written in the language of the heart

(jointly authored by haleyheart and Alecia, and in haleyheart’s “voice”)

In Spring 2010, a small group of people, located not only in the US, but world around, came together to nurture ideas about 2012 and what that might mean for humanity and our planet.  Discussions began within a framework of the Mayan Calendar, and the research/teachings of Dr. Carl Johan Calleman. We considered some key dates and events that would be pivotal to shifts or transformation of consciousness over the next two years.  History has well documented the evolution … and some might say the devolution … of human kind.  Our world certainly looked as if standing as a cross-roads demanding change, and hopefully in the form of more positive directions.

When Alecia and haleyheart took stock of their resources, we realized that the “best we had to offer” was our hearts and skills in attracting and manifesting.  Friends for years, there were three time zones between us and a shared vision of what could grow from these ideas.

TLC stepped out in its infancy as a largely leaderless labor of love to explore, find connections, have occasional calls with the global mind share members.  Things began to take form.

Facebook gave the TLC community a voice – and has remained constant since the first dozen people logged onto the very rudimentary Facebook group for Tree of Life Celebration in August 2010.  By November, some gathered in Sweden for the “Seventh Day” event to honor the reintegration of the divine masculine and feminine.  The community had grown to about 300.

By year-end 2010, the two of us looked at each other in amazement at what had been accomplished with no rules, no administrative hierarchy, no formal organization and no funding.  And no corporate speak.  A new way emerged where volunteers were simply community, and core teams were blown to bits as the Keepers tended the tree.  This truly was evidence of co-creation in motion.  Value constantly came from the most surprising sources; change was fluid and flowing.

Set against the fabric of world events that offered up daily fear, frustration, hardship, job loss, weather events, displacements from home, and more, our hearts knitted in harmony to create a “soft place to land” where everyone was welcome to come and share their personal journey.  Some have anchored the energy with us for nearly the entire time.  Others come and go, form other groups, or simply take part more elsewhere and bring the nuggets of experience and wisdom back to share within TLC.  All of us move at the speed of life.

Using all forms of communication — conference calls, meditations, emails, Facebook posts and shared articles — more and more joined in steady influx.  Dr. Calleman, Barbara Hand Clow and Patricia Cotle-Robles gave generously of their time to anchor conference calls, share articles and lead group meditations.  By setting intention, new Keepers arrived in response to the direction TLC flowed.  So much needed skill and talent neither of us had.

The Keepers worked the magic — bringing up a website with our South African webmaster creatively keeping pace, some managed events, and others shared their insight and expertise on a wide array of subjects.  TLC occasionally co-sponsors events with other collaborators, such as Jim Self and Mastering Alchemy, and Sandie Sedgebeer’s Cutting Edge program on the Awakening Minds Radio Network.  We are the frequent repository and conduit for posted writings from published authors and from our community contributors.  Our cherished alliance with the team at DoAsOne.com anchored our focus on being part of the world breathing event November 11, 2012.  TLC supports the intention to have 1 billion people consciously breathing together on the planet.  Powerful? You bet!

The TLC Community surpassed 1,000 members sometime just before the March 2011 Japanese Tsunami, which chillingly resounded in near perfect timing to the beginning of the “Ninth Wave” according to Dr. Calleman’s work.  As the pace of this Ninth Wave picked up and rolled through its “Days” and “Nights” of the Calendar, moving to end point at October 28, 2011, we saw the reflection of not only world events, but the way this affected our own Tree of Life Community.  Some of us have faced challenges with health, hearth and home – yet the flow as each of us move in our own personal shift or transformation of consciousness never fails to feel supportive.  We have rallied to simply be there for those on the front lines of their moments of shift – through earthquakes, floods, fires as well as the beginning of Arab Spring, growth of the Occupy movement, and more.

Today, with more than 7,000 connected who cast their ripple into the pond of the internet touching thousands upon thousand more, people come to TLC to post and share – and to discuss what is happening.  They also come to simply “hold the space” together, share some amazing information, beautiful imagery, good news stories one never hears in our media-focused world at large or invoke humor which is a great healer for all.  They raise key issues, talk about the impacts, solutions and, always fit each item into the much larger framework as it affects the collective or greater consciousness, which some of us know as unity.  Every day we witness the myriad of ways TLC is the wind beneath the wings to lift others up until they are able to fly again on their own.

TLC is a global village, perhaps a virtual one — people of all ages from nearly every continent, every walk of life, spiritual practice, point of view and disparate place.  From Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand to Japan, Asia, India, many European countries and throughout Africa, as well as reaching to many in the US, Canada and Latin America, TLC never fully sleeps.  There is always someone ready to chat.  TLC members share what is happening so we get the real story, before it is even news.  The speed with which updates travel perhaps leaves the wire services in the dust on a good day.

People connect in every possible way using high and no-tech approaches – from computers, laptops and cell or mobile phones in every possible place – coffee shops, while riding the train, or in Cape Town with the bush men on a solar-powered cell phone.  Others take us on their journeys and travels, sharing pictures from the “wherever” they are in any moment.  We’ve all become virtual tourists who stand in awe of just how big the planet is while being such a small world, after all.

Alecia, I, and each of the TLC keepers have each found our way into the simple practice of “being more and doing less” … allowing the energy to flow and honoring each person as they step into their own personal integrity to give where and how they feel led.  TLC has no rules for group behavior, membership, content management or dispute resolution.  These simply are not necessary. TLC has become a crossroads of diversity, cultural sharing and, most of all, a beautiful example of how people can simply come together to model unity, compassion, love and all that brings.  For me, it is simply one of the cherished ways “my heart sings.”

