It is finally our time. To heal these mortal rifts. To remember each other. We couldn’t do it until now. Liberated from your pain riddled earth-suit, I can feel you again. I am no longer afraid to get close. I know you won’t hurt me now. You have freed me to love you again. In fact, I feel you protecting me. Already. That purple sunset, that’s you right? That strengthening I feel inside- that’s you too, yes? You are speaking to me, through me. You are hearticulating your love. You have much to share. I understand- it was hard to say it then, with all that mortal pain between. But I can hear you, Papa. There’s nothing in the way now. No more hatred, no more misidentification, no more fear of showing our love. Nothing to hide, nowhere to hide it. Here we are, on the bridge between our hearts, beginning the healing. We have work to do. Lots of it. This is only our first purple sunset.
It’s an odd thing. I was sure I would abuse myself for being so distant for so long. I should have done this, or that, I should have visited more. But something has happened. I am treasuring myself. Suddenly the shame game looks ridiculous. Something more infinite is infiltrating my lens. Is that you, too? You are sending waves of kindness my way? It’s you, isn’t it? Your anger is gone- all I feel is your compassionate heart. You are speaking through me: “You must love yourself, my son. You must embody your magnificence. There is no need to doubt it. I am sorry that I shamed you”.
I need your support now. I have much left to do in my earth suit. I hope you will clear the path. I hope you will keep the dark forces at bay. Your call to write lives on in me. It was never lost. You loved it forward. I will write for you, too. The world didn’t know what greatness you are made of. But I do.
Please hold me safe until it is my time to join you, Dad. One day I will meet you there, in the wordless wonder. One day we will heal it all, in the ever knowing. One day we will ride together on the wings of our love. In the meantime, rest in love, Albert Ronald Brown. I am holding your spirit safe, too.
I apologize for beating you with my fists and feet when you were small and vulnerable. I apologize for wounding your body temple. I apologize for burning your hands, breaking your finger, scarring your flesh. I simply couldn’t see you, laying there in a pool of blood and sorrow. Blinded my own repressed rage, I saw an easy mark for my aggression. I saw a new host for my pain. I now understand that my abusiveness was a smokescreen for my own woundedness. A habit entrenched early in life, it felt easier to repeat the abuse than to heal it. And, in many ways, your aliveness reminded me of my own deadness- I had to shut you down so I could remain asleep. Below it all, I had so much love for you, my sweet child. I just couldn’t manifest it. I don’t ask for your forgiveness- you must be true to your own process first- but I do ask that you grant yourself permission to heal and to live a life that is liberated from my effects.
I apologize for attempting to dim your beautiful light. It was so bright that it threatened my own unmet need for attention- who would notice me, in your enlivened presence? Although I was chronologically older than you when we had you, I was actually emotionally regressed, trapped in an unhealed primal consciousness that ruled my behavior. I had grown up in a family of love starved narcissists, each of us clamoring to see our individual reflections in a too tiny pool of validation. With our lights hidden under a bushel of shame, no one ever felt seen. Stealing other people’s light became my misguided path of self-elevation, a misplaced attempt at boosting my diminished self-concept. I am so sorry for this attack on the integrity of your being. You had every right to embody your magnificence with dignity. You had every right to shine.
I apologize for vilifying and scapegoating you. I am sorry that I actively blamed you for my own misery. I couldn’t hold my self-hatred any longer- I needed to pass it on to someone else. You were the perfect recipient for my frustration- you couldn’t defend yourself. And, I remember the worst of it- telling you that my life would have been better if you had died instead of the daughter I lost. As I read these words, I find myself almost turning away from your picture- it is too much to imagine that I could leave you with that- but I stay and face your image. I face it not because I can change what I have done, but because I owe it to you to stay in the fire of my own regret.
