One Trekkie’s Bold Goings at STLV 2018

(By Louis Brantmeyer)

I’m at the microphone to ask a question at his panel, and William Shatner, a surrogate father figure I’ve looked up to for almost three decades, seems to be roasting me in front of 2,500 fellow Trekkies for his planting the seed in me at a young age that sprouted into my whole life’s purpose and career…


I Tussle with William Shatner (Video here)


I’m at the microphone again, and when I open my heart to have her get how impactful Discovery just being on the air has been for my friends and family, Sonequa Martin-Green breaks down into tears…


I address a partial Discovery cast on Sunday afternoon (Video here)


I’m somewhere between terror and thrill as I walk down the winding corridors of Convention Way to approach the giant Discovery Mirror Universe Insignia that inaugurates the designated Star Trek Convention space at the Rio, where I am stunned with surprise to find my first glimpse of and my first hug from my biological father in more than a quarter century…


Louis Brantmeyer, the author (right), with his father Lou Brantmeyer (on the left).


Finally, I’m standing in the midst of an empty, pristinely cleaned suite at the Rio ready to leave for the airport. I turn my mind to address the entire Star Trek fanbase (physically absent but energetically, as present for me as Q or the Traveler might be to Picard), and as tears crawl out of my eyes – paraphrasing Sisko from “Trials and Tribble-ations” (DS9) and soliloquizing as he does in “In The Pale Moonlight” – I whisper while my voice cracks, “It’s been an honor to serve.”


My Hotel Room at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.


It was, in short, an epic week.

These are the voyages of my experience attending the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino from August 1-5, 2018, and how a profound gear shifted in my apprehension of what Trek is. This is the first time I’ve approached it with my heart completely open, and what I saw in this seemingly familiar franchise was something more profound than I’d ever seen before. During these five days, the shows and movies, the books and memorabilia, the fans and costumes…all coalesced into a distinct vision of what Star Trek really is and can be.

This wasn’t my first convention as a fan. I’d attended a Comic Con in 2014, a sci-fi convention in Jackson, Mississippi about 12 years ago, and finally another in New Orleans, Louisiana at least a decade before that. My very first memory of anything in this life was of watching the opening sequence to The Next Generation on a TV from the bottom of a playpen. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan of Star Trek; it’s always been one of my favorite things.

But I’ve never seen it standing here, from within the raw visceral experience of encountering the delight, compassion, connection, and familial love of so many of the actors, writers, vendors, and fans involved in the community like this.

Of all the stories I could tell…about how epic it was to go tete-a-tete with William Shatner on stage, how satisfying it was to engage with the intellectual depths of Kate Mulgrew in our Q & A session, how refreshing it was to learn of the great care and conscientiousness with which the current Discovery cast sensitively holds the profound responsibility for helming and heading up the franchise, or how profound it was to have this be the place in which to bond with and rediscover my father for the first time in 27 years…one story stands out above them all. One story will never leave me.

It’s late in the afternoon and I’m taking the elevator up to my room. I and a fellow fan (dressed in the 2nd season TNG black-and-gold uniform) are in one of the Masquerade Tower elevators with another fan who is wheelchair-bound and accompanied by his caretaker. The elevator has arrived at the wheelchair-bound fan’s floor, but the chair – one of those Stephen-Hawking-style mechanized devices – isn’t working properly and is stuck between open elevator doors. Its battery keeps dying and the caretaker becomes increasingly flustered, apologizing to myself and the TNG fan in costume.

And something so subtle and nuanced within us that most might miss it happened. Namely, nothing. He and I glanced at each other as the elevator started to make a noise from the door being held open for too long, and there was no resistance, no upset, no frustration for either of us. Just silent generosity and compassion, and a willingness to wait and help.

Soon, the mother came on the scene and fixed the chair and he was gone. After the doors had closed, I turned to my TNG friend and said, “What would Jean-Luc Picard do, ey?” It wasn’t until I’d arrived back at my room sharing on a Facebook livestream what I’d just experienced, pointing to my Voyager-era combadge, that I wept, realizing that Star Trek is this world where I am here with you, to respect and understand and bring compassion to you, no matter who you are or how you are or what kind of beliefs you have. That isn’t how the whole world is, yet. But it is what the world could be, so long as we stand for that, so long as we act on that, so long as we stand IN the vision Star Trek offers.

