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Hope Leans Forward, Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace: An Open Conversation with Karen Erlichman and Valerie Brown

Date: March 30

Time: 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm PDT

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March 30 @ 5:00 pm 6:15 pm PDT


Join 175 others!
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As spiritual directors we are asked to stretch in the direction of goodness, kindness, forgiveness, patience, and vulnerability.  Yet life’s fragility, fear, and anxiety, and our own self-sabotage can derail us from growing and thriving, leaving us stuck, fractured, and constantly second-guessing ourselves.

These are hard times when we are being pulled apart and broken-open by the global pandemic, burnout, gun violence, political polarization, racial injustice, climate crisis, and more.  We can’t navigate this alone.  We need a supportive community and skillful practices to choose wisely and to restore calm in these high-stress, high-anxiety times. 

How can we gain greater self-awareness and bravery to break these patterns and create a more meaningful life and work and live deeply rooted in skillful hope?

In this open discussion between Karen Erlichman and Valerie Brown, you’ll rediscover ways of cultivating skillful hope based on Valerie’s latest book, Hope Leans Hope Leans Forward, Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022) which was written during the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, profound personal loss, and life-altering transitions. 

This lively discussion includes a unique exploration Buddhist mindfulness practices in the Plum Village tradition founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and Quaker soul-amplifying queries to cultivate skillful hope, that go to the heart of discerning your life purpose, creativity, meaning, and direction and supporting you to live your best self now.

What You’ll Learn from this Session:

  • How to cultivate skillful hope under the most challenging circumstances.
  • Effective practices to strengthen bravery even when you don’t feel brave.
  • Simple practices that awaken greater calm and peace within.
  • How to choose wisely when life feels complex and you’re uncertain.

Bonus Gift with Your Registration:

Receive a free beautifully-crafted Hope Leans Forward E-Journal and free 20-minute audio guided meditation with your registration.


Valerie Brown is an author, ordained Buddhist-Quaker Dharma teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition, facilitator, and executive coach specializing in leadership development and mindfulness with a focus on diversity, social equity, and inclusion. A former lawyer and lobbyist, Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year corporate career into serving leaders and nonprofits to create trustworthy, authentic, compassionate, and connected workspaces.

Her new book is Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022).

An accredited leadership coach, she is the Founder and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, supporting leaders to apply and integrate leadership and mindfulness for greater resilience, clarity, and creativity, and is a co-director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. 

Valerie leads an annual pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain to celebrate the power of sacred places and is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher, engaging leaders to embody somatic wisdom and creativity. Read more about her works here: www.valeriebrown.us.

Karen Lee Erlichman, D.Min, LCSW provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction, mentoring and supervision, and is a faculty member in the Kol Dodi Jewish Spiritual Direction Training Program at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She is the incoming co-chair of the Professional Advisory Group for the Spiritual Care Services Department at UCSF Medical Center. Karen is a trained facilitator of the Jewish Studio Process and a founding advisor for the Embodied Jewish Learning Network. Her writing has been published in numerous journals, blogs and anthologies, including Feminist Studies inReligion, Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Directionritualwell, and Tikkun. https://karenerlichman.com


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