do you do” type of questions. I also thought your opening with the sunset was very welcoming. Thanks:~)

    Jan — What can I say, you really shared yourself with us. I loved your phrase, “We can be “God in skin” to one another. ” That’s a wonderful image and feeling to me. I can see why Joy would find you such a great mentor. I will visit your site and I am very interested Buddha Chick…you make it sound fun:~)

  8. #8 by Mermaid on August 11, 2010 - 9:45 pm

    Joy, I am soooooo GLAD you found Jan. I think you were really recognizing the divinity and Sacred Feminine within yourself. It was just covered in a lot of bullshit stories you used to tell yourself, the stories we all tell ourselves to keep ourselves small. Thank you for interviewing Jan, and Jan, thank you for agreeing:) I didn’t know you were a teacher? Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me. The best teachers are also the best students open to receiving what others can also teach them.

    From one Mermaod to another Mermaid, let’s be Goddesses!

  9. #9 by Tony Single on August 11, 2010 - 11:22 pm

    Jan, it was a pleasure to meet you. I want to thank you for taking the time to visit with us here at Moonbeam’s wonderful blog! Much appreciated! 🙂

  10. #10 by Jan on August 12, 2010 - 12:14 am

    Very nice to meet you! I am thrilled to meet Joy’s lovely friends. I appreciate your kind words about the interview. Yes, Joy asked great questions. She really challenged me to think deeply about some things that one wouldn’t normally think about.

    “God in skin” is a phrase that just came on the wings of inspiration one day. I imagine it could rub some the wrong way but to me it is a perfect metaphor for how divine we can be for one another. Blessings to you!

    A pleasure to meet you too! I’m thrilled you are one of Joy’s loyal supporters. She does shine like the moon. 🙂 Be well!

  11. #11 by Caroline on August 12, 2010 - 1:26 am

    Oh my goodness…Joy thank you for this interview! Wonderful. Jan is such a rare and unique soul…I am glad to learn a little bit more about her. And Jan…The Buddha Chick? Oh I love it! Can’t wait to hear more about this.


  12. #12 by Jan Lundy on August 12, 2010 - 11:10 am

    Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for your sweet thoughts. We shall be Buddha Chicks together! Actually we already are but just don’t consistently act like it, or embrace our inherent light-filled nature … Big hugs to you.

  13. #13 by Keith on August 12, 2010 - 11:39 am

    Hello Jan and Joy,

    Great interview. So many things in this interview spoke to me, and to highlight them all would require reprinting the entire article, but here’s a couple that really got me :

    “Love and be happy. Really, that’s all that matters” What else can be added to this?

    “Everything inspires me! People, art, music, the natural world, literature, architecture … I think it has to do with how I see the world” I can relate to this in a big way because I receive inspiration in the same ways. I think you’re wxactly right Jan, it has everything to do with how we see the world!

    Jan, thank you so much for sharing so openly and for the impact you are undoubtedly having on our world…and now upon me as well.

    Joy, you are definitely a sweet soul and I thank you for e mailing me and encouraging me to learn about Jan.

    You’re both pretty cool chicks!

  14. #14 by Jan on August 12, 2010 - 3:24 pm

    Hi Keith,
    Nice to have you here. Thanks for the kind thoughts. Life is so much a matter of perspective, don’t you think? Everything is possible when we have the eyes to see (soul eyes), the ears to hear (soul ears). Granted we may not be “born” this way. But it is a way of being in the world we can cultivate – with proper attention and intention – and passion, of course. We must truly WANT things to be different for us, before they can show up that way. As I said, wishing does not make it so.

    Blessings to you on your good work. So wonderful to read the words (and hear the heartbeat) of a conscious and awake man such as yourself.

  15. #15 by Jan on August 13, 2010 - 1:03 pm

    Joy, thank you again for having me as a guest. You have a sacred space here and I offer you and all who visit many blessings for growth, wonder, and gratitude—and unfolding joy! With love, from my heart to yours, may you be happy … always. xo

  16. #16 by Wilma Ham on August 15, 2010 - 11:27 pm

    I am late to the party however that is expected of an overseas guest. The best part about Jan is that she is so practical, I adore that about her, ‘you don’t look like a buddhist’ certainly applies to her. Joy, your clubhouse and view looks amazing, what a place to live and trust you to enjoy it so much. Ladies, you are awesome and I love being in your company. Much love, Wilma and I have some of that tea too please.

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