About Tree of Life Celebration

The Tree of Life symbolically illustrates that all life is connected. The Tree of Life concept permeates the human collective experience, as exhibited globally throughout science, religion, philosophy and mythology. We embrace this idea of the Tree of Life Celebration(s) as a starting point for unity from which we intend to branch out. We believe that unity is a co-creative process and encourage all to contribute to the process of anchoring the unity consciousness on the planet through their heart, actions and talents.

This community was created to serve those interested in intentionally seeding peace and unity on the planet. Much of the information offered here is based on consciously honoring and partnering with the cycles of life viewed through the lens of the Mayan calendar, although not exclusively. Our main goal is to nurture unity through our open nature, moderate speech and shared resources. We intend to nurture and support the connection with, the discussion of, and the planning for global events and celebrations. All of these things relate to consciously flowing and working with the energies of the cycles of life. We believe that our strength lies in our diversity. We embrace and respect people of ALL sexes, cultures, races, and personal philosophies. We welcome all with a good heart and open mind.

Please consider sharing your journey with us at www.treeoflifecelebration.com …. “Like” the TLC Facebook community page for occasional notices and posts; or search for Tree of Life Celebration (Group) and join the dialogue that is diverse and ongoing. We know you will feel the sense of Welcome Home when you arrive.

About the Authors and Amazing Tree of Life Celebration Keepers

Alecia and haleyheart agreed to initially anchor the collaborative efforts of many … and prefer to stay very much in background.  They are simply two of the Keepers.  Together, each celebrate with the TLC Community in our heart, in our own spiritual practices and in our support of the TLC mission and purpose.  Every TLC Keeper has his or her stories, historical frame of reference and life experience that brought us to the point of first meeting.  From these shared experiences, we understand the value of every human experience, the need for inspiration and the unfettered power of personal integrity, intention and transformation.   Tree of Life Celebration is a gift to the world and a beneficial presence — not just in our lives — but for all that contribution their energy to the shared vision, mission and purpose.

TLC sprout

 

Please consider sharing your journey with us at www.treeoflifecelebration.com …. “Like” the TLC Facebook community page for occasional notices and posts; or search for Tree of Life Celebration (Group) and join the dialogue that is diverse and ongoing. We know you will feel the sense of Welcome Home when you arrive.

November 2012

It’s no secret to those that really know me … thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year.  Not because of anything to do with Indians, Turkeys, Pilgrims or such … but because it is a day set aside to count our blessings.  Gratitude and appreciation are my favorite activities on most any day of the year …. There is no limit to what the universe will provide if we but ask, look, and accept.  It’s also a day of sharing …. Laughter, love and joy.  In the US, it’s a small pause between the insanity of the Hallmark-driven uni-holiday season that begins shortly after 4th of July and really doesn’t let up for a breather until after the January white sales finish.  A time of gathering with friends, family or loved ones … or of gathering in service to others so they may enjoy a time of sharing.

My brother and I were always up at the crack of dark to watch the test pattern on television, ready and primed for the Macy’s thanksgiving parade to tune in right on cue, with the volume WAY down since our parents slept in.  Tradition at its finest, starting at a very young age.

Sports games are fare for many … but in the family I shared many thanksgivings with, sports were an almost non-existent deal.  Rather, that little break between the main event and the repeat, lighter supper, was a time for the weary and those in full food coma to “repair to the chair or sofa” and have a little sinking spell, while the oldest cousin took the rest of us to the not-every-year-treat of a movie.  We always had that hope.  We’d return to find everybody squeezed into the super-small family social center (kitchen) gabbing away.  Who knew there was so much to discuss … and the family stories and tales told on each other knit the pages of a memory book fit for generations to come.

Like many families of similar stature in the working class, our fare was relatively simple for our everyday lives … our own Blue Plate Special of real food, although by preference and choice, the simpler style of beans and corn bread was no stranger to the supper table in our homes.  Meals were family events.  Even as high school graduation approached, one nearly had to have a written hall pass or dispensation from the Pope Himself (and we were not Catholic) to be excused from that ritual.

For Thanksgiving, nothing short of a miracle happened …. we had choices on choices as grandmother and aunt, with those contributing dishes, would lay a feast for all to enjoy.  Not just mashed potatoes and 2 kinds of gravy (turkey and white cream), but mashed potato salad, too.  Three kinds of pie – plus the sweet potato pie.  Sometimes a chocolate iced or red velvet cake.  Salads, vegetables, dressings (cornbread, with sausage and sometimes bread dressing with sage), even bread pudding every year or two.  The distinctive savory seasoning theme was bacon drippings in all the key dishes – from cornbread to snap beans.  A huge table and all the family gathered, with card tables annexed into the kitchen for the children, though some of us sitting there did so well into young adulthood as the family grew.  The hidden secret of the preparation, I am certain, long discovered after the fact, was that the cooking was sufficient for the main meal, the lighter supper and boxed goodies to go home with all … sufficient to tide through the long weekend.  The best part for me was the gathering … and the stories … and the times a non-local relative would choose to thanksgiving with all of us together.  Even better stories!

And in all of this we would give thanks.

As the years vanished from the calendar of my life, I found many opportunities to share this day with other families that included me.  Some due to relationships …. And some who just took in the extras (or maybe by then we were just the strays) who really had no place to be on that special day.  Other years, I would visit a sibling, a friend, or volunteer to serve meals at the local soup kitchen.  And every now and again, it would just be me alone, making my own day and practice … singing a service with a huge choir, or gathering with a group for a pot luck gathering of the Vegetarian Society for a no-turkey buffet, with tofu cheesecake.  Always a special day for me, because it’s also the one day I get out ALL the stories I can remember and re-examine them one by one for the new nuggets of wisdom that will sometimes punch through.

