Wednesday, April 15, 2009

0 Days to Go

April 13, 2009~Today is the day I leave for South Africa! I've just said goodbye to my husband and my son at Denver International Airport. They will miss me, but they are excited for me. Next time I write, I will write from Frankfurt and let you know about the first leg of the trip. Right now, I'm so tired in preparing for the trip, it is likely that I will fall asleep very shortly after take off. If I haven't packed it all by now, then it either isn't coming along or I can purchase whatever it is I've forgotten when I get there

On the way to the airport (a good hour from where I live) my cell phone rang like crazy with family and friends saying good bye and wishing for a safe journey. All is going to be great.

Talk to you again when I arrive in Frankfurt!

love to all, nannette

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Frankfurt in the Airport

April 14, 2007
Frankfurt Germany, Airport

Why are you going to South Africa? This is a question that has come up more than once. I will briefly give an update here, in Frankfurt, while sitting across from the Duty Free shop, waiting for the next flight, the one which whisks me through the air to the southern hemisphere where I will meet in person manby people with whom I’ve spoken over the phone for the past year and a half...but not for several more hours.

Several years ago I met Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God books at a Celebrate Your Life Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. When Neale spoke he spoke of Gandhi’s famous line, “Be the Change You Wish to See.” During this talk he asked if anyone in the room would like to help him with “Being the Change.” Both my husband and a couple of dozen other people stood, showing their interest. Neale began The Group of 1000. He quoted Margret Mead, that never has it been any other way; that it has always been a small handful of people that change the world.

Immediately upon leaving the room, my husband and I went back to our hotel room and signed up for The Group of 1000. Rita Curtis, director of The Group of 1000, called me a couple of days later welcoming me to the group. She then asked if I’d like to help her call people from all over the world to welcome them aboard. Yes, yes, yes. Neale called me a couple of days later thanking me for stepping up to the plate.

Eventually, I worked my way to being on the board of directors and ended up making friends from all over the world.

About a year and a half ago, Steve Farrell, Worldwide Coordinating Director of Humanity’s Team—a not for profit group focusing on Awakening the World to Oneness (another group founded by Neale Donald Walsch) moved to Colorado. Steve and I had met before, but not in person. Steve asked me if I would help him put on an event in Colorado featuring Neale. Of course I would. I had no idea how much effort goes into putting on such an event, but it was well worth it.

Given that my family and I have known Neale for some time by this event about to take place in Boulder, my then “soon to be husband” said, “why don’t we ask Neale if he will officiate at our marriage ceremony while he is in town. Neale said he’d be honored. Very informal affair, but just what Randy and I wanted.

After the event featuring Neale and the marriage ceremony, Steve asked me if I would come to work for him to assist with donor services with Humanity’s Team. Yes! Then I volunteered to be of any other help I could be on my own time. Steve offered me the position of Humanity’s Team Worldwide Newsletter editor which I’ve been doing for over a year now. In addition, I’m now a member of the world wide support team, on a few other committees, one of which was helping organize different facets of this year’s annual International Oneness Summit (Anna-Mari, from South Africa gets the major credit for this upcoming'll meet her later).

While this committee went through a short list of names of who we would ask …we decided to think from the place of possibility. We already knew the Summit was going to take place in South Africa…hmmm. Think BIG. We asked Archbishop Desmond Tutu if he would accept our award. We believed it to be a long shot. "Yes," was his answer...but what if we had never asked!

Many country coordinators who represent nearly 20,000 teammates from around the world are gathering in South Africa…some have arrived today…some of us will arrive tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, in Pretoria, South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu WILL receive the award. I’ll keep you all posted. Along with this event, we will have gatherings over the next two weeks sharing what is going in different parts of the world regarding Humanity’s Team, visit Soweto (where Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu grew up), go on a couple of safaris, and generally have a marvelous time.

That was a little longer than I anticipated…please comment and ask questions on the blog and I’ll get back with more answers as more questions come along.

Internet connectivity is spotty here...


Friday, April 10, 2009

Ask for a Sign

(Regarding yesterday morning) As I prepare for this unbelievable trip to South Africa (now only two days away), I've thought of my mother quite frequently . . . how much I want to tell her about this opportunity, this gift that has been handed to me. I know she knows. I speak to her quite often. Yesterday morning I asked my mother for a sign . . .

