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Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation Paperback – August 25, 2009
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–Ram Dass, spiritual teacher and author of Be Here Now
"I often refer to the dictionary at the end of this wonderful book to put new words to sacred experiences, fleeting understandings, and the bigger mysteries that seekers have pondered throughout history. The words are like bridges between my little self and my vaster consciousness that is free from fear and open to peace."
—Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and cofounder of the Omega Institute
"This book is a role call for the soul. Jeff Brown is the kind of writer who invites you to swim in gasoline and then provides a match. This is no self-help book. This is a summons from the mountaintop and from the trenches. I am so grateful for Brown’s journey and his absolute genius in writing."
—Tama J. Kieves, best-selling author of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love
"Spiritual erotica! Jeff Brown lays down his soul on these pages for us to see ourselves. In so doing, he demonstrates a rare vulnerability, a wicked sense of humor, and a deeply personal insight into the human condition."
—Kathryn Beet, master yoga practitioner and owner of Yoga Space, Toronto
"Jeff Brown takes readers on a journey seeking to find his inner self. It is a search for self-fulfillment, a field guide for life, and a quest for the meaning of life."
—Eddie Greenspan, QC, criminal lawyer and earnest defender of the presumption of innocence
"Soulshaping is a beautiful story of one man’s spiritual journey that reveals the inspiring, yet often humbling, path of growth and self-transformation. Jeff Brown 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."
—Seane Corn, international yoga instructor and spiritual activist
"Soulshaping is the story of one man’s journey of awakening and healing and is lit with epiphanies and hard-won psychospiritual savvy not just for the author, but for all of us. Jeff Brown has faced his dragons and has emerged from the flames with significant treasures and a soul-centered, refreshingly raw travelogue that is as readable as it is instructive. A brave book this is–a book that serves our own journey of awakening and healing, simply by being so unswervingly and nakedly human. This is not just another book about soul, but a book saturated with soul."
—Robert Augustus Masters, PhD, author of Meeting the Dragon
"If you don't have a gut reaction to this book, you may be dead! My heart completely opened up as I felt each page come alive with emotion. It’s a must-read for anyone on a spiritual path to identify and discover our powerful and majestic self."
—Jewels Johnson, host of Law of Attraction Talk Radio
"Tired of another by-the-numbers guide to spirituality? Soulshaping is the real deal, a gritty look at the reality of fully inhabiting your life. It may be the only soul-help book I have read that brings spirituality and psychology together in a grounded framework. I love the way Jeff Brown shows us how to shed our emotional debris and ego armor, while at the same time transforming all of it into the lessons we need. Nothing gets lost or misplaced—everything is grist for the soul mill! Soulshaping represents the next step in the spiritual transformation of Western culture, a perfect blend of Eastern mysticism and emotional healing. Brilliant and perfectly down to earth at the same time."
—Zeydl Hemrend, lawyer and film producer
"Jeff Brown takes us on an intimate, compelling, enlivening, and often quite humorous set of adventures with many of today’s leading consciousness teachers on his journey to uncovering the deep truths that live at the heart of all spiritual paths."
—Robert Gass, EdD, workshop leader, spiritual activist, composer, performer, and recording artist
"As a therapist and as a human being, I highly recommend Soulshaping. It is a must-read for anyone wanting to move beyond the profound emotional blocks of early wounding and gradually, very gradually, begin to awaken to increasing levels of self-acceptance through the wisdom and tenderness of their own essence. Through his school of 'heart knocks,' and with astonishing emotional authenticity, Jeff Brown implores us to embrace and fully 'excavate' our Shadow, the seeming darkness within. Only by fully honoring all aspects of our journey (every wound, every person, every trauma) can we begin to accept and eventually honor all of who we are."
—John Pollard, MA, psychotherapist and spiritual director at Transformational Arts College
"Soulshaping was the most valuable, engaging, and hard to put down book I read this year. This book goes way beyond the rote ‘how to’ presented in so many spiritual books and offers a sincere and true-life story of what it is really like to journey into the inner world of self-creation and to listen, truly listen, to that tiny voice inside. Jeff Brown is the real deal and he shows with heartfelt honesty that there is no ‘arrived’ when it comes to the quest of the spirit."
—Dr. Melissa West, international radio show host with Contact Talk Radio
“Soulshaping is an insightful, thought-provoking testimonial, an autobiography of one man's spiritual journey to find a more authentic way of being…a refreshingly truthful, heartfelt account...I think this book will appeal to those who are seeking a more meaningful way of being. It is beautifully written and there is comfort in reading and relief in hearing.”
"Soulshaping is a direct expression of a powerful individual radiating his inner divine strength, while fully revealing wholeheartedly the human side of his earthly undertakings and allowing readers to capture meaningful wisdom, inspiration, a renewed sense of empowerment, and hope. Jeff Brown is a true pioneer with his endless dedication, commitment, and balanced expression that promotes authenticity and long-lived self-transformation. Cheers to him for his powerful service to humanity!"
—Dulcinea Contreras, founder and executive producer of Evolution Revolution Media Productions
"Just as a sculptor shapes his clay on the wheel, Jeff Brown shapes his soul from the wheel of his life. An alluring and riveting journey, a definitive cure for soul-dysplasia, this book is real! Never before have I read a book so eagerly anticipating the next page—not because of a mystery unfolding, but because I wanted to see if Brown had my story right. For those on their soul journeys, this book will no doubt reveal a different vantage point to help them find their way."