In the mid-eighties, I came to the conclusion that Pastor Mark hit the nail squarely on the head when he pointed out the blinding flash of the obvious.  We need to play bigger.  Rather than having one day a year of Thanksgiving, we needed to change it up in a big way.  Make every day a day of Thanks-Living.  And then celebrate the whole kit and caboodle on this special day.

 

Your challenge for the day – what are your best memories of things for which you are grateful?  Take a moment each day to list your top ten, even before your feet hit the floor in the morning.   It will change the way your day reveals itself and shift your mood to one of being in the moment.  And help you transform yourself in an attitude of gratitude that simply is thanksLIVING!

 Define camel.  Horse, built by committee.

For years, I’ve been fascinated by group dynamics.  It’s been my personal theory … and I’m still collecting evidence … that office environments are the ultimate expression of personal dysfunctionality.  In my many years of working with others, it is here I have seen the best of the worst.  As the unsurpassed testing grounds for “children: don’t try this at home,” there’s something about being assembled for the purpose of work that provides the impetus for outrageous behavior.  Especially in Corporate America, where it’s the method of operation to leave the spiritual self outside the door, and the WHO that you are of the WeAreOne waiting in the parking lot.  The standard methods and business practices leave anyone with a heart wondering “Who ARE these people, and what have you done with the humans who showed up for the first day of work not that long ago?”

For those of us who came through the School of Hard Knocks, we have earned our diplomas for Paying Your Dues, achieved On-The-Job-Training Credentials and refined survival skills that are worthy of special forces designation and combat pay.  Some of us have also accomplished formal education to add some initials representing our achievements.  We learn to think, inductively and deductively, and we pound through curricula of theories and fact patterns that often mean little once we leave the world of academia to pilot our way through office politics.  We relentlessly work to break the code of the inexplicable multipliers that separate the vast majority of front line workers who have hands-on to the revenue from those living in the corporate tower, believing the expression of their value deserves millions.

The why of this escapes me.  Now I’m the first to say I love Oprah.  Yet, Oprah and I are within months, if not weeks, of each other in age.  Both of us came from humble upbringing.  We both work hard.  We have vision.  And we both have ties to Elvis Presley.  OK, I’ll admit mine is a bit nebulous.  I know his step brother, David Stanley.  She claims to be related.  But Oprah built an empire and maintains houses that measure in terms of thousands of square feet per person/animal.  My furry critter and I are quite happy to live a bit more lightly on the planet — we have a few hundred feet that she permits me to care for so Kitty World Order is maintained and the milk bowl filled on command.  We both do our best to help others — and we each have our success stories to share.

To this day, I am non-plused by celebrity.  There are just some things, as I echo my grandmother’s phrasing, I can’t abide.  I cringe at the thought of anything with Sarah Jessica Parker’s involvement and avoid it at all cost.  The why of this only makes sense to me.  Some years ago, I actually threw my favorite source of trash reading across the room into the wall, when I read a few lines of copy.  During the fashionable season when the stars all carted their new babies about in little hand carried baskets, which lasts only a few weeks before they must find other means and ways, Ms. Parker was spied shopping at a very upscale baby boutique.  She was dutifully reported as having spent $3,000 a set for Laura Ashley sheets for said basket.  I could not reconcile that against the reality that 26.000 children starve to death somewhere in the world each night.  Clearly we’d have difficulty finding topics to discuss that are meaningful to each of us.  It’s a good thing I’m not in jeopardy of being on her A list.  Whew we’ve avoided that awkwardness once and for all.

I guess I shouldn’t have been worried.  Not long after that, the trend was replaced by the “teeny weeny dog” syndrome, where stars carted teacup-size pets everywhere the rest of us could not take our Fidos and Fifis, in fit-for-purpose designer bags.  And even that gave way to the fashion statement of adopting third-world children, whether they were truly orphaned or not.  But I digress.

The behavior you see in offices makes some of the celebrity eccentricities seem tame in comparison.   With the inflow of energies that promise to reintegrate the divine feminine and masculine, giving rise to new ways of being, I am hopeful.  How long it will take to become pervasive in the office is anyone’s guess.  Or perhaps the office will go the way of all the other things that do not serve us.  I’d vote for that.

My own career began in a world of discrimination.  Back in that day, men ruled.  Everything was militarily managed, perfunctorily performed.  Women were mostly clerical support.  As a child, it was still a rarity to find a woman who worked outside the home.  If she did, she was “one of those” who couldn’t keep a husband.  Still smarting from being told great school grades matter not, if any one has a college education, it will be the boy in the family.  I entered the work force as a clerical worker.  I nursed my wounds when my own goals were dashed to follow in the foot steps of my father in law enforcement.  Yes, I had three strikes against me:  (1) being female, who were only hired as meter maids and pool typists, (2) being too short as 5 ft 1.5 inches didn’t come close to the 5 ft 6 in requirement and (3) having a family member in the department.  They did interview me to be a typist for the City Planners and then said no, once they knew my dad was a cop.  Over time, I had popped up like cream in the bucket and by my early thirties, survived enough of the corporate politics to arrive in a very strange place.  The work I did rivaled the best of the male counterparts.  And I held responsibility for books and records of 283 operating companies in a publicly-held company.  But the lack of a college degree kept me from moving into the executive track and pay levels.  The acquisition of it could take me no further.  So I took time out to take care of that, and worked only 40-45 hours a week instead of the more usual 60-80, so I could switch gears.

In my time, I’ve worked in the board rooms teaching those with my patience and quiet ways that racial slurs, sexual comments and anti-competitive discussion points might not be the best things to record verbatim in corporate records.  I’ve witnessed ritual firings and vindictive crucifixions of those who would not “play nicely by the rules” or had the gall to stand up for customer satisfaction over corporate profit.  Sadly, I’ve worked alongside the women who thought their only way up was through emulation of male behaviors (known as ball busters).  They don’t make quality friends and tend to lead somewhat lonely lives.  I survived the politics by simply focusing on the work, customer satisfaction, translating customer delight into cost savings and quietly making noise in my corner.  I’ve always shown up to work, not be best friends nor chit chat my day away at the water cooler with others.  Often I find myself wondering what could a person do every in an evening that merited 8 hours of rehash while phones rang unanswered, customer needs went unmet and woe be to the one who interrupts to ask for assistance with a work-related matter.  “Can’t you see I am busy?” is often the reply.

