Jeff Brown, as seen on FoxNews.com, read on Good Morning America, heard on CBS, ABC.Au, NPR & New Dimensions
  • Order ‘Ascending With Both Feet On the Ground’ Here

  • Testimonials

    • Elizabeth Lesser, Author of Broken Open, and Co-Host Oprah's Soul-Series radio
      "Anyone who has ever tried to write about the spiritual journey knows how hard it is to find words that are big yet humble enough, serious yet light enough, full of drama and awe yet also stripped down and naked. This little book pulls it off. Jeff Brown has a most marvelous way with words--you think you're reading a joke, and it turns into a profound realization. Or you're following a complex thought to completion and suddenly it blossoms into a song and dance. I love learning about life and truth and love and purpose through the wizardry of Jeff's words. I think you will too."
    • Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Bestselling author of The Invitation
      "Jeff Brown stirs the soulful imagination with words that encourage, challenge and remind us what we are and why we are here. His aphorisms- soulshaping nuggets for the journey- come from the heart of his experience. Enjoy!"
    • Katherine Woodward Thomas, bestselling author of Calling in "The One" and co-leader of the Feminine Power Global Community
      "With great wisdom, depth, humor and warmth, Jeff Brown's brilliant offering pierces through the veil of pretense, and brings us to our knees before the refreshing alter of authenticity. His musings manage to offer both an elevated, delightful and invigorating perspective as well as gift us with a grounded, solid pathway home to the most true and tender parts of ourselves. A heartwarming and heart-opening read, this beautiful little piece of art rekindles an almost childlike faith in the possibilities present, while reminding us to do the very real work to actualize them."
    • Philip Shepherd author of New Self, New World
      "This book is fabulous- provocative, encouraging, and blazing with a clear-eyed truth that bows to no icons, only to the sweet, clear song of reality itself. There are enough sparks of wisdom in this book to ignite a blaze in the soul. Exhilarating, compassionate, in-sightful, these truth-soundings will vibrate in your being long after you have put them down. This is the kind of provocative companionship I cherish."
  • Order Soulshaping Here

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  • Testimonials

    • Ram Dass, Spiritual Teacher, Best-selling auther of BE HERE NOW
      "Soulshaping does an EXCELLENT job of demonstrating how we can listen to and follow our soul's guidance in the midst of life."
    • Seane Corn
      International Yoga Instructor and Spiritual Activist
      "Soulshaping is a beautiful story of one mans spiritual journey that reveals the inspiring, yet often humbling, path of growth and self-transformation. Jeff offers us a raw, honest and humorous glimpse into the exploration of self, while also imploring us to celebrate the opening of the heart and the awakening of the soul- no matter where we are directed, what is revealed, or who shows up. I Highly recommend this book."
    • Tama J. Kieves Best-Selling Author of "This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love (How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All!)"
      "This book is role call for the soul. Jeff Brown is the kind of writer that invites you to swim in gasoline and then provides a match. This is no self-help book. THIS IS A SUMMONS FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND FROM THE TRENCHES. I am so grateful for Jeff Brown's journey, his absolute genius in writing, and the journey we are all on at this time."
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Tag: gratitude

THE AWAKENING WOMAN: A PORTRAIT OF POSSIBILITY FOR HUMANKIND (By Jessica Bahr)

THE AWAKENING WOMAN: A PORTRAIT OF POSSIBILITY FOR HUMANKIND

The Awakening Woman is consciously aware of herself and strives to be intimate with all facets of her being. She is her own person as well as relational. She nurtures and honors the relationship with herself as well as with others. She is actively awakening and supports the awakening of those around her. Her devotion to herself allows her devotion to others to be genuine and nourishing. She is sincere, authentic, vulnerable and strong. She is protective, and accepts and values protection from others when appropriate. She establishes healthy boundaries while keeping an open heart.

The Awakening Woman is intimate with her painbody and the feminine wound. She does not deny her pain, but turns towards it for healing. She knows that the dysfunctional views and oppression of females/femaleness is nothing she caused, but acknowledges the ways in which she has participated or was complacent in the unjust treatment of women and the roles that support it, and chooses to no longer participate.

The Awakening Woman does not objectify herself. She stands against the objectification of girls and women. She does not support or consent to those things that degrade or exploit what is female or feminine as well as what is male or masculine.

