Saturday, December 30, 2006

HELLO LOVE thoughts at 3 a.m.

I spent the holidays in Santa Fe with a rather bad cold. One night last week, I woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep until 4 a.m. I read for awhile, but then began to think about Hello Love. Here are a few of the rambling middle of the night thoughts I had:

Hello Love acknowledges the inherent beauty and perfection of each person we meet.

It is a two word manifesto declaring that our very substance is nothing but LOVE...disguised as many other things...but nothing but love.

Hello Love is small enough to creep into the cracks or fissures in our created personalities and hit the well-spring of love -- the pool of vibration that matches our greeting.

Hello Love is huge enough to instantaneously, tangibly LIFT all who give or receive its blessing.

Sit in a space and greet that space with Hello Love. You will feel the space crackle -- releasing, setting free, sending on its way -- all that is not love.

Sit with yourself and do the same. Greet the majestic self and shed the layers that do not honor its essence -- your essence -- of pure love.

And Hello Love to all your resistance. Hello Love to all who temporarily refuse to receive the name of love. Or all who we struggle to see as love. Whatever a person does is a frenzied, letharigic, attacking, crazed dance to be seen. Bad boy, amazing student, good father, criminal -- but what if we just continue to name them LOVE, no matter what the dance.

Hello? Love?
Love! Hello.
Hello Love.

Happy New Year All.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Passing By My Hello Love

At Franklin and BeachwoodA friend asked me what I did this past weekend. I told her that I stood at a street corner for three hours waving at passersby while holding up a sign that read, HELLO LOVE. She was amused and confused as to why I would do such a thing. I thought about her reaction. I began to wonder too why I would participate in such a thing. A political protest, an anti-war rally or a march for immigrant rights are all understandable causes for going out in public to make a stand and to cause a stir. But who is going to get all excited about receiving a hello love greeting from little me.

And I felt little standing on that street corner a bit bashful and self-conscious wondering what people thought of me. And, at the start, my efforts at hello love didn't generate a whole lot of stir or movement. People in their cars or on foot looked my way as I half-heartedly waved. They contemplated and then passed by my hello love. No wave. No honk. No emotion, no response, no love. No thank you.

Of course I would get a positive reaction here and there (people cannot help but to react to the novelty of it all) but for some reason I would focus on the passersby who didn't wave, who didn't send me a hello love back. I felt like I was at a grocery store standing behind a card table at the end of aisle 3 trying to convince people to sample my food offering. But I was offering up my hello love as though all I had for people to taste was tap water in a Dixie cup with stale bread, instead of a generous wedge of a nutty, tart cheese along with a nice ripe in-season pear.

And I try as the morning wears on to offer up the nutty cheese and sweet pear, and to focus less on how others respond, or not. By the end of our hello love exercise I realize just how far I have moved from my fear of rejection and apprehension to solidarity and connectedness. And every time I do this exercise it takes less and less time for me to bring my cheese and fruit to the table. And as you pass by my hello love, one day, know that I stand at the street corner for three hours on a Sunday morning greeting people to remind myself that I have more to offer than bread and water.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Daring to Stand Alone (even just for 10 minutes)

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchAnother day out at Franklin and Beachwood! How we love it there. We're going to have to spread the love in some new areas, but it's hard to leave that lovely corner.

This morning, I got there before anyone else. And as it turned out during holiday rush season, everyone else was going to be half an hour late. That left me with a dilemma. Should I unpack the car and stand alone with my sign? Or should I sit in the car and wait. I was oh so tempted to do the latter. But I managed to boot myself out of the car and onto our corner. I set up the t-shirts and then picked up the sign. I walked to the curb and then walked back. I gave myself a pep talk. I took deep breaths. I walked to the curb again.....and then turned around and rearranged the t-shirts. I called my husband for moral support. And then I thought..."This is ridiculous! All this is about is standing in love and sharing it. Why am I being so timid?" It's amazing the dance that can go on in one's head....Even outside the context of Hello Love, we are always second guessing ourselves. Should I smile? Should I offer help? Should I extend? Or should I wait for someone else to do so? Should I try to look put together, reserved or cool? WHY BOTHER??? At least, that's what I began to say to myself this morning. Just get out there, I thought, and hold your sign and breath into your heart and offer a little love this Sunday morning.

So I did. And Ahhhhhhh. People immediately waved. And then moments later, Maria showed up and I had a partner.

