Preparing to Awaken: March 2019

Preparing to Awaken: Last offering  – 4 Sundays in March 2019


“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”  Pema Chödrön

Preparing to Awaken is a training course specifically designed for women. It exposes our tragic misunderstandings about control — namely, what is (or is not) under our control. It’s a pith teaching…. nothing more than a short list, really.  Nonetheless, our confusion about this matter is the root cause of personal disempowerment. As you begin to see through the veils of misunderstanding, you will become acquainted with the bittersweet grief of reclaiming one’s power. It’s helpful to have a supportive holding space for this process. Empathizing. Nurturing. Mirroring. Celebrating.

Each daylong gathering will cover the following:

  • Day 1 clarifies what is actually within our control. This refinement in understanding is essential to maintaining serenity.
  • Day 2 unmasks our subconscious fear-based behaviors. This revelation of our patterns opens the possibility for choice.
  • Day 3 offers an alternative to our misguided attempts at control. This exploration of fearlessness provides the foundation for grace.
  • Day 4 honors wrapping up, visioning, and celebrating! This integration helps our new understandings take root in everyday life.

The March 2019 course is the last time that the course will be offered live and in-person (because this course is the gateway to advanced circles and the advanced circles are reaching capacity).

What next?  The long-term vision is an inspired community of women supporting one another’s self-discovery and transformation through an ongoing, advanced-level Cultivating Wisdom Circle. In the even-longer-term, your circle might choose to close itself to new applicants and become something like Returning to Essence.

Continuing education? Psychologists, MFT’s, LCSW’s, and RN’s earn 20 APA-approved CE credits.  There is a $60 administrative fee.  Note that partial CE credit cannot be given for partial attendance.  See the policies section below (above the registration link).

Who should attend?  The teachings are subjective and experiential in nature. They are appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to themselves, as well as to their clients/patients. This workshop uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as its foundation. Click here to see Kelly’s specialty training, including two years of full-time supervised ACT training.

What if I miss a Sunday?  Please enroll in this course only if you can attend all four Sundays. If you miss a Sunday (e.g., due to illness) then please listen to its audio recording prior to the next session. (The material builds upon itself quickly.)

What is the foundation of this course? This course provides the pure delivery of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) within a feminine context. It interweaves traditional ACT philosophy, metaphor and experiential exercises with inquiry, deep listening, and women’s circle. This heartfelt approach provides a strong holding space for our discoveries — which is particularly helpful because seeing through a lifetime of misunderstanding and personal disempowerment can be a bittersweet process.  And it is the price-of-entry for one’s sovereignty.

Here’s graduates of this course have to say about it…

“I have told friends that this workshop has allowed me to take a deeper dive into the process of awakening to myself. Expect to will learn tools and new perspectives for viewing your thoughts, emotions, and experience. You’ll likely gain an increased level of self-awareness. The whole process will kick your ass in a good way if you’re willing. To get the most out of it, be willing to feel uncomfortable in your daily life for a while. (…Or forever?) “

“As a participant in this course, I connected with myself on a whole new level. It was so powerful to share so openly and and to develop a much deeper understanding of what disrupts and promotes peace and balance in my life. I loved every minute of this class.”

“I had to experience some ‘raw stuff’ — things that I didn’t want to feel. I had to learn to sit with “discomfort” for a bit, however, I felt incredibly supported and guided by Kelly as well as the other participants. I’ve learned that I can pretty much tolerate anything and that I will be okay.  I gained genuine connection with others and a long standing ability to tap into the skills I learned during those 4 weeks. I truly feel I am much more in touch with myself.  In other words…’the only way out is through’.”

“Kelly’s women’s circles made me feel like part of something special where I could explore my growth in a safe, nurturing environment with amazing women.  It was a super empowering and loving experience.”



Sundays in March 2019
10a – 4p (Mar 3, 10, 17, 24)

Pastime Farm, Sunol, CA
Address provided upon registration

20 APA CE credits ($60 fee)



9:45 am Arrivals & coffee service
10 am Workshop
12 pm  Lunch*
1 pm  Workshop
4 pm Departures

*coffee service & vegetarian lunch


Limited to 10 women

Total fee: $1200

Deposit: $300 at enrollment*

Payment plans & work scholarships available

*See course cancellation policy


Continuing Education for this Workshop

Learning Objectives – By the end of the workshop series, you will be able to:

  1. Define acceptance and commitment in your words
  2. Recreate two columns – listing what is (or is not) under one’s 
  3. Explain: “If you’re not willing to have it, then change it.”
  4. Explain: “If you’re not willing to have it, then you’ve got it.”
  5. Describe when “control is the solution”
  6. Describe when “control is the problem”
  7. Exemplify our inability to control emotions (e.g., fall in love)
  8. Exemplify our inability to control thoughts (e.g., jelly donuts)
  9. Answer, “If control is the problem, then why haven’t we let go of it?”
  10. Recreate a 5-column table listing: problem, solution, short-term effectiveness, long-term effectiveness, side effects. Give examples.
  11. Assess workability using the column above (see item 10).
  12. Describe two scales: control and willingness 

  13. Explain: “If control is a problem, then willingness is a choice.”
  14. Explain what is meant by the phrase: “Programming works by addition not subtraction” (e.g., trash can with stuff in it)
  15. Describe programming randomness (e.g., what are the numbers?)
  16. Use the image of two computers to illustrate “Can I find a distinction between me and the mental machinery?”
  17. Explain what is meant by: “What do I choose to believe… what my mind says or what my experience shows me?”
  18. Describe the difference between clean (i.e. primary) and dirty (i.e. secondary) discomfort. 
Give examples.
  19. Answer: “why is shoveling considered dirty discomfort?”
  20. Explain: “dirty discomfort is high when willingness is low”
  21. Describe the essence of the chessboard metaphor.
  22. Describe the essence of the passengers on the bus

Please Read Our Policies Before Signing Up

 CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Nelly Cotto at For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at
Work scholarships are available offering a 25% to 50% discount. They are awarded based upon financial need and application timing. If you’re interested in being a work scholar, contact Nelly (
In the event that you cancel your daylong workshop registration for any reason, the following policies apply:  (1) If you cancel at least 30 days before a daylong workshop, then 75% of your payment will be refunded. (2) If you cancel at least 14 days before a daylong workshop, then 50% of your payment will be refunded. (3) If you cancel within 13 days of the daylong workshop, there is no refund. No refunds will be given for failure to attend or failure to complete the workshop. Cancellations must be made by contacting Nelly at 650-492-3702.
In the event that you cancel your course registration for any reason, the following policies apply: If you cancel 30 or more days prior to the course start-date, then 75% of your payment will be refunded. If you cancel less than 30 days prior to the course start-date, then 75% of your payment will be refunded only if someone from the wait list fills your spot. No refunds will be given for failure to attend or failure to complete the course series. Cancellations must be made by contacting Nelly at 650-492-3702.
In the event that your image is captured during any of the women’s events, it may be used by Kelly Minor on promotional materials and/or her website. By registering for this event, you are giving permission for those images captured through video, phone photo, and digital camera to be used at Kelly’s sole discretion on promotional materials and publications and waive the rights of compensation or ownership thereto. That said, if you are uncomfortable with a photograph of yourself being posted, please contact Nelly at 650-492-3702.

To register for this event:

Please confirm that you can attend all dates (March 3, 10, 17, 24).

And click here to register.