by Janet Conner
Have you noticed that the next big idea that sends your life into a whole new orbit always drops out of nowhere? You’re not looking for it, not asking for it, not expecting anything, when suddenly, wham, it lands in your heart. And the top of your head pops off like a champagne cork.
I had one of those moments recently.
I had just finished a delightful conversation with Kathleen Deignan on The Soul-Directed Life talking about Thomas Merton, prayer, and finding the natural rhythm of your life. We even sang to one another.
As we were saying goodbye, Kathleen blurte17d, “You are an ecstatic!”
This got my attention because it was the second time ecstasy came calling. The first time, a friend in book group interrupted me as I was describing the intense experience of writing Find Your Soul’s Purpose. She said, “You need more balance in your life.” Without thinking, I blurted, “I don’t want balance. I want ecstasy.”
Hmm. Ecstasy. Blurted. Twice. Time to investigate.
First stop. The dictionary:
- rapturous delight
- overpowering emotion or exaltation
- state of sudden intense feeling
- frenzy of poetic inspiration
- mental transport of rapture from the contemplation of divine things
Well, now. These are what I like, what I want, what excites me.
But what is an ecstatic?
I wrote to Kathleen. You might want to read her answer slowly:
“By ecstatic I mean vibrating at a very high and insightful frequency as a way of being in this world. Most of us do not use hardly ANY of the spiritual band-width we have as gift, never really let ourselves move into these more spacious, expansive realms.
You feel like a woman who lives in the power-state of joy and surprise and wonder and gratitude—all of that.
That is what I meant when I said you are an ecstatic being.”
I was tickled by how she described me, but it was Spiritual Band-width that sent my champagne cork flying.
In all my interspiritual reading (over 100 books a year), I’ve never seen anyone use that term.
So what is this?
In a word: Transparent.
Spiritual band-width is the measure of your transparency to the Transcendent.
Every tradition points to becoming so transparent that you merge into the divine in sacred union.
- Jesus is transparent when he says, “The Father and I are One.”
- The ultimate Vedic truth is, “You are That.”
- Li Po in 8th century China wrote, “We sit together the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.”
The spiritual band-width of these souls is so vast it encompasses the width and depth of the cosmos.
Which is great for them, but what about you and me?
We’re not there yet.
But, as we explore the fields of the soul, embodying the living presence of the Divine in our mystical prayer practices, we become a wee bit more transparent.
Bit by bit, prayer by prayer, silence by silence, our spiritual band-width expands and expands and expands.
Thanks to Kathleen Deignan, I see that I have been slowly expanding my spiritual band-width for years. And everything I write and every course I lead helps you expand your band-width, too.
I’m in awe. I’m in wonder. I’m in love.
And it’s only taken me 10 years, 7 books, 220 radio shows, countless hours of deep soul writing, deep soul reading, and deep soul mystical prayer practice to see what is happening when we explore the fields of the soul: we are expanding our spiritual band-width!
So the question that’s probably bubbling up right now is “How do I expand my spiritual band-width?”
I took this inquiry into soul writing. This surfaced:
- Sacred Desire
Acknowledge and express your sacred desire to become more transparent to the Transcendent
- Big Questions
Ask big questions, quest-inducing questions, and follow where they lead
- Mystical Prayer
Develop mystical prayers that you love with your whole being
- Show Up
Live your prayer practices and your prayer practices will transform your life
- White Space
Give yourself silence and emptiness in which to hear the voice of the Transcendent
- Big Ideas
Spend time with the mystics; chew over ideas that astonish you
- Soul Community
Explore the fields of the soul in community. Spend time with real soul friends
- Serve the Divine
Be the presence of the divine in and through and as you–this is the essence of transparency
Open to what you don’t know, don’t understand, can’t figure out
Release the need for safety. Pursue love. In perfect paradox, you’ll find true safety
Looking at my list, I realized we do all that and more in my deep soul exploration books and courses. And the result, as Kathleen recognized, is gratitude, wonder, and joy–even ecstasy!
Janet Conner is a writer, speaker, teacher, retreat guide, and radio show host of The Soul-Directed Life radio show for Unity Online Radio. Each year she teaches five global telecourses in her trademark series Your Soul Wants Five Things, which offers spiritual tools and practices that help people meet their soul’s primary needs. She lives and writes in Ozona, Florida. Visit her online at www.janetconner.com.