How Then Shall We Live?

What do you do

when enlightenment feels like

a bag of s#*t?

Seriously. You’re workin’ toward the good stuff. You’ve had some transformative experiences. Maybe you’ve actually felt some bliss or the feeling of Oneness if even for a moment. You know you are on the right track . . .  but something seems wrong. . .  Things actually sometimes feel worse in your everyday living. What’s up?! Why does this path to light feel bad?

Is this you?

—   do you find that despite your spiritual ‘work’ tough stuff in life bothers you even more sometimes?

—   do you notice that instead of peace, you feel more numb?

—   do you feel alone in your quest or at least not supported in a community that ‘gets’ you?

—   do you sense that your good ideas stay good ideas when you really, really want to DO and share them?

—   do you read all the right books by Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, John Grey, Caroline Myss , mystical poets like Rumi and so on, but somehow that reading isn’t translating into solid change or action in your real life?

—   have you attended workshops that pump you up and then let you down two days later, when you’ve forgotten it all or it doesn’t seem to be shifting anything for you as you go about your days?

—   or perhaps something, or someone(!), is bugging you. The message you get is “let it go”, “transform it”, “rise above it”, get over it”, “surrender”, but you get so irritated when someone says this to you, that you have an overwhelming urge to punch them in the nose.  . . . .  and shift just ain’t happenin’.

—   do people from your past seem to be falling off the radar?

—   are the people currently in your life not necessarily the people with whom you want to be in a supporting community?

This is what it feels like to be standing on the break, dancing on the verge. It’s what transformation feels like. Motivating isn’t it?! These yucky feeling things push us forward, keep us moving toward that enlightenment, waking more and more, becoming increasingly present.

 

You are not alone. . . . .

There are others like you on their own paths. We keep hearing it. They’ve had extraordinary spiritual experiences. The light is on and there ain’t no turnin’ it off. No going back. They KNOW something amazing is happening and they KNOW that they’re different now – and yet … arrgh … life is still the same – the same challenges, the same problems…and sometimes, they even bug you more now than ever!

How, you ask yourself:

How do I DO my life, my work, my relationships now, knowing what I know?

How do I DO and feel unconditional love?

How do I DO and feel self-love?

How do I DO non-dual or unitive consciousness or Oneness?

How do I DO what I feel called to do, but somehow, can’t get there?

 

In fact . . . . How then shall I live?

I mean really. What on earth, literally, are we supposed to DO?!

 

We, your co-hosts Kim Brandt and Nicole Moen, invite you to join us in-person to explore these and other questions in the first of a series of gatherings for people wanting to DO what they KNOW with a supportive community around them. 

www.nicolemoen.ca, www.kimbrandt.ca

link to registration          http://howthenshallwelive.eventbrite.com/

 

This gathering is for you if you:

—   feel that you lack needed support to help you to achieve change,

—   long for genuine community connections with like-hearted folks,

—   believe there is a place of peace that is deeper than the one you find with the numbing of a 6-pack and a joint,

—   feel like everyone’s “got it” except you,

—  have read the books, attended the expensive workshops, and you feel clear in your head but life on the ground day to day is still feeling complicated, hard or painful,

—   are looking for opportunities to EXPERIENCE practices that can help to shift knowledge into practice.

 

What we can do for you . . . . .

We, Kim and Nicole, don’t have your answers, but we do know how to create and hold a gentle safe gathering space so you can explore, at your own pace:

 

7 Spiritual Givens and their resulting Question . . . . .

 

1.     Given that there’s no going back once you’ve had the spiritual light bulb thing happen.

2.     Given that the path forward isn’t always clear and that life is sometimes just messy and complicated, and that enlightenment can feel awful.

3.     Given that we want to ‘be the change’ and bring to life all our fabulous unmanifested ideas, but somehow that just isn’t happening. arrgghhhhh.

4.     Given that we want to live sustainably, lovingly, on this dear planet of ours.

5.     Given there is unlimited possibility and that no matter what happens – calamity, adversity or joy – it can be turned into something of value.