I apologize for mocking you and repeatedly calling you names. I should have known the scars that insults leave on a vulnerable being- mockery was fundamental to my family dynamics. In the heat of desperate survivalism, insulting each other was a momentary relief from our chronic state of hopelessness. I am sorry for perpetuating that pattern at your expense. I only wish I could reach inside of you and take back the words I left there. I know that you internalized many of those insults and believed them to be true. I know that it shaped your lens. Please know that my message was entirely my own stuff. Please know that you are beautiful in my eyes. And, more importantly, please know that you are beautiful through your own eyes. Please heal the remnants of my madness.
I apologize for turning others against you and pitting you against your siblings. Lodged in a competitive world view, my reality was divided into territories- threats and protections, enemies and friends, them and us. The demons of duality- ne’er the twain shall meet. Through this fearful lens, differences were equated with threats to survival rather than opportunities for learning. Like snorting animals on the prowl, if you didn’t behave like us, you were the enemy. Because you were so different from the rest of us, I identified you as an enemy. I forgot our biological connection, our shared humanness, our karmic engagement. I forgot the bridge that existed between our hearts.
I am so deeply sorry that I left you alone in your developing years. I apologize for abandoning you when you needed me most. I remember your cries for contact, your tireless efforts to connect, your tearful eyes through the living room window as I drove away. I looked away, but I still felt you. I just couldn’t do anything about it. In many ways, I confused you with the bad marriage that produced you, a marriage that I longed to escape from so desperately. When I had you, I was so emotionally immature. There was so little space inside me for another person’s needs. As I grow into my real adulthood, I am able to empathize with your heartbreak. In the last years, I have spent much time growing into the parent you deserved. Please know that I have taken that journey seriously.
I want you to know that I see you better now. I see the fear that I left you with. I see the ways that it impacted on your life choices, emotional availability, patterns of self-distraction. I see the ways that self-doubt prevented you from fully owning your power. Despite my madness, some part of me noticed the ways that you shut down to cope- the shallowing of your breath, the armoring of your heart, the reluctance to be seen. But I also see the ways that you overcame. I see the ways that you championed your own cause. I see the ways that you converted your fear into hope. I see how hard you worked to grow yourself. I am proud of you in ways that words can never express.
Most of the greatest achievements on the planet are unknown to others- private overcomings, silent attempts at belief, re-opening a shattered heart. The real path of champions truly lies within- the transforming of suffering into expansion, the clearing of horrifying debris, the building of a healthy self-concept without tools. The greatest achievers have found a way to believe in something good despite being traumatized and fractured on life’s battlefields. You are one of them. You overcame me. No matter what else you accomplish in your life, you are already a champion.
I am grateful that you disconnected from me many years ago instead of coming back for more abuse. You realized that I couldn’t meet your parental needs and that you had to look elsewhere. You were so very right. By choosing to protecting yourself, you also created the conditions for my own transformation. In your absence, in your determined refusal to enable my patterns, I was forced to recognize my impact. At first, I resisted the learning, but the love I felt for you penetrated my defenses and left me with no other option but to do the work. That work took me far back in time- both to our time together and to my own early life. Ah, the Power of Then- the impact of unresolved feelings on our now consciousness. Try as I did to disarm them by witnessing them, it was entirely ineffective. You cannot heal and resolve your emotional material with your mind. Your emotional material does not evaporate because you watch it. You can only heal your heart with your heart. I had no choice but to go back down the path and re-claim my feelings. In this way, you were my greatest teacher- the one who gave me back my heart.
Over the years, my own emotional armour has melted away. I have lost the energy that I once had to distract from my truth. I have grown tired of my falsity, denials and projections. And something has grown within me- a willingness to see what I have done and to acknowledge where I have failed. I don’t know if I will have another incarnation to do it better, but I want to set a loving intention before I die. I want to be living in truth when I close my eyes on this lifetime. And some part of the truth is horrifying to me. I know what I have done. I know the violence in my heart. And I know the causal factors: the desperate survivalism that plagued my family line, the shutting down of my emotional current, the build-up of resentment. But I also know that I had a choice. I could hear the voice of love calling me away during those acts of violence, but I chose to continue. I was influenced by my childhood, but I alone chose my path. Before God and before you, I am accountable for those choices.
