Thursday, July 31, 2008

Auto Love

There’s much to be learned about Hello Love in your very own car. I’ve had to laugh at myself several times in the last week as I observed my inner monologue. On the street, we all have to be civil or polite or at least indifferent. In a car, it seems, all judgment, rude behavior and indignation are back on full throttle.

Admit it. How often do you look over to a fellow driver and actually think something even remotely nice about them? Do you ever even dare smile? But even more to the point, how often do you find yourself swearing in ways you never would outside your car just because someone nudges in ahead of you or speeds up at a time you wish they wouldn’t?

And the car horn. The horn was invented to be used in an emergency—to alert another driver to possible danger. I don’t believe it was intended to stand in for a call to the immediate environs about how impatient or indignant or powerful we are. I also don’t believe it was invented as a universal release for all our pent up unexpressed daily frustration.

My suggestion. Start practicing Hello Love in the car. In fact, every time you want to honk your horn, think Hello Love instead. You’ll crack yourself up. Really. You’ll find yourself on autopilot ready to cuss out a fellow commuter and you’ll end up naming them love. And then you’ll think, “Wow – what if they really are love? What if LOVE looks like that.” And it does. It does look like THAT.

Once many years ago, I accidentally cut a woman off in traffic and we ended up next to each other at a stoplight. She turned to glare at me and I looked back and said (through the closed window), “I’m so sorry.” She could hardly believe it. It’s as if years melted off her face and she turned into a sweet, soft, welcoming thing. “Oh, it’s okay!”, she mouthed back. And we smiled. That happened 15 years ago and I haven’t forgotten it.

I think if we turned our heads to the car next to us and sent a little Hello Love to the anonymous driver on our left, we’d all have some similarly unforgettable connections.

Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Loving on a Larger Scale

I don’t know how to do this yet. But I know it’s the goal. Until we bust beyond where it is comfortable to love, we’re not working the depth of what love has to offer.

So many of us think, well, it’s impossible to love on a larger scale because there are so many criminals, jerks or mean people out there. If I open my heart to all, that would be indiscriminate and foolish. How do I know if I say “hello love” to someone that they are worthy of that greeting?

No one wants to be Pollyanna. There IS evil in the world. I think learning to love on a larger scale requires sounding a higher note, so that even the darkest or most lost figures get swept up into an unstoppable current leading to something lighter and more clear.

Brass tacks. Should I walk down the street and greet each person I meet, silently or not, with Hello Love? How could I name someone who just did something atrocious – LOVE? Am I not feeding what is already dark? Am I not being insensitive to those hurt by that person? Am I not giving that darkness energy?

I don’t think so. A few things are important here:

1. Our actions are not being named love. Our purest essence –which is truly who we are – is being named love. The greeting is a reminder of who we are. And it’s a reminder that every moment we can choose for our actions to reflect that. It’s a call to ORDER.

2. Hello Love is not PERSONAL. It is naming something essential in each of us that’s all the same fabric. In that sense, it has nothing to do with each of us as individuals, only what we are ALL together. We are ALL woven of the fabric of love. Naming someone love invites them to remember that fabric—that circle of love. And that remembrance can be startling and purificatory.

3. Hello Love is not an isolated greeting. Each time it is spoken, it’s as if it cleans something up in the energetic field. It begins to build a thought form that has signficance and power. I believe “Energy follows thought.” Imagine energy streaming into the building thought form that we are --in our purest essence-- love.

Here’s the deal. Right now, most of us are only capable or for that matter only desiring to love our nearest and dearest. We use love in the context of family and friends. But I think we can begin to take these circles of love and extend them. And until we do so, we are not living love fully.

When we’re willing to begin EXPERIMENTING with this, we discover a dance of love and discrimination. Because love isn’t always pretty. Love can be fierce. Love can be protective. Love can be the law. The only way, for example, for us to extend concentric circles of love to our nation or our planet---love on a LARGE scale—is to be willing to see and name the purest essence of each person we meet but also be willing to deal effectively and powerfully with inappropriate action by that person or nation or community.

It’s a delicate balance. But it involves first and foremost a willingness to open to the possibility of love in each encounter. This will not be the reality globally for a long time. But if we practice remaining open where we usually let fear, judgment, embarrassment or laziness win the day, we can begin the preliminary steps towards loving on a larger scale.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wearing the Tee

I spent the morning folding Hello Love t-shirts. We have 5 big boxes full of beautiful t-shirts and in the last 6 months, they’ve gotten all mixed up. Today was the day to get it in order.

We’ve sold a lot over the year. That makes me happy. It made me even happier to think of getting all the remaining t-shirts out into the world. My husband’s cousins started the T-shirt company Life is Good. I see those t-shirts everywhere everyday. And it’s a GREAT message. I would love to see Hello Love t-shirts greeting the world in the same way.

It’s not that I’m so interested in having a t-shirt business. I just love the idea of getting the message out. I love the conversations that begin when people wear this shirt.