The Awakening Woman fights for equality at every turn and asks people to take a stand for woman’s issues and gender equality, knowing that this is foundational to all other forms of equality. She will not allow deflection or take the blame for her own victimhood, but will not over-identify with it or over-dramatize it to where it immobilizes her or stunts her own growth.

The Awakening Woman does not use sex or her femininity to manipulate or get what she wants. She ceases to engage in love-making without heart, but rather chooses love-making that is connected, organic, fully mutual, and from the healthy ego. She will not allow sex to be used as a substitute for true intimacy, or a distraction from unresolved wounds. She is not afraid to be called a prude or a slut for making her own conscious decisions around sex. She does not let patriarchy, religion, politics, the media, or the unhealthy male ego define sex, beauty, or relationship for her. Her relationship to sex is her own and comes from within, not from what has been dictated to her all her life by a culture that doesn’t value healthy sexuality. She does not placate or sell herself out to gain male approval, nor does she compete with or sell her sisters out for male attention.

The Awakening Woman speaks her truth. She speaks up when things don’t feel good to her. She values her intuition over others’ intellect. She seeks to be empowered through the divine essence of her being coupled with the cultivation of a healthy ego, and not from external sources and adoration. She uses direct communication and knows how to ask for what she needs. She does not let the good qualities in another overshadow what isn’t working in a relationship. She knows when to walk away and gives up control of trying to change people who do not meet her where she is. The Awakening Woman moves on.

The Awakening Woman distinguishes between the healthy masculine and unhealthy masculine. She has compassion and empathy for the masculine wound and reverence for the healthy masculine. She seeks union and equality with the masculine and acknowledges and expresses gratitude for those times she’s had to call on the male warrior or masculine energies in her life. She sees the masculine and feminine energies as complimentary and necessary to the co-creative force that will bring balance to herself, her relationships and to the planet.

The Awakening Woman is self-parenting and protects the little girl inside. She does not tolerate emotional or physical abuse. She knows how to openly give and receive love, without losing herself in another. She is moving away from the ‘people pleaser’ model. She uses NO as a complete sentence and doesn’t feel the need to over-justify herself or pacify others for the sake of being ‘comfortable.’

The Awakening Woman knows her value even when she’s not giving to or doing for others. She does not let outside influences overshadow or dominate her inner voice and knowing. She does not dim herself down to be liked and accepted. She is willing to be alone in truth over being in dishonest company, and accepts that being alone may be a part of her awakening journey.

The Awakening Woman acknowledges and learns from her past mistakes, patterns and unhealthy behaviors. Instead of letting guilt and shame keep her from actualizing her highest self, she makes a conscious and concerted effort to not repeat these things that have caused her and others discord. She works at shedding the parts of her ego that are no longer serving her or others, while developing the parts that do serve.

The Awakening Woman loves and honors her body and is endlessly grateful for it and how it provides for her. She smiles at the lines in her face, knowing that’s how they got there to begin with. She embraces her humor and laughs from her belly. She also cries and rages from her belly. She lets her belly expand naturally. She puts self care before self image and looks deeply at her conditioning around her external image.

The Awakening Woman is emotionally literate. She can identify and process her feelings and takes responsibility for her emotions. She does not apologize for her feelings and expresses them healthily towards herself and others. She refrains from displacing her anger or other emotions. She walks her talk and admits and corrects it when she falters. She knows how to give a healthy apology for any misstep. She is actively identifying and integrating the disowned parts of herself and does not project her happiness or discontent, positive or negative qualities, onto others.

The Awakening Woman does not carry others’ emotions for them, but holds a loving, compassionate space for them when possible. She asks for others to be responsible with and for their emotions so as to not engender co-dependency. The Awakening Woman will not settle for a love partner who is not her equal and him/herself awakening.

The Awakening Woman works to come from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. She is intimate with her fear, knowing when to let it guide her and when to confront and move through it; she uses it and other emotions as sacred keys to unlock the depths of her soul. She goes to her edge, yet honors her limitations without judgment or shame. She makes it a priority to find some refuge in a world that can feel unsafe to her.

The Awakening Woman is connected to nature and knows her own wonder. She knows how to DO and how to BE. She does not succumb to materialism and unconscious consumerism. She creates more than she consumes; and  does both responsibly – mindfully choosing what is nourishing and not harmful.

