A Conversation with JEFF BROWN, former attorney. Lead Host: J. Kim Wright and co-host Molly Rowan Leach. Highlight from the archives.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Jeff Brown did all the things he was supposed to do to become successful in the eyes of the world. He was on the Dean’s Honor List as an undergraduate. He won the Law and Medicine prize in law school. He apprenticed with top criminal lawyer Eddie Greenspan. It had been Jeff’s lifelong dream to practice criminal law and search for the truth in the courtroom.
But then, on the verge of opening a law practice, he heard a little voice inside telling him, ‘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, Jeff 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, Jeff surrendered to his confusion and explored many possible paths. He studied Bioenergetics and did session work with co-founder Alexander Lowen. He practiced as a body-centered psychotherapist. He completed an MA in Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco and co-founded the Open Heart Gang, a benevolent gang with a heartfelt intention. He started his own 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 in the nature of a calling.
Brown self-published the first edition of Soulshaping in December 2007. Titled Soulshaping: Adventures in Self-Creation, the book was sold on a street level by a homeless man in Toronto and met with a tremendous response. It was picked up by North Atlantic Books soon thereafter and a beautiful new edition, distributed by Random House, entered bookstores in August 2009. Now named Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation, this edition includes a new preface written by Brown that speaks to the grassroots energy that moved the book into the world so quickly, validating his own intuition about the book’s connective and heartfelt nature.
After writing a series of inspirations for ABC’S ‘Good Morning America’ in early 2010, and appearing on Fox News.com and dozens of radio shows, Brown wrote the viral blog ‘Apologies to the Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition)’ that autumn, catapulting him to a greater degree of notoriety, particularly in social media. Soon thereafter, he released his first film, Karmageddon, an award winning spiritual documentary that highlights his journey with spiritual teacher Bhagavan Das. Also featuring profound interviews with Be Here Now author Ram Dass, yogis Seane Corn and David Life, and chanters Wah, Deva Premal and Miten; Karmageddon is a courageous, self-revealing, unforgettable film about spirituality, integrity, and emotional healing.
Jeff’s second book Ascending with Both Feet on the Ground was published in October, 2012. Strongly endorsed by Oprah ‘Soul Series’ Radio host Elizabeth Lesser and best-selling authors Oriah Mountain Dreamer and Katherine Woodward Thomas, Ascending is a collection of some of Jeff’s most popular spiritual graffiti–quotes, soul-bytes and aphorisms frequently shared in social media.
His third book Love It Forward was published on Valentine’s Day, 2014. In this subsequent book of spiritual graffiti, Jeff includes a number of his most popular and profound love and relationship quotes. Endorsed by best-selling authors Carolyn Myss, Andrew Harvey and CNN’S Father Edward Beck, this book also includes a series of inspirations that Jeff wrote for ‘Good Morning America.’ Also in 2014, Jeff formed his own publishing house Enrealment Press (www.enrealment.com) and signed a deal with New Leaf distribution. His fourth book- a higher consciousness love story called An Uncommon Bond—was published to rave reviews in May, 2015. An audio version—published by the Grammy-award winning Blackstone Audio—soon followed. Jeff’s fifth book, a quotes book aptly named Spiritual Graffiti, came out in December, 2015. His latest book, Grounded Spirituality, was published in March, 2019.
In this mini-interview we spoke with Anthony from Brooklyn, NY, whose work as a youth facilitator in his school is expanding to training others. He shares his opinion on what restorative justice is, and what it look and feels like.
Anthony also speaks to a workshop he attended during the conference called "Finding Power in Darkness".
Honoring the roots of restoration and transformation starts with acknowledging ancestral wisdom. Jerry Tello is Co-Founder of the National Compadres Network and Director, National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute and author of the new book, Recovering Your Sacredness
In this potent keynote, thanks to the NACRJ and RJOY Oakland for the conference in 2017 in Oakland, "Moving Restorative Justice from Margins to Center", Jerry calls out imperative question, who is blessing our children? Whose justice is this? And blends humor and precise, lived wisdom in this 45 minute keynote.
Thank you to Liane Rozzell for permissions to repost & distribute openly on behalf of Restorative Arlington. -Ed.
The Restorative Arlington initiative is a countywide, cross-sector effort to
bring the benefits of restorative justice practices to Arlington. Starting in late
April 2020, a dedicated group of 45 people who live, work, worship, teach,
study and volunteer in Arlington County, Virginia, began to explore how to
adopt restorative justice practices in Arlington’s schools, legal system, and
These Restorative Arlington working group members
met for more than 1,300 person-hours over six months, learning from
experts in both nearby communities and other parts of the country.
This strategic plan emerged from that work. In it, we outline the vision and
principles that will guide the Restorative Arlington initiative going forward.
It is the general framework for the more detailed implementation efforts
that we are starting to develop. We hope it informs and inspires you to
support and engage with the Restorative Arlington initiative.
From Oakland, June 2017, an interview with Rangimarie Naida Glavish on perspectives and practices from New Zealand in what is now called 'restorative justice'. This interview was an honor and was deeply sacred to us. 2017 National Conference hosted by RJOYNACRJ
Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish is a highly respected Iwi and Community Leader. Naida is currently employed as the Chief Tikanga Advisor/General Manager Maori with the He Kamaka Waiora, Maori Health, Waitemata and Auckland District Health Board.
"Real Time Evolution and Crisis as Birth", from 2009
In 2009, the late and extraordinary Dr. Barbara Marx Hubbard spoke at a conference we produced with an extraordinary and devoted community team in Boise, ID. Dr. Hubbard was a candidate for Vice President and an author of multiple best sellers outlining our moment in time--crisis--as a natural element of conscientious growth.
This is a special, exclusive feature from our archives. In honor of the beauty of Dr. Barbara Marx Hubbard and her visionary and grounded evidence that we are in fact in the midst of an essential transformation: systemically, personally, globally.
In this keynote from 2009 in Boise, Idaho, at the Living in The Fire of Change Conference, James O'Dea recounts in extraordinary detail the power of dialogue, listening, and the imperative of restorative justice, healing justice.
Originally titled "Roots and Stars", we wanted to illuminate the fullness of this hour as a prophetic message for us all during these times. Packed with humor, storytelling, citations of major mystics and philosophers alike, and anecdotes from our world's most blatantly heinous atrocities.. of which James himself almost died, we come to a place of "tea among strangers, amidst the rubble", or the humanity that resides in all of us even amidst suffering and loss.
This podcast is a very special feature, and an honoring, of our dear colleague and friend James O'Dea.
In 2016 Eric Luecking was the first to hear the unthinkable. His brother, Matt (pictured to the right, at left; Eric at right), was dead, murdered. The big brother that lived as an inspiration to so many was gone, just like that.
Panel Discussion with Subject/Cinematographer & SOROS Justice Fellow (2018) Troy Williams, Producer, Social Justice Advocate and Attorney Erin Kenway, and Former Los Angeles Public Defender and 1st Filmmaker to have access to VOEG Processes* at San Quentin, Director Katherin Hervey. Website: www.theprisonwithin.org
To provide connection, advocacy, education and inspired action as a public service to individuals and communities seeking to proactively improve relationships and structures within their spheres and our world.
Restorative Justice on The Rise is an international live dialogue via Webcast and Telecouncil platform, held weekly, reaching an international constituency of a wide spectrum of invididuals, organizations, professionals, academics, practitioners, and beyond.