This is a Call to Imagine

FOR SOME PEOPLE, 2012 is a year of monumental possibilities, a time when things truly change and humanity reaches for the stars of its own heart, ushering in a new way of being and a harmonious life for us all. For others, it’s a walk in the park, business as usual, the status quo. There are those who consider it all a roll of the dice no matter which way you look, and then there are the rest who aren’t really thinking of it at all.

LIKE IT SAYS in John Lennon’s amazing song, Imagine – I’m a dreamer. And I’m not the only one.


CREATORS, storytellers, artists, doctors, educators, lawyers, tribal elders, one and all – whatever your role may be, this call is for you. We stand at the precipice of possibility. It’s time to tip the scales. To do so requires focus, daring, passion, and most of all, love. It requires imagining.

SO WHAT IS YOUR IMAGE of our world? What is its story? Where do you want us to be?

I CARRY WITHIN a remembering, a heart song like a beacon that won’t let go. It speaks of a time of harmony, beauty and love. A time of abundance, serenity and joy.  Being a remembering, you could say that it speaks of a time past, but I know it also speaks of a time that is coming into being, here and now.

SUCH A TIME requires our active participation. To decide, once and for all, that this is the way we want it to be and in it is where we intend to live. It asks us to dive deep into the ocean of love, to shed the skins of yesterday and be born anew. It calls on us to script the story, frame by frame; to vividly colour it with expectation and delight, and daily sing it into being.

YES, OUR WORLD APPEARS fraught with escalating chaos and destruction. Old ways of being are crumbling and with them comes wave after wave of anxiety, doubt and fear. I know that world, I’ve walked it, and I know how devastating it can feel.  How hard it can seem to step out of the mire and reclaim the power and light of who you truly are. But the truth is it is only one picture, one story.

SO DREAM THE NEW DREAM, you dreamers of our world. Hold its picture in your mind and heart. Write about it. Paint it. Make a video. Put it on YouTube. Share it with your friends. Encourage others to do the same. Listen to their picture of what it looks like and find the common ground. Celebrate your dreaming into being. Celebrate it now.

REMEMBER, whether you see yourself on a Polynesian island, midst a pine-filled forest, an amazing city, surfing a wave in Bali, a vineyard in the Mediterranean, a boat in the tropics, in the land of OZ, or where you are right now, it’s about harmony, beauty and love. And it’s about us all getting along, finally.


If this resonates with you, if it touches your heart, pass it along to as many people as you can think of.  Aloha, and may we meet in the world of radiance; our version of Shangri-la.


An Eden Thought for the Day

“…but this is it. This is Eden. When you see the kingdom spread upon the earth, the old way of living in the world is annihilated. That is the end of the world. The end of the world is not an event to come, it is an event of psychological transformation, of visionary transformation. You see not the world of solid things, but a world of radiance.”
Joseph Campbell – The Power of Myth

Two Great Storytellers have left

Two of our great storytellers left us this week. Perhaps different in perspectives, styles and genres, still in their own unique ways they each intricately wove the magic and power of word, and in so doing, captivated our hearts and evoked thought within. Gore Vidal and Maeve Binchy. They will be missed.

In a world that frequently looks chaotic and often profoundly dysfunctional, it may seem difficult, if not impossible, to find a tale within that tells of possibility, of beauty, harmony, and love.  To step outside of a world story rife with melancholy and fear is a daring task. A hero’s journey, as Joseph Campbell would have said. Believe it or not, we all carry the opportunity of being heroes. It’s in our genes. And heroes and their journeys come in many packages. Not all are rescuers of damsels in the night or hobbits carrying a magical ring to its fiery destination. Some seem to be here and gone within the breath of a moment, others take a lifetime to travel.

Yet each  of us weaves a story, consciously or not – the story of our life as it merrily bumps and  puffs along, the story within that calls for us to be who we truly are; to dare to sculpt our world with new colour and new light, and then to open our hearts and love it into being.