The Awakening Woman has integrity within herself and with others. She is accountable, self actualizing and above all, works to cultivate a loving relationship with herself instead of relying on others to define her value or worth. She is finding ways to answer the callings of her life’s purpose and continues to expand into it.

The Awakening Woman is enough.

The Awakening Woman is a role model for humanity; the embodied potential of the divine as expressed through human form. She is here, right now; and though she often goes unnoticed, she is helping to guide us home.

© Jessica Bahr. Author in process. She can be reached at:  Relationshifting@gmail.com

*This piece is a companion piece to a blog Jeff Brown wrote in 2011 called ‘The Awakening Man: A Portrait of Possibility for Humankind, which you can read at http://www.spiritofmaat.com/jul11/the_awakening_man.html

In response to an invitation on his Facebook page for a companion piece, Jessica wrote this little bit of magic.

The Awakening Man: A Portrait of Possibility for Humankind

THE AWAKENING MAN: A PORTRAIT OF POSSIBILITY FOR HUMANKIND

The awakening man is conscious, heartfully defined. Through his eyes, being conscious is not a cerebral construct, nor an intellectual exercise bereft of feeling. It is a felt experience, an ever-expanding awareness that moves from the heart outward. It is feeling God, not thinking God. The new man is always in process, awakening through a deepening interface with the world of feeling. He continues to strive for a more heartfelt and inclusive awareness.

The awakening man has shifted his focus from a localized and ethnocentric perspective to a world-centric framework of perception. His community is humanity. Rooted in the relational, his sense of responsibility extends well beyond his localized self and community. Where possible, his choice-making is fuelled by an expansive vision of possibility for all of humankind. Not every man for himself, but every man for humanity.

The awakening man has reverence for the divine feminine, in all her forms. He celebrates the wonder that is woman. He is respectful, honouring and gracious. He is saddened by the horrors perpetuated against women by the malevolent masculine. He holds his brothers accountable. He makes amends for his own misdeeds. He co-creates a world where all women will feel safe to move about freely, to find their voice, to actualize their inherent magnificence. He welcomes a world where women and men stand as equal partners. Humankind.

The awakening man is not externally derived. He is authentically sourced. He does not compare himself to others. He does not adapt his personality to the dictates of the crowd. He stands in his own centre, respectful of others but not defined by them. He works diligently to liberate his consciousness from the egoic ties that bind. He has become his own benchmark, valuing authenticity over image. He is the sculptor of his own reality.

The awakening man courageously works on his emotional processes. He clears his emotional debris and sheds his armour. He faces his issues and unconscious patterns heart on. He calls himself on his self-avoidant tendencies and honours the wisdom at the heart of his pain. He communicates his feelings in a way that is respectful to others. He learns and speaks the language of the heart.

The awakening man leads a purpose-full existence. He has heard the call to a deeper life. Not satisfied with survival alone, his ambitions are rooted in higher considerations- the excavation and actualization of his sacred purpose. He is energized by his purpose, not by the machinations of the unhealthy ego. He is coated in an authenticity of purpose that sees through the veils to what really matters. His purpose is his path.

The awakening man is accountable for his actions and their effects. He does not deflect responsibility. He does not sidestep or blame. He is self-admitting and emotionally honest. He admits his errors, and makes amends. He works diligently in the deep within, crafting a more clarified awareness with every lesson.

The awakening man moves from the inside out. More interested in inner expansion than outer achievement, he cultivates and honours his intuition. He explores and develops his inner geography. He adventures deep within, integrating the treasures he excavates into his way of being. He seeks congruity between his inner life and his outer manifestation.

The awakening man seeks wholeness. He is not satisfied with a fragmented way of being. He has no attachment to archaic, linear notions of masculinity. He seeks a sacred balance between the healthy masculine and the healthy feminine. He seeks an inclusive way of being, one that reflects all of his archetypal aspects. He is role flexible, comfortable moving through life in many different ways.

The awakening man embodies the highest standard of integrity in his words and deeds. He makes a sustained effort to work through anything that is not integrity within him. His framework of integrity is never convenient or self-serving. He honours his word, even at his own expense. He moves from a value system that is unwaveringly incorruptible. He recognizes that success without integrity is karmically unsound and meaningless.

The awakening man prioritizes conscious relationship. He values authentic co-creation. He honours relationship as spiritual practice. He seeks physical intimacy that is deeply vulnerable and heartfully connective. He is attuned, engaged and healthily boundaried. When relational challenges arise, he courageously works through any obstructions to intimacy. He stands in the heartfire.