—Susie Bonham-Craig, spiritual psychologist and author and host of Wisdom Wide Open Radio
"If I were to use words to describe my innermost feeling after reading Soulshaping, I would use two: true inspiration. I believe this book will be used as a ‘bible’ to those who truly need a guide for their journey. Jeff Brown’s life journey will truly inspire those who have started and then stopped, those who have a knowing, but don’t know where to begin, those who have despised their life due to some traumatic experience at some point in time, and will realize by reading this book that they can go on!"
“Brown’s story is an emotionally raw, no-holds-barred account of life in the trenches along the spiritual path, and a guide to moving from survivalist behaviors and attitudes to living in tune with one’s higher purpose in the midst of the madness of modern life.”
“Rivetingly personal and profoundly universal, [Soulshaping] is for anyone who has heard a whisper of something truer calling out to them amid the distractions of modern life.”
—Spiritual Media Blog
“Offering much food for thought as [Jeff Brown] tells a story that many readers will find relation to when coming to terms with their own soul and their spirituality, Soulshaping is a heartily recommended read.”
—The Midwest Book Review
“Through verdant prose Jeff, the wordsmith, leads us to authenticity through ‘the challenge of actualizing a soulful calling in a harsh landscape.’… Like a touchstone I will return to Soulshaping as I continue to weave my own web of soul-shaping.”
—Food for Thought
“Through Brown’s passionate storytelling and insights, gleaned from his life journey, three powerful points emerge… The essence of life is that it is all a soul’s journey. The heart of the soul’s journey is to have a profound faith in the human experience. The process of realizing our soul’s calling is to feel our feelings fully until we discover what we need to learn. [Soulshaping] is a very inspiring book, and I recommend it both for people searching for hope and guidance in order to find meaning in their lives, and for those who have found meaning and would appreciate revisiting their journey.”
“This is a good book for anyone who has heard a little voice (or voices) about another way of life.”
“I found Soulshaping to be a wrenchingly personal and sometimes painful expression of Jeff's life journey… Jeff has a particularly engaging way of mapping out his text...a word wall that is a canvas for the verbal paint splashes that find their way into his writing.”
—Edie Weinstein, The Bliss Blog, Beliefnet
“Soulshaping is a powerful memoir about how making different choices in life can change it for the better—if we only listen to our inner voice. … This book offers a good narrative and would be helpful to anyone trying to come to grips with their own life and soul path.”
—New Consciousness Review
“Soulshaping is the optimal demonstration of walking one's true path. … Jeff Brown's brilliant formulas will immerse you in the school of heart knocks. Soulshaping will awaken parts of you and guide you on a deliberate purpose driven, soul searching journey.”
—Intentional Conscious Parenting
“Soulshaping is the journey of awakening for Jeff Brown, and is described so intricately, and shared so deeply, one could use this as a ‘template’ for dissolving fear and opening to oneness.”
About the Author
But then, on the verge of opening a law practice, he heard a little voice inside telling him to stop, just stop. With great difficulty, he honored this voice and began a heartfelt quest for the truth that lived within him. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Brown was actually questing for his innate image, the essential being that he came into this lifetime to embody. He was searching for his authentic face.
As part of his journey, Brown surrendered to his confusion and explored many possible paths. He studied Bioenergetics and did session work with cofounder Alexander Lowen. He practiced as a body-centered psychotherapist. He completed an MA in Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco and cofounded the Open Heart Gang, a benevolent gang with a heartfelt intention. He developed his student business and became a successful entrepreneur.
The most important thing Brown did, however, was the inner work. By going inside and connecting his spirituality with his emotional life, he learned essential lessons. By learning to surrender to the "School of Heart Knocks" (the school of life), he found his authentic face and embraced the call to write Soulshaping. Although he resisted it at first, he soon realized that honoring the call was his best defense against sleeplessness. If he wrote, he slept. If he didn’t, he lay awake all night. This is the nature of a calling.
Brown currently lives in Toronto, where he and the Open Heart Gang are close to finishing a documentary about Bhagavan Das (of Be Here Now fame). The film, titled Karmageddon, includes wonderful dialogues with Brown and spiritual teacher Ram Dass, yogis Seane Corn and David Newman, and chanters Deva Premal and Miten. In addition, Brown is actively searching for wheels for the Soulshaping bus tour, a spirited adventure across North America with his soul-friends, heaven-bent on inviting more people to raise the flag of the little voice to the rafters of consciousness.
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This is a beautiful book full of deep wisdom, courage, and soulfulness to comfort
your heart and soul.... it's one I keep handy and within reach at all times....
His gift for painting a picture of soul's journey is brilliant, truthful, and very courageous....
It's a magnificent read, and precious gift....
I highly recommend ALL of his works....
they are "works of art"
Palm Springs, CA
Top international reviews
Jeff, I hope to meet you one day and thank you personally
Thank you Jeff for sharing the reality of personal growth. Thank you for showing and sharing that the journey is about the ups AND downs, the highs AND lows, the love AND the heartbreak. ALL that we experience helps us learn something new, and awakens us to a new level. Accepting yourself, ALL parts of yourself, all our mistakes , triumphs and losses, pain, fear and heartbreak, and all the feelings that accompany those moments,are important to opening ourselves to newer levels of understanding. It is messy, but it is worth it.