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Walk for Hope Reflection Long Beach, CA

The morning begins before the rise of the sun. Gathered by the spirit of beautiful people, collectively perhaps for the same purpose…to serve and spread hope. Yet, individually characterized by each their own set of intentions whether that may be to get volunteer hours, to promote an organization, to sing, to laugh, to inspire, to give back, to be heard, or to uphold an image.  Our circle of volunteers gather with a moment of silence, this often speaks more than words could ever express. We then gather around sharing a little of ourselves what we desire to manifest for the upcoming day. Teams form to set-up a day of hope. While many of us have never met each other before, there is a rhythm and flow that unfolds somewhat with a little frenzy….then gradually even with feelings of uncertainty and little obstacles,  there is one thing that keeps us moving towards the direction of making the event happen as it is meant to happen…that collective purpose…“to serve.”

There were so many hands present and not present that brings the Walk for Hope into fruition. Each quote is artfully, creatively, and lovingly made by hands near and far to bring inspiration, courage and love to people lined up along a 2 mile path in nature. It is a moment to reflect and realize the truly important things in life. So often in our day to day lives we struggle to find purpose, to understand that there is so much more then the chase for material things, the day to day chores, the routine jobs. Yet this event, gives people an opportunity to think out of the box and see that it is in giving that we truly receive. These gifts are often not tangible but are experienced through the interactions we have with people, in nature, and through our senses.

And of course the walk for hope would not be complete without the activity stations along our path. With the tree of forgiveness we are given an opportunity to write a note to someone or ourselves to forgive and free ourselves from pain, with the garden of kindness we are able to pick flowers with good deeds to pass on to others, and with dressing up in costume we are able to return to the innocence of our childlike state, to laugh and be free. Following the walk, there are organizations, music, singing and a drum circle to bring people together to share and spread the positive spirit.

For me, my most memorable moment was being asked to be part of a hug ambush for the Orange County 9/11 Truth organization (an organization that felt they are often not received well at events), orchestrated by Rahul.  Jamie and I were asked to approach these group members to give them hugs. I guess it was in this moment that the intention of the walk was fully manifested. Jamie and I love giving and receiving hugs…but the beauty of that moment was that in that moment there were no boundaries, no judgment, and no hierarchies….in that moment there was just one message…. “to love all and serve all.”

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