Almost five years ago my best friend, my mother, died in June. In late August that same summer, I was still living in my mother’s home preparing to put it on the market. In 90 degree weather with 90 percent humidity, I’d picked up my then nine year old son, Casey from my sister’s home. Casey and I drove to my mother’s home with plans of going swimming.

The instant we walked into the house, we both realized the air conditioner was not working. After a few ughs and groans, Casey and I changed into our swimsuits. As we locked the front door behind us, I spoke aloud to my mother. “Mom, I have no idea what your plumber friend’s name is, have no idea whom to trust on air conditioners, and I hope this isn’t too expensive. Please give me a sign that this will work out.”

Within twenty minutes Casey splashed in the pool and I had made myself comfortable in a lounge chair. While relaxing, I heard my mother’s voice in my head. “Don’t worry. I’ve got the air conditioner covered.” I laughed out loud thinking that I was making this conversation up in my head. I opened a book, began to read. I couldn’t stay focused on the page and wondered who I would call in the morning. I heard my mother’s voice in my head again. “I said don’t worry.”

The next morning as I dried off from my shower, the door bell rang. I poked my head out of the bathroom and told Casey to answer the door. I could hear Casey talking to someone, but couldn’t understand what was being said. With a towel wrapped around me, I moved into the hallway and called down the stairs. “Who is at the door, Casey?” Casey didn’t answer, but a male voice did. “I’m Troy, your mother’s plumber.” I said, “Stay right there. I’ll be down in a minute.”

As I hurriedly threw on my clothes, with a total look of shock on my face that I could see in the mirror, I heard my mother say, “That will teach you to listen to me.” I laughed and said “thank you” to the ceiling and dashed down the stairs to meet Troy.

“What are you doing here,” I asked, sizing up Troy, who looked like a “biker”, beard, tattoos, longer hair.

Troy began, “I was driving a couple miles east of here and I just started thinking about your mother. And I thought, ‘you know I haven’t checked in on Barbara in a while.’ So here I am.”

“Well, Troy, my mother died two months ago, but she brought you here today.”

Troy looked at me kind of funny & made condolences. I then proceeded to explain how I believed he came to arrive there that day.

Troy removed his hat & scratched his head. “I don’t believe in this stuff. I’ve heard wild stories like this before and I’ve never believed in this kind of thing. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing. Now it’s happened to me. None of my friends are going to believe this . . .” Troy went on in his doubt and skepticism ending in surprising belief.

And the air conditioner, Troy did me a huge favor and didn’t charge me for the labor on a new air conditioner.

The day after the air conditioner was installed, I looked out on the patio and saw a sea of cardinals, more in one place than I have ever seen in my entire life, at least fifty of these gorgeous birds perched on the patio furniture. My mother always said she’d come back as a cardinal. Hmmm.

(Yesterday morning) I woke and the first thought on my mind, after thinking four more days until South Africa, I thought again of my mother, how excited she would be for me, how she would say 'how brave I was', how I'd love to hear from her.

I went downstairs, started a pot of coffee and sat at my desk. As I began to check my cell phone for any messages, my phone beeped telling me of a new text message. It was from my daughter Mary. The message read "I was taking Piper [my four month old first grandchild] into the next room and I looked out the window and in the tree sat three cardinals." There is my sign. I live in Colorado; my daughter lives in Kansas City. Cardinals do not make their home in Colorado. Out of the blue, my daughter text messages me that she has just seen three cardinals. I write back: I love you, Mary. It is unusual to see more than two cardinals at once. It's a good sign.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Michael Beckwith, Archbishop Tutu, & Basketball?

Written last night...Randy, my husband, and I just got home from Michael Beckwith lecture. WOW x 10. I met him, gave him my Humanity's Team (HT) card, and had written an invitation for him to join us in South Africa for the Oneness Summit...adding that I was coming from area of possibility. He was gracious, didn't say yes or no, but put the business card with the information about Oneness Summit in his pocket.

Beckwith told us about the time he spent with Tutu last summer regarding a conference on slavery. While together, Beckwith & Tutu had joked about favorite basketball Teams as Tutu was wearing a Boston Celtics shirt (I'm not much into basketball--not only did Randy have to remind me of the teams, but also of the sport...I thought they were talking baseball...). Beckwith let Tutu know that that the Boston Celtics were not his team. Tutu let Beckwith know that the Boston Celtics were HIS team. Someone took their picture (with Tutu in his basketball shirt) and when Beckwith returned to the states, he photoshopped the picture and dressed Tutu in a LA Lakers shirt and sent it back to the Archbishop. Pretty funny.

