Day 3 Of Soul In Wonder “Getting out of my own way” challenge

I continue to blog about my journey with Christopher August and Sara Oakley, holistic coaches, as they guide us in this 7-day challenge to help us to clear away the blocks that keep us from achieving our goals. You can get involved by going to the Facebook page. 

This was a great exercise. It was very helpful to me. I am going to take the memories that came up into my healing sessions with Jesus, my friend and guide, where he helps me to resolve past issues in very loving and powerful ways. I feel grateful to Lori Weiss, who is a member of our group, for creating this exercise.

My goal is: I am joyously finding the ideal compatible person who is passionate about co-founding the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage with me.

Hey, if you want to explore whether or not you qualify, check out this link: 

Vegan Utopia Ecovillage is the new working name.

“I scare myself by imagining…”

  1. No one will ever join me in co-creating this Vegan Utopia Ecovillage.
  2. I will have to go back to work and won’t have time to dedicate to finishing the EcoVillage and working with someone even if he or she does come.
  3. The person who comes will be a disappointment even though I put him or through a thorough screening process
  4. I’m not good enough to attract a compatible person who has the time, talents and energy to devote to building Vegan Utopia Ecovillage
  5. I need to focus on selling the Event Center and thus won’t have time to work on finding a compatible co-founder.

What is the fear that causes each of these thoughts?

  1. I haven’t been able to find a suitable co-founder for community yet so I never will.
  2. Things like this take so long–finding the right person. Time is running out. Money is running out.
  3. I have been disappointed by people so many times. Maybe there is not one compatible person in the world who meets all the qualifications I need.
  4. Maybe I think I am better than who I think I am.
  5. There is so much to do! I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and afraid I will burn out, even though I right now have a ton of positive energy.

What is the belief that powers each fear? Where does it come from? When was it formed?

  1. Ideal community building partners are impossible to find. Comes from experience! Formed over the past 42 years of seeking!
  2. I will run out of money because for most of my life I have been broke. Formed at a young age when my parents were always saying they didn’t have enough money for certain things. They were not entrepreneurs and thus they needed to be on a budget.
  3. People are not trustworthy. Comes from hundreds of people letting me down in various ways–basically not willing to resolve conflicts and face their shadows. I have also let people down in the past. Maybe I deserve this because it is my karma.
  4. When I was in an intensive 5-day personal growth seminar when I was 28, we were asked to share our most vulnerable secret. I said that I felt as if I was better than other people, and I wished that I could be a guru of sorts. The facilitator, who I trusted, asked the group, “Who thinks she is better than you? Would you want to follow her?” Everyone proceeded to put me down. This was devastating. (I have done healing work around this, but I see maybe I need some more!)
  5. I will not take adequate care of myself. In the past, I have poured myself into projects and then didn’t take care of myself, and then when the project didn’t pan out, I was devastated. In fact, I am remembering a specific time right now, and I see I need to do some major healing work around that because it was related to finding people to buy property with a deadline.

Now, transmute these limiting beliefs into new, empowering beliefs:

  1. Because I now have a clear vision, resources, and a spiritual path that really nourishes me, I am ready to draw the perfect compatible co-founder for Vegan Utopia Ecovillage.
  2. I have more resources and support than I ever have had before, and ability to live very simply, so I have a really good chance of manifesting abundance for the project
  3. I forgive myself for past mistakes, and I believe that our Creator forgives us when we sincerely regret our mistakes and are heading on a new path.
  4. I am finding an increasing number of trustworthy people, especially in the vegan movement. I am capable of creating a good screening process and have the ability to discern whether or not someone is trustworthy.
  5. I am continuing to cultivate the attitude that we are all equally valuable, and as a servant leader I am equal to all with whom I work, and I bring out the best in them as they bring out the best in me.
  6. I have built up some really good habits of self-care, and I know I can continue with those habits since now I have an accountability partner.