The awakening man is a warrior of the heart. He has taken his clarifying sword inward, cutting away everything that is not compassionate. After too many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a benevolent warrior is being birthed at the core of his being. He honours the warrior capacity for assertiveness, but he is not arbitrarily aggressive. He moves from love and compassion.

The awakening man endeavours to live in a state of perpetual gratitude. He is grateful for the gift of life. He is grateful for those ancestors who built the foundation that his expansion relies upon. He is grateful for those who encouraged him before he could encourage himself. He is grateful for those who stand beside him in this lifetime. He knows that he does not stand alone.

The awakening man is comfortable in his vulnerability. He participates in his own revealing. He is not afraid to surrender- to reality, to love, to truth. This is not a weakened form of surrender, but one that is emblazoned with courage. It takes more courage to surrender than to numb. He openly explores his capacities for receptivity and tenderness. He does not identify these capacities as distinctly feminine, but as whole human. He is strong enough at the core to live in a vast array of emotions.

The awakening man moves through the marketplace responsibly, with a vigilant eye to the ways of the unhealthy ego. He is not opportunistic in a vacuum. He does not compete for competition’s sake. He does not accumulate for the sake of accumulation. In charting his course, he is mindful of his impact on humanity. He is empowered but he does not exploit power. He derives his power from his connection to source, not from power over others. Where possible, he shares the abundance, gifting back to humanity. He works hard to bridge the world as it is with a world of divine possibility.

The awakening man has reverence for Mother Earth. He has reverence for animals. He never imagines himself superior or distinct from the natural world. He understands the interconnected and interdependent nature of reality. He knows that if he does damage to the environment, he does damage to himself. He walks carefully, with awareness, consciousness and appreciation.

The awakening man has no claims on God. His spirituality is tolerant, inclusive, respectful. He honours all paths to God, so long they are respectful of others. He accepts those who believe, and those who don’t. He condemns any path that uses religious differences as a justification for destruction.

The awakening man brings forward many of the qualities of the healthy masculine of old. He is noble. He is responsible. He is productive. He is kind-hearted. He is protective. He is unswervingly honourable. He is down to earth. He is sturdy. He is flexible. He is realistic. He is hopeful. He is sensitive, not fragile. He is healthily egoic, not self-centred. He is both practical and heightened at the same time. He ascends with both feet on the ground. He is really here.

A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of “Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation,” recently published by North Atlantic Books. Endorsed by authors Elizabeth Lesser and Ram Dass, “Soulshaping” is Brown’s autobiography — an inner travelogue of his journey from archetypal male warrior to a more surrendered path. He is also the author of “Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition). You can connect with his work at www.soulshaping.com.

APOLOGIES TO THE SACRED MASCULINE (The letter this warrior-in-transition would like to receive)

APOLOGIES TO THE SACRED MASCULINE (The letter this warrior-in-transition would like to receive)

I apologize for those moments when I couldn’t see beyond my projections to your true nature. With so much relational trauma in the rear view mirror, I couldn’t distinguish the heartless from the benevolent warrior. With my lens blurred by unhealed emotions, I was unable to see you in your wholeness. I unknowingly projected my negative expectations without recognizing those moments when you were moving from love. Please forgive me my projections, and know that below my pain was a heart that genuinely longed to merge with yours.

I apologize for pushing you to open your heart when you weren’t ready. I longed to be met in my openness, and I couldn’t bear the disconnect between us. I am nourished by direct communication, and I took your silence personally. I didn’t understand the relationship between your detachment and your warrior conditioning. I do see this now. From the beginning, you have been cast in the role of warrior protector and your emotional armour was fundamental to your task. Without it, you would not have been able to remain vigilant on the battlefield, nor succeed in the competitive marketplace. As our world moves away from survivalism as a way of being, I am hopeful that you will feel safe enough to live from an open heart. Such beautiful light comes through that opening.

I apologize for not always seeing your limitations and struggles. There were times when I could not see past my expectations and fantasies. I had grown up with a fairy tale of a great knight that would save me, and I clung to that vision, preferring the perfection projection to the reality of humanness. As a result, I didn’t always see how much stress you carried, how difficult things were, how hard it was to hold it all together. Of course, we perpetuated the projection together- you hid your humanness from view while I chose not to look for it. I look forward to the day when our relationships are not predicated on illusions, but on a deep recognition of each other’s authenticity.