6.     Given that we know that community is essential to achieve enduring change.

7.     Given that waking up, as in the spiritual kind of waking up, means feeling more – of everything. Not just the beauty and grandeur but the deepest grief and pain. Illusions are stripped away to reveal the raw full now.

Resulting Question: HOW then shall we live?

 

Our world has never been more fractured or polarized. Families are often separated by many miles or even continents, many people are overworked and stressed, meaningful relationships are few or non-existent, church communities are disintegrating, urban sprawl makes neighbourhoods feel unwelcoming.

There’s a gap of community in our modern culture, It is that thin place of cohesiveness that can only exist in relation to another. By ourselves we ARE  alone, the work IS harder. But together we can offer ongoing caring support to each other, we can strengthen each person when they are in need, we can know that the same non-judgmental support is there for us when our own quest feels like, well, a bag of s*#t.

“If you do not transform your pain, you will always transmit it.”

~ Richard Rohr

 

Details about our Gathering 

Imagine the place . . . . .

You walk in the door to our gathering place and you notice the hardwood floors, artwork on the walls, lit candles, a circle of chairs and the aroma of cider heating on the stove. You feel you have arrived into space that is safe and inviting. April 15th’s venue is a beautiful heritage home in the James Bay area of Victoria and its large windows welcome in the light.

 

Imagine the day . . . . .
The day starts with movement and a chance for an initial connection with the others who have gathered. Through the day:

you have direct experience of practices that will open doors for change and transformation to come through,

  • you discuss the day’s topics with others who are genuinely interested in moving forward (see April 15 topics below)
  • you have enough breaks so that new information has a chance to settle in
  • you enjoy Kim’s beautiful guitar music including the song “How Then Shall I Live” by Linnea Goode
  • you go on a mini-pilgrimage
  • movement and music
  • you co-create lunch and sip on the abundant grounding tea that is available all day.

 

This launch day doesn’t start or end with “the day” . . . . .

How then shall we live? It’s a big question! For the developing community to stay connected and supported and for all of us to continue our growth there will be several ways for you to be connected. You can do them all or choose one or two. Community connections are important, so that:

—   you IMMEDIATLEY hook up with the group on a private and confidential Facebook community page,

—   you DO remember what you have learned by staying connected to the community and talking about your experiences,

—   you DO stay in touch with the others gathered,

—   you DO get a chance to explore questions that come up for you before and after this gathering and before the next.

We know we need to do the work on our own but we certainly do not need to do it by ourselves.

 

What will you come away with?

This is a practice gathering – “practice” meaning experiential. It’s the launch event of many opportunities we will offer over time to DO things differently.

  • We will introduce a variety of practices and perspectives.
  • We will create space where it’s ok for each person to bring their authentic selves to the group and be accepted as they are.
  • We will open up a door to supportive community.
  • We will stand at your side while you are working to strengthen new capacities.
  • We will facilitate deeper personal work between gatherings for those who would like to do that.

 

Topics for April 15: The 3 C’s – Choice, Comfort, and Community:

CHOICE: Are the choices we make made from a place of integrity? Can we discern the nuances of emotion driven choices over heart and body centered ones? What is the difference between choice and control?

COMFORT: If we are afraid to move beyond our comfort zone then we will just stay where we are. There is a way to hold discomfort so that we can move through the tough stuff – even the stuff that feels like s#*t.

COMMUNITY: Spiritual growth can be glorious, and, it can be messy. This gathering is all about HOW we live – practical, on the ground stuff.  We will co-create community, a safe and structured container that supports us all, through the hard and easy times. Community from which wisdom and healing and transformation and support on our journeys can arise from its heart. We all need that. It’s rare that anyone successfully does this work alone. It’s better, always, when we’re loved, held, supported in a non-dogmatic way, cared for, nurtured, and seen.

 

How to continue . . . . .