I still marvel at the high degree of dysfunctionality especially in smaller “mom and pop” shop organizations.  Here the person often hires a reflection of themselves and is astonished they can’t get along.  Or they hire someone with less know how and skills than they need.  I guess it makes them feel smarter?  Smart hiring brings in the best and brightest to plow the field and turn the soil of stagnation.  In a small company, it seems there is always fear.  They can’t be smarter.  When they look up, all they see is the owner’s butt in the chair and no chance of advancement.  Or their great credentials cause the owner to project that they will be bored.  Many use the friends and family hiring plan.  That generally gives you a double dose of dysfunctionality and even more politics to navigate.  It’s a real thrill to learn you just won the short straw and Junior, who can neither spell nor write, is your new copy editor.  When the manager befriends one person, to the exclusion of all others, the way the resentment, frustration and lack of support manifests always result in an expression that impacts customers.  Then there are the family dynamics of small businesses that track right into the work environment.  You may not be related – but you witness on occasion how easily they lose their perspective as owners of separate companies.   They slide into the parent-sibling  or brother-sister role of shouting louder to be heard and issue orders that are resisted. I also love the logic of apparent democracy — that everybody gets a “vote” on every subject whether or not they are a stake holder based on the area of responsibility they have in the organization.  The flip side of this dynamic is the process of “concensus” — finding agreement, often subject to all manner of dysfunctional factors, that produces something everyone is able to live with.  There’s your camel, even though the desired outcome of that team was a horse, fit for purpose.

Those who must throw temper tantrums earn special mention.  The way these manifest range from the obvious (yelling, screaming, foot stamping, chair throwing) through the ridiculous (cancelling all the company credit cards only to find the next day that OOPS that wiped out the credit lines, or simply leaving half the travel team standing on the runway watching the corporate jet perform wheels up because “when I said 8 AM wheels up, I mean 8 AM, not 8:15”).  The one that has a special place in my collections worthy of the Hall of Shame Award is a very nasty, attacking email.  It was sent to an outside consultant not in the employ of the email writer and contained all manner of threats, demands and directives, including one to simply shut down the company of the person who should have received the email.  Apologies are never issued and everyone walks around the elephant in the room.  If we all pretend hard enough, it never happened, eh?

Staff dynamics pose the trickiest and most logic defying analysis.  In larger work environments, there is a really bizarre practice that is somewhat ritualistic.  The same day a worker has quit, been fired or allowed to resign, an after hours raid of their workspace happens.  It reminds me of the stories of the locust plagues that picked everything in the countryside bare.  The next morning, you arrive to find the workspace totally disassembled and chair, computer, office supplies, company-owned reference materials missing.  Sometimes they are replaced with all manner of unwanted items.  And other times, all that remains is the mess for a janitor to pick up and shuffle out to the dumpster.  The pettiness of staff can loom large.  If you have a competitive situation, both women will escalate their demands and work to outpace each other.  I’ve watched with incredulity while this pernicious type of person expects to be give a month of paid vacation not quite 60 days after arrival in a new job, during the company’s busiest time.  I’ve seen others borrow expensive equipment and take it home, refusing to return it.  And even one who claimed that 6 months of back rent for a personal residence should be paid by the company as additional compensation. Still the big winner in the Hall of Shame Classic are the two secretaries that escalated their battle to an issue between their bosses over who was most entitled to have the newest dictation transcriber.  That one nearly caused world war 3.

The guys have different ways of expressing themselves with regard to position and stature.  Especially at the executive level in bigger companies, it seems that the higher you rise, the less distance you are able to walk from parking spot to office.  Those with windows, and especially those on building corners, have higher value and are evidence of one’s status.  Carpet colors must be different and of a better grade in an executive office.  And the actual square footage one gets increases with pay level, rather than by allocation to those who really need the space to carry out duties.  Private dining rooms, executive chefs, corporate jets, personal washrooms, and secretaries who run personal errands to fetch dry cleaning, pay personal bills, and ferry children to soccer practice are all hallmarks of arrival at the “level” that counts.

The way out of this morass has come through a new way for organizing around work.  It’s still not widely used or prevalent, but offers some hope of a bridge and path forward.  This is the collaborative team.  It is a group of people that come together for a purpose or project.  It’s not a marriage for life.  There are no hierarchies.  No managers.  No performance reviews and few politics.  Every person on the team is viewed as important and essential.  They bring their expertise and their passion to the table.  Some contribute for specific reasons and leave.  Others have ever-changing roles and morph blithely through their process.  To say it is leaderless is a misnomer.  Every person has the potential to be a leader and serves when required.  Everyone is a follower.  These groups are founded in trust, mutual respect, and shared vision, mission and purpose.  The word is their bond.  They take accountability to heart, knowing that when they are “on” they feel the need to be there.  If they aren’t handling their obligations, no one else usually can do it for them.  Like any group you do see the natural process — forming, norming, storming and performing.  It’s not sequential nor linear.

When they hit road bumps, they may return to a forming.  Some come together so quickly, you simply see them go from showing up for introductions to high performance teams in the matter of hours.  These folks bring the best of who they are to the table, in many cases.  They understand the importance of staying on task and in area, but do often ask or often to assist (which is much different than just jumping in) to be the one “who has your back” if your part of the work needs more support.  They have “simple, common courtesy” inbred in their DNA.  It would never occur to them to simply walk away from commitments to pursue something else.  Don’t get me wrong.  Change happens.  It’s just that they take the time to inform the others, my station here must be restaffed.  I’ll make sure it is covered until my replacement arrives.  I’ll help with training as best I can.