As our society crosses the bridge from survivalism to authenticity as our way of being, I have every faith that we will one day move from love. I have done it, and I feel confident that others will follow. As part of that process, I call on all bullies to step out of their comfort zone and make determined efforts to shift their abusive paradigm. To find the courage to face the source of their rage. To break the lineage of toxic conditioning. To find constructive ways to soften their edges. To steer the collective (un)consciousness in new directions. To learn healthy ways to channel their aggression. Don’t do it only for those who you are harming. Do it for yourself as well. There is no life with a closed heart.
I do not know how God will judge me. I do not know how you will judge me. I do know that I have done all I can to own my actions and to open my heart. I am on my knees before truth. Know that I understand if you choose to remain disconnected. I truly do. You have to be true to your own process. But also know that I am here for you if ever you choose to open the gate again. Nearly 50 years late, but the way is clear.
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of “Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation,” and the just released “Ascending with Both Feet on the Ground”. Endorsed by authors Elizabeth Lesser, Oriah Mountain Dreamer and Katherine Woodward Thomas, “Ascending” is a collection of Jeff’s most popular spiritual graffiti—quotes, soul-bytes and aphorisms frequently shared in social media. He is also the author of “Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition)” and the producer and key journeyer in the new spiritual documentary- Karmageddon- which also stars Ram Dass, Seane Corn, David Life, Deva Premal and Miten. You can connect with Jeff’s work at www.soulshaping.com.
APOLOGIES TO MY (SWEET) BODY (from a head-tripper in transition)
I apologize for hiding from you in my mind. I was a head-tripper extraordinaire, preferring the seeming safety of my thoughts to the often savage world of feeling. Although I was frequently called ‘absent-minded’, I was actually ‘absent-bodied’, living far outside the walls of the body temple. I grew up in a hateful family, and feeling into my body meant feeling into the horrible memories held in my tissues. Surviving by my wits allowed me to think my way through challenging circumstances and shielded me from pain. But my headiness came at a price- excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. My coping strategy became my blueprint for reality, alienating me from my real life. But I want to stop watching you from afar. I want to open the gate and come back in now.
I apologize for abusing you with toxic food, over-eating, workaholism. I wanted you drained and deadened so that I couldn’t feel you. If I enlivened you, I felt my emotions more strongly and my pain emerged. If I numbed you, my memories remained buried. Yet another self-distraction technique. I am sorry for those acts of misplaced aggression. I couldn’t hold you safe because I had never been held safe. I had to first forge self-love in the fires of life.
I apologize for shaming you, loathing you, hiding you, feeling embarrassed about you. I am sorry that I judged your seeming imperfections as oddities rather than reflections of the Godself. My attitude was a direct reflection of my own self-hatred, the internalized remnants of a shamed and vilified inner world. They told me I was ugly and I believed them. Characterized as the black sheep throughout my childhood, I took that message to heart, often perpetuating the shameathon at my own expense. As I work to bring my light out from under its bushel of shame, I see the wonder that is you shining through. Such a majestic temple, a living prayer to the Godself. If we don’t honour the temple, there will be no place to pray.
I apologize for looking for my spiritual life independent from you, as though God is a disembodied construct and not a felt experience. Like a good little head-tripper, I wanted to think God, rather than feel God. And so I looked for God on the skyways of detachment, mistaking self-avoidance for enlightenment itself. I went down this path for some time, seemingly calm on the outside, but a bubbling cauldron of unresolved feelings in the deep within. In truth, the closest I ever came to an inclusive consciousness were in those moments when I surrendered to you completely, blemishes and all. It is no accident that we are here in physical form- God is IN the people. I apologize for looking for God outside the temple walls.
I apologize for weighing you down with physical and emotional armour: rigid musculature, congealed rage, shallowed breath, a hardened heart. Perfectly conditioned as a lone-wolf male warrior, I preferred solidity to fluidity, weaponry to warmth. A slave to survival, I was built to move along the path like a machine, postponing rest and pleasure for a day that seldom came. With my armour intact, nothing and no one could touch me. But I was borrowing energy from my future. I was killing myself. Even now, I am under no illusion that I will shift this way of being easily. It is deep in me, deep in my memories of overcoming. But I will try, one shedding at a time. I will try.