We will facilitate a number of options for you to continue your work in community. This is what we are envisioning so far; these will evolve as you give your input and as we put them into action:

—   membership in an on-line private Facebook group for conversations and questions that come up before and after gatherings,

—   on-line live video gathering space – for small groups,

—   teleseminars with guest speakers,

—   the chance to dig deeper individually by booking one-on-one sessions with Kim or Nicole by Skype or in-person,

—   future gatherings in Victoria and on the Lower Mainland and elsewhere . . .

link to registration      http://howthenshallwelive.eventbrite.com/

 

 

A bit about us . . . . .

Kim’s story:

Growing up absolutely nothing seemed more important to me then fitting in. From my youth through to adulthood, I craved the approval and validation of others even if that meant compromising my integrity. In order to get people to like me I would become the person who I thought they wanted me to be, or at least my best guess at it. Sound familiar? Real people pleaser. I had no idea who I was.

During my rare moments of self-reflection I knew I was living the life of a chameleon but didn’t know how, or that, I could change. I believed I was completely stuck living these roles.

About 25 years ago I had a profound spiritual experience that shifted everything for me and kick-started this part of my journey. It radically changed my story and led me toward an ever-increasing integration of head, heart and gut.

One of the greatest lessons learned is that while I may feel lonely from time to time I am not alone, unless I choose to be. I do have to do the work on my own, but I do not have to be alone.

Spiritual community has been my saving grace time and time again. That is why my primary mission of service on the planet is to offer to do my very best to provide people the opportunity to know the healing and supportive power of community.

Nicole’s Story:

In 2007 I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, a 1000 year old pilgrimage trail in northern Spain. I had started to hear about it before my family took a four month sabbatical and we organized our time away around walking that trail. I’d heard wonderful stories and was excited to see what lay in store there for me.

It was awful. When we were travelling from France to get to our starting point in Spain I had a reaction of complete aversion to being in Spain. We went anyway and I started to cry almost as soon as we got there. The tears didn’t let uup for a couple weeks and then I injured my knee and got sick. After some delays I did get to Santiago and onto Finesterre/Fistera (end of the earth) on the coast. And wow, was I glad to be “done” and heading back to France.

But it was when we got back home a couple months later that I started realizing what had really happened over there. That trail had opened up some stuff in me that needed deep work. And while I’d already been on a spiritual path for a couple decades, the next 4 years were seriously tough sleddin’, as they say on the prairies. My inner and outer lives completely transformed in that time. It was considerably more work than my degree!

What has struck me most as things slow down a bit (and continue to evolve as is always the case) is the essential need for support, for community. It might sound dramatic, but I quite simply would have actually or metaphorically curled up in a ball and died without it. There were many points along the way that I felt like giving up.

Where, I would ask myself, where were the promises of constant bliss? Where was this ‘ease and joy’? Why do I actually feel worse, in pain, and even devastated or broken. I was alternately frightened, overwhelmed, angry, paralyzed, and I often felt isolated and alone. Yet I was called to continue (kicking and screaming sometimes!) and knew somewhere in me that I would work through all that. The people around me supporting this also knew I would come through it. I leaned on them constantly.

Literally walking the talk is my modus operandi now. I realized that I could read and think and moan and judge and attend a zillion workshops-without-follow-up and I still wouldn’t “get there” until I DID those things I was reading and thinking about. That’s what a spiritual practice is. Practice. Working to hit those high notes until I hit them. Over and over. Walking to my own truths until I know them. Over and over. Living – as in: screwing up, succeeding, being fuzzy, hitting the nail on the head. Over and over.

In other words, it was about walking the talk. I couldn’t “be” in the moment, couldn’t be centered from an integrated heart/body/head, unless I was “doing” the work to get there.

It is one of my deepest callings to help to provide community and support for others on their own unique bumpy, twisty turn-y paths.

Read Nicole’s bio here: http://www.nicolemoen.ca/index.php/whos-nicole-anyways/

Love and blessings to you all!

Your co-hosts,

Nicole Moen and Kim Brandt

www.nicolemoen.ca, www.kimbrandt.ca

 

How Then Shall We Live? 

Sunday, April 15th , 10 am – 4 pm, in-person, Victoria, BC

Join us!

     link to registration          http://howthenshallwelive.eventbrite.com/

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