As Sisko’s famous monologue went in “Far Beyond The Stars” (DS9), shown on Sunday afternoon: “That future…all those people…they exist…in here, in my mind…you cannot destroy an idea!…it is REAL!” And this idea of Star Trek not only exists, not only pervades the lives of these so many people, but it also motivates us to act in our lives NOW in ways that make a real difference in how we treat other people.

It’s important that someone stand as far apart from the financial and other business considerations that make up Star Trek to consider what it is and can be, at its absolute best, in the service of humanity.

And here is my conclusion: Star Trek is more than a franchise of films and shows, more than conventions, and more than a fandom. Star Trek is a conversation for the possibility of a world that works for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. Star Trek is a vehicle for cultural, scientific, technological, and philosophical transformation, and the Star Trek community is (or can be, so long as we keep our attention on this facet) an actual lived incarnation of the utopian ideals expressed in the 52-year-old science-fiction franchise.

As I personally saw, and lived, in those moments of holding open the door and appreciating.

As I stand and look back at all that happened to me, at all that unveiled itself in this experience, I can only quote Q from the end of “All Good Things” (TNG): “For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.”

May you ever do the same.


Sunset on the last day of the convention, from the 20th floor of the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Louis Brantmeyer is a dating and relationship coach at, creator of Empowering Austin Now, and a cofounder of the Star Trek podcast Clever Orbits.

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I feel like Kierkegaard near the beginning of Either/Or: a playlist can be a perfumed bouquet…and one can interweave as much or as little intricacy as one wants into the artwork of encountering.

A house of cards? Not with my vibration of certainty. Or Foucault’s eye for and delight in detail – sometimes it’s like that: “one which exists only for oneself, just for that shortest little moment of life” – her elegance and slight infiltration of consciousness draws so much from me.

It’s fun to build castles in the sky…

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The Pipeline – Marketing and Spiritual Growth (reading time: 5-6 minutes)

As my mentor Arttemis Keszainn has often said, entrepreneurship is the single quickest path to healing what’s missing in yourself and moving towards enlightenment and spiritual growth…

I went to bed with frustration and disappointment, a flavor that was transmitting under the surface for a long while without my realizing it and only suddenly put on display by events triggered during the day. It was like an open wound that I wasn’t able to dress properly, still bleeding out…feeling tightness and heat in the top right of my back…and then seeing it manifest in a triptych of dreams, each mirroring that same feeling tone in different ways: a resigned police chief sadly signing my death warrant ahead of time, me witnessing the death of Geordi La Forge and the conquering of the Federation by the Borg to a similar chagrin, and finally, the most revelatory of them all…

I’ve been working on building and filling my marketing Pipeline. Actually consistently taking the actions to make this so has been the most transformative and difficult work of building my coaching business since 2016 when it started, but the most rewarding and the most objectively important. It’s really been my year of learning marketing in a serious way, so far.

The Pipeline goes two ways: it’s *God’s action through me* as much as my reaching out into the world to make more of an impact. Another mentor had wisely observed last year that sales is sacred, but I don’t think I’ve fully understood the truth of it until now. My willingness as a vehicle of grace for others is dependent on my ability to stretch myself and put myself at stake in the world for their sake (and mine – there HAS to be a mutual energetic investment of equal magnitude for a coach and client to really produce results together, and part of the past day was seeing that my respect for what’s possible means I HAVE to hold healthy boundaries around who and how I offer the gift of that coaching and information to). In this way, your gifts become refined through the process of sales and marketing as much as you yourself do. The need to powerfully express those gifts in the world so people choose to take dramatic action on possibilities you highlight in their lives…and to hold a sacred container for them in which to do so (the coaching relationship itself, expressed as profound energetic exchange, usually financial) are equally necessary.

So in the dream, my Pipeline was sturdy but incomplete, and there were two women seated at a table nearby, curious and interested. I was encasing the Pipeline in pretty wrapping paper…but it was incomplete…it wasn’t sealed around the Pipeline properly. But still they were excited to connect with me around it. Which tracks with the traction I’ve gained in the past two weeks.

