Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why We Like What We See

The reason a logo, or symbol, communicates effectively is a great exercise in intuitive perception. You may be interested in some of the insights shared by the people in the following 2 articles.

Gap Redesigns Logo ... But Why?

by Erik Hayden

Some clothing companies adapt well to changing times, and Gap seemed to be one of those venerable brands. Apparently not. With little fanfare, the company decided to redesign its logo and post it on its website. Not too long after, waves of criticism from design firms, mainstream publications and just-plain bewildered bloggers started rolling in. The company, which has apparently heard the cries of outrage, turned the redesign into a crowd-sourcing exercise on its Facebook page. No word yet on whether that was the official plan all along, or if it was just a knee-jerk reaction to all the bad press.

Looks Like it Cost $17 From an Old Microsoft Word Clipart Gallery notes Abe Sauer at Brandchannel, who deemed it a "monstrosity." The writer explains: It "demonstrates a prototypical brand panic move. With things not going in its favor, the brand decides to change the one valuable element it has going for it."

Makes Old Navy 'Look Like a Luxury Brand scoffs Armin Vit at Brand New: "The shaded square on the corner doesn't help at all either — I'm not one to critique something by saying it looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word but this one is just too unsophisticated to warrant anything more than that."

This Doesn't Make Any Sense writes David Brier at Fast Company. "It's all a cosmetic band-aid which is so unbelievable for a brand as big and 'mature' as Gap. I'll be surprised if a few people won't lose their jobs as this is basic Branding 101."

Gap Sales Are Declining Anyway dismisses Jim Edwards at BNet. "There's a clue to what might have triggered the misstep in the fact that same-store sales at Gap are down 4 percent. ... Brand managers need to resist that temptation when they see revenues decline. There are lots of reasons sales might be down — the recession, lack of discounts, off-trend product — and not all of those respond to a new trade dress."

Everybody Hates The Logo...Except Us Time Newsfeed writer Nate Jones goes out on a limb saying that he "personally does not mind Helvetica, and so this new logo brings to mind visions of a streamlined, technologically dominant future America where everyone wears white suits and cool glasses. Sure, it's generic, but don't you know that in the future everything looks alike?"

Neuroscience study analyzes Gap logo disaster

from an Australian Marketing Magazine

Neuroscience market research company NeuroFocus claims to have discovered the reasoning for the consumer backlash to the short-lived Gap logo. In a paper released today, NeuroFocus says the new logo failed to resonate with consumers on key metrics like attention, emotional engagement and memory retention. Using brainwave activity measurements, NeuroFocus concluded that the new logo did not score impressive reactions for 'novelty' (something new and different) and 'style' attributes from the sample.

"Our counsel to companies is: when there is a redesign of a brand, an identity, a logo, a proposition, a tagline, a package or a product feature, such a design must deliver a scientifically significant and substantive change in the novelty metric," said Dr. A. K. Pradeep, chief executive officer of NeuroFocus. "In this instance, Gap's new logo failed to do that. Our recommendation would have been: without a significant increase in novelty, this redesign will not succeed." Pradeep says Gap also lost "critical ground at the deep subconscious level" for style.

"For a retail apparel marketer seeking to reach and motivate their target audience, this loss of brand value in the 'stylish' category marks a major cause for concern." NeuroFocus also recognised that the new design violated six basic neurological best practices. Dr. A.K. Pradeep evaluated the new Gap logo against best practices...

— Overlays equal overlooked: Neuroscience research reveals that when words overlay images, the brain tends to ignore or overlook the word in favor of focusing on the image. "In the new logo, the 'p' superimposed over the blue square is essentially bypassed by the brain; the brain tends to ignore the word in favor of the image," Pradeep says. "Not a good thing when that's your brand name."

— Sharp edges unsettle the subconscious: "Forcing the brain to view a sharply-angled box behind the letter 'p' provokes what neuroscience calls an 'avoidance response'. The hard line cuts into the rounded shape of the letter. We are hard-wired to avoid sharp edges — in nature, they can present a threat. Our so-called modern brains are actually 100,000 years old, and they retain this primordial reaction."

— Interesting fonts work: Neuroscience research has shown that the subconscious prefers fonts that are a little unusual. Gap's original typeface was just different enough that it tended to stand out to the brain amidst the clutter of other corporate IDs.