Now, transmute these limiting beliefs into new, empowering beliefs:

I excite myself by imagining: 

  1. The perfect compatible person is even now being drawn effortless through miraculous ways to live here and co-found the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage with me.
  2. Abundance is coming at me from all sides because I am both being frugal, living in alignment with my values, and doing fun work to clear my blocks to prosperity.
  3. I am doing those things which help me to completely forgive myself for past mistakes and thus I feel more energized and open to receive.
  4. I have created a wonderful screening process that minimizes anyone getting far along the path who are not trustworthy, and I am meeting many wonderful people through reaching out for a co-founder.
  5. I am joyful about the way I relate to everyone as equals–no one is better, no one less than–but I just see the best in everyone! Everyone’s contributions are valuable.
  6. I am eating totally raw, exercising in fun ways that keep me fit, and having fun doing all kinds of things so I can have optimal health.



Excellent News Sources for Veganism

I compiled these news sources based on my own research and on suggestions from people on Soul In Wonder: Vegan Warrior Facebook group.

I love this Facebook group which is run by vegan holistic coaches Sara Oakley and Christopher August. I recommend that you join it!

Please share your favorite YouTubers and vegan news sources in the comments.

Thanks to Lori Weiss for starting this thread:

Vegan Food and Living Magazine/PlantPure Nation

Dr. Michael Gregor

Earthling Ed

James Aspey

High Carb Hannah

Ellen Fisher

Colleen Patrick Goudreau

Bite Sized Vegan

Mic the Vegan:

Plant Based News:

Latest Vegan News

One Green Planet

All Creatures


Celebrating My Friendship With Kim Broniman

I want to introduce you to my friend Kim Broniman because I just want to celebrate our relationship because, in many ways, she is helping me get this Vegan Ecovillage started.

She is helping me by just being a good friend and accountability partner in helping me with my spiritual, emotional and physical health.

She is also supporting me in so many ways to be the servant leader and team member I need to be. Her friendship has come at an important time in my life, and I value her contribution to me so much. 

First, here is how we met.

In some ways, the past 9 months feels like the most difficult and intense time of my entire life.

Believe me, I have had some intense times! I have suffered immensely mainly when I felt alone and could not find one friend that I could really trust.

I wanted to run away from all of my dreams just a month ago. I was in so much pain. The pain I felt from rejection and betrayal from people who I thought were supportive of me felt so overwhelming. I had similar feelings during childbirth at the point of transition when many women feel a sensation like they just want to leave their bodies because the pain is so unbearable.

I was persuading myself that this action of running away would alleviate my pain.

I am grateful to Robert and a dear friend who helped me see how running away would not help. They kept me from the immediate action I wanted to take. Cliff, my other former husband supported me in important ways during this last bout of challenges.

Yet I need to give most of the credit for me moving through this tough time of my life to Kim.  I have been able to heal those parts of me that wanted to run away.

I was helping Doreen Virtue, a famous new age teacher turned Christian. She wanted me to help her moderate a Facebook group for new agers who were drawn to Jesus.

I am glad now that I poured my energy into doing my best to nurture the seekers in that group. I felt honored and grateful to be recommended by Doreen as being a person who could be trusted to be a kind of spiritual director to these people. They had so many questions about how to connect with Jesus. Most did not want to give up all of the new age teachings because they saw a lot of good in them.

The group ended abruptly when Doreen decided to shut it down because of reasons that were unclear. I saw the desperate need of these spiritual seekers.  So many had expressed with great emotion how grateful they were to have a safe space where they could explore what they really believed about Jesus without being judged.

I felt compelled to start a new group to meet the needs of these seekers.

Kim really wanted to help steer the new group and eventually, I trusted her enough to take her on as an equal partner. Getting to this point was not easy. I am forever grateful to Elizabeth Ristow, another member of our group for helping facilitate a very intense conflict that Kim and I went through.

I am overjoyed that Kim was willing, even though it was painful, to go through a process of healing with me by continuing to communicate her feelings, observations, needs, wants, and evaluations.