However, water wasn’t yet flowing easily and effortlessly through it. Like one of those situations where you’re using a hand pump to move water to the surface of a well and if you stop, all the work you did to bring it up goes to naught…so I see that too! Don’t stop.

This is when the feeling tone from above became clear and showed up in other dreams I’ve already mentioned.

How wild that I’ve literally been shown exactly what I needed to see: that my presentation needs work in order to express the full value of what’s available through me, and to not rush that…and also to be with, allow, and heal the feelings that showed up as a hastiness to push a whole product line to market before it was ready…indeed, everything besides my basic coaching, which itself I’ve given the refinements in precise presentation suggested by the dream, now done after hours of journaling and distinguishing.

“Cleaning up your side of the street” (as it were) – or your side of the Pipeline – is the same uncomfortable challenge proffered by Landmark Worldwide when they are motivating their participants to invite new guests: to clean up ENOUGH their own space and energy, to get into OTHER people’s worlds and really SERVE THEM from what they ACTUALLY need, be it within them taking the course itself OR whatever else. Get OUT OF THE WAY enough for God to flow through you in service of others…and go market powerfully!

Finally, seldom has so precisely and singularly a set of song lyrics sung so perfectly as an expression of the revolution I’ve been experiencing in consciousness as this – and wonder of wonders, this song itself was also served up by my subconscious the moment I awoke.

God really does speak in a still small voice with subtlety in dreams and songs. How magical!

Now, back to that work of cleaning up my side of the street…

healing a subtle wound

I’m up late again. It’s easier to think when the world quiets down and the conventional urges for sleep draw most into the machine of cultural routine.

It’s easier to sprout wings and fly amidst the stars, so late – to embrace my birthright of exploration and discovery through reasoning, learning, and creativity. Things the accumulated weights of habit, routine, and community wouldn’t necessarily lead me back to.

A very old wound is finally beginning to heal – a stifled mind. I came to Austin years ago to train in transformation in Landmark Worldwide’s Introduction Leaders Program, and I was told by those training me that my intellect and my reason were only “resistance” and “identity” and “strong suit”. I surrendered my mind in order to produce results…and was heartbroken when the results never materialized. All I had to show for it was a newfound willingness to abdicate the sharpened sword of thinking-for-myself I had spent so many years cultivating…I no longer trusted myself.

To some extent, they saw something valuable that it took years for me to also see and to fully embrace: THAT I have feelings and they matter, THAT I have a body and it matters, and THAT respecting both through touching-and-staying yields joy as much as power. To another, one that I’m only reintegrating now, the most beautiful gift I’d spend ten years building – my intellect – was shoved, held underwater, and seemingly drowned. I kept drowning myself (all doubts, all curiosities, all excitements) that the simplicity of a single often-terribly-articulated audio course (however many truths might definitely be there, despite a profoundly poor understanding of science from an unqualified articulation)…and then the certainty and faith (built justly from actual spiritual experiences that merit such a degree of faith, in his world and for him alone) of one of my mentors…was enough to continue all this, to wrap my mind in the straight-jacket of whatever I was told…from a messy imprecise hodge-podge buffet of New Age beliefs.

No more. Teaching Philosophy again has been like Jacob wrestling with God in the desert and receiving a new name in return. That name, so far, is the act of distinction and the power to be found there. That name, so far, is actually listening to what people are saying and asking if it makes any damned sense before wholesale accepting it. That name, so far, is a mixture of willingness to try things on…and also to completely let go of beliefs that don’t have proof.

It’s right and just and healthy and good that I be critical and considerate, thoughtful and prudent, rigorous and precise. That I question any claim to “intuition” or “divine guidance,” especially when it isn’t also engaging in a rational dialogue around systems of economic, racial, and sexist injustice and unconsciousness…where there’s not enough leverage to have them confront the truly intricate complexity of the world.

I’m doing the work to reconcile Faith and Reason within me, teachability versus holding my own counsel, surrender versus self-assertion. Both are necessary, but in what order? How?

If philosophy weren’t the call of my heart, why would it feel so very good now to ask these very questions and seek the answers?