This morning was lovely because we had so many people stop by to say, "I was hoping you would be here...I saw you two weeks ago." Or "My boss said you have to go see the Hello Love girls down at the corner" or "We're developing a new website about changing our world though compassion and love and we'd like you to be a part of it!" Hurrah!

I feel much more energized this time out. So far I haven't 'crashed.' I feel the momentum of this and it's lovely. I feel the Hello Love muscle growing stronger...

We're ordering a whole new round of t-shirts thanks to our pal, Indira, who brought us a bunch of samples to choose from.

Madley is going to compose a Hello Love song but would like some lyrics! There's a challenge out there for anyone who might be reading this. :)

Hello Love to you all this sweet Sunday. Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Filling the cup

The Hello Love women gathered yesterday for our first 'retreat.' Our meetings -- to this point -- have been short and a bit hectic. We decided a few weeks back that we needed time to settle in and dream big. What a glorious day we had. With delicious snacks a-plenty, we nestled into a big couch and all checked in. What we discovered over the course of a couple of hours was how important it is for us to say 'hello love' to give ourselves a fill our cups. We obviously LOVE the idea of extending love, but were also realizing that being open and vulnerable and sensitive enough to RECEIVE it is equally as important.

ON a FUN FUN FUN note, we talked about two really great things. One -- we're planning a Hello Love Poster Coloring PARTY on Valentines Day. Come one, come all and then return to your neighborhood with Hello Love Posters galore. Two -- we made a joke at one point about the fact that soon we'll need a 'Hello Love' bus to travel around the country. But soon our joke became a "why not?" And we're thinking (still with a little smile on our faces) HELLO LOVE SUMMER TOUR 2007. :) Watch out. We're checking into renting RV's. :)

Meanwhile, we're all still practicing and feeling great about it. One of our members gave a talk today -- a persuasive speech -- to her class all about Hello Love...and everyone loved it. Most importantly, we all affirmed that it's all about baby steps... Each day we greet ourselves with Hello Love and a few of the people we see each day. We want it to slowly but surely become a way of life.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Expansion and Contraction on a Sunday...

It was another really amazing morning with the Hello Love gang. We were back at Beachwood and Franklin from 9 am until noon. We had our t-shirts hung on the fence and four of us out there with signs waving and greeting the drivers and a few pedestrians as they passed. The response is really just incredible. People are so receptive and delighted. And every honk and smile makes every minute worth it. Of course there are the obligatory wavers and the non-smilers and the puzzled looks. But the honks and peace signs and astonished but happy faces far out weigh all of those.

We were asked a lot more today what we are...what we're about. My response was something like, "We're a group a friends who want to spread a little love. We're asking people to experiment with greeting people silently or not with 'hello love.' People coudn't believe we weren't promoting something or selling something (except t-shirts to spread the word) or a part of a religious movement. Everyone seemed somehow relieved, like, 'oh, we can just relax and enjoy this exchange.'

At Franklin and Beachwood
Anyway, I was feeling so EXPANSIVE and full and happy at the end of our time. My husband and 3 yr old daughter met me and we all drove home. But here's the fascinating and tricky part. I've been totally exhausted since. And when I checked in with the other Hello Love women after last time, everyone reported a similar feeling. We were all high and full and charged and then we all collapsed. And not only that, in the last few hours, I've really felt myself as constricted and not at all 'hello love.' More like 'hello leave me alone.' Of course this at first makes me feel like a failure or a fraud, but then I get to thinking that this is how we exercise our heart. I think that's what we're doing out there.

When I'm standing out there near the street waving at drivers-by, I'm staying as connected with the flow of the heart's energy as I can. I'm breathing in the present moment and then shining out from the heart. It feels like a tangible energy that is rushing over and out from my heart. I can tell when I'm connected and when I'm not. I see it in people's faces. I can tell when it's real. And I think it takes a tremendous amount of energy and effort to keep the heart open and full and flowing. Each time we all practice this for these three hour meetings, we're getting a little stronger. But I also think it's normal -- at this growing stage -- to contract a bit afterwards. I myself am experiencing fatigue and grumpiness. :) But I'm also smiling at myself in the thick of it. I'm thinking, "Isn't this fascinating." That might not be what my husband is thinking... but he is patient and kind and really gets what we're doing even if I collapse afterwards.

So, I'm writing now to capture this journey of total exhilaration in sharing this message and likewise the rebound contraction. It just reminds me how this really IS a PRACTICE. And we all can get better and stronger and more steady in the offerings of our hearts....

Hello love!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Selling T-shirts and spreading the love...