I felt hurt at times during these times where we were in conflict. Yet we had an unspoken commitment to each other be honest with each other and to keep talking about things until we cleared them up. Our mutual respect was building slowly but surely.

I saw how she was helping me look at my shadow. Not many people have the courage and persistence to help me do that. I can be rather resistant if I am not feeling safe with someone. Creating a safe space is definitely one of Kim’s strengths.

Kim has a rare quality of gently helping me to look at what was really going on inside of me for two reasons. One, because I believed that she would still love me even if I did admit my fault, and two, because she didn’t act like she knew for sure what was going on.

When I started doing spiritual practices regularly on Facebook live, about 6 months ago, Kim regularly joined me at the 9pm evening reflection time. Every single evening she would show up to this session, and we would do things like pray, reflect on our day, meditate on scripture (Lectio Devina) and do healing work with Jesus (Immanuel Prayer).

I got to know Kim and feel her gentle, loving support. Her steadiness in showing up every single time inspired me to be consistent as well.

Reflecting on that time, I see now that I was going slow. I had been hurt by a lot of friends. In the past, I would dive in head first into friendships partly because I was so hungry to have a good friend whom I could count on. Usually, I got hurt very badly because of rejection or betrayal.

I do have a growing number of friends who I can trust and with whom I am growing with. My relationships with them, in some ways, have been strengthened because of how I am growing and learning with Kim. I now have a new confidence about my ability to be a friend.

We have some tools that we use to keep our friendship close and free of conflict.

For example, every evening when we meet, we start with a prayer, appreciation and incompletions. These three things really help us to make sure that we are nurturing our relationship with positive things, and then clearing away even the smallest things that could lead to tension.

Something I value about us is that even though Kim didn’t fit a description I had in my head of that friend who I was looking for would be, we demonstrated true acceptance.

Her lifestyle was so different in many ways. Although she wanted to be a vegan, circumstances in her life made it too difficult for her to make that lifestyle choice. Other issues seemed like obstacles, but as time progressed, I saw that these things did not hurt our friendship.

For example, Kim is so much quieter than I am. “How could I be friends with someone who is so quiet,” I thought.  Even though we were doing all our spiritual work by writing, and even though I really appreciated and felt inspired our connection, the evaluating, logical part of me couldn’t see her as being that friend I had been searching for all my life.

I realize now that I have some prejudice against quiet people. In our society, flashy, charismatic, persuasive people (like me!) are valued. I’m not valued quite so much since I so often am going against the grain and challenging people with my flashiness!

As I saw Kim’s loyalty, and how much she valued our time together. I could see that we needed to explore going deeper. So I suggested that we talk on the phone once a week to be accountability partners, offer each other empathy and do other things that could help our spiritual growth and deepen our connection.

After we talked on the phone, we very quickly realized that we were enjoying the phone connection more than doing the spiritual practices online. Plus, we could now share more in a more vulnerable way because our interactions were not on live Facebook!

We thought our online time was special, but when we talked every single night at 9PM (now going on for about three months) the spiritual practice time became even more powerful. We developed a structure that really fit our needs for structure and spontaneity. You can see that structure here.

At first, we were rather spontaneous about how we proceeded. Sometimes, one of us really needed some listening time. Kim had by now learned how to listen to me empathically in ways that were really nurturing to me.

Then Kim was receptive to the idea that we could have a regular structure that would also give great flexibility depending on our needs. I love how we continually flow together. Yes, there have been times where we challenged each other about things. In the beginning, the challenges hurt each of us because we were still building trust, and still afraid the other would leave the relationship because we were being so honest.

And that is the main reason I love Kim–she has had the courage to be completely honest with me even though she thinks she might lose my friendship. I keep reassuring her that I am not going to withdraw or even get mad at her if she disagrees with me about something I am doing.

And she has such commitment to our relationship that if I am honest with her, she is willing to work through things until we both felt complete.