— High/low contrast: "The original logo presented the brand name in sharp, strong contrast — white letters 'pop' against the blue background, and the brain loves pop-outs," Pradeep says. "Conversely, the new logo has the 'p' losing that contrast against the blue box. Again, the brain simply tends not to register the letter well as a result."

— Stronger semantic content: "In the new version, the capitalized 'G' followed by the lower case 'a' and 'p' cause the brain to read the three letters as part of a word, and therefore seek semantic content. In the original execution, all three letters are capitalized, making them more logo-like than word-like, which is what you want for a logo," and

— Lost legacy: "The Gap sells a lot more than just blue jeans today, but relegating the blue of the original logo to minor 'legacy' status in the new version loses that essential connection in the consumer's subconscious to the brand's core origins. We always emphasize to companies: depict your source. When it comes to products, the brain seeks to know from whence you came. Instead of honoring their past, unfortunately the Gap relegated that past to lower relevance."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feel Factor: What We Touch Can Change How We Think

This article, from the Nov/Dec 2010 AARP magazine, is by Holly St. Lifer.

Holding a hot cup of coffee — or a freezing bowl of ice cream — can affect how you interact with people, according to researchers at Yale and the University of Colorado. Our sense of touch, they say, impacts our relationships. "We form impressions based not just on what people say and wear, but on tactile messages," says Josh Ackerman, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also studies the phenomenon. So hold that warm cup and you're more likely to view others as caring and generous. Sit in a comfy chair (rather than a hard one) and you might be more open to compromise. "Touch," says Ackerman, "is as important as sight and hearing."

Here's a brief rundown of how different physical sensations can affect your perceptions of people — and vice versa.

Soft = receptive, approachable

Touching something soft can make you more open to suggestion; it can also give you the sense that another person is impressionable, the studies found. When 86 study participants sat in either hard or soft chairs and were asked to imagine they were car shopping, those in cushy chairs were more open to bargaining.

Warm = trustworthy

When you're warm, you're more inclined to both trust others and be trustworthy yourself. In one study, participants held either a warm cup of coffee or an iced java and then were introduced to someone and asked to describe their impressions of him or her. The warm coffee holders perceived the person as significantly more trustworthy than those holding the cold coffee did. Other research has shown that heated rooms foster greater social connections than cold rooms do — so be sure to host your next party in a nice toasty room.

Cold = unfriendly, selfish

Giving someone the "cold shoulder" now has a scientific basis: When study participants were asked to choose a gift for either themselves or a friend, those made to feel chilled were 75 percent more likely to give themselves the gift, and those who felt warm were 54 percent more apt to offer it to a friend. If you’re the type that can't say no — to volunteering, work, or social commitments — consider grabbing a cold drink first. It might make you feel less inclined to say yes to something you don't really want to do.

Rough = harsh

Rough textures are associated with friction, researchers found. When study participants completed a puzzle covered in sandpaper, they described subsequent social interactions as more difficult than those who worked on a smooth-feeling puzzle first. So opting for smoother surfaces — say, choosing a leather binder for your next client presentation — could influence the outcome more positively, says Yale researcher John Bargh.

Hard = strict

The expressions "solid as a rock," and "hardhearted" offer a clue about the association between hardness and rigidity. In one study, participants were introduced to someone in the role of employee. Those who were simultaneously holding a hard block judged the employee to be more strict than those who were holding a soft blanket. MIT researcher Ackerman says shoppers should refrain from leaning against hard surfaces like glass counters, which may make you feel less open to negotiating a lower price.

Smooth = easy to get along with, easygoing

When we touch smooth surfaces, we feel a sense of ease (the opposite of what we feel when we touch a rough surface, the study found). Ackerman says this can influence our perceptions not just of people, but of products. For example, a laptop with a glossy case might appear easier to use than one that has a rough case.

Heavy = important

Heaviness connotes seriousness and a sense of importance and status. In one study, passersby on the street evaluated a job candidate by reviewing his resume on either light or heavy clipboards. Those holding the heavier clipboards rated the candidate as showing more interest in the position, as well as being better suited for the job. Ackerman suggests choosing heavier paper when sending out a resume or other business-related correspondence to give the impression that you’re "weighty" and therefore more serious.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Tattoo or Not To?

