with Soulshaping author
and Institute Founder Jeff Brown
Begins WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8, 2020
We are at a remarkable crossroads in our human development. We are poised on the brink of a shift from survivalism to authenticity as a way of being. In the old model, we were conditioned to put our feelings away, to ‘never look back’, to bury our wounds and traumas below our personas and masks. Emotions were perceived as dangerous. Survival at all costs was our collective mantra. As a result, many of us lived painful lives- trapped inside of ourselves with mountains of unresolved pain, shame and anger pushing up against us. Those mountains often grew larger over time, undermining our life satisfaction, turning into destruction and disease. This repression of feeling was perpetuated by some disembodied spiritual philosophies, which advocated for a version of spirituality that characterized emotions and personal identifications as illusion, that desacralized our personal stories, that confused dissociation with presence. This course invites you in a very different direction.
As we move towards a more authentic way of being, our hearts are beginning to open. Slowly, to be sure, but steadily, and in the direction of a more inclusive way of being, a tender wholeness. Instead of dishonoring the world of feeling, we are beginning to recognize that it is where we truly live. Not in our head-tripping minds, not in our self-distraction patterns, but inside of our own beautiful hearts. Instead of shaming and shunning our pains and issues, we are recognizing that our stories and struggles are nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite, in fact. Our emotional challenges are a perfect reflection of the collective consciousness at this stage of human development, and they live at the heart of our personal transformation. If we deny them, we delay our own expansion. And, even more beautifully, working through our emotional debris and stubborn patterns actually grows us spirituality. Repressed emotions are unactualized spiritual lessons. In the shadows of our consciousness live the seeds for our own expansion. We grow in karmic stature when we go deep into the fires of the emotional body and sculpt a new way of being with our courageous willingness.
This course is an invitation. To turn towards the unresolved pain and issues that plague you. To honor your pain body’s wisdom. To sanctify your story. To jump into the heart of the material and do the real work to clear what wants to be cleared. To explore the relationship between your issues and your sacred purpose, your pain body and your spiritual expansion. To know a presence that is not split off from your lived experience, but that fully embraces it all.
This course is a call to action. A call to immerse yourself in your unresolved feelings and experiences in an effort to heal and expand. A call to explore the inextricable relationship between the opening of the heart and the expansion of the soul (‘Open-bless-a-me’). A call to jump into the heart of your story and live it all the way through to transformation. Life is the School of Heart Knocks. We can either deny this and feign happiness, or we can do the real work to transform our shadow into the light at its source. The buried treasure is awaiting its liberation.
This School of Heart Knocks course supports you in your efforts to transform emotional debris and bridge the world of feeling with your most profound spiritual expansion. Please join us on this journey of soul-discovery and self-creation.
Hi I’m Jeff Brown, and I am thrilled to be facilitating this Course. When I consciously began my spiritual quest, I saw it as somehow distinct from my emotional life. There was my time on the meditation cushion, and there were my psychotherapy appointments, and they were two different worlds. In my ‘spiritual’ life I was questing for an experience of unity, a vaster lens on reality. And, in my ’emotional’ life, I was seeking healing, a return to the state of openness and aliveness that I had experienced before my childhood damaged me. The oceans of essence, and the river of tears- ne’er the twain shall meet.
I moved through the world that way for some time- expanding into unity in nature and spiritual practice; deepening in feeling on the therapist’s couch- before noticing that they were actually inter-dependent awareness streams, indistinguishable threads of the same weave. The first realizations were subtle. For example, I noticed that the more I opened my heart, the more deeply I accessed a unified awareness. The more emotional debris I released, the more light came in to fill the space. And then it went deeper. At the end of every intense emotional clearing, I would get actual glimpses of my sacred purpose- writer, healer etc. It was as though the unresolved material was blocking access, like a dam with a treasure hidden behind it. On the other side of my release, there was a whole bounty of divine possibility waiting to be revealed.
And then the big learning. My heart was broken to bits in a profound love relationship, a connection that had opened the gates to unity in ways I could never imagine. After she left, I felt abandoned, shattered, confused. At first, I was tempted to go back into my habitual armoring patterns and close my heart. And I was tempted to bypass my anger by turning to artificial forgiveness- forgiving her before I had even healed myself. But I somehow stayed with the feelings, however uncomfortable they were, and then, when I was ready, went deeper into the healing, right to the harshest edge of the pain, moving through it to the other side. It was an ugly, uncomfortable process, but it was remarkably transformative. On the other side of the clearing was a new lens on reality, a more mature way of relating to the moment, and a clarified purpose. Somewhere at the heart of that murky, mucky emotional material was the grist for my own soul mill, the seeds for my own transformation, the fodder for my shift from someone who was seeking his purpose to someone who had found it. Not only did clearing my emotional debris reveal the next step on my path of purpose, it also turned me into someone better prepared to walk it. In a sense, the more immature I was in my capacity to be deeply present for my emotional life, the more limited was my spiritual life. The more fully I could step into the fire of my own healing, the more vital my sacred fire of purpose grew. It was all the same process.