At Franklin and BeachwoodWhat a great morning! We set up at Franklin and Beachwood with about 100 t-shirts. We hung some of them on a chain link fence and hung our HELLO LOVE signs all around that corner. At first, I'll admit, I was shy. I picked up a sign and started tentatively to wave at passers-by. I felt a little awkward. I didn't feel brave.

But then I stopped to remind myself what all this was about...and it's about offering love to everyone and anyone. And I thought...I can do that. I can just stand here and smile and wave and open my heart and offer a little love. I grew increasingly courageous.

At Franklin and BeachwoodThree hours flew by. Soooo many people honked. So many people waved. Many stopped and bought a t-shirt. One woman told us about a cool art project she was working on highlighting groups of women who gather together to create something lovely. We were that. She took our picture with the t-shirts. Many talked to us from their car window thanking us for what we were doing. The sun was BEATING down, but we were all so full, so happy, so alive with offering a little unexpected love to those who happened to be driving down Franklin or Beechwood this morning.

Something about this is absolutely right. It feels GOOD to say it, to share offer it. Hello Love. Hello love. Yes you!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Just One...Begin Here

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchHello love. Yes, you! You there, across the street on this brisk morning in Los Angeles. The sun is just high enough that the sky still looks faintly naive and the air still feels fresh. "Good morning" I shout to you. You look over, unsure, scared, a little confused perhaps. You assess, I do not look like I am disturbed, I am holding a sign. I have friends near me. I am a safe distance away.

I am smiling and waving at you.

You there, across the street.

You felt it then, our borderless skins.

You shout, "I love you too." Then you put your head down again and walk a bit faster. I wonder if perhaps you felt it was silly? I want you to know it was beautiful.

I want you to know that this is the world we want to create. In this moment you helped create it.
The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchIt was experiences like this that fed me Saturday morning, the first opening of the hello love gates. It was finding a man smoking a cigarette and reading the dictionary on a motorcycle at 7:00 on a Saturday morning. It was the old woman who walked with me down the road telling me a story about a man who gives her a sandwich every time he sees her. So she is sure not to forget her teeth.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchIt was the man with the black wig and the white lip liner who told me his story and said of our project, "If the whole world was like this... wouldn't that be nice." It was the homeless man sleeping beneath the freeway who would wake to see one of our signs. It was every honk, every wave, every smile, no matter how hesitant or eager. This is what the hello love experiment gave to me, and I hope, perhaps, gave to each of them.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchNow I won't suggest you run right our there and stand on a street corner waving at people right this second (you can do that later if you want). But I would reccommend picking one person today, try to meet their eyes, and silently greet them with hello love. I'm reminded, as I say this of a potato chip ad from a few years ago, something like, "betcha can't eat just one." I bet you can't stop at one. But begin here.

Go on now, you can do it, just one.... hello love

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchI just put a "Hello Love" sign on the front door of our house. Why not welcome LOVE in whenever possible?

I'm more and more excited about where this little experiment could go. After our Saturday adventure in Hollywood and the positive feedback, we're all feeling energized to get the word out more and get more people practicing this. Edie and I decided that it would be great to take a walk once a week during which we're focused -- not on our own STUFF -- but on extending the hello love energy to whomever we pass. It's a service. It's fulfilling.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchI love the grass-rootsy feel of this. I love the idea of a little phrase making a big difference. It's playful, but powerful. In the spirit of the grass-roots feel, I welcome any suggestions or ideas (big or little) about how we might continue to build on this idea.

T-shirts are just around the corner...and I'll be wearing mine a LOT. A download-able, color-in-your-own HELLO LOVE sign will soon be on the site. We want people to send in pictures of themselves holding the sign. We want the word, the idea to spread globally!!

Just start talking about the idea with your friends. It's all about word of mouth...

Write in and share your experiences...We'd love to hear...

And HELLO LOVE to all you reading this. Hello love. Yes you.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hello Love. Hello Love? Hello Love!

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveToday I took the opportunity to love on strangers. I didn’t physically love "on" them. I didn't touch them. I mostly didn't even talk to them. But I looked at them, in a soft-hearted kind of way, each person that passed me on the street. As I set out with Heidi, Madley, Laura, and Maria on our first day out with the Hello Love Experiment, I pretended that I had amazing secret super-powers, and that I could mentally send a force field of pure love to each person, psychically! I held the idea that this force in me was powerful in a universe-creating, big bang, atomic nuclear reaction, kind of way, huge and almighty, and that if I focused really intently, they would receive it. Even if they still looked grumpy or tired or worn down by the world, with each stranger that walked past, I held the idea that on some level they got this beam of love. I flashed in my mind thoughts of them living the happiest, highest idea of themselves. I imagined them prosperous in all ways and their eyes filled with creative excitement for life. I imagined them fulfilled and lovingly connected to the people in their lives.