Two great storytellers have left us.

It’s our turn, our time, to pick up that proverbial pen and write a new tale, be it epic, short, poetic, passionate, inspiring or just plain full of joy.  Make it a walk in the park or a cargo ship journey along the North-West passage, an idyllic stroll along the beaches of Hawaii, or a candlelight dinner with the person you love. Just maybe it becomes your very own version of Shangri-la. Imagine that.

We are the storytellers now.

So what world will you fashion? What story will you tell? What possibility will you envision?

Remember, every story, every word, every thought, is a ripple in the ocean of our lives.

Tell it well, tell it now, for us all.

The Aloha of Life

No matter who you are,begonias of love
No matter where you are,
No matter how easy or tough life appears to be –

Within every thought, every moment
And every breath

There lives an opportunity –
to love.

This is your moment.
Aloha, Aliana

Pondering Shangri-la

For most of us, if we think of it all, Shangri-la is but a mythical place hovering deftly within the elusive mists of time space.  Writers wax poetic of its existence and movies enthrall us with its possibilities, but nowhere do we usually relate it to being other than in the Land of Myth.  Myth, for many, means the realm of story, and story implies that it is not real.

So Shangri-la – a marvelous dream of possibility, even of a promised land, but not here, not now, not in the World of Reality. And even if by some freak chance it was here, then it definitely must be between those crazy mists, which anyone with any smarts knows are impossible to grasp (if you’ve ever lived in Ireland and trekked a good mist walk or two, you’ll know exactly what I mean). Either way, we the average Jean & Joe not known for being particularly adept at mist grasping won’t get to experience it in the here and now even if we wanted to, thank you very much. Or so we think.

But what is that image of Shangri-la?

Usually, especially when cast through book or film, it is an enchanted land, dusted with sunlight, soft breezes, lush green rolling hills, and a harmonious abundant life where everyone actually gets along. It often involves an arduous journey to find it. Think snowy passes midst high and impenetrable mountains, throw in a few Yetis, an avalanche or two, and you have the idea. And like any good story, it has more than one guardian at its gates, hence the Yeti, and of course, an arch villain. What would life be without one?

It speaks of a world in sync, a land that dances to a mutual inner rhythm, knows no boundaries to the heart, and effortlessly breathes an air of tranquil light. Because it ebbs and tides with ease, its creative abilities are unbounded, and so it is also a Land of Plenty.

Sounds good to me.

Curiously, the idea of Shangri-la has been wafting through the fabric of our world for quite some time, albeit under different names. Think the Garden of Eden, Shamballa, Heaven on Earth, even Paradise. Most are cast in the land of the unattainable, unless of course you grasp those gems between the lines. Many are cloaked within a spiritual quest and the prerequisite of divorcing oneself from the mundane, which by definition automatically implies that the world as we know it is at the very least, boring.

Another thread of that same theme is that you can’t get there from where you are, a koan if ever there was one.  So change becomes a must, transformation a necessity, and enlightenment the ultimate goal, wherever you end up being when it happens. I’m picturing big fluffy white clouds midst a starry sky with a filigreed gate. No, not really.

All seem to be mysteriously etched in gold fire along the journey we call, life, which is another way of saying that perhaps they’re messengers, or maybe even keys. Why else would we secretly covet that dream of an idea in the depth of our hearts if we or someone somewhere wasn’t trying to tell us something? Like a honing device, or a heartbeat. If you think I’m kidding about the coveting part, ponder the number of hotels there are in the world called Shangri-la or the amount of ads circulating that encourage us to walk the beaches of Paradise, the restaurants named Peaceful Garden, or those retreat spas entitled A Touch of Heaven, and then there’s that wonderful town in Australia named, wait for it, Eden. Clearly on some level we like the idea.

But do we believe in it enough, do we want it enough, to make it real? And if we did, what would it look like?

                                          More on this in the next segment…                 Aliana