What you find parked outside the door when these folks come to work may surprise you — egos, personal agendas, cut throat competition, job titles and attitudes — if they had these at all.  There’s no place for that in a collaborative team.  What they bring in in terms of conducting themselves respectfully and in personal integrity is bamfuzzling.  These team members listen more and talk less.  They are as focused on the way their work will impact other parts of the organization as they are on the details of the work at hand.  They celebrate successes and each other.  They organize around the work and take their pledge seriously — if one team member does not deliver, the entire team has failed.  I’ve watched company CEO’s wash dishes, fetch pizza and ride in the back of the plane, while the staff worked through the night.  I’ve witnessed places where the formal, but casual way of referring to each other as Miz Sally and Mr Pete went straight into the boardroom as common practice.  And there have been amazing aha’s that go off in the company checkbook in a positive way, when a team-based recommendation was implemented.  By giving front line staff authority to spend money to offset customer dissatisfaction, one company found that their customer retention rate improved tremendously.  For taking a chance on the people that know their customers better than anyone else they spent a few dollars ($25 per incident) to save an extraordinary amount of money (value of customer loss was $2500-3000 to replace, and may represent $10000 to $30000 across lifetime of contract).  There is no I in team.

Here’s your challenge for today.  Look at how you work.  And how you interact with your family.  Do you see places where you could shift from an old paradigm way of thinking to embracing something new or different?  Are there places you are already in the role of a collaborative team, even if it is called something else.  What wisdom can you share back so others may learn?  Feel free to post comments so all on the blog monitor can benefit from your experience.

This article merits a PS for illustration.  I love the internet legend/story that demonstrates what self-importance will get you.  It was told to me like this.  At the Denver Stapleton Airport, a United Airlines passenger was spied in hot conversation with a Customer Service Agent.  The nexus of the disagreement is not important.  It was just clear that she had rules to follow and this business executive wanted to have it his way.  Finally he pulled out the old paradigm tactic of raising his voice, giving her his best “don’t you mess with me” look and snarled “Don’t you KNOW who I am?”  The woman was the picture of unflappability.  She politely said “One moment, sir”, reached under the counter to pick up her paging mike and professionally spoke into it.  “Attention, all passengers and patrons of United Airlines in Terminal C.  We have  a party at the Customer Service desk who doesn’t seem to know who he is.  Is there any one that can assist this gentlemen?  If so, please report to station 3 immediately.”  The normal chaos and noise of the terminal suddenly went to deathly silence.  Then someone in the line behind the executive begin to clap.  Soon everyone was applauding the cheeky agent.  The executive took his tickets, his seat assignment and went off to the plane, after apologizing to the woman for his rudeness.

Pink bubbles are my invention.  These sprang into existence as the result of a conversation between friends.  We were exploring our fascination with how inadequate the English language is to describe metaphysical concepts.  For example, all of us know we do NOTHING insofar as healing goes – we are only a conduit through which the energy flows while the Higher Self and Source work together for the person we are with while doing “energy work” or “healing work.”  Truly, our role is to “suit up and show up” and we are given whatever it is we need in that moment.  It flows.

Similarly, we have these beautiful phrases  of “holding sacred space” and “shielding”.  Those are interesting – these words conjure images of us throwing down a gauntlet of protection, complete with a ferry moat, to ward of all manner of evil and bad vibes.  Well, not exactly.  As I’ve come to see this, all we do is provide assistance to maybe shove things back a little around a person so they have the “wiggle room” they need to do their work.

One of my most memorable experiences with shielding illustrates the concept.  A lovely person I know, who is a real Earth Mama on Steroids, explained how she constructed her “shield” of protection.  It was a big huge thing, with a covering of earthen “sod clods” … rocky clumps of dirt and grass, with really sharp shards of glass or mirror like things that stuck out at odd angles.  Among all that stuff were the most amazing flowers that bloomed all the time.  My friend is a massage therapist.  Her practice includes the grace and ritual of sacredness … working with silence and affirmations.  She brings respect, asking for permission to connect Higher Selves before the session starts.  She always leaves the session slowly backing out, so the last part of her energy leaves her magical hands, held in reverence of Namaste.  Her work is beyond amazing.  As the beneficiary of her efforts on some of my sickest ever days, let me tell you she is a Goddess that Walks Lightly With Love.

This wide-open heart eventually led her to a time when she was attacked energetically, and her Teacher of Great Wisdom gave her the metaphor of this Shield of Protection.  At first, she had to consciously effort to raise that sucker up.  It was so big and off-putting.  But over time, she assured me, it simply would be there, scare the holy of holies out of whoever was doing stuff they shouldn’t and then retract for storage after they ran off in retreat.  Of course, then I didn’t get it that shielding wasn’t really shielding.  But I digress.

Not long after, I started playing with the idea myself.  I have always been aware of my energetic arena around me.  I can easily expand it, contract it, swirl it, swing it.  And, I will own with some bit of embarrassment, I may have overstepped the bounds of prudence just a teensy bit with my twiddling.  I have been able to push people (ok, EJECT THEM!) out of my area, just by increasing its size, as one might when blowing a balloon up a bit more.  That looks exactly the way you may picture this.  As I began to slowly move it out, these people just backed up, blinked oddly, with confusion.  Not only did they lose their train of thought, their track disappeared.  Big food for thought.