I did this with my friends.

How nice to have friends that wanted to go out and try this.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveYes, we also put up signs that said, Hello Love. We handed out business cards at the corner of Sunset and Argyle--the business of sending love. Sometimes, we had to explain ourselves.

"No, we are not with a religion, or any organization. We are just a group of friends. We are not raising money for any cause, there is no other reason than this moment, to stand here and send you love--because it feels good."

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchI have to admit, we were all nervous at first, none of us are the type that do this kind of thing... talk to strangers; none of us are outgoing look-at-me kind of people. So we had to rally ourselves. After all, this could be seen as ridiculous... and on some level it's illegal; posting signs in public areas. So there was the possibility of scandal! Worse than that, someone might make fun of us, might say, "That’s stupid." So there was also the possibility of being scoffed at. Sounds silly, but being scoffed at in public is very daunting.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchBut even more than those reasons, I think it just makes one nervous to blindly offer love. It goes against the social training of life: self protection, guarding against people that want to take advantage of your good nature, which could be anyone--especially strangers; it's just not safe. And besides that, what's the pay-off, what is the profit to be gained?

Which brings me to the surprising discovery of this morning for me: Which was A.) how I felt safer in the world with each passing person that I beamed love to. And B.) how satisfying it felt to walk around beaming love, how much better I felt inside myself. People pay good money for that--feeling good. And here it is, free.

It's a lovely thing to try, to ask yourself is this ridiculous or revolutionary, this Hello Love thing, and then just walk out on the street and test it.

Too pooped to pop!

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveI had an exhausting week, but it's Hello Love Eve and I'm happy. (And I'll let Heidi tell you why we picked this October 13th to begin :)

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveTomorrow morning -- or four hours from now -- Heidi'll call "Rain Delay" or not for our Hello Love Experiment launch in Hollywood. We were at her house tonight to gear up with posters, placards and business cards, and the energy was incredible (pictures coming), creativity abundant, and Andrew and Maria's fine work at the grill delicious! Hopefully Mother Nature is on our side... she usually doesn't rain in southern California.

I'm glad I woke up from sleeping on the couch... forgot to put a stat counter on the website and blog, our only way to measure our impact/curiosity... now that it's up, it's goodnight, love...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It could be like this

We all got this this note today: could be like this...,
Love, love

Heidi Rose

My email back:

OMG <--- Oh My God

... this is incredible! Initially I thought ICK! that guy is dirty and probably smells... but after the first few hugs... I was sold and wept.

More power to us! :)


A Rough Start

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveWhen the five us met last week to plan for the hello love launch, Heidi gave us a chance to really focus on what the heck we were doing OTHER than all the logistical things: like doing a website, making t-shirts, cutting business cards, building placards. We're all smart women of the millenium, we knew how to do all that.

But did we really know what the purpose of hello love was? Why were we specifically involved? Did we know what it meant personally in our own lives before we worried about how we affected others? ARE WE READY TO DO THIS?

Well, I'll give it to that Heidi, she can sniff out "a need" in a second, so she brought us together for a short centering. Her backyard on a rare fresh Los Angeles morning was the perfect place to gather in meditation (An aside: I used to hate the word meditation because it brings up a lot of high fallutin' spiritual nonsense to me, so I keep it simple: Close eyes, be quiet; I pray=I talk; I meditate=God talks back. :)

Ten clarifying minutes later and I knew I wasn't ready to do this "thing" called hello love. Hell, I couldn't say it without either (1) pretending I was a Brit (the Queen's English or a cockney spitfire, sometimes a combination of both); or (2) rolling my eyeballs and dripping with sarcasm at how CORNY it all was. I deserved to be fired.

As we went around the group, what Heidi spoke about and honored was our own individual process in this thing called "hello love." Me? I didn't think I could go out there meeting people when the words won't come off of my lips "properly" -- good grief this was going to be embarrassing and boy, do I feel like frickin' FRAUD.

But that was going to be okay. I tried to look further down the road at the possibilites -- how simply we could really change our lives (and others' lives) down the road. Come on, I told myself... did you not just share with your friends that in a supermarket in Sacramento you told yourself you'd say a mental "hello love" to all the people shopping alone? Did you not have fun? Did you not get a lovely smile or greeting back from 90% of the people you tried to connect with? And most of all -- did you not feel your life was BETTER in those few minutes?