I apologize for giving you mixed messages about how I wanted you to manifest. At times, I wanted you to be soft and tender. At other times, dominant and protective. How confusing this must have been for you, how challenging to go back and forth between such differing feeling states. It has been so confusing for all of us, trying to straddle the line between our needs for both safety and vulnerability. One day, the perversions of polarity will fall away and we will arrive at a sacred balance between all healthy ways of being. Women will feel safe to assert their voice and embody their wholeness, and men will feel equally safe disarming and speaking from their vulnerability. On the rivers of essence, everything flows in the same direction- towards the ocean of wholeness.

I apologize for being passive aggressive towards you. I was not taught to express anger directly, and I was frightened of your aggressiveness. I know that you have had similar challenges with experiencing your sadness and releasing your tears. In the world we are moving towards, I am hopeful that both genders will have seamless access to all emotional states and healthy forms of expression.

I am sorry that I expected you to fill my emptiness, when the only one who can fill it is me. I have often looked for answers in relationship, somehow imagining that another could complete me. After so many centuries of disempowerment, I didn’t realize that I had the tools for my own self-creation. But I am recognizing it now. Where before we met as two fragmented beings, we will soon meet as two whole beings- each of us healthily boundaried, well-integrated and intrinsically complete. Two soulitudes.

I am grateful for all those moments when you held me safe and operated within the heart of compassion. The backlash of recent decades was a necessary response to generations of suffering, but many of your contributions got lost in the shuffle. In my efforts to find my voice and stand my ground, I have not always given credit where it is due. I encourage you to re-claim anything you have lost along the way, and to proudly embody the sacred masculine as you once did. I apologize for those moments when I discouraged your power. I could not distinguish it from its historical misuses.

I am grateful for the many positive contributions you have made to my reality. I realize that you often communicated your love for me and the village with deeds, not words. I thank you for helping to construct the structures that my expansion relies upon. I thank you for labouring long and hard to establish rule of law. I honour the warrior spirit that built the railroads, the cities, the bridges that bring us into contact with one another. I honour those warriors who fought and died on battlefields in an effort to protect us. You have sacrificed so much in order to hold us safe. Praise to those benevolent warriors who came before.

I am grateful for GrandFather, for holding the space for my expansion with patience and wisdom. I am grateful for Father, for defending and sheltering me. I am grateful for Father Sky, for showing me a vision of possibility that transcended my circumstances. I am grateful for the Divine Father, the real Father of us all. I now feel his divine presence, so close. Fiercely compassionate, he was always right here, holding me safe.

There has been so much blame between us, so much hatred and name-calling. To be sure, it is essential that we express our anger and heal our hearts. Nothing should be swept under the rug in that process, everything should be exposed. But it is also important that we have compassion for each other and endeavour to understand the context for our actions. We have all been victims of a sociological landscape that impacted on our identifications and behaviours. Like two different species in the same bed, we were compelled by circumstances to inhabit roles that kept us miles apart. Those roles have caused us great suffering, each gender suffering in its own way. To the extent that one gender was denied wholeness, the other was denied it as well. Women were denied the right to basic protections and pathways of expression, men were denied access to a tender, receptive way of being. No one got off easy, despite appearances.

As we move towards a more enheartened interface, may we create space for new visions of possibility. We must begin the process by healing the genderation gap that exists between us. We must soften the edges perpetuated by our reactivities. We must heal the rifts along the gender continuum that keep us apart. In my most clarified imaginings, I envision a world that fully celebrates the healthy feminine and the healthy masculine. Instead of throwing all gender differences out with the bath water, we make a conscious distinction between benevolent and destructive identifications. We craft a sacred balance of our healthiest aspects. Each of us identifies the unique fusion of feminine and masculine energies that aligns with our essential nature. And we openly learn from one another -men teach healthy manifestation, women teach healthy womanifestation- and we come to humanifestation together. We meet each other in our entirety.

May we never forget the relational and co-transformative nature of human expansion. Although the ultimate romance is with your own soul, it is our experiences together that give birth to the essential lessons. We are each here to participate in this dance of sacred imagination, stepping on each other’s toes and turning each other toward God one clumsy step after another. We trip, and then we get back up with greater awareness. With this in heart, I am hopeful that we can learn to accept one another in our humanness. We are going to continue to make mistakes, but there is grace in that if we see our errors through to the lessons they contain.

