Giving Thanks: Transformation in the California Bay Area
A large part of my daily practice– if not the most meaningful– is gratitude. So many times, it has been the key to interrupting anxiety, quelling fear, and soothing hurt. Recently, our Greenheart Transforms team journeyed to the California Bay Area for two weeks of conscious events, partner meetings, and solid team-building opportunities doing good work. I knew that I would give thanks to have the sun shining on my face after leaving Chicago in the beginning throes of winter, but I was surprised by how many reasons we all found to be grateful. The practice of gratitude came so easily each morning and night in the company of people so fully committed to leaving their best possible mark on this world.
Consciousness and Healing Initiative Conference, San Diego, CA
November 4 – At the breathtaking Paradise Point, we happily sponsored this day of enlightening presentations in partnership with Global Purpose Movement. The speakers of the day simply blew us away, and we left with a renewed understanding of the interconnected nature of our world. Larry Dossey gave a brilliant account of healing at the intersection of the known and unknown, and James Fox shared poignant stories of his time working with inmates at San Quentin Prison through the Prison Yoga Project.
I am grateful for interdisciplinary efforts dedicated to healing the ailments of our bodies and our world. For scientific exploration by highly experienced and educated individuals who want to do more. For all that we learned during this fascinating and thought-provoking day.
Innovation & Illumination, San Francsico, CA
November 6 – Together with East Meets West, we gathered at The Center SF for an afternoon intensive on Innovation and Illumination. We heard from speakers Emanuel Kuntzelman, Dustin DiPerna, Dhaval Chadha, Adil Kazam, Anna-Lisa Adelberg, and Mackenzie Hall. We even had a surprise visit from Barbara Marx Hubbard, whose words brought the energy of the day to new heights. And I must say, the comic emcee stylings of Ms. Andrea Dennis are not to be missed.
I am grateful for the wonderfully diverse, bright community that joined us for this event. For the projects and creative energy that are arising from partnerships begun there. For the electric, inspiring activists, change-makers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and all others who made this day such a memorable one for all of us.
Evolutionary Woman: A Tribute to Barbara Marx Hubbard, Berkeley, CA
November 10 – The Bancroft Hotel was such a lovely backdrop as we gathered to pay tribute to the life and work of Barbara Marx Hubbard. Following a loving roast by some of Barbara’s nearest and dearest, she captivated the room as she spoke about her planetary mission. Emanuel Kuntzelman emceed with humor and grace, and the evening finished with a performance piece by conceptual artist Iam&A created especially for the event.
I am grateful for the example of a woman who chose to create her own path, even though women could not even apply for credit cards or serve on a jury when she set out on her journey. I am grateful to have seen our team (and so many others) so inspired by her passion and dedication for creating a peaceful world and belief that a better world is possible.
November 15 – New Paradigm Populism: Creating a Path Toward a Spiritual Civilization
Together with Integral Transformative Practice International, we gathered at the Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael, CA for an evening of lively discussion on the planetary crises at hand and how we can best navigate them as a global community. The conversation, moderated by Emanuel Kuntzelman, featured panelists Brandon Peele, Lynne Twist, and Michael Murphy.
I am grateful for inter-generational dialogue around the issues we are currently facing as a planet. For giving voice to both problems that need to be addressed and possible solutions. For those who do not choose to accept the status quo, and are moved to act toward bettering the lives of all.
Our team returned to our respective homes last week, thrilled to have met so many remarkable people and begun such exciting new relationships. Especially in light of the developments of the past few weeks in our country, it is comforting to know that there are people giving all they have to the causes of peace, tolerance, environmental sustainability, wellness, and innovation. Still, there is much to be done.
Wishing you all more things to be grateful for than you can possibly count, this holiday season and always.
Ashley Collier is Executive Assistant to the President of Greenheart International. She is a writer, Reiki practitioner, and songbird who is always dreaming up new adventures and looking for creative ways to give back.