I apologize for subjecting you to objectified, heart-severed sexuality. You are built for intimacy that is depth-full, unifying, indistinguishable from the God-self. Anything less is a perversion of your divine nature. But I all too often wanted it shallow and Godless. I wanted no bridge between my heart and genitals, my heart and hers. Even when I was going through my ‘tantra’ phases, I was still abusing you, because I was using my genitals as a bliss seeking missile and not a bridge to the divine. I was using sexuality to escape the moment rather than to deepen in connection. I am sorry that I abused you in this way. I am committed to enheartening my sexuality. I am committed to building the heart-genital highway within.
I am grateful for the so many ways that you kept me going even when my waking consciousness was completely alienated from you. If I had been ruled by my thoughts alone, I would be long dead, bouncing as I was from one heady tree-top to another. But you never failed me, never forgot me, never lost sight of where I really lived. You kept breathing me when I acted against you, when I shamed you, when I disowned you. You kept loving me, calling me back, keeping me afloat until I could meet myself. Such devotion. Deep bows..
I am particularly grateful that you carried me through the most destructive life stages. You healed the wounds and broken bones of early life. You shielded me from violence with your fists and feet. You got me out of bed when grief was immobilizing my spirit. You pulled me out of the fires of childhood hell, even when I re-created them throughout adulthood. You warmed me up, as I knocked on thousands of doors to sell windows in Canadian winters. You kept me awake through a sleepless trial law apprenticeship. You endured 3 decades of workaholism and over-compensation, with little rest. Dearest friend, how can I best honour you?
Thank you for being my authenticity-mometer, my temple of truth. How beautifully you carried my sacred purpose until I was ready for the hand-off. You reminded me with truth-chills whenever I walked in the right direction. You tripped me up with truth-aches whenever I dared to walk in someone else’s shoes. What is so remarkable is that you never failed to communicate with me when I was living a lie. I may not have been ready to listen, but you never abandoned your faith in my possibilities. I now know that my true-path is encoded in the bones of my being. Not a temple that I visit, but one that I am.
I look forward to the day when humanity fully embraces your divinity and recognizes the unity at the heart of creation. A unified consciousness still exists outside of our habitual awareness, but it sings to us from deep within, a symphony of God-music that is calling us home. Where body, mind and spirit appear to be flowing in disparate directions, they will soon be revealed as inextricable branches of the same waterway. On the river of Essence, everything flows in the same direction —towards the ocean of wholeness.
As we move closer to a unified consciousness, may we recognize the heart of the matter- our enheartened body temple. Enlightenment is not a head trip- it’s a heart trip, gusts of God blowing through the portal of the heart, the aortic love valve merging with the love that courses through the universal vein. As it turns out, it isn’t beginner’s mind we seek. Its’ beginner’s heart- the freshness of appreciation that flows through the open heart. If we want to expand our spiritual consciousness, we have to shake our heart tree often. Opening the heart unlocks the heart of the universe, and we see what is always before us. May we be committed to shedding the armour around our heart a little more with every breath.
I am writing you by the banks of a small river, watching Canadian Geese land, resting and readying for the next leg of their journey south. I watch them, settling into a body they never left, truly here. Time to surrender, sing the birds of pray. Then, when their body is ready, they rise again, rising on the wings of their love. I hear them, calling out to each other. Surrender! they cry, as they fly God home for the winter.
One day, I won’t write you as though you are independent of my waking consciousness. One day, I will pray to you, as you. One day, I too will fly to God without leaving the temple. Until then, please continue to hold me safe.
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
As the battle between the authentic and the inauthentic intensifies, we need to be mindful of where we focus our gaze. This is a key moment in the burgeoning battle for truth, and we must be grounded and clear in our focus, lest we fall prey to misguided reactivities and manipulations that do not serve our ultimate destination- an awakened, enheartened society.