All the more so, I’m cause in the matter of how I surrendered, uncritically and casually, to ILP. The scar left there was as much from my own choice to lose faith in myself as from the social pressures of the group and practices I’d taken on. Just as I’m now cause in the matter of chasing and learning the balance between faith and reason.


In the same way,  it’s right and just and healthy and good, the craving for intimacy that I feel. To share and connect and touch and nourish another with words and presence and heart who is willing to meet me there…Stealing Heaven was so tragic and beautiful. I spend so much time with my masculine that the feminine has grown even hungrier. Abelard was similar.

Masculine and feminine, healing together at once within me. I can only be infinitely grateful.

Recipe for Bliss # 490: Heal all your wounds, no matter how subtle. 

entertaining possibility

I’m teaching Philosophy again. The level of creativity, integration, and reverence with which I find myself conducting the activity of creating the curriculum is something I’ve never expressed before. There’s a commitment to doing it fully, doing it as well as possible…that matches the best of my workshops in EAN, at the very least.

And for the first time in a few years, I’ve allowed myself to start thinking for myself fully again. Truly, this world isn’t necessarily what I think it is. I’m not necessarily who I’ve thought myself to be.

I might be wrong. I might be wrong about everything. And it isn’t that “doubt is fear disguised,” to be tapped through or dismissed. Doubt is this key that opens a door into a realm of discovery and creation as much as learning and growth. It’s exhilarating. It’s refreshing. It’s enlivening.

Doubt is Crowley’s hunchback, ?, ready to pull the rug out from under me so that I can see the beauty and mystery of the floor beneath, the crook of the shepherd drawing me back into resonance with a wandering path through the enigmatic universe in all the glory of its novelty as an unknown.

To be an effective salesman, a business owner, a marketer, a coach…it seems you have to have a certain amount of certainty…and possibly even inerrant dogmatism. And it’s tiresome to have even some of The Answers.* It’s so nice to rest, like Apollo in the sea of stars, in an endless pool of possibility…

“O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!” (CCXX 1:27)

Recipe for Bliss # 3: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” So examine it


*(Yes, it’s important to be Crowley’s Soldier as well, standing for meaning and purpose and accomplishment and freedom and creation in a world that can seem hostile and challenging…but there needs to be a balance between faith and reason, between certainty and doubt, between grasp of Truth and willingness to learn).

“You’re making love to my purpose.”

I met someone.

Well, I’ve known her for years, but I met her again for the first time in a long while. She showed up differently, and so did I, as we walked around her neighborhood in quick laps. She was vibrantly giddy to be around me and while I was exhausted, I was definitely being energized by her presence.

She noted that the increased attraction was about all the work I had done, and that I was doing The Work.

I asked her at one point what she was into in relationships, and she said quite clearly: “That he be fucking my purpose, not me. That he aligns and is excited about what I’m up to in the world more than into me.”

This was new to hear and interesting.

What we share in terms of purpose is the general orientations of commitment to develop ourselves, to be with and heal and transform what’s there, and to turn the spotlight of our well-honed attentions and energies upon other people as clients, and to transform this world for the better.

It echoed through my dancing self-care this morning.

I was watching “Change of Heart” (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and I saw it again. Two people on their missions together, helping each other to survive and thrive in a chaotic world.

Long gone are the cryptic days of Casanova. It’s clear that merging of energies must be aligned.

Love must be of the Highest Possibility for both and all, both in and through the Other…or nothing at all. 

the magic of a burning desire

I have more hope, freedom, security, excitement, novelty, beauty, room for creativity, and alignment in my life than I’ve ever had before.

It started with feng shui and the willingness to follow out my hunger to create workshop series. as well as a lot of honesty around what I was really feeling at my day job. I stopped trying to hide my disgust and lack of motivation.

It continued with my hope and faith in continuing to make EAN II work despite circumstances.

It pulled me through one of the most challenging periods of my life so far. The loss of  clients, a corporate job, and every shred of self-doubt that lingered in my field.

It wakes me up in the middle of the night with delighted hunger to iron out some small logistical wrinkle from the seamless garment of Empowering Austin Now’s oncoming future….AND…

Literally…effortlessly and in flow, within the time between the beginning of my writing this post and the end, another creative and financial opportunity delightful and exciting and aligned just dropped into my lap.

