FAQ’s + Requirements
A Warm, Big, Welcome Hug!
As with all classes and communities, this E-Course isn’t for everyone and that’s a great thing! For those who DO feel a deep stirring to be a part of this, please know that this E-Course isn’t designed for passive participants. You really won’t get your money’s worth or have a very satisfactory experience unless you can devote a minimum of an hour a day (4 days a week) into the readings, guided journal writing, group discussions, weekly video viewing and the weekly creative project. This is my promise to you: During our 6 weeks together you to show up with your time and your whole heart and I’ll make it as pleasant and easy to participate as humanly possible and I will hold your hand every step of the way. So, if you are ready to brave the deeps with us, these 6 weeks together have the potential to be truly transformative for your personhood!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) + Requirements
1. Are there any requirements to sign-up and participate in the course?
Yes, and they are very basic and purposeful:
a. Show up with an open heart (as much as is possible for you) and spend some time reflecting on the discussion questions and engaging with others through comments.
b. Willingly agree to be kind and non-judgemental with yourself and fellow classmates. There are clear and gentle guidelines in place to ensure a safe environment for us all. You can read the full statement here. Below are the Gentle Guidelines and Agreements for participating in our community:
Gentle Guidelines and Agreements
“One of the hardest things we must do sometimes is to be present to another person’s pain without trying to “fix” it, to simply stand respectfully at the edge of that person’s mystery and misery.” Let Your Life Speak, Palmer, p. 63
In order to keep this community one that people will feel emotionally safe participating in, let’s agree to the following basic principles:
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ 1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ~Ephesians 4:1-5 (NIV)
• Confidentiality is a requirement. Please do not repeat, share, talk about or post any person’s comments or photos in any public space including emails, your Facebook wall or any other space either online or in person. Please keep all discussions to this secret group; this protects us all. Thank you.
• We are here to share ourselves with honesty, transparency and authenticity. We acknowledge that this is a brave and vulnerable way of being. We will treat each other with kindness and have a non-judgmental heart for each other.
• We agree to speak to one another with humility and respect, having grace for one another and always giving each other the benefit of the doubt.
• Our main focus during our time together is to learn to listen to and discern God’s voice, as well as our own and we believe doing this inner work in community is a powerful act.
• The most powerful and loving thing we can do for each other is to listen well. Advice giving, counseling, rebuking are not necessary in this community and indeed, can be counterproductive. It is okay to let someone sit in their grief or confusion—we can trust that God is at work at all times.
• The second most powerful and loving thing we can do for each other is to speak our own truth by telling our own stories. Share from the heart. Be open. Be honest. Be real.
• We agree to let others have their feelings, opinions, struggles, questions and fears without having to defend or justify our own views.
• We agree to be generous and loving with our encouragement and words of empathy. Mirroring back to someone how they are feeling or what they are thinking is a loving way to validate someone else’s sharing or experience. i.e. “It sounds like you are saying you were very unhappy in that job situation.”, “You are being so brave!”, “I can imagine that must be very frustrating for you.”,“I can see you growing! Keep going, you’re doing a wonderful job!”, “Thank you for sharing so deeply from your heart.”
• Please use other venues for heated debates, political rants and other confrontational discussions. Feel free to have your own strong opinions and convictions about things and share them, while at the same time understanding that not everyone will share your viewpoint. Remember to honor the others here with respect. If you don’t think you can share your truth while at the same time being respectful, please share your feelings and thoughts with me privately and I will do my utmost to hear you out. I am quite unshockable.
• We acknowledge and honor the fact that everyone is at a different place in their relationship with God.
2. Can I register for the “Shine Bright E-Course” and just do the readings? I don’t think I have the time/desire to actively participate in the discussion or creative projects right now.
I would highly recommend that you wait until you feel ready to dive into the deeps in this safe community. As with everything else in life, the more you put in, the more you get out of it, and this is really true about the “Shine Bright E-Course” because more than just an online class, we are learning how to be a safe, giving community together. I realize this course might seem intimidating or scary, and sometimes coming face to face with our truth isn’t pleasant, but having been through this myself, I can promise you it is so worth the journey! And all of us—especially I—will hold your hand the entire step of the way.
2. Do I need to be an artist to participate?
Nope! The course is designed with artists in mind, but really, anyone can join! This course is really about re-connecting with our true selves, and that means everybody! There will be a weekly creative project, but these will be fully explained and very, very doable for any and all skill levels. See below for what kinds of supplies you’ll need; they are very basic! You can so DO this!
3. What kinds of supplies will I need to participate in the course?
You’ll need some very basic tools and supplies:
a. A computer w/internet to access the course.
b. A Facebook account to join the private group.
c. A digital camera to take photos of your work so that you can share your finished projects with the group. There is also an optional video project at the very end of the course, but this is optional and you can choose to do something else if this proves too advanced for you; I give you a couple of choices!
d. Glue, paper, old magazine, scissors, pen, (paint if you wish for the collage project), iMovie, Quicktime or some other video editing program if you wish to create a video for your last project; this is totally optional and again, you’ll have a chance to choose to do something else.
e. The free, downloadable .pdf guided journal that I will send out to each participant.
5. What if I change my mind after I register and pay? Can I get my money back?
If you register during the EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION period, I will gladly refund your full registration fee as long as you ask to be released from the class on or before July 1st. After July 1st there will be no refunds, so please be sure about the course before you register! After July 1st if you find you can’t participate in the course after all, I will gladly credit your registration so that you can participate at a later date.
5. What if I’m not a Christian? Am I still welcome to join?
You are absolutely welcomed to join! I haven’t always been a Christian. There was a long journey for me before I finally found and accepted that Jesus loved me and maybe you are on the start of your own journey towards God, or somewhere in the middle. That’s great! Or maybe you’re in a season where you are experiencing a crisis of faith. I’ve been there too. As long as you are comfortable that we worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior here and that we honor God and His word, and for that matter, as long as mild language like “holy crap”—doesn’t give you the full-on heebie jeebies, you’re good to go!
7. What if I have other questions?
Send me an email at: janavellana [at] yahoo [dot] com! I’m totally happy to answer any questions or address any fears you might have. :)