As someone who is interested in understanding the undercurrents of trends and how they connect to the evolution of consciousness and transformation, I have often wondered about the latest rage for tattooing the body. I have thought that it relates partly to the idea that many of the people born from the early 70s on have been largely involved in the mental realm before incarnating, and are not as familiar with the emotional and physical realms. In the mental realm, consciousness is related to group mind, to the collective, and is rapid, instantaneous, and telepathic. That's why so many who belong to these generations do things in groups, or even in gangs, and are drawn so strongly to video gaming, texting, and even sleeping with their cell phones and checking facebook in the middle of the night—it's too uncomfortable to feel "alone."

Tattooing is also a way to feel part of a tribe, to feel that one belongs to a "movement" that stands out and is different from the norm. To me, it fits with the psychology of those whose root is a strong group identity. But tattooing is also partly a way to feel psychologically strong and individualistic, to project an image of tough, "I-don't-care-what-came-before-me; I'm-breaking-with-tradition" sentiment. It can be a statement of rebellion and a desire for reinvented identity, perhaps. Sometimes I think that when people are not sure who they really are yet as souls, there is a tendency to make ego statements to fortify and to represent one's essence to others. So the symbols people choose to set indelibly into their very skin, are core ideas and feelings they want others to recognize in them, as though they don't believe other people are sensitive enough to perceive these things about them without the blatant advertising. Or perhaps the symbols they are choosing to literally merge with are things that represent protective forces and beings. Things that will bring good luck or even a higher vibration just by placing attention on the idea again and again. And it's hard not to look repeatedly at tattoos, especially beautiful ones.

Underneath, I sense tattoos are a sign of a desire for 1) a core sense of self (home frequency), and 2) transformation. I recently began reading Dan Brown's latest book, The Lost Symbol, and he has a nice section (beginning of Chapter 2) relating to this theme. I'll reproduce part of it here:

"The goal of tattooing was never beauty. The goal was change. . . humans have tattooed themselves as a way of offering up their bodies in partial sacrifice, enduring the physical pain of embellishment and emerging changed beings. . . .The act of tattooing one's skin was a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: I am in control of my own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-altering practices. . .cosmetic surgery, body piercing, bodybuilding, and steroids. . .even bulemia and transgendering. The human spirit craves mastery over its carnal shell."

I think many tattoos are extremely beautiful, and the artform has its own special exquisiteness. What I find curious is that the forms are not evolutionary—typically—and by locking in concepts into one's very body, we may be limiting the later stages of transformation, where we need to become transparent, holding no fixed ideas, no limited concepts of identity, and be open to shapeshifting and being any and all things.

Your ideas on this topic are welcome! I'm curious what you think. And while we're at it, why does it seem that almost all African American actors today shave their heads? Does this trend toward hairlessness or hard-headedness have a basis in some sort of evolutionary consciousness I'm not yet aware of? I'd love to hear!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Question from a Reader

I have just ordered your book and am excitedly awaiting its arrival. I am an astrologer and wonder if you can assess your frequency from the birth chart. And whether there is a correlation between the planetary energies and frequency.

That's an interesting question, but I don't think there is a way to determine a person's individual frequency from the blueprint of the astrology chart, as we bring our soul force to the chart, fill it up, and evolve through its potentials as we live. I think each planet, and each aspect, has its potential and it is probably unlimited. Like low C, middle C, and high C, there are different realms of interrelated experience, all relating to each planet/aspect. For instance if you use Saturn when you have alot of fear, it will cause you to have to face that karma and work it out, which is evolutionary at that lower frequency level. Many people would tend to create more resistance when this happens, so their vibration would go even further down. If you use Saturn as you're becoming clear of fear, it helps you build and create in the world. As you get clearer, it would help spiritualize the physical plane itself. So I believe  the meanings/functions of the planets, aspects, and numbers evolve as we increase our personal frequency and become more saturated with unity consciousness.

