DISCOVERIES: Jenny Douglas, “To Build a Brooklyn Cottage: Journey of Discovery in Six Parts” (4/6)

Jenny Douglas-01That the The Brooklyn Cottage exists is itself a mini-marvel of the 21st century. This salon series is the brainchild of the eternally curious, questioning, meditator, aesthete and bon vivant Jenny Douglas. Founded in the aftermath of her divorce, this “urban farmer of the heart” has husbanded something quite extraordinary into being—proving that yes, idealism alone is a sufficient fertilizer! She hosts her meetings-of-the-minds in her Brooklyn townhouse’s bona fide parlor with its bona fide hearth, which she uses in the way that these gracious spaces were intended: to provide a welcoming setting for people to mutually engage, entertain, educate and delight. This has proven to be the perfect backdrop for the parade of types of all stripes she has invited to share their discoveries—and spark discoveries in others (including yours truly). Like the Shinto Torii gates of Japan (the country of her childhood), Jenny’s evenings are portals from the mundane to that simple, sublime sacredness that occurs when great people of goodwill convene under one roof—offline!
~Victoria C. Rowan, Ideasmyth Creatrix-in-Chief


I thought back to the “instructions” Malidoma Patrice Some had given me during our illuminating session together back in the fall of 2011. His idea that I should create “a new sense of home and power and belonging,” was one I’d taken to heart, and felt was well underway with the creation of The Brooklyn Cottage.

“From there,” Malidoma had added, “you’ll be given the opportunity to contemplate how to help others view their circumstances–not from a reckless, tragic perspective but from an initiatory one.”

Hmmm! I’d learned a lot about grief, surrender and rebirth from my experience of divorce, and realized I had something to share. So I sat down and put together the outlines of a workshop–a thing I wished had been available to me when I was walking through the worst of my own fire–and in September of 2013 offered it as a Brooklyn Cottage event.

The event page from Jenny's first divorce workshop

The event page from Jenny’s first divorce workshop

Two years later, I lead versions of this original workshop for both the Academi of Life and UnTied, and in a few weeks will be driving up to Westchester to facilitate one there. The workshops sell out quickly. Something important is happening there.

jenny_2~~~In the spring of 2012, serendipity prompted Jenny Douglas to integrate her experiences as a TV/radio news producer, her degrees from Sarah Lawrence and Columbia Journalism School, and her globetrotting childhood into her new calling: an urban farmer of the heart. The result was The Brooklyn Cottage.

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