Program & Replays

Julian of Norwich: Healing the Split Between Our Heavenly and Earthly Selves

Broadcast on June 29, 2023
With Janna Gosselin, PhD
Hosted by Taya Mâ Shere

According to Janna Gosselin, PhD, Julian of Norwich knows that sometimes we feel confused, anxious, or disconnected from God, ourselves, and others — because our soul is literally split in two. We are deeply divided between our heavenly self and our earthly self. For Julian, healing that split is our life's work, and Janna will share two main practices of Julian's teachings to help that healing.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • We have a split in our soul between our heavenly and earthly self, which causes anxiety that we need to heal
  • Julian of Norwich offers the practices of waiting for God, and sweet talking ourself, as ways to heal the split in our soul
  • A 5-minute guided meditation practice to imagine our higher self and wait for God to assist us in our healing 
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Janna Gosselin, PhD

Author, Speaker and Spiritual Teacher at

Janna Gosselin, PhD, began life as a mystic, with her first mystical experiences (including a near-death experience), beginning at age three. Despite this mystical beginning, Janna journeyed into a conventional life, becoming a lawyer for the NFL and other entertainment clients. But Spirit drew her back to the spiritual realm through a series of powerful mystical experiences, along with a dark night encounter with Lyme disease. All this ultimately led Janna to her life’s work of teaching about the mystics, both as a professor in academic settings, and as a teacher in more spiritual settings. Recently, Janna served as group leader for the Shift Network Global Mystics Certification Course with Mirabai Starr and Andrew Harvey, while also teaching in universities, seminaries, and churches.

Janna has spoken at academic conferences, has published a chapter in Protestant Spiritual Traditions II, and currently does interfaith work as vice president of the Academy for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies. She has been a featured speaker at the Oxford Interfaith Forum and in Interfaith Trialogues, has served as adjunct faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary, and currently serves as academic dean, professor of Christian spirituality, and co-director of the Spirituality and Aging Program at the New Theological Seminary of the West. She has also guest lectured at UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount University, and Fuller Theological Seminary.

In addition, Janna has served in teaching and leadership roles at several churches. Janna conducted several well-attended lecture series on the Christian mystics, currently serves as elder of spiritual formation, leads contemplative prayer sessions, and completed training as a lay counselor at the La Canada Presbyterian Church. She will be leading a series of lectures on Christian mystics this summer at the San Marino Community Church.

Janna completed her PhD at the University of Southern California, where she wrote her dissertation on Julian of Norwich. She also completed a Master of Arts in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her spiritual training includes the Center for Action and Contemplation Living School with Richard Rohr. She is currently writing a book on Julian of Norwich, working with Jim Finley. Her research interests include the Beguine mystics, apophatic theology, the Cathars, and other expressions of Medieval mystics.

Janna Gosselin, PhD