Then the real S-Day (Shield Day) arrived.  A person in the office environment, with a long track record of being difficult, wandered into my world in a way that (hindsight being 20/20) maybe she would not have chosen otherwise.  She gave her Oscar-worthy performance of a Two-Year-Old Terrorist, complete with screaming, yelling, finger-pointing and pouting.   As my grandma would say “She had herself a real HISSY fit.”  Being a person that normally does not engage in conflict, I chose to take the route of those who do not reward negative behavior with attention.  I left and returned to my office.

As is often the case with those out of control, this person decided to follow.  If you’ve seen a parent calmly pushing a cart through the market, shopping while their child is screaming at the top of lungs “Mine! I want it, I want it, I want it!” never hearing a sound nor seeing the stares of amazement from surrounding shoppers, you can paint your own picture of the special nature of being tone-deaf.  So I walked with a brisk pace, not realizing I had the Terror of Two-Year-Old Tantrums right on my heels, chugging behind me as fast as the chubby little one you’d think of, waddling diaper-butt-fast down the hall. Taking a moment to just breathe and release all angst for the situation, when I turned to face my desk and sit, I almost had my eye taken out by the Tantrum’s Thrower’s finger jabbing the air.  She was nearly on top of my desk when the sound track suddenly hit volume.  Lord what a limited vocabulary replete with threats and demands.

Just then, I saw my shield simply slide right up between us, in time to protect my eye.  Her finger hit the moral equivalent of hard metal.  It had to hurt.  She backed up a little bit confused.  I said quietly.  “Please leave my office now.  You are not welcome here.  I have nothing to say to you.  Go away.”

Stunned, she backed up.  My shield just snapped down into the storage area of transparency. Shaking my head in amazement about “some people’s children”, it was just pure luck I noticed from the corner of my eye, someone had changed her mind.  This Two-Year-Old Terror in a Woman’s Body was heading back into my office.  The look on her face was about like you’d expect to see on Genghis Khan, poised atop his steed, ready to descend in the bloodiest of battles.  Just as her foot hit the door thresh hold, my shield snapped up.  She bounced, I kid you not, so hard.  That smack into the shield took her completely backwards through the entire 8 feet of space to the back wall of the work area.  She hit the wall hard and then landed on the floor.  On her butt.  No diapers for padding.  The look on her face was frozen in time – the real and total equivalent of shock, amazement and whuzzat, you see on the kid with the over-padded diaper butt the first time Momma swats him with a firm ‘I said No!”

WOAH!!!  So these shields *DO* exist for real.  Or do they?

Now fast forward to a few months ago.  In our flowing conversation, it came to me in the blink of an eye.  “I decided to make a new metaphor.  I have a pink bubble.  It’s the color of bubble gum, but it may be as transparent or as opaque as I choose.”  Here’s my protection.  My shield.  My happy place.  And on that particular day when it came into existence, it served me well, fit for purpose.  Maybe just to hug me.  Be a snuggle place where I could pick up one of the “very warm, kiss-the-boo-boo, mom loves me hugs” that I have always heard about, but never had as a child.  The result is that this creation really works.

And it has evolved over time.  As my friend often says, “haley heart can pimp out a pink bubble like nobody”.  I have invented all kinds of features and options for it.  Such as the instant opaque-er.  I can go from translucent pink so clear nobody knows my bubble is there to bubble gum pink and hide with complete impunity.  In a heart beat.  I have the most amazing star port (it is sort of like a sun roof).  But I can think “Orion” and just as I look up, there it is in all its glory, perfectly centered in the star field of the deepest night sky.  See!  It has a constellation finder feature.  I’m not sure what has to rotate for me to that exact position but I’m always in balance.  Another day I’d had enough of the malarky from someone who was making me feel kind of ugly and grouchy.  So I installed some Jaguar camouflage and went jetting into the area in that pink bubble with its jaguar paws and teeth.  Needless to say, the person never knew what hit them.  They were all icky one minute being ugly.  And they were gone the next.  Grrrrrrrrrr.

There are days I put the cloud hopper in gear and I go zooming everywhere.  Da-boing, da-boing, da-boing and so fun.  Talk about a soft landing!  One time, just for grins and giggles, I tried on the pink bubble wrap décor.  Everywhere I would bump, I could hear the snickety-pop of a bubble snapping like a pop gun.  Some were little bubble pops, like that teensy bubble stuff when you snap it in your hands.  Other times it would be the big, loud “oh poof” sonic boom of a BIG BUBBLE blowing, like it does when you put that big bubble wrap on the floor and walk on it.

I have even invented bubble exhaust.  There is a little tail pipe that sticks out.  As I zoom around in my bubble, it farts the most amazing little “champagne music maker” bubbles like the Lawrence Welk bubble machine.  Girlfriend, let me tell you.  THAT was a fun day, humming some “an-uh-wun, an-uh-tew, an-uh-tree” Lawrence Welk song with full Lennon sister harmony while I just cruised all over in my mind’s eye, farting those bubbles out the tailpipe.

There are so many more, only limited by imagination.  I have my Beyonce Bling Bubble.  My Patsy Cline Sweet Dreams Bubble.  Even my really bodacious, fabric-draped Hammer Time Bubble that pumps out …. CANT TOUCH THIS!!! I am still working on my Lawrence of Arabia model and the other one … you know …. “peel me a grape” with the luxurious couch?  All the drapery of gold everywhere, with space for all those hunks from down under in their gold sandals, muscles rippling, and such to wait on my every command.  That one is still kind of on the drawing board.  This one may not be for me.  I’m really so much a lower case kind of girl, I don’t think I could do the “peel me a grape” command line convincingly.  Then there’s the Purple Passion (my favorite color).  So you can see I have a fleet of these things and more models coming out all the time.