Today I was so grateful that my computer could get fixed under warranty (read: FREE) that I was ready to maul the Geek Squad clerk over the counter with hugs, kisses and pinches on the cheek -- but Greg the Geek was having NONE of it. I wanted so badly for him to know how good a job he did with me, that he deserved to get promoted to CEO that day, pronto! But barring an arrest, I decided to mentally wish him "hello love." HELLO LOVE. H-E-L-L-O?

Nary a smirk out of this 22-year-old -- he was like a "grampa" who'd just seen too much fal-der-a to care about anything anymore! Greg wasn't present to receive my wishes, so young but preoccupied with... who knows, girls? Death? Tight undies? I don't know. But just then I realized it wasn't about his receiving it... it was about me embodying hello love and trying it out.

I changed a few molecules in the world with love right there at Best Buy... and whether or not my Geek friend got it or not wasn't up to me. I knew my work had just begun.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Big Thinking

I'm thinking big tonight. This weekend has been a powerful one for me in the ways of Love. I began Friday with a "hello love" meeting and meditation, which proved more empowering and clarifying than I could have imagined. I can feel it. I feel the message, the action, the result, all as one; warm and thick, coursing through me so that I am at once excited and exhausted.

The meeting ran late and I rushed over to my son's preschool, hoping I would not be late. Wondering all the time why it mattered so. Breathe, I told myself, breathe. From here I was supposed to meet another friend. The plan was to drive until Aedan feel asleep and then the two of us mamas would have some chat time before the boys woke up. I didn't want to go. It made me nervous -- I'm a homebody at heart, and all this socializing was making me a little uneasy. But I went, because when she had called to invite me days before it felt so comforting and I trusted this initial impulse.

I asked her advice as an extroverted homemaker and she replied with some matter of fact answers. She also brought up God.

I would tell you at first breath that I am not a religious person. I would tell you that I am NOT against organized religion, but it is not for me. I would tell you that from what I know, Jesus was an amazing man but no more the son of God than you or me. I would tell you that God’s power is no more or less real than Mother Earth's. I will tell you all this, but I have not yet had the chance to tell my friend. However, the amazing thing is, I did not need to. She told me of a book she was reading with a book group through her church. The book spoke about the love of God. The book says that God sees you without judgment. That he sees you in your entirety and loves you right off the bat, and no matter what, for all eternity. Suddenly in this moment, sitting at her kitchen table, I dropped all my guards. I took a great deep breath in, nodded, and said in a voice that came from my belly, “Yes.”

All of these things we do as devout (or not) followers of our religions, are done to bring us closer to our God. But what is any God if not Love? What is more powerful than embodying that Love? In that moment of looking a stranger in the eye and loving them, right off the bat, and no matter what, I, you, we, are close to God. I dare say, we are one with God. This is the reason we are here. To learn the power of Love. To feel the power of Love. To use the power of Love.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

In the beginning...

The HELLO LOVE Experiment Launch EveI want to tell you about my “Hello, love” experiment. These days, when I greet my daughter or my husband, I often say, “Hello, love.” Sometimes I greet my dear friends this way too. It feels natural and wonderful to say.

Then while sitting in Starbucks the other morning – my office away from home – it occurred to me that I could do an experiment. I began to wonder how I could expand the love circle. Naming something is a powerful thing. If I call you LOVE and mean it, it resonates for both of us.

Now, don’t worry… I’m not going to suggest that you greet everyone you meet with “Hello, love.” I’m only going to suggest that you THINK it. It’s actually pretty remarkable.

I started doing this as I watched people come and go through the Starbucks door and then, too, when I headed home. I silently greeted my fellow walkers with “Hello, love.” And I couldn’t stop smiling.

The HELLO LOVE Experiment LaunchThere is something so delicious about this.

It takes the critical mind or the fear based mind or the separative mind right out of commission. And instead, I found myself immediately seeing what was MOST LIGHT in each of the people I greeted, what was most REALIZED LOVE. And I felt full of appreciation.

Also, I felt like I had some fabulous secret… like I could be a Johnny Appleseed of Love on a quiet morning walk.

Of course, one can’t help but see the grumpy, broken, blocked parts too. But with the “Hello, love” experiment, they are secondary. At least for a split second, they are secondary.

And if we add together all our split seconds of love, we begin to change our world.

Try it. See what you think. Report back! Practice. Try it today.