A Time of Opportunity

We live in a time of great opportunity, a time in which each day we get to choose whether we are going to identity with our little self or our big self, a time in which we get to take our values and beliefs out for a serious spin, a time in which we can choose to be generous in the face of prevailing cultural pressures to do the opposite.

If life is a drama with the same outcome for all of us, one that ends six feet under, what a blessing to be given this time to be heroic, to be bigger than we imagined ourselves to be, to put our money where our mouths are.

I don’t think this is going to require big gestures so much as a careful choosing about all the little gestures of our every day lives. We need to let each of these small daily choices spring from the heart, not from the mind with its fear mongering and laundry list of worries.

This is going to require discipline about what we listen to, our hearts or the voices around us that want to whip us into a cocktail of frenzy and despair.

It is going to require us to slow down and clear our energy field of run away emotions, before we react in response to their murky demands.

It is going to mean wandering a bit in new territory as we learn a new way or go deeper into the voyage of selflessness that we have already embarked upon.

Now more than ever before in my lifetime, we get a tremendously meaningful opportunity to identify with our oneness not our illusions of separation.

Big tall ideas. Yeah. Yeah. I know, I am always full of them. But no matter how lofty it all sounds, the good news is that every day in our ordinary lives we will get opportunities to live out these ideals.

Recently, I watched a PBS series called Foyle’s War about a British police inspector during World War 2 who spends the war on the home front, dealing with the unethical behavior of his fellow citizens. In my usual somewhat naive way, I had always divided the battles of that war into two more black and white groups. Oddly enough, the show reveals how much more latitude there was for everyone to make small as well as big self choices in England as well as everywhere else. For most everyone, it was a big mess of opportunity going both ways, just like right now. The show gave me a renewed appreciation for the big self choices of the heroes of the war. And these heroes weren’t cut from a different clothe than the rest of us. They were ordinary people often making ordinary choices as well. They reminded me that we all have a hero within us.

Near the end of my years out on the road giving workshops, I was invited to spend time at a righteous community of ideological purists. Of course they did not bill themselves that way and it isn’t fair of me to describe them like that either. Let’s just say that my life had thrown me so much into the world of gray that I found it quite a shock to immerse myself in an isolated community maintaining all kinds of dietary, ideological, cultural, and moral extremes. I think I have mentioned this place before and how the high point of my time there was when I found one of my kid’s lollipops in my car and sulked in the back seat between my talks, enjoying its sweet and forbidden glory.

Anyways, one particular moment I recall from this time involved me getting into a raging argument with the founders of the community about the movie Shindler’s List. I argued that because Shindler began his hero’s journey from a place of moral grayness, it was possible for him to be a vehicle for much more goodness than if he had started from a place of less moral ambiguity. This outraged the leaders of the commune and there was a lot of screaming involved as they attacked my belief that his flaws were the very reason Shindler saved so many people. Well, they were having none of it and as I have mentioned before, I eventually beat a retreat from this community with a terrible cleanse headache that was only eased by a big mac and fries eaten on my way home.

So my point is?

We don’t have to count ourselves out if we don’t have the bucks of a Bill Gates, or we wanted to throw up when we looked at what happened to our retirement portfolio last year, or we have a fear reaction when we watch the news. Yeah we are all gray. But the great thing is, every day is going to give us the opportunity to make generous and heroic choices and begin again from a new place, no matter what we did or didn’t do the day before. That is one of things I like about dawn. It always marks a new beginning.

One of my challenges is going to be putting aside my own righteousness so I stop ranting about people whom I think make bad choices. That is little self behavior. I need to just get on with my own choices and let them learn what they need to learn their own way. But really…… 18 billion dollars in bonuses for Wall Street executives last year?

And another thing. A lot of people are going to tell you that you are crazy not to worry yourself sick and hold onto every last cent to keep for that rainy day. Thinking about this made me remember how many people told me how wrong I was to not reconcile with my father before he died.

As you may recall if you have been reading this blog for awhile, my father chose to endanger my life and the lives of my kids by aiding and abetting one of my siblings who wanted to kill us. When it was clear that my father was not going to switch gears and come to our aid, I cut my ties with him. It was safer for us, but I also felt that the logical consequence of his endangering us was that we would not want to be in a relationship with him. I felt it was better for his soul and mine for us to part.

I cannot tell you how many people thought I was wrong wrong wrong not to broker some deathbed scene. Phone calls, letters, people I hardly knew, people who knew the story, people who did not. Most everyone told me in no uncertain terms that I was wrong, and that was the gentle description. I had to spend a lot of time going to my heart for the strength to stay the course. It was particularly hard to hear from people who had lost a parent who told me that I would never be able to forgive myself for not reconciling before it was too late. My belief was it was never too late, that my relationship with my father would continue after his death and that it was in the best interest of both our souls for me to listen to my heart, not the voice of anyone’s personality. But this belief was untested and that sometimes left me uneasy.

When I heard he had died, I was weeding in the Rose garden. I have probably mention this before too, but it was a big moment for me because of how at peace I felt. I did not regret my decision and I knew all was well. I had my own goodbye ceremony and was graced with a visit from a white hawk. At the time, I was still so mad at my father that I would not accept this gift was from him, but now I can accept that. Our relationship has moved on.

So my point here is? I suspect these times are going to call for choices that cut across the cultural grain in big ways. And you have my support and my appreciation and my awe for every moment your heart calls you to a choice in opposition to the culture. Let her rip!