The music never stops.

Building EAN is my burning desire.

What’s yours?

Find it.

If you want help, book a Create Your Beloved Now* session with me –

*it’s not just about creating your Beloved now…it’s about creating a Now that is ITSELF your Beloved, and where you love yourself Fully In that Now ❤


Landscapes of epic success

Those at EAN I will recall my workshop on the power of self-acknowledgment. There’s a twist on that for me in Austin.

This city occurs for me as a landscape of empowering landmarks (pun intended), when I choose to get present to it and explore it in my mind’s eye, when I drop into the frame of “what mark HAVE I MADE on this life and this world?”

Psychogeography becomes grimoire, and a journal written in places morphs into a vibrant breath of life just waiting to creep into my lungs and remind me of what I’ve done, who I am, and what I’m capable of.

My friend Frank did this on a call around 1:30am: “Don’t ‘look for parking.’ You’re magical, man. Just manifest a parking spot close by to where you want to be.” With the reminder, I did exactly that.

This city itself stands defiant in the face of my every disempowering thought or pattern, a similar reminder to his rejoinder. Just being here is a testament to an ongoing victory, and everywhere I look, I’m reminded of that power.

Making it on my own – I see this in the five separate places I’ve lived throughout the city (Enfield Ave, Emerald Forest, Hycreek, Manchaca, and Stassney), climaxing in my present one bedroom apartment.

Connections and adventures abound, things that weren’t going to happen anyway, things that required my choice and action and persistence: West Norris, Swallow Drive, Forest Wood…

Eight ALE/EAN events – found in echoes at 1310 S 1st Street, Casa de Luz, Guan Yin Tea House, Soma Vida, and that lovely home just off of Riverside.

BrainJuice still abounds at all five of the Whole Foods stores and so many others. Certain signage stands proud outside and inside of prominent Austin businesses.

Heck, even the car that drives me on the tour that shows me all this is a victory.

Finally, I look around my home through blue-blocking glasses at a sanctuary of supplements and practices built to vanquish the epic insomnia that plagued me last year…I lay my head down to rest, knowing that I can handle whatever is coming, and sleep in light.

And if I can do it, so can you. ALL OF IT. Whatever you want.

Recipe for bliss: turn your environment into a testament to your own ability to overcome, littered with reminders of victories. Then, your new listening of yourself can’t HELP but seep in and crowd out whatever negativity might still crop up. Bathe in the bliss of your wins.


My mission crystallizes yet again from another angle: to take actions, share stories, and communicate in a way that inspires, uplifts, and empowers.

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The evidence is found in the moments of novelty, the creations that bubble up effortlessly.

Where there was a fire of creativity, now there are eight long bits of poetry.
Where there was an injustice, my cleverness and gently calibrated force warded off bullies who threatened us on the dance floor.
Where there was dissipation and constant frenzied fractionation between the past and the future, all of me has dropped into the present with appreciation and gratitude.

I’m learning more what I already know –
now and here is where to go.
Follow your feelings,
let go

into the flow.

What a night!



There’s a moment when I open up, in solitude. When I’m freed. When enough distance and time from society and others and habits and routines and schedules is achieved that my Self is liberated unto a certain kind of unique joy.

True solitude, I have found, is a delectable solipsism that must be attained only after great effort.

I’m sure others have found it in Nature. Thoreau, probably. Where the mind, with a novel depth, curves in upon itself and begins to appreciate both the world at large as well as it’s own activity…reflection surmounts slavish reaction, expression advances above utility, and the speaking function, the word production, becomes free to dance amidst the many collected vicissitudes of curve and association hidden in the interstices of the mind. (As here!)

Amidst this golden freedom, I’ve found only one diamond tonight:

Solitude itself is necessary for flourishing, in certain souls. Not every, and not always, but definitely for some. It must be nourished, watered, cultivated, and grasped like a rainstorm that visits only fleetingly but which feeds the succulents that hunger silently throughout the year for their rare waterings.

Recipe for bliss: recover aloneness, and rediscover the joys there.