As protestors rightfully gather around unconscionable corporations and stock markets, I want to also focus our gaze on the unconscious elements of the media. I appreciate that these systems all work together to serve their selfish ends, but media trickery often seems to fly under the radar, almost too obvious to be detected. And it is devastating in its impact. I am not speaking of the members of the media who are kind and benevolent in their intentions. We applaud their efforts.I am talking about those media outlets and individuals who work our anxiety for their own economic benefit. Enemies of the sacred, their effectiveness at stoking our fears, panic buttons and survivalist energies is so brilliant that they can cause stock markets to crash, tremendous anxiety and suffering, illness and death. We the people need to gather together to fight against them, and legislation needs to be enacted that assertively contains their manipulations.
On the morning of 9-1-1, my grandmother called me to share her experience. She knew she should turn the television off, but she couldn’t. She was hooked into the repeated images of the planes hitting the buildings, the people falling to their death, the alarmism and terror. Like so many of us on this planet, she had grown up with perpetual anxiety around safety and survival, and it didn’t take much to trigger her back into a state of terror. She was getting severe palpitations, but she couldn’t turn it off, as the images of horror triggered her root chakra anxieties back to the surface. She could easily have died watching those images. I wonder how many people did.
The unconscious elements in the media prey on the vulnerable. They are concerned with nothing more than advertising revenues, and understand, deeply, that the best way to hook people into them is through negative imagery and alarmism. Imagine waking up every day, excited at the possibility of sharing horrifying things with humanity. Thats their gig. They recognize that most of the collective consciousness is still vibrating around survivalism and fear, and that the best way to get us addicted to their news is to trigger our root chakra anxieties. Though my grandmother had no real economic worries in her senior years, childhood memories of poverty and war resided in the bones of her being. Most of us carry survivalist anxieties, in form or another.
I cannot even begin to imagine how many people have gotten ill, and died, because of the immunological and economic effects of the unconscious media. How many have suffered emotional and psychological problems. How many who struggle to find a reason to believe in life have been discouraged and derailed. There are studies that need to be done.
In service of their ends, the unconscious media work the dark side. They exaggerate negative weather reports, overwhelm us with negative business news, startle us with images of terror, unnerve us with that alarmist music that accompanies quick news flashes. They work the panic button time and time again until we have nothing left to buffer us. It is my view that the now ridiculously over-reactive stock markets were largely caused by the unconscious media’s effectiveness during the economic crisis in 2008. They hit our panic button so hard that we are now interpreting reality through the lens of our root-chakra anxiety, so sure that the world is falling apart that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell a nervous public that there is a recession often enough, it becomes a recession. It is that simple. They have us by the genitals now, and they know it. We have to get our genitals back.
And what is worse is that they now have more ways to get to us. It is not just the newspapers, or the 11 p.m. news. It’s on the television screens at the bars, airport luggage racks, shopping malls. It is right there when we open the internet. It is everywhere we look.
We will never get away from anxiety as our organizing principle, if we don’t fight back. I suggest 5 steps in particular:
(1) Conscious, legal, non-violent protests at all unconscious media outlets world-wide. This means at any newspaper, radio or television station, or news source that uses the principles of fear-mongering and exaggerated negativity to draw our attention. It is one thing to report tragedies and injustices, but it is quite another to misrepresent the reality of world events. There are far more positive things happening in the world every day than negative. We must protest until the news becomes more representative of reality. We want it to reach a stage where every journalist knows to check in with themselves to ensure that they are propagating information that will actually enhance humanity. The minimum standard must be world betterment and the promotion of human connectiveness.
(2) Civil litigation (law-suits) against media individuals and outlets whose negative news presentation has caused undue suffering and harm to the physical, psychological and economic well-being of humanity. Class-action suits would be most effective, as they will strike at the heart of their economic power and may cause the unconscious media to re-think their approach. They, are, after all, primarily motivated by economic considerations.