Every bubble has a built-in auto sensor.  It knows whether to let others freely come and go in your bubble space or to just put up that barrier that will keep them back – with a little tingle or poof of air, all the way up to the strength of the full jolt of electric cattle prod power to make sure they stay out of your space.  You choose.  You can have your bubble of choice with you at all times and change from one to the next with the merest intention.  You even find yourself enjoying the glory and the story while is just neatly fits into where you have to put your body, be it bed, office chair or whizzing down the sidewalks out of control on roller blades.  It’s the perfect choice for every occasion.  You never go broke or get bored.  Bubble power is completely environmentally friendly and human friendly, too.  When you tire of a particular model, you may either pass it on or simply dispose of it with a bio-friendly Bewitched twitch of nose, snap of fingers and optional sound track playing aloud.

So for those friends who’ve been beneficiary to my sending of guides and angels for support in difficult times, remember this.  Each has brought you the most amazing bubble to consider.  And of course, since you were gifted this opportunity, you are already a full-fledged, certified, card-carrying bubble goddess.  The world of pink bubbles is at your command.  They are your reminders of how much you are loved and how wonderful you are.

For your challenge today, go find your Inner Child.  Spend a happy hour creating bubbles.  Yours may not be pink.  Or even bubbles.  Construct your ideal metaphor of protection.  Try it on and see how it feels.  For all that know how sacrosanct Momma’s retreat to the bathroom is, where no one DARES disturb the Momma who has gone there to take a break from the reign of the inmates in the asylum, bubbles are better.  Where would you go with your bubble next?  What would be your greatest adventure?  Aw come on!  Share your creations here in the comments.  We all want to know.

Some of our TLC Keepers work together while much of the world sleeps.  We connect with a 10 hour time difference, using that moment of “see you on the flipside” to link up in the small space when one of us is starting the day, while the other moves to retire for the evening … or vice versa.  We connect for our “dance” – to hand over and hand off the progress of the Day for the one closing down, and the beginning of the Day for the other getting ready to put hand to task.  Early last February, there were only four of us — anchoring the intention and energy from East/West Coast USA, Canada and South Africa.  Two of us created a meditation together in SKYPE chat …. from complete intuition and guidance.  Here’s your opportunity to peek in behind the covers and see how we do that which we do.  Feel free to take a moment to BREATHE and simply flow with this meditation.

“Crack of Dark” Symphony – A Keepers Meditation with Mother Earth

This dark hour is the time to connect with source

In gratitude and appreciation

Our friends are here in their locations on the planet

North, South, East and West – holding the sacred space with every breath

We are so blessed

For the connection we share

Four points of light touching Gaia

Connected

Feel the heart beat and the sway of the Mother as she lumbers in her orbit

Bringing me sun and preparing to send you toward night

Afternoon shadows are getting longer there

And the afternoon is stretching its limbs and preparing for rest… 😉

It must be an awesome vantage point the Mother has to look out in all directions and see her sisters and brothers

flying through the same process

as far as consciousness can be

To constantly rotate and turn her back, as we might to a fire, to warm herself

and then prepare for a crisp run through the dark cold of space

before feeling the warmth again in that exact spot

and we only need close our eyes and we are breathing with her

sharing every bit of it

mmmmmmmmmm

we feel this as we share

In African soil, the Mother yawns and contemplates in the quieter hours of the afternoon,

as the shadows grow  longer, she stretches out and rephrases the day…

whilst with in America –

She is stretching and contemplating the new day, stepping out of bed,

searching the horizon- considering her action for a new purpose, a new dawn…

slowly becoming cogniscant of her surroundings as she rises…

Preparing the symphony of energy that celebrates each dawn.

the sun first creeps from dark into the deepest purples and pink,

slides toward rest and then bursts into a false brightest.

Within minutes, one can literally watch and feel the fireball “thunder up” into the sky,

launched as surely as the greatest rocket straining to break free from gravity’s death grip,

to fly free across the sky

All manner of desert life is active during that space of time – the birds, lizards, ants ….

everything scurrying in that space of time between frozen cold hibernation

and the need to re-secure self before the heat makes it too hot —

on their mission of food and substance wherever it can be found

and with the sun set in the sky, everything scurries out of sight ….

and won’t come out again until those moments between sunset and the rapid temperature drop

while Mother Earth puts the lights on the dimmer and lets all the color fade to black

it’s an amazing orchestration that goes on daily, regardless of anything humans think they can do or “control”

She just laughs softly at her children, those poor little upright s’couns* who go about their play of importance …….

like children in a sandbox constructing magnificence, while those around only see dirt, shovels, toys, sticks and determination in motion

i am blessed.

we are blessed.

we are indeed!!

and it is so restorative to connect to this energy of source as expressed in our Mother Gaia

it is your heart slowing down… your breathing slows… you adjust to the rythym of the core….

that is you and is the earth

and THAT is the way we live at the speed of life

totally attuned, one to another

the music … the symphony … for life.

Hayley Keepers

haleyheart keepers

February 11, 2011

 

*s’coun is from the movie AVATAR.  It loosely translates as moron, but really is directed at the young child so full of knowledge and yet, lacking self-control, who simply runs all over making a mess of things until he matures and understands the rhythm of life, how everything has a place and fit, and how to use that knowing for intent and purpose

With so much swirling everywhere, many of us are finding it difficult to stay centered and grounded.  Some of us are more affected than others by the shifting energies, changes and dramatic events of our days.  For those following the Mayan Experience of the Ninth Wave, we know we are now in the First Night of the Ninth Wave … and are giving conscious voice to our intentions.  For many of us, that means breathing and speaking into the space the personal transformation of consciousness,  as well as our intention of unity.  For those following traditional astrology, we know we have a double whammy in that Mercury Retrograde has arrived.  The universe is speaking to us … whispering that we are in a period of reflection.  This is the time to exploit that solitude and examine everything closely.

