written in the language of the heart

Archive for the ‘Inspiring’ Category

Tree of Life Celebration ~ Welcome Home

(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.


Pink Bubbles for the World

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.

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz, Toltec Wisdom Teacher

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.


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.

The power of seemingly small things

“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.”


The Starfish Story …. everything makes a difference

Thank you to all who have posted with your thoughts, support, prayers, affirmations and concerns for the people in Japan … and indeed for the people on our planet who are in every circumstance imaginable today.  We know there are many who recently came through severe earthquakes in New Zealand (that continue), in Chili, the plight of the Haitian people, the huge Tsunami several years back that took such a loss of life in one fell swoop, entire cities under seige from weather events from Florida to New Orleans, the massive volcanic events that claim or disrupt lives around the planets, extreme heat and cold that wreak havoc everywhere, the massive flooding in Australia, those caught in the violence in war torn countries such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Lebananon, Palestine, others who seek liberation from oppressive control …. as well as those facing very personal loss of home, children, parents, close relatives, families and friends for any and all reasons that include accidents, illness, starvation, lack of medical care, financial failures, corporate greed, and more.

We know of amazing stories — miners caught below the earth, people who survive unbelievable air crashes only to find themselves in remote areas of snow covered mountains with no resources, to small children who have fallen into uncapped wells. More people than we can fathom take their final breaths of air each and every day on this planet everywhere, while the process of living ushers in many new lives to face the uncertainty of our future.

The loss of life on our planet is huge on any given day … the power of the internet brings so much into our homes, live and large, in real time video as it happens, and often leaves us wondering how is it that we can see these things when those in the affected area are unaware or only know just in that moment an event is underway.  We live in a wired world now, where there are all manner of video cameras installed, people with cameras in their cellphones can and do serve as witness to record events we may not ever had heard about only a few short months or years ago.

Some of us are sad, distraught, or angry.  We want to rail at the apparent injustice of needless tragedy.  It is human nature to want to determine accountability, assign blame, and hold “those” we deem responsible to pay in some way for each and every death.  Even when there is none to find or assign.  Sometimes we feel so helpless in the face of incomprehensible suffering and anguish, wondering how it is that the needs are so great, and we individually feel we can do nothing that matters.  This is not true.

The vast majority of us will never personally know someone in these circumstances … but enough of us do, we also know why everyone can do small things that matter so much to those in need.

Whether we come together to breathe for our planet, offer affirmations or prayers, record memories or thoughts, or put together resources — even by pennies at a time to send into stricken areas — every act matters.

Why?  Because we remember, because we hold hope, because we care, because we spread news, because we draw people everywhere together in a cohesive energy that defies borders, ethnicity, race, culture, economic status, religion or spiritual practice, governments, and more — in short all the human-invented forms of divisiveness disappear as we remember and join in a form of unity consciousness.  The good of any one is as important as the good of all.

It is true that people need food, water, shelter, medical help, … some will get that, many will not.  In every case, a person wants to know that they mattered, that they are remembered, that they made a difference and, most of all, that somebody cares, even if their name is not known or their location undetermined.

It is about love.

This story that follows has been carried on the internet for years — in many forms.  It always reminds me that the smallest act can be everything to someone else.  And reminds to use conscious intention in everything I choose to do.

The Starfish Story

adapted from The Star Thrower

by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

This story has appeared all over the web in various forms, usually with no credit given to Mr. Eiseley. Sometimes it is a little girl throwing the starfish into the ocean, sometimes a young man, once even an elderly Indian. In any form it is a beautiful story and one that makes you think.

Loren Eiseley was a anthropologist who wrote extensively. He was the ‘wise man’ in the story, and he was walking along a beach after a storm and encountered the fellow throwing the starfish back.

Books by Loren Eiseley