Wednesday, March 07, 2007

hello love from scratch

it's hard enough practicing hello love let alone organizing ourselves to formulate the how with the what and when and where of spreading love and heart-felt greetings across this expanse of a city called los angeles. i remember it was about 6 or 7 months ago that we set out certain goals and laid out specific plans to spread a little love. we discussed back and forth about everything from what type of font we should use for the hello love lettering on the t-shirts to what type of presence we wanted to have on the web. we wanted to go to farmer's markets and swap meets, organize events and raise funds for important causes. we even stated on our web site as one of our goals to raise enough funds to rent billboard space for a few days and considered whether we wanted it to say simply, hello love or hello love (yes, you).

sure we haven't achieved everything we set out to do, and we might even be rethinking some of our goals and our means of achieving them. but certain things have remained constant - our individual relationship to the hello love practice keeps evolving and as a result our group keeps transforming.

what do i mean by this? originally i thought hello love was something i was giving to someone. "hey there, hello love. pass it on." and it is partly that. but i began to see how hello love is just as much about giving to myself - exercising the confidence to give freely without any expectation to connect in a certain way with the recipient.

but recently i've found that hello love is also about shifting our energy when we are not about love or when i'm feeling frustrated or angry or uncomfortable about something or someone or a situation. and that shift may not go from anger to compassion. but it releases me from that space that is void of love. and in that hello love moment, in that slight release from anger or any constraining emotion, one might find healing words or insight to turn around a difficult circumstance into opportunity.

our group thought of hello love as a social experiment, but i didn't anticipate that the experiment was really about us, 5 women wanting to bring more love into this world through artful and crafty means, working together within the confines and limitless energy of our uniqueness as well as common interests. i don't think so much about the how, the what, or the when and where (ok, so it creeps in every now and then in a hello love meeting during a decision making process). but i think maybe i'll be focusing more on the why, or maybe even a why not.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It can be this little!

Today, I was leaving Trader Joe's when I noticed a convertible Corvette parked so boldly next to my dirty station wagon plastered with "Hello Love." As I finished loading my grocery bags into the back, a dapper man approached.

"Hello Love!" he said. "How nice," and he chuckled the sort of chuckle you'd expect a corvette owner to chuckle.

"Thanks," I smiled back and began to climb into my car and drive off.

Then I saw them, the little stash of cards I keep in my door just in case. I was reminded of my mission and the message which meant that even this man (who was somehow intimidating to me because he owned a Corvette) was also LOVE.

I boldly stood and asked, "Would you like to have a card? You could pass it on!"

He readily took the card. He saw the website handwritten on the back and asked what it was, if it was my website. So I gave as brief an explanation as possible about a group of friends out to spread a little love with this experiment to see how it made people feel. He smiled and thanked me and said in half an hour he was taking a Lovely Lady out to lunch. He would give the card to her.

"Perfect," I said, and we said our thank you's and goodbye's and have a nice day's and parted ways.

I saw today -- in a fresh light -- the power of our little experiment. Because really, who experienced the Hello Love, me, or him? I know that because I took a moment to say it to him (first with the help of my car and then silently before I was brave enough to hand him the card), he was able to experience it, and the Lovely Lady he was taking out to lunch was able to, and who knows where it will go from there but already I feel its energy circle back to me in the quiet of early evening.

Perhaps it's selfish, or perhaps it's a perk, but I'm finding that in giving love we almost always get back more than we gave. Not such a bad trade, 'eh? Somebody should tell the blokes on Wall Street about this!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

HELLO LOVE is Alive and Well!

Goofy pose

HELLO LOVE(S) out there to everyone who's been supporting us and The Experiment -- and a big shout out to Mary from Arizona kind enough to send us an email to see how we're doing! Made us realize today that we really need to keep this blog up and check in, especially since so much has happened since last we did -- including a pancake poster making party with lots of friends! (PICTURES TO COME :) So we've committed to writing a little bit when we can... and I'm just starting from now and working backwards.

Today we had a Hello Love "retreat" where the five us get together and really spend some time on catching up, where we've been and where we'd like to go all pertaining to Hello Love. Good snacks, good ideas, planning for the next events, but mostly great catching up and reinvigorating the cause.

Which, in a very simple way, according to Edie, is getting people to say "Hello Love"! So simple... and yet absolutely adorable when she put up her waving hand to her face and just WAVED! I can imagine loads of photos with people waving with their Hello Love signs... and spreading the feeling and spreading the word.

I, myself, have had a pretty cathartic month when it comes to opening the heart -- I feel like I've been the most hesitant at all, but really, it's about one's own process, isn't it? I'll blog about that soon, as it's a big music composition week for me this week and I'm really under the gun... in a good way.

But basically -- LOVE isn't just "Ten Minutes Ago I Saw You" from Cinderella or "Do I Love You."

(And yes, I had to post these clips because I LOVE the musical Cinderella.... geez, see how defensive I'm getting about this?! This is not easy! Anyhoo...)

Now I can actually see that there's a yin and yang about that too -- love isn't only good times, but is balanced out by hard work and frustration. And that means Hello Love too -- I don't feel like I have to be so "Pollyanna-ish" anymore... So to close my check-in today and I played this song from the Broadway musical Avenue Q:

The More You Ruv Someone