Beckwith signed my book, namaste and we left...about five minutes spent with him. Just another day in paradise...He's unbelievably inspiring...gospel style delivery, interactive, but all about Oneness and making our world a better place. Very compelling and tremendous command performance. If the Agape Spiritual Center was here, I'd go to it--talk about raising your energy level! We were in 2nd row. Beckwith's granddaughter (9 years old), was sitting right behind us. Because of interactivity and being asked to HI 5 the people around us several times, I HI 5'd his granddaughter several times. Didn't know she was his granddaughter until end of the event. I'm very glad Randy and I went.

I did some looking around on the Internet for photo of Tutu wearing this shirt, but to no avail. Instead I found this short article about why Boston Celtics use the South African term Ubuntu, which means "I am because of you." This is something that Tutu speaks about often.

BOSTON, Mass. - June 10, 2008 - Sports quiz time. Can you name the Boston Celtics' new rallying cry? It's something the team chants...not the fans . . . (click on text to read full article).

Who knew?

Five days left until I begin my travels. Must get organized.


Monday, April 6, 2009

One Week from Tonight . . .

One week from tonight I will sit aboard an airplane and travel to Germany. It seems a bit of a circuitous route, I agree. Nine hours. I have James Michner’s Covenant, about South Africa, to finish reading. Actually, I plan on resting, deep sleep, curled into the window seat, dreaming of meeting people in person for the first time with whom I’ve been in near daily contact by phone, email, facebook and twitter for well over a year. I foresee taking off my shoes so that my bare will meet the South African earth. I will throw my arms in the air and be grateful. Also I will imagine Humanity’s Team presenting this award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and listening closely to his words of Oneness, what is called ubuntu in South Africa. And of course I’ll see myself with my official safari hat, riding in a jeep, walking in the bush and seeing animals I’ve only seen in zoos or on television.

Speaking of safaris . . . check this site out (below). Watch live feed of safaris in South Africa. Around 9:30pm MDT the sun is coming up and around 10pm MDT the jeep takes off with a camera on board. Yesterday I saw an elephant, zebras and hyenas. It’s fascinating. And in the morning here in the states, if you tune in, you’ll see early evening and night safaris. In between there is live camera just waiting for the wildlife to wander through! It’s very compelling (scroll down).

Off to bed to get some rest. Must start packing!

hugs to you all,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In Anticipation of Africa

This is where you can follow my journey, beginning today, seven days before I leave for South Africa. Given that I am a writer and I love the art of conversation (as all of my friends and family will attest), I find myself in the very interesting place of having no adequate words to describe the magnetic and magnificent pull I am feeling to this country. It is not unlike the feeling I experienced immediately after giving birth.

I walk, and have walked a path to inspire others for a number of years now. It is an energetically empowering path to say the least. Yes, I do it because it makes me feel good. It also makes the person with whom I try to inspire feel good, and finally, anyone who witnesses or hears of the particular deed, also feels inspired. It is contagious and addicting. I love it.

Humanity's Team has opened up a door and an awesome opportunity for me. Humanity's Team is a global grassroots movement focused on awakening the world to Oneness. I officially signed up with Humanity's Team about four years ago, and just over a year ago, I became actively involved with this incredible group. This year at the International Oneness Summit being held in Pretoria, South Africa, we (many of us from Humanity's Team) will present Archbishop Desmond Tutu with our annual Spiritual Leadership award. And I will help present this award with other teammates on Saturday, April 18th at Freedom Park in South Africa.

Such exhilaration comes with this whole event, that I've shouted from the highest mountaintop, also know as facebook, twitter, telephone, text messaging, emails, and ordinary conversation to everyone I see, stranger or not. Yesterday someone on twitter asked me how we got Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As a group we thought BIG. We asked. We received the word that Archbishop Tutu would be honored to accept the award. Power of intention at its finest.

Anyway, this is how I will keep you~my friends (old and new) and family updated on this trip. In essence, I will do my best to let you be there with me. Trust me, I will take a bazillion pictures, journal, blog, skype, talk.

love and gratitude,
nannette (scroll down to watch video with Desmond Tutu speaking about Humanity's Team Award.)

Let a Person Walk Alone With Few Wishes, Committing No Wrong, Like an Elephant in the Forest ~ unknown