(3) Make real efforts to have criminal charges laid against the unconscious media. In law, an act is deemed criminal if two elements are present at one time: (1) Mens rea- guilty mind; that is an intention to do harm, or an intention that is so reckless or negligent as to the harm caused that it is still deemed culpable; (2) actus reas- guilty act; that is, an act that causes harm to others. It is my view that the unconscious media- individuals and corporations- demonstrate both mens rea and actus reas when they misrepresent the news in an effort to trigger our alarm button and get our attention. They surely have an unconscionable intention, and they do real physical harm- stress hormones are triggered into action, immunological and physical damage results etc. It is an assault, one that only appears inobvious until we open our eyes and see the depth of the damage caused.
(4) Do your best to not watch, listen to or read the unconscious media. They are motivated by money, so if we stop colluding, they will get the message and make the shift. Some call it a “news fast”. Only support those media individuals and outlets that are in integrity and in balance in their presentation of the news.
(5) In depth and firmly backed legislation must be put into place to ensure that the media is moving from benevolence and not exploiting our anxieties to serve their own ends. There should be legislation in every jurisdiction, with watchdogs in place who will act vigilantly to protect humanity. There are those that say that the free market should work this out on its own terms, but I do not agree with that. Perhaps that will one day be the case in the world as it ought to be, but not in the world as it currently is. Again, the collective unconscious still holds a tremendous degree of fear. Survivalist anxieties are so close to the surface of everyday consciousness. Until we reach a stage where the collective has been far removed from these anxieties for many generations, we need systemic protection against those misery mongers and purveyors of doom who seek to perpetuate our fears. They truly are enemies of the sacred.
We're on the cusp of a Revolution of the Receptive, a time when we welcome the heart to open, when surrender and sensitivity are honoured as gateways to the moment, when those who have the courage to live from their hearts are recognized as the true warriors on Mother Earth. The era of the malevolent warrior is coming to a close. It is time for the Benevolent Warrior, for the ones who allow their hearts to speak its truth. The benevolent warrior has shifted his focus from a localized and ethnocentric perspective to a world-centric framework of perception. Her community is humanity. Rooted in the relational, his sense of responsibility extends well beyond his localized self and community. Where possible, her choice-making is fuelled by an expansive vision of possibility for all of humankind. Not every man for himself, but every man for humanity. As we move toward a more enheartened world, we must stand our ground against those individuals and systems that seek to imprison us behind constricting walls of fear. We must fight for our right to the light.
I hear all the doomsayers, but I believe we've entered into a time of great promise. Although things appear to be falling apart, they are actually coming together as false structures are tumbling down, melting in the face of truth and genuine self-revealing. I don't believe the world will dissolve in 2012 or that we're facing ultimate financial collapse. We'll have challenges, but we'll work them out. I believe that sacred activists are more necessary now, not because tragedy is upon us, but because we're moving beyond survivalism as a guiding principle. We are moving, side by side, heart in heart, towards authenticity as our shared way of being. Of course it is going to get noisy as egoic walls come tumbling down, of course the energy is going to intensify and frighten us. It comes with the territory. This is a time of radical change, an up-draft of heartfelt proportions. But we will make it through, we just will. We're brilliantly adaptive, and on the deepest truest levels, we all want to lay down our arms, and move through life from the heart outward. We may be able to endure most anything, but we are built to love. That is where we are headed. We just have to fight a few more battles on the road home. The Unconscious Media is one of them.
© Jeff Brown, Author- Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation (www.soulshaping.com)
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.
Throughout my mainstream education, I often wondered when my real education would begin. They taught me geography, when it was my inner geography that concerned me. They taught me Canadian history, but nothing about karmic lineage. They taught me foreign languages, but we spent no time on the language that mattered most- the language of the heart. By the time I graduated from University, I had 3 degrees and no idea who I was. Whatever tools I had acquired seemed ill-equipped to deal with the fundamental questions of meaning, purpose, how to construct a heartfelt life.