I look forward to the day when we can meet one another in our true nakedness, stripped free of unresolved emotions, pain-induced projections, the distortions of duality. For too long we have been on opposite sides of the river, the bridge between our hearts washed away by a flood of pain. But the time has come to construct a new bridge, one that comes into being with each step we take, one that is fortified with benevolent intentions and authentic self-revealing. As we walk toward one another, our emotional armour falls to the ground, transforming into the light at its source. And when we are ready, we walk right into the Godself at the centre of the bridge, puzzled that we ever imagined ourselves separate.

May you feel the presence of the Divine Mother close at heart, inviting you to rest deeply on the tender shores of your own essence, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have protected. Those who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. Rest dear warrior, rest. I hold your heart safe.

© Jeff Brown, 2011 (Author of ‘Soulshaping- A Journey of Self-Creation’; www.soulshaping.com)

*’Apologies to the Sacred Masculine’ is the second in this apology series. The first piece ‘Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior- in-transition)’ can be read at http://soulshaping.com/?p=782

Gratitude

I wrote Soulshaping over more than a six-year period, in the cramped and isolated back room of my house in Toronto, Canada. Written amid a tyranny of economic and personal challenges, I went back and forth between the back room and the marketplace, racing off to make a living, returning home to find the words. Although I longed to stop and breathe, the call to write was relentless, determined to have its way with me. If I spent too much time doing business, it mocked my materialism: “Enough! You met your basic needs. Now get back to the computer.” If I went to bed too early, it woke me up in a start: “Get in the back room and write!” It soon became clear that honoring my calling was my only defense against sleeplessness. If I wrote, I slept. If not, I lay awake all night tormented by the words waiting, impatiently, at the gate of self-expression. It all seemed a little insane.

At the same time, I was riddled with shame and self-doubt. My calling was to write a subjective book, to talk about spirituality through the vehicle of my own journey. Yet every self-deprecating part of me rose to the surface to knock it down: “Who wants to read about your miserable journey. Why don’t you keep these embarrassing experiences to yourself?” “You’re not famous—who is going to buy your autobiography?” “This may serve some therapeutic purpose for you, but won’t help anyone else.” Nonetheless, I kept at it, both because writing it was helping my soul to expand, and because I had some odd faith that my story might actually help someone else. The little voice that knows.

I finished the manuscript in the spring of 2007 and sent it to a leading spiritual publisher. Soon thereafter, it was returned to me with a contractual offer to publish. My ego was elated—an offer, so fast!—but my spirit was deflated. Their editor had spent weeks chiseling away at it, cutting it virtually in half. It didn’t look like my book anymore. Whose book is this anyway? Is this a blessing or a curse? Confused, I went away and compared our versions. At first, I was too attached to my voice to see the gift, as though it had been my voice that I was channeling (first mistake). But then my inner eye opened, and I saw the gift he had brought. My version was too long and repetitive, his leaner and crisper. I didn’t agree with everything he did, but he gave me something that I didn’t have when I wrote it—a reader’s consciousness. Bless him, beautiful man.

But there was still a problem. My soul was grumbling. I didn’t like the contract; something didn’t feel right. It put a limit on the word count. I went inside and listened in. What did the little voice have to say? I heard the trumpets of guilt chastising me: “How can you turn down an offer after receiving such a wonderful gift?” Good point! I heard from my ever-practical ego, “You are exhausted. You are a first-time writer. You had an immediate offer. You fool—take it!” But I also heard a more benevolent, intuitive voice: “You have already opened the gift that the Universe sent you. Trust your intuition and bring this book into the world on your terms. Begin on the grass-roots level. You wrote with that intention, so honor it.”

I refused the contract. I had written a book about the importance of honoring our soul-scriptures to the letter. How could I ignore mine? I self-published (soul-published) the first edition of Soulshaping at the end of 2007. I picked up a thousand books, and then wondered what to do next. Trust, Jeffrey, trust. I sold a few, then a few more, and then the emails started coming. They weren’t just regular emails–they were emotional outpourings, cries of truth. Something about the self-revealing nature of Soulshaping invited readers to admit their own pain and their own longing for true-path. They said it was their story I had written. I was startled. Like many trauma survivors, I had grown up thinking that my family scene was different than everyone else’s. When I was selling windows door to door as a student, I would knock on the door and then step back, somehow imagining that the world inside that home was somewhere above the world I had grown up in. As I read the response to Soulshaping, I realized that I was wrong. I was not the only one, not even close. So many of us have walked the same trauma trails and endured similar hardships. So many.

