Photo by Bonnie Jean Starr
This past Sunday was the first meeting of the new planning staff for LumensGate. On the one had, I was confident that it would go well. I've worked with Mar - the new staffer - for years in other positions and knew that she would be up to the job. On the other hand, the old crew had developed such a tremendous rapport over the many years we worked together, and I was slightly concerned that moving from a staff of four to one of three would be difficult in some unforeseen fashion. Thankfully, I was wrong. Everything went quite smoothly.
We had an ambitious agenda, including the setting of a theme for next year. I was also wondering if we would be able to do this in a graceful manner. We generally have a bit longer to ruminate before we choose a theme, however it has become clear that we really need to get moving on it if we are going to make the positive changes and generate the kind of interest - and attendance (!!!) - we need for next year to be a success. It was almost strange the way that everything fell into place, each piece building on the ones before, until it became quite evident that the LumensGate gestalt - made up of all those who have gathered around the HeartFire over the past 18 years and are still connected to us in some inexplicably wonderful way - was speaking to us all very clearly. We all were having similar sensations and perceptions of where we need to go, and - with some verbal juggling - came up with the wording for the '09 theme: Emerging from the illusion: the ecstasy of liberation!
At first glance, that is a BIG theme. Okay - even at second and third glance, it's a big theme. But consider that the actual spiritual experience is very personal and immediate, and it is that experience that we are aiming to engender in our participants. So, no matter how big the theme may sound, it will eventually come down to the real experience of those who are gathered around the HeartFire next year at Hope Springs - turning those words into their/our shared reality.
We spent a good bit of time going over the marketing suggestions made by Mar's daughter Sarah. Excellent suggestions, which we are trying to implement to the extent which we can. Some we've done before and then gotten lazy about, while some are simply beyond our means at this point. But there are quite a few that are very much what we need right now. So we jammed on that for awhile and were getting ready to break for lunch when we started looking at the idea of holding small events to get out information to prospective attendees. Sort of "meet and greets" for those interested in checking it out - AND a chance for those who are already "gators" to get together and enjoy the pleasure of each others company.
Photo by BJ Star
I was still thinking in terms of a "Brunch & Drum" - very old school, neopagan sort of get together - and Patricia came up with the great idea of a "Tea Tasting". She also suggested that we hold it at our offices instead of at home, so that it would be accessible to a wider group of people. All three of us started throwing ideas into the mix and there was a moment when they all gelled and I could feel the hair raise on the back of my next as we came up with the same idea at the same time and practically finished the sentence together. It wasn't the idea itself - which is that we hold the tea tasting at Essencha Tea House - but that we came together so powerfully, that provided the extra oomph.
So, it seems that the new staff is more than up to the task and that things are off to a great start for next year's event already. It's exciting to know that the magick is continuing, even as Keter and Donna head off on their own new journeys. May it be a blessed year for us all.