As I look back on my life, I realized that my real education happened from the inside out. While diligently attending the School of Heart Knocks (the school of life), I somehow stumbled upon a clarified vision of path. Interestingly, my purpose did not reveal itself in the head-tripping caverns of academia, nor did it arise through my egoic forays into career as identity. It rose into awareness through the gateway to my heart, a vision of possibility that was encoded in my cells from time immemorial, an unstoppable wave of purpose that was indistinguishable from my authentic self. Excavating it from the burial ground within demanded a multitude of stages, stages that seemed to exist entirely distinct from my university curriculum. In my private life, in my apartment, in my difficult relationships, in workshops and therapy, in those quiet moments when we inwardly decide how deep we will dig, this is where I learned what I needed to know. The real school, the true core-iculum….lived in my own bones and in the heart of daily life.
As I embarked on my journey, I began to imagine the courses that I longed to attend on my journey of self-creation: Befriending Confusion, Clearing Emotional Debris, Living in the Question, Having an effective nervous breakthrough, Identifying and Honouring Sacred Purpose, Conscious Relationship, Self-distractive behaviour, Truth Aches and Sacred Grumbles, The art of Enrealment, Bypassing the Spiritual Bypass, Truth telling, De-shaming and De-masking, In-viromentalism, Ascending with both feet on the ground, Finding your soulpod etc. There was no limit to things I needed help with, and no limit to the challenges I experienced in finding the support I needed. It was almost as though the whole world was deciding who it was based on the principles of survivalism- adapting its consciousness to whatever got food on the table- and I was actually wanting to know who I really was, who lived below the masks and personas of daily life, what path best reflected my inherent divinity. Of course many had quested for their authenticity before, but I didn’t know where to find them, or, perhaps, I was too unsure of my quest to share its contours and textures with confidence.
Throughout the writing of Soulshaping, I had a vision of a Soulshaping Institute, one that would dare to inquire into the core questions of path without hesitation. In recent months, that longing grew stronger, as I became more deeply aware of the value of this work. In the heart of a burgeoning consciousness revolution, there is a greater willingness to tackle these fundamental questions of path- Who am I, really? What is my encoded purpose? Why am I here in this incarnation? How can I stop avoiding true-path?
With this in heart, I have opened Soulshaping Institute, an in-credited institution of truer learning. This is not a place you come to get a meaning-less degree, or to get graded for your efforts. No one can grade your relationship to path, because only soul knows the path it is here to walk. You are the only one who can know whether you are walking your unique true-path. Soulshaping I will endeavour to support your path and process, reminding you of steps you may have forgotten, encouraging you towards the path that is encoded within you, inviting a dialogue that takes you deeper into the realm of your own divine possibilities.
The first course- Excavating and Honouring Sacred Purpose- begins June 26/2011. Here is the link, in case you are interested in checking it out.…Soulshaping Institute . Other courses will follow, as the core-iculum takes shape… Apologies to the Divine Feminine (Bridging the Gender Gap), Adventures in Soulshaping (Depth Charges and Excavations), Cell your Soul- Interpreting the Emotional Body, Relationship as path, The Power of Then- healing the past and expanding our habitual range of e-motion, the Universal Broadcasting system- The real Learning Channel (interpreting serendipity) etc. It is my hope that we will work deeply, exploring the crevices, plumbing the depths, truly calling ourselves on any resistance to true-path. In many ways, it is a little safer to be a seeker than a finder. I want us all to find what we are looking for, to find an authenticity of purpose that ignites our spirit and buffers us from the madness of the world. To wake up every morning knowing what we are here to learn, share and humanifest. To wake up purposeful and at peace with path.
In addition, I am working to develop a scholarship program so that individuals who are economically challenged can participate. It is an odd and ironic thing that until we find our sacred purpose, it is often difficult for us to flourish economically, but it is difficult to explore and identify our path when we cannot afford to study and explore pathways of possibility. It is often those with a profound path living inside of them who are having the most difficulty dealing with the economic world, because they cannot adapt to the inauthentic nature of the marketplace. I am endeavouring to create a structure that will be inclusive of all of humanity.
My assistant, Tarini, made a beautiful, 90 second video to introduce Soulshaping Institute to all of you. Please take a look if you get a moment.. Youtube.
In gratitude, Jeff Brown