Sunday, December 21, 2008

What does it mean to be Friends in this millennium? Happy Solstice!

I'm starting to understand what it must have been like for my parents when they started diatribes that began with, "when I was your age..." because the changing times now seem to be even quicker than it was when they were my (current) age (39).

Through my formative years, I saw the advent of push button phones, home computers, answer machines, cable TV, microwaves, walk mans, disc mans, video games and yes, MTV. I can't possibly imagine my life without these technologies and what they later birthed -- thinking about an iPhone and the fact that I can carry around color video on my phone when in my youth having a color TV was a big deal is mind boggling when I consider it sometimes.

Along with all this technology, interpersonal relating has also changed -- how could it not? We all carry interpersonal communication devices with us day in and day out. So many of us have multiple devices of some sort -- a phone and a computer or two phones (land line at home or work and a cell phone) or multiple email addresses or being on multiple social media sites.

What I'm realizing is that all these ways of communicating have really changed what relating with other people is like. Friendships aren't what they used to be. Being close to someone doesn't mean what it might have years ago.

Think about it. 150 years ago the standard way that most of you would read this message was via US postal service. When was the last time you mailed a friend anything of importance about your personal life via US Mail?

Even if you think back to a mere 40 years ago and the climate of this world, we weren't necessarily looking to connect as the cold war was in full force and the "evil" of the other side was so prevalent in people's minds. So while people could use phones, 40 years ago it was pay by the phone call and wait in line if you had a big family.

Today, I have a group of "friends" on facebook that is simply more people than I could ever interact with using a phone -- which, in it's own right, is amazing technology. Through this tool especially (not to belittle other social media sites, but facebook is dialed in, integrated, and pretty kick ass in how it works) is that we have the unique opportunity to create relating as human kind has never known it before. In a minutes time I can have a personal interaction with several people by typing a message and posting it to someone wall. I can have an interaction with hundreds of my friends by simply changing my status and it will move through someone else's feed.

And if you type quickly -- a skill, these days, more valuable than good penmanship was 50 years ago -- a regular person can interact with even more people in less time and more depth than you could possibly accomplish before in human history.

I got a message from an old (long-standing, not aged) friend this morning... someone who knew me before I founded Temple of Poi. She was reaching out and sending me love. It really touched me because while the message was short, it communicated a lot and had me remember that these social media tools allow us to show up in the world and impact people in ways we may not even be aware of.

I hear a lot about technology and the woes of it... but truly, I find it to be a gift... A gift that allows us all to redefine what friendship means by a standard that is appropriate for today's means of interpersonal communication. A gift that allows us to still have those people we see on a regular basis while also allowing us to reach out to more people and stay in connection, in love, in the light together, and in a Flow of Being as one on this earth that has never before been available to us.

I feel a transformation upon us right now -- not just because we elected the first black president in US history; not just because we celebrate the winter solstice today; but also because this time in human history is truly epic and it is right here and right now where we get to define what we create through these tools and what we choose to do with them.

I for one and grateful to take full advantage of being able to connect with hundreds of people in moments and I appreciate that connection for what it is... grateful to have every one of you in my life at whatever level we choose to create interaction.

So thank you for being, thank you for creating a possibility for interconnectedness that is unprecedented in human history and thank you so much for sharing this life with me.

Welcome back into the light. May it fill you with all the positive things you most truly desire.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12 Days of Christmas: Meaning Revealed

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Looking to increase everyone's joy this holiday season? Yeah, me too.

Nearly 9 years ago I was lucky enough to stumble upon poi.
Nearly 7 years ago I was driven enough to establish Temple of Poi.

4 years ago I was serendipitously granted the first of a series of opportunities to bring poi fire dancing to a credible stage, namely, Union Square. This was a donation of our time and money to be a part of the San Francisco Food Bank's (SFFB) Canned Food Drive. Each year, the SFFB hosts an annual event to help raise awareness and increase donations for people who are less fortunate and unable to feed themselves. Throughout the day, they have artists perform -- this year's performances include our beloved Shamanic Cheerleaders who will be performing earlier in the day Monday.

Temple of Poi's first performance in 2004 was such a success, they invited back. Again. And Again. And Again. This year, we are lucky enough to contribute once more as we present the finale of the day's events with a 40 minute fire show performed by students, alumni and friends of the school (as well as the closing performance by me).

In these times where things seem darker, I invite you share your light and be part of the solution. Here's how you can participate:

- Buy a holiday gift for yourself or friends: Temple of Poi is committed to raising funds for the food bank by offering 50% of our proceeds from sales of our Temple of Poi 2006 Fire Dancing Expo DVD to the food bank. Purchase a copy in person from us at Temple of Poi for $20 or buy your own copy to be shipped to you.

- Stop by on Monday and donate a canned good item

- Spread the word about the SFFB's mission by sending this message far and wide

- And joining us for:

WHAT: The San Francisco Food Bank's Canned Food Drive
WHEN: Monday, December 8, 2008
WHERE: Union Square, San Francisco
WHO: Temple of Poi Fire Dancers (4:40 pm), Shamanic Cheerleaders (3:05) and more