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Jill Karlin

In 1992, I was living in India for six months and an amazing exhibition of my art at The Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi. It was a magical adventure, living in palaces, learning the culture, participating in sacred ceremonies, as I am an artist and yogini...
I was staying at the home of Ann Kumar, while we were developing some business plans after my exhibition had finished. I was watching the film JFK by Oliver Stone, just released in America, pirated same day into India via very crude methods of film copying available at my local videa store. A message came from the divine, loud and clear... go home to America and make a difference in your community. A few weeks later I was en route home to my adorable home in Flamingo Park, West palm Beach, Florida where I was living at the time. I immediately gotstarted on a project involving one of my passions, historic preservation, and I was hired by the city to create a calendar of my renditions of twelve historic buildings in the city. While working on the painting of The Art Armory in my neighborhood, an extraordinary, life changing event occurred that involved a tree and me, and has forever affected and transformed my life on earth.
The director of The Armory came out to tell me how pleased he was that I would be painting a picture of the Armory with the tree I was painting included in the painting, as two days from that day, the tree would be cut down. It was a magnificent tree. My heart stopped. I was outraged, flabbergasted, and offended deeply as well as overcome with sadness. The execution was planned for 7a.m. on Friday morning, and it was 5p.m. on Wednesday evening when we spoke. Dave Edgar told me that Jim Smith, the local landscape architect, who also lived in my neighborhood, and whom I knew, had been approved for a new landscape plan for the grounds at The Armory and the Board had approved of the plan which involved cutting down a number of trees. I queried, because i had not voted on it, and these issues were issues we voted on in the neighborhood. Evidentaly the entire neighborhood voted, while I was in India and unanimously had approved of Jim's symmetrical plan, and the cutting down of certain shade trees.
Well, I reasoned, I would just call Jim Smith, and ask him if he wouldn't allow for a few trees to remain, and carry forth with his design, around them. I felt certain he would agree. Jim did not agree. His plan was his plan, and he was not going to budge.
I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I just didn't know what to do. I figured I could do something though. So I called my friend, environmentalist Claudine Laabs, famous bird photographer, (once local chapter head for Audubon), (next door neighbor to Jim Smith) and asked her if she could assist, and what could I do. I was overwhelmed with emotion, and desire to help this helpless victim of man's "plans". (Why couldn't they just leave the trees just the way they were? The trees were not hurting anyone.
Claudine couldn't help she said. She suggested that the only thing I might do, was to tie myself to the tree, and stay there in protest.
I had to muster up the courage for my plan to succeed. I arranged to get handcuffs, and I measure my bike chain to be long enough to get around the girth of the tree. I arose at 5a.m. the morning of the planned execution of the Art Armory trees, and I proceeded to call all the newspapers, and local TV stations and radio stations to report that there was a woman tied to a tree at The Art Armory to protect its life. Then I hopped on my bicycle and rode to The Art Armory with bike chain and handcuffs. When I arrived at The Armory, I realized that I had not factored in, getting the bike chain around the girth of the tree, as it required the assistance of another human being to pull the chain taught, otherwise it kept curling back on itself. I quickly rode home and called a man I had just recently met, upon my return from India..., environmental architect, Lee Butler. It was 5:30-6a.m. on a drizzly Friday morning, and Lee came to my rescue upon hearing of my mission. BOOM... IMMEDIATELY. Now I was ready...only one problem, I had lost the key to the handcuffs on the way back and forth to the tree...NO PROBLEM...we could fake it for a few minutes we reasoned.
Lee got the chain around the tree just as the executioners arrived, and within minutes a TV news reporter arrived. The executioners realized, after asking Lee if he wouldn't mind "tying her to another tree, so they could chop that one down" (duh?), that we were not going to go away. They also realized that the witness of the TV reporter might mean trouble, so they called into their boss to seewhat they should do... Boss told them to move on and forget that tree. They did... Victory..even if temporary... I knew the work was just beginning. More in next email

Karen Fox

In June of 2008 my business and our home were inundated by the great floods in Iowa. Our single-story home had 40 inches of water and, at another location, the building housing my second story business was flooded, closing the Reiki practice for quite a while and discouraging clients from returning because of the smell of mold and cleaning chemicals.

The week after the flood I looked at my husband and said, "Somehow we will come out of this better than before."

After months of waiting we were forced by financial circumstances to rebuild and return to our home. As we planned the rebuild, I set up a notebook to organize the process, the finances, and the decisions. I drew a large gratitude symbol on the front and another one on the first page of each section. Every time I needed to make a decision I opened the notebook and was reminded to be grateful.

An unexpected job practically fell in my lap that paid the rent while we continued to pay the mortgage! We have now removed back to our newly rebuilt home. It is more beautiful, more green, and more efficient than before. We received twice as much assistance as we expected. And the icing on the cake - my Reiki practice is now located in a beautiful room in my home!

Go Gratitude!


No a day has gone by in my life that I haven't taken a moment to thank the trees for being the Lungs of the Earth, for all they give, for all we take from them. I can not even stay near one that is being cut down, it pains me, even if it is sick and dying.
I spent yesterday thinking of the wonderful beautiful old trees I met and saw in the UK last year, trees that left a lasting impression in my mind, I felt thier power which they will share will all who care.
Thanks for reminding us to remember to be grateful for the simple things.

All life is energy, stop and feel it daily...because it feels you.

tanya babain

my son drew the gratitude symbol on the wall and on his back, his hair grows in that pattern between his neck and mid section. I was amazed. Thank you. I am greatful to have been blessed with these messages. And through gratitude, my ears and eyes and heart are opening and loving as Ive wished for so long. Aho!

tanya babin

i forgot to mention, my son is 3. Thank You so much for making this gathering possible and being there for me and my family in a crucial time of change for us. Aho!

Julie M

Wonderful message and posts. Just one hopefully helpful comment about grammar. It's not necessary to use an apostrophe when asking a tree to remember its name. Apostrophes only appear after "it," if the word is a contraction of it and is. For possessive use of "it," no apostrophe. It's a fact. Love life in all its manifestations. Thanks.

julia m

Thank you so much for your continued intent and attention to change through GRATITUDE. I love to receive your post in my mail box and hope there is some way to continue between each 42 day cycle. I find it so easy to forget and fall into the traps of mind. This has been a wonderful reminder, motivator and has helped create permanent shifts. I look forward to more and more and more!
May you be forever blessed!

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