I’m sending a bunch of t-shirts out to my dear friend Jolie today. She ordered one for her little boy and one for her. I’m going to send one for her husband too. It makes me happy to think of people I love getting a chance to wear these shirts.

I love that my husband wears the Hello Love shirts to the gym practically everyday. He’s amazing. He is a force of relentless positivity and enthusiasm. I love that is a great trainer in a sea of ‘cool’ L.A. trainers and he happily wears what could be construed as a polly-anna message.

Infact, I love anyone that dares to take this message on and say “This isn’t just NICE. This is the real stuff. This is daring. Embracing the truth of this message could radically change our world.”

There I go again. I just get excited about this message whenever I start writing....

Love to all – heidi rose

Friday, July 25, 2008

Naming it ALL love

I’m sitting in the living room of our home. It’s a little past noon. Kate (my daughter) is at school and Andrew is in the next room writing some emails. He just received some very disappointing news and we’re all reeling a bit. Without going into great detail, we believed he was going to begin a whole new line of work in one week’s time, but at the eleventh hour—most unexpectedly-- was not accepted into the department.

I’m writing about this because I can feel the difference in me from just 9 months ago. We are moving with and through the feeling of this-- but without panic or the desire to fix it. I am holding him with a lot of love and I am holding the whole situation with a lot of trust.

There was a kind of insistence in my HELLO LOVE in the first couple of years. I almost don’t know how to describe it. There was somehow an implied MUST. We MUST greet one another this way if we want to affect a change, if we want to make a difference. There was a kind of force instead of a ‘feeling into’. Feeling into this, I see love working in even the most difficult and challenging situations. I begin to feel my worst moods as love seeking expression. I feel my worst disappointments as love attempting to articulate itself.

In this very moment of Andrew’s great disappointment, I’m feeling into the texture of Hello Love. Hello grace. Hello beauty disguised as obstacle.

I guess I’m feeling the textures of things so much more deeply these days. What is the texture of THIS love? And feeling the texture is an action in itself. There is no ‘doing’ necessary. There is no fixing. There is only wonder, awe, perspective, presence.

I am present with Andrew in this unexpected unfolding story of love that LOOKS like rejection or LOOKS like he is being thwarted. And we don’t have to name it anything. I just like the experiment of naming it ALL unfolding LOVE.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We're Back!

Hello Love!

Well, it’s been MONTHS. We’ve all been silent for a while now. The Hello Love tour was quite an adventure and I think we’ve all been reeling and digesting and re-integrating after being blasted open in such a profound way. I look at us now and I think, “Wow. We’re different. Much has changed. We’re all starting to live Hello Love in new ways. And even though we haven’t gone out to practice as a group for awhile, I can see how we are all looking at the world and living in it differently as a result of our Hello Love adventure thus far.

I was profoundly affected by our journey. And now, almost 9 months later, feel deeply the changes it brought about within my entire SELF. It’s my intention to write about this on a more daily basis and try to reflect how Hello Love manifests in small, daily ways.

I want to thank those of you that have been such amazing support during this time. Our friend, Philip Hellmich from Search for Common Ground, who we interviewed on our tour for the Hello Love Documentary, has been buying t-shirts and distributing them worldwide. He sends us pictures of his friends all over the world wearing the shirts. He’s a one-man movement. It’s wonderful.

And just a few days ago, I received a wonderful letter from a man in New Zealand who drives an ice cream truck and has for the past 20 years. He said he’d heard about Hello Love recently and loved it. He said he felt like he’d been practicing it for years already without calling it ‘Hello Love.’ He wants to be a part of spreading this greeting worldwide.

My own personal ‘Hello Love’ journey at the moment is one of turning inward. The trip was very much about extending a circle of love and living in it daily. My impulse now is to examine the circles that move concentrically inward to the very center of who we are. That is, to return in a way, to the beat of the heart and recognize the miracle of that pulse that runs through us all. It’s only when we are quietly centered in that heartbeat that we can extend fully. I think that’s in some way what we’re all listening for – the simplicity, the pulse of love.

I should also mention that I am 5 months pregnant with a new little love and find that Hello Love these days means embracing all the quirky, pregnant worries and aches and adventures with as much grace and ease as I can. Opening to it all. Opening to love in all forms. As Rumi (loosely) says, inviting in whatever and whoever shows up at the door as the most beloved houseguest. It’s all part of the one universal heartbeat.

We’ve had a Hello Love sign hanging on our front door for two years now. It’s quite amazing to see the response. Salesmen, mailmen, friends, neighbors have all commented on how simply good it makes them feel to be welcomed in this way. I guess that sign on our door is how I’m feeling about my life right now. I say to the new baby growing within me, “Yes, welcome. Welcome.” I say to my grumpy creakiness, “yes, come in. Sit down. I’ll take care of you.” I say to my friends who come knocking, “how lucky I am to have you in my life.” I say to the UPS guy, “Yes, you are part of the heartbeat that I too am part of. Welcome. Come in. Come in.”

It’s good to be writing about Hello Love again.
Tell me your Hello Love stories.....
~heidi rose