Here is a partial list of what I enjoy about her: She:

  • Has handled my intensity and my willingness to challenge her constructively.
  •  Prioritizes our relationship.
  • She is fiercely dedicated to really working things out.
  • There are so many qualities that come along with this commitment:
  • Has courage and a  willingness to take risks
  • Exhibits vulnerability and feels safe sharing things that I could potentially reject her for
  • Is an excellent listener with good comprehension and ability to empathize with reflective listening
  • Has deep compassion for me and others who I am upset with –so she doesn’t condemn other people or fuel my anger at them
  • Was willing to read my values and she is in alignment with them
  • Laughs easily and takes joy in little things
  • Works well with me in a team setting–doing the Freethinking Friends of Jesus group together
  • Loves to do all the spiritual practices with me
  • Delights in me and appreciates even my foibles
  • Brings out the best in other people including myself
  • Understands that we are living in a matrix. She thinks outside the box, and has critical creative thinking skills
  • Loves Jesus but doesn’t need to me to believe the same things she does about him
  • Willing to learn and grow every single day
  • Able to draw boundaries lovingly
  • Loves to sing and be playful
  • Is practical and down to earth
  • Loves celebration and socializing
  • is a fantastic listener using empathic listening skills really well
  • Asks important questions that help me to think through what I am doing

I feel really happy to know Kim. I think we have both grown immensely because of our connection.

Something that is really wonderful is that we pray very specifically for two things for each other every night. We write down the prayers and then the next evening we check to see if the prayers were answered. Our faith has increased so much as we see most of our prayers answered!

Most of our prayers are answered.  Or if the prayers aren’t answered, then we see the progress being made at inner levels of our being so that they can be answered. We keep praying more specifically for things as they come up.

I love sharing my day with her and hearing how her day went. We debrief in such a way that we can see how God is working in our lives while at the same time knowing more clearly how we can help each other.

Some might think it is crazy that we spend from 90 minutes to 2 hours ever evening doing our spiritual routine, yet time stands still and I am never bored. I love hearing Kim’s insights about the scripture we meditate on as well as sharing mine with her.

Kim is the friend I have been wanting all my life, and I cherish our friendship. She came to me at a time when I ended up letting go of a lot of friendships because I saw that those friendships did not support my values.

I really don’t know how I would have made it through my faith shift without Kim. I also went through a very intense time at the final church I tried to become a part of, and her support was invaluable.

We also have beautiful experiences doing the Immanuel Approach where we help facilitate a process where Jesus helps us to heal our childhood wounds.

Kim is one of the most appreciative and encouraging persons I have ever met.

I love our friendship! You might want to get to know her better at her blog:







Unschooling Is Really Lifelong Learning

People who join our community will just love this method of teaching children and maybe creating a school modeled after this idea. I love this quote and the solution is unschooling!

In his acceptance speech for the New York City Teacher of the Year award (1990), John Gatto said, “Schools were designed by Horace Mann … and others to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population.” In the interests of managing each generation of children, the public school curriculum has become a hopelessly flawed attempt to define education and to find a way of delivering that definition to vast numbers of children.


This Inner Child Healing With Jesus Has Benefitted Me Immensely

Even though I no longer consider Jesus my lord and savior, as my guide and friend he has been faithful to help me with deep healing in my life.

This description of the Immanuel Approach is very helpful if you want to know how I connect with Jesus on a deep level.

Not everyone who is part of our community will want to connect with Jesus like this but I think that if a person has a strong connection to a guide or guru, this method can work as well.

There are other great ways of re-parenting ourselves and healing our inner children. Here is another resource I like.

People who live here will take great joy in helping to heal their inner child as well as helping others to do the same.

Building Healthy Community Is A Process of Building Healthy Teams

As I am doing my work in the Getting Out of My Own Way with Soul In Wonder holistic coaches Sara Oakley and Christopher August, I am remembering important aspects of how to build a good working environment.

I think this article about strength-based team building is really applicable to building a healthy community.