Then I encountered a bright-eyed homeless man who lived near my home in Toronto. I called him “the pushcart guru.” We had an idea–he would sell the book on the streets. Seemed preposterous, until he sold a bunch almost overnight. And then people started to come looking for him. They would contact me—“I want to buy a book from the homeless guy!” The media came, we made a YouTube video, he sold dozens of books in no time. Then the Facebook group began to grow, people began quoting from the Soulshaping dictionary, readers sent in a bevy of book testimonials, and a free audio pod on my Web site—“the little voice that knows”—became so popular that we had to expand the site capacity.

Then the Universe kicked into gear, attracting people to the book under the oddest of circumstances—Serendipity galore. A friend called. She was with her friend in downtown Toronto when they formed the intention to go to the bookstore to look for a copy of Soulshaping. On the way there, they found one—sitting on a park bench. I had given a few copies away to a homeless man to sell the night before. He must have left one behind. Something was afoot.

My first press run almost completely sold out in a matter of months, without tremendous effort on my part, with virtually no bookstore coverage. Heartfelt gratitude to my soulpod. It takes a village to raise a book. Yet another bit of proof that we cannot achieve anything alone.

I went to sleep one night and had a vivid dream—I saw the book sitting on a bookstore shelf. The message was clear: This book was not mine anymore. It was for those who needed it. It was time to get it into the right hands. The Universe had spoken.

I contacted an agent I knew. He told me to call a particular distributor. By the time he returned my call, he had already recommended the book to three publishers, although he himself had never read it. With very little fanfare, a contract was worked out with North Atlantic Books for a new edition. Published in late August, 2009, Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation began to touch more lives from the get-go, culminating in a series of related writings posted on Good Morning America, The Washington Post, Synergy Magazine, Wisdom Magazine, Reality Sandwich.com, Sein de. and Insight Magazine in 2010. This new website soulebrates these achievements and provides an opportunity to bring the messages of Grounded Spirituality and Truth-Making to a vaster audience. When your mission is aligned with the Benevolent Universe, everything begins to happen seamlessly, a river of essence that rises up to meet you.

The publishing journey has validated many of the things I wrote about in Soulshaping. First, it validates the faith I had in my inner voice—the little voice that knows. This voice carries a karmic blueprint for our destiny, whispering sweet somethings in our inner ear whenever we dare to walk a false path. Easily drowned out in this distracting world, it is the best friend we will ever have. Raising it to the rafters of consciousness is essential to our expansion. Second, the journey has confirmed the importance of gut-wrenching self-admission. So many of us hide our light under a bushel of shame, reluctant to show ourselves to the world for fear of being judged. But there can be no locked doors on the journey home. Admitting who we are is essential to our salvation. Everything has to be exposed. By exposing what lives inside of us, we liberate our own voice, and give others permission to self-reveal as well.

Next, the journey has reinforced my belief in unity consciousness. It is not just cliché—we really are all connected. Although many of the details are different, the essential threads of our humanity are remarkably similar: similar suffering, similar inner challenges, a shared longing for true-path. We are in this, together. We are this, together. Finally, it confirms that each of us is here with a profound purpose, however humble or simple it may appear. Growers are inchworms—real change takes time. But every little soul step we take is divine perspiration, shaping the individual and collective soul to the next stage of its evolution. I encourage you to do all that you can to overcome whatever obstacles you face on your path to truth. The path home is not always easy—the School of Heart Knocks is ever-challenging—but it is the only path worth taking. Your unique soul-scriptures live at the heart of you, lying in wait for their opportunity to be humanifest. They may be covered in dust, they may be hidden from view, but they are still there, still sparkling with infinite possibility. If my work can help to remind you, then it has served its purpose. I offer it with gratitude.

Physical

Jeff Brown/Soulshaping
PO Box 64
Acton, Ontario
L7J-2M2

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Copyright

© 2001 - 2013 Jeff Brown. All
rights heartfully (oh yah, and
legally...) reserved.

© 2010 Hadley Bushala (shifting clouds image)

© 2007 Kevin Ebi (livingwilderness.com) (picture in 'Contact Us' tab)
© www.rvandersteeg.nl (hugging book)

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