Thereafter, I began to work on my first book Soulshaping. Throughout the writing process and as a result of some experiences I had with ungrounded spiritual teachers, I began to understand that there was no distinction to be made between these processes. If we want to grow in karmic stature, we must heal our hearts and confront the issues and patterns that continue to plague us. Those issues are not in the way of our spirituality- they are synonymous with and live at the heart of our spiritual life. And the quest for a vertical spirituality that is bereft of feeling, that confuses dissociation with enlightenment, that mistakes self-avoidance with expansion, that imagines that witnessing the pain body alone will actually transform it, is a dangerous quest that actually takes us farther away from our spiritual lives. If my own quest has taught me anything, it is that spirituality means reality. The more deeply we live in all aspects of reality- something I called ‘enrealment’- the more we deepen our presence. It is one thing to detach to save our lives, but detachment is a tool- it’s not a life. When we make detachment a way of being, when we partition off aspects of the human experience, we actually grant ourselves less access to a spiritual consciousness. The only way to it is through it.
I look forward to sharing with you some of the lessons I have learned along the way – and some tools and techniques that may make your journey a little smoother, and a lot more satisfying. The School of Heart Knocks- the school of life- may not be easy, but there are great riches waiting for us if we can jump on in and shape our lens with the clay of lived experience. When we identify the material we are here to work through and the gifts we are here to open, we explode into a world of unlimited possibility. I look forward to the possibility of working with you.
In this course, you will be supported in your efforts to…
- Identify emotional wounds, issues and patterns that are blocking your path and limiting your expansion.
- Develop tools and techniques to clear and transform emotional debris.
- Expand your habitual range of e-motion.
- Explore the relationship between personal issues and sacred purpose, emotional maturation and spiritual expansion.
- Create an Emotional Healing Blueprint for a growthful life.
BEGINS JANUARY 8, 2020
SIX WEEKLY TOPICS…
CLASS ONE: AN ENHEARTENED PATH
- A discussion of the relationship between opening the heart and spiritual expansion. Humanness and Spirituality as indistinguishable threads of the same weave. The connection between a healed heart and true presence. The ‘Power of Then’ and its perpetual echo if not addressed;
- The relationship between our primary emotional issues and our sacred purpose. Distinguishing those personal issues that obstruct our path from those challenges that are fundamental to path and purpose. Going where the growth is. Honoring the pain body;
- “Celling the soul”- identifying the primary lessons we are here to learn as part of our embodied transformation. Repressed emotions as unactualized spiritual lessons. The wisdom of ‘The School of Heart Knocks’ if we choose to work our material through with a growthful intentionality. The shadow as grist for the soul mill.
CLASS TWO: CONSCIOUS BAGGAGE CHECK
- Naming unresolved wounds, persistent issues & stubborn patterns that appear to obstruct one’s individual path. Recognizing their source;
- Identifying the collective shadow- persistent shame, fear and emotional armoring- and its impact on our individual expansion. Generational carryover, Gender Conditioning, Survivalism as a way of being;
- Distinguishing nervous breakdowns from nervous breakthroughs, confusion and fragmentation from spiritual emergingcies and opportunities for expansion.
CLASS THREE: OBSTACLES TO TRANSFORMATION
- Identifying the ways that one sidesteps, avoids and defends against owning and healing the shadow. Looking at what sources those patterns and what perpetuates them;
- Body masks and body armor- Recognizing the ways that our defenses have become embodied (shallow breath, tightened musculature, somatic patterns). Tools/Techniques for enlivening the body and releasing the holdings;
- Internalized messaging from family, culture, religious influences. The effect of ungrounded spiritualities bereft of feeling: i.e. The spiritual bypass movement, artificial forgiveness & shadow jumping models, radical detachment practices, promoters of non-victimhood and suffering as illusion. Detachment as a tool vs. Detachment as a life.
CLASS FOUR: A HEALING PROCESS
- The Excavation stage- we work to bring unresolved emotional material, painful memories and issues to the surface where they can be expressed and worked with;
- The Release stage- we co-create an environment where feelings and unsaid words can be released so that they no longer hinder, plague and obstruct;
- The expansion of the Habitual range of e-motion, Surrender vs. Vigilance, Letting go of what no longer serves, Exploring a new way of being;
- Meditation of Feeling, Meditation on Anger Release, ‘The Empathy Process’.
