Event Details

Event Date

Event Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Event Time

Event Time: 7:30 PM - to 9:00 PM

All events are Eastern Time

Event Description

Daily 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.

How can we gain greater self-awareness and bravery to break these patterns?

Based on Valerie’s latest book, Hope Leans Hope Leans Forward, Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022) and written during the urgency of BLM, profound personal loss, and life-altering transitions, in this highly interactive session, we’ll explore using the Buddhist teachings on the Seven Factors of Awakening and the wisdom of Quaker faith and practice to:

  • Choose bravely when conditions are uncertain and ambiguous.
  • Reflect on what matters most with soul-amplifying questions.
  • Align your values with your work for a greater sense of purpose and meaning.

These are hard times when we are being pulled apart and broken-open by the global pandemic, burnout, gun violence, racial injustice, climate crisis, and more.  We can’t navigate this alone.  We need support and skillful tools to choose wisely and practices to restore calm in these high-stress, high-anxiety times.  This book is loaded with skill-building, evidence-based mindfulness practice, and soul-amplifying questions grounded in Quaker faith and practice that go to the heart of discerning your life purpose, meaning, and direction and supporting you to live your best self now.



This 90 minute session is based on Hope Leans Forward, Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace and the e-Journal Companion to the book.  There is no expectation that participants will have read the book fully, but it would be helpful to bring the e-journal to the session.

Purchase Hope Leans Forward from QuakerBooks of FGC and we’ll email you the link for downloading the e-journal as well as a 20 minute free audio guided meditation from author Valerie Brown.



  • Opening & Welcome
  • Overview & Context Setting
  • Setting Your Intention & Breakout Rooms in Dyads
  • Large Group Discussion
  • Context & Content
  • Breakout Rooms in Triads & Large Group Share Out
  • Closing

20% Content & Context

80% Reflection/Large & Small Group Discussion & Breakout Rooms/Mindfulness Practice & Quaker Queries


This book discussion will be facilitated by the author, Valerie Brown, JD, MA, PCC

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 practices with a focus on diversity, social equity, and inclusion. A former lawyer and lobbyist, Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career into serving leaders and nonprofits to create trustworthy, authentic, compassionate, and connected workspaces.

Her forthcoming 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 place and is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher, engaging leaders to embody somatic wisdom and creativity.

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