My New Best Friends

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Yup, that would be the paintbrush and varnish.

Life always manages to throw some unexpected curve balls and the latest one around here is about our gorgeous new labels. Due to some crossed signals with the label company, they put more varnish than we wanted on the labels. What this means is that while the ink goes on the labels okay, it also can be rubbed off by a determined person or simply by traveling the high seas of the mail.

We discovered this after a week or so of sending a sprinkling of the new labels out into the world. In general, we are using the new labels as we run out of the old ones, but a distributor in Hong Kong asked to have her whole order in the new labels and we were so full of excitement about the labels that we proudly sent her order off with all new labels. Shortly thereafter we heard back from her that the writing on the labels had rubbed off onto the box lids in transit. This was exactly what we hoped was not going to happen.

After a lot of research, we settled on solving the problem by varnishing every label after Lynn or me or Polly our new label queen writes the label. Blessedly I like mindless jobs, because varnishing labels certainly qualifies. But my main emotion is relief that we figured out a solution. While a few labels have gone out into the world without this varnish, from here on out everything will be protected and you will be able to sky dive in the Grand Canyon with your Essences in your pocket and the label will look as fresh and legible as the day it was written on. And yahoo for that!

Sheltering Love

Jim’s sixth grade classroom looks like a jungle. While our tropical plants spend the summer in the gardens, at least half of them ask to go to Jim’s classroom for the winter. His students learn how to care for rubber trees, hibiscus bushes, peace lilies, and a sea of begonias. They hand in papers through a gap in citrus and succulents, aloes and steadfast geraniums. It takes a truck to bring all the plants to school for the winter and it takes the village of his school to savor all their gifts.

One tree towers about them all in both its height and its magnificent outpouring of love, a tropical beauty called Dombeya Wallichii.

This beloved Flower, a native of Madagascar, is all about sheltering love. When it blossoms, the immense orbs of pink Flowers flood the air with the most unusual perfume of baking cake. This year, as you know, Jim’s school is in the chaos of reorganizing itself to face the present economic situation. Not only do Jim’s kids wallow in the tropics all day, but all the staff meetings- and there is one every day- happen in Jim’s classroom too. Everyone meets in a consoling sea of Flowers, under the sheltering branches of the Dombeya Wallichii.

Because Dombeya Wallichii Flower and Essence are all about sheltering love especially for caretakers, silently pouring out love to students and teachers alike is a natural for this Flower. And this year, recognizing the particular circumstances in play, the Dombeya Wallichii responded with an immense Flowering. Instead of the usual couple of blossoms, it has thrown off over twenty orbs of Flowers, huge balls of exquisite pink. And the perfume wafting down the halls? While Jim has invited everyone in the school to visit his classroom to enjoy Dombeya’s display, everyone would have found their way there anyways, following the irresistible scent of this ravishing Flower.

Diving into the scented heads for a deep breath, each and every visitor is graced with the vibration of this loving presence. Such a reminder to me of the grace of Flowers and their fine tuned love for each of us.

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Labels and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

As we wait for the arrival of the new labels and logos, 120,000 strong all shipped from Nebraska last Friday, I continue with my Guide rewrite.

I am almost done my next to last read through. One project I have been working on while doing this edit is a document called, “Green Hope Farm Flower Essence Suggestions for Common Concerns.” This list contains lots of healing concerns and my Flower Essence suggestions for these concerns. As I reread the Guide definitions, I cross check to make sure the Flower Essences are in the categories they need to be listed in, a process that has improved this list considerably.

This list has been in process for a few years but has become a big focus for us this winter. I am sure I will feel called to improve it almost daily, but it is a pretty comprehensive and helpful document right now.

If you want a copy of this new baby ” Green Hope Farm Flower Essence Suggestions for Common Concerns”, please ask for it and this will get me to cut the cord and let it be born.

It is a pretty large document of fifty plus pages. You may want to get it by email so you can keep it on your desktop to print out or not as the case may be. We remain happy to check with the Angels and also look to this document for you if you don’t want to wrestle with this beast, but it is an interesting read! Every one of us in the office has put a lot of loving attention into this list.

I hope it proves a blessing to each person’s search for the most supportive Flower Essences.

Additionally, this list is going to go up on the website very soon.

Webmaster Ben and graphic design Goddess Jess have the new home page built ( but not launched) and are beginning to fill in the pieces. We will load all articles onto the site including this wonderful new list. For the first time the additional Essence list, formerly known as our research list, also will be found online. Once I have finished the edit of the Guide, Ben is going to give me a template so that I can put the current definition for each of the Flower Essences in the Guidebook onto the website too.

Is your head spinning? Mine is. And guess what? While I was writing this blog, the new labels arrived! Here is Jess, graphic design Goddess unpacking some of the boxes!

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It’s now a week since I thought this blog was posted……. Something has gone mysteriously wrong again with the blog uploads……. Since last week, Iwe have begun to send out by email and mail the “Flower Essence Suggestions for Common Concerns” list!

We also began the process of changing over to the new labels. Lynn had QUITE the list of labels to write this week- and we began to use these new labels on new inventory- it will be awhile before we aren’t occasionally dipping into old labels because Lynn can only do so much, but we all ooohhh and aaahhhh every time a box with some new labels go out-

So I have put in a call to Ben to see if he can help me get this blog to post and then I hope to hear from more of you wanting this list- I am ready to let it roll!

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!