We collectively reach to our own spiritual practices, faiths and philosophies to seek that guidance for “what next”.  We stand in abject astonishment at the relentless wave of news reaching us as so many of our brothers and sisters around our planet are not only homeless tonight, but suffering serious and extreme jeopardy.  Some of us know that surfing the top of a tsunami has to the be the ultimate big water ride — and so many more of us bear the scars that prove being sucked under the BIG water isn’t so much fun.

Within our collective community at Tree of Life Celebration — both in our website writings and in our Facebook presence, many are bringing wisdom to us to help pilot these days more successfully.  We Are One … what happens to one of us, affects all of us.

In this darkness of the quiet night that I love and treasure beyond any words, I am reminded of the wisdom of another great teacher.  I’ve personally gifted more than 50 copies of this book to others who then embraced the “pay it forward” practice of gifting copies, too.  Don Miguel Ruiz offers a simple and practical guide to walking in the fullness of our lives more successfully and with personal integrity. It seems so fitting and appropriate to revisit his words one more time to see we may apply his concepts to our life situation.  Perhaps there are nuggets we find and take to heart, leaving the rest, if any, as that which does not serve us in this moment.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

Be Impeccable with Your Word

  • Speak with integrity.
  • Say only what you mean.
  • Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
  • Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

  • Nothing others do is because of you.
  • What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
  • When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make Assumptions

  • Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
  • Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding, sadness and drama.
  • With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best

  • Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
  • Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

These seemingly simple statements, when applied to the complexity and drama of the human experience many of us have,  cut to the chase.  We get there by removing the filters from our eyes and taking a very clear and close look.  This is not easy for most of us, especially in taking that first step, the first time.  We must review each situation and ask first — where is the part of this for which  I am accountable?  What of this is mine and how have I veered off my path of intention?  What are my feelings about this — and how do those align with the Four Agreements?  What parts of this situation are mine?  And which are not.

As we practice, we become more adept — and with time, soon we simply live our lives as if these had always been silent, internal guides.   As we probe to find places that indeed are attachments for us — to a certain outcome, a specific process, even just an unexplained feeling we cannot fully name or identify — we may and often do choose to allow these to be released.  In that, we find the most amazing sense of freedom.  With that process, we learn to seize the essence of everything.  We add to our skills the ability to leave anything we are doing, feeling fully loved and supported, knowing that our time to serve in this way has closed.  Other needs are already surfacing wanting our support.  It is in that moment, we find the rhythm and the grace of flowing …. trusting the timing of the universe, knowing that everything that is happening is exactly what is to be happening.

Our human drama generates massive trauma — as this cycles, we find ourselves in a muddle.  Are we simply living with drama trauma or have we moved into full-fledged trauma drama?  If so, we lose ourselves quickly and succumb to a place we do not really want to be.  Thus we lose sight of love and truth.  And we find ourselves out of step, out of sorts, outside our personal integrity, experiencing pain, sadness, confusion or frustration.

We Are One – we are all in this together.  What happens to one, happens to all.  When we have pain, it is shared by all of us.  When we have love and joy, that is shared, too.  The more we move in the direction of love, the better the experience is for everyone.

Take this challenge today to try The Four Agreements.  See how these feel for you.  If you haven’t read this small volume, The Four Agreements, give consideration to making it a priority.  It will change your life.  Buy two copies — before you are halfway through, you will know at least a few friends who will want to read this.  Pay it forward and gift the other copy.

In the words of the wise sage and teacher, Forest Gump, “And THAT’s what I know about that!”  Go have a blessed and wonderful day.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa

 

Mother Theresa is one of my favorite sources of wisdom.  I quote her often, along with other great prophets and sages that include Forest Gump, Maya Angelou, my grandmother, Hope Shackelford (my 7th grade English teacher), and, of course — Porky Pig.   Across the years, they’ve always come to my rescue when I find myself in need of a few short words to express a powerful thought.

The written word must stand alone and communicate everything — precise meaning, “tone” of voice, emotions, level of importance.   When you set your words free across cultures and languages, it becomes even more important to choose each of those words wisely, with some care given to the precise message you wish to communicate.  Many the marketing team has found their best efforts (and sometimes MILLIONS of dollars wasted to folly) when they discover their “baby” of a product name, their tagline of perfection, does not translate into major world languages and land well.  One car company named their new car, did their homework, and woke up to the horror the morning after launch to discover their name meant “broken, cannot be fixed” in a key world language.  Of course, my favorite debacle is the sad news that the creative team at Microsoft faced after months of work on BING! (the search engine).  They launched it … and the first article headline in retort came back.  “BING!?? … Ahhhh …. But It’s Not Google!”  Often the written word can stand bare, naked and ugly, glaring off a computer screen or piece of paper, and simply be received as harsh, judging and failing to communicate what the writer intended.

The same is true with the universal languages — those that come without much written form.  Touch, smiles, hugs, tears, a look that rises from the soul and speaks through the eyes, images that are captured in every form from photographs to hand-drawn crayola pieces of art from the hands of the three-year old child.  Who knew?  These do communicate across the barriers of culture, language, diversity, space and time.  Mother Theresa knew this … each of these are the language of love.  And so effective — whether you simply place your hand on a hospice patient while softly saying — I understand …. or hug that child sitting there with the skinned knees, and tear-streaked face, so she knows — the world is a wonderful place to play.  Each of these languages express love, compassion and kindness, for they come from the heart and soul of our being and from that we engage.

Give yourself a small task today to find just one person you can exercise your universal language “muscle” on.  Keep Mother Theresa in your mind’s eye and then step back to watch the ripple effect as that small pebble of love you launch into the pool of life spreads the effect through the world.

And I bet you are now thinking — “so what’s the wisdom of Porky Pig?”  That’s easy … best way in the world to say goodbye for now, and leave a smile.

“Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-… That’s all, folks.”