CLASS FIVE: RESOLUTION AND RE-FRAME
- A focus on re-integration post-release, and resolution processes. Tools for transformation. The question of authentic vs. feigned forgiveness. The ever-changing soulpod- where do we look for relational sustenance, who do we bid farewell to?;
- Re-framing- The transformation of suffering into expansion. Identifying the grist for the mill, the growth at the heart of issues, patterns and wounds. How has this served? How has it blocked? Why did I need it in order to grow?;
- The karmic question- Were these sufferings/issues pre-encoded? Were they chosen as part of our sacred purpose? In an effort to heal the ancestral lineage? Past-lives? Does it even matter?
CLASS SIX: CRAFTING AN EMOTIONAL HEALING BLUEPRINT
- Techniques for protecting your emotional body, sensitivity, boundaries. Tools for working through wounds and issues as they arise so they don’t accumulate;
- Creating an Emotional Healing Blueprint that both recognizes how far you have traveled on your healing journey, that acknowledges your unresolved and unhealed areas, and expresses your intentionality with respect to working on them. Articulating realistic goals and naming the patterns and defenses that may arise to block your expansion; identifying the next steps on the healing journey;
COURSE PACKAGE: WHAT YOU RECEIVE
- SIX weekly 45-60 minute pre-recorded audio classes taught by Jeff Brown.
Weekly Audio classes will be held on Wednesdays, beginning January 8. You will receive a weekly email link the evening before the class. For those who cannot listen on the Wednesday, it is okay. You will have access to the recordings for 6 weeks thereafter. So if this day is not ideal for you, you can listen in at a more convenient time. The weekly class can be listened to simply by clicking the link, or it can be easily downloaded to your phone, computer etc.The six sessions are scheduled as follows:
- ONE 60 minute private Telephone or Skype session with Jeff
In an effort to support your work with the class material, you will have the option of booking a one-on-one session with Jeff, at your convenience. This is included with the course. An opportunity to talk through the material and to address any challenges directly.
- A printable PDF WORKBOOK emailed to you with optional exercises, assignments and related readings that reflect and deepen the weekly course content.
- Downloadable PDF TRANSCRIPTS of each audio class.
- Teacher INTERACTION, including Jeff’s feedback on the final optional assignment (The crafting of an Emotional Healing Blueprint)
Read Jeff’s ‘Good Morning America’ article ‘GROWERS ARE INCH WORMS’
Read Jeff’s ‘Good Morning America’ article ‘SCHMALTZING MY WAY TO GOD’
Read Jeff’s ‘Good Morning America’ article ‘BOUNDARIES- WITH OR WITHOUT’
Read Jeff’s ‘Vivid Life’ article ‘WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SOULSHAPER’
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation, and a popular book of spiritual graffiti—Ascending with Both Feet on the Ground. Endorsed by Oprah regular Elizabeth Lesser, authors Oriah Mountain Dreamer and Katherine Woodward Thomas, Ascending is a collection of some of Jeff s most popular quotes, soul-bytes and aphorisms frequently shared in social media. He has been interviewed by CNN radio, appeared on Fox News.com, and written popular inspirations for ABC’s Good Morning America. He is also the author of the viral blog ‘Apologies to the Divine Feminine’ and the co-producer and primary journeyer in the award-winning spiritual documentary—Karmageddon—which also stars Ram Dass, Seane Corn, Wah! David Life, Deva Premal and Miten. His book—Love It Forward—was published on Valentine’s day, 2014. Endorsed by best-selling authors Andrew Harvey and Caroline Myss, Love It Forward is another book of Jeff’s most impactful quotes and writings, with a strong emphasis on love and relationship passages. His next books–a higher consciousness love story called An Uncommon Bond–and another quotes book—Spiritual Graffiti—were published in 2015. His next book, Grounded Spirituality will be published in April, 2019. Jeff is also the founder of Enrealment Press and Soulshaping Institute.
“Our survival adaptations are so tough, but our wounds are so delicate. To heal, we have to lift the armor carefully- it saved our lives, after all. It’s like moving your best friend off to the side of the path. You don’t trample on her, you don’t hit him with a sledgehammer. You honor her presence like a warm blanket that has kept you safe and sound during wintry times. And then, when the moment is right, you get inside and stitch your wounds with the thread of love, slowly and surely, not rushing to completion, nurturing as you weave, tender and true. The healing process has a heart of its own, moving at its own delicate pace. We are such wondrous weavers…”
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