As you say the birth chart shows potential but you can't tell the level of evolution of it's owner.  The planets work at three levels (like you suggested) — unawake, waking and awake. YES, AND MANY SHADES OF GREY IN BETWEEN. Psychologically speaking some planets are more and some less available or conscious to the person. YES,  THE WAY THEY USE THE ARCHETYPAL ENERGIES DEPENDS ON LEVEL OF EVOLUTION. So the totality of the combined energy of the awareness of each planetary function inside a person may I think contribute to a person's current frequency. YES, AND OF COURSE THAT PERSONAL VIBRATION EVOLVES AND EVEN ROCKS IN AND OUT OF HIGH AND LOW VIBRATION DAY TO DAY.

However, I think we are also patterned by the current planetary energies represented by transits. THE TRANSITS ARE LIKE THE ASPECTS, JUST TEMPORARY ASPECTS. Some of these transits will be highly personalised. A personal example would be a strong Pluto transit which aspected my Moon.  So for a period of two years I was strongly Plutonic. So I wondered if this temporarily affected my frequency. SURE! IT PROBABLY EVOLVED YOU TO A HIGHER VIBRATION IF YOU USED IT TO CLEAR FEAR.

Some people can experience a transit, learn from it and evolve. RIGHT! Some will be unchanged and none the wiser. UNTIL THE NEXT BIG ONE!! SO THANK GOODNESS FOR CYCLES, EH?!! NOTHING IS REALLY FIXED.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Time of Soul-Crafting - Part 2

This is the second half of an article I wrote several years ago.

He Is Gone From This World
When I got word that John had died suddenly of a heart attack, I was thoroughly shocked. He was in his late 50's, fit and athletic, loving and open. And probably clearer and more untroubled than he'd ever been in his life. Why, John? Unraveling, indeed!! I like to know the conditions pertaining to someone's death experience, partly because I want to understand the lessons we choose to emphasize for ourselves and others by the form of our death. Why the timing? Why the particular cause? Everything is symbolic and tells a story. Curious, that he was midstream in his project, close to coming out the other end of the long tunnel of disciplined effort he'd been maintaining. Why, when this man was becoming so clear, did his tunnel let him out on the "other side," rather than here so he might help change the balance of power from dark to light in the physical realm?

An answer came to me as I meditated and contacted him spiritually. I saw that his goal in life had been to love as many people as possible. Not, like the goal of most of us, to BE loved; John instead reveled in opportunities to be with people in a real, loving way and to give and receive pure attention. He was an astonishingly good listener. At his memorial service, I heard that his girlfriend told many people how much they had meant to John, and they all said, "I know! He told me when we last spoke." I saw that John had achieved this life purpose, and upon his release from his body, had had a full realization of just how successful he'd been in opening and sharing his heart. John had moved from being a man with a warm heart, to being a man who was ALL HEART; he literally became his exploded heart.

Often we don't realize what our soul's purpose really is, and confuse it with the mind's goals. In John's case, one might have guessed his purpose was the accomplishment of many socially conscious projects. How ironic, I thought, that perhaps we are here to become expert lovers, and that's really it. That to love and realize the omnipresence of love is the most fun thing we can do. I saw that now that John is not limited by time, space, and a body, he can love more people, all at once, and be more saturated in the experience. People don't have to be rationed out one at a time, and there are no distortions to reckon with, caused by people's fearful, or need-based misinterpretations.

At last I heard the story of what came just prior to John's death. He had participated in an all-night gathering of his men's group two days before. They had performed a ceremony from which he emerged absolutely glowing. The following evening, his girlfriend attended a similar gathering of her women's group. That next morning, she received a call from him. He was at home and needed help. "Please come right away," he pleaded. "Something is happening to me." All the women got in their cars immediately and went to help him. By the time they got there, he had died, a shocked expression frozen on his face. After the officials and friends had finally cleared away, his girlfriend got out her aromatherapy oils and slowly, lovingly, anointed his body. She said his expression slowly changed, and a deeply peaceful look came across his face. For the next couple days, as he lay in state, people swore that he smiled on the hour.

Anything that doesn't bring us fully alive is too small for us.

Now as I recall our last conversation, it seems like he was getting ready. Incrementally, he was talking himself into a state of oneness and open-heartedness, letting go of focusing on his flaws in exchange for an awareness of what is true and ever-present. What was it he said? "We must bust our collective stories. At this time there is no room for anything that gets in the way of soul alignment. Anything that doesn't bring us fully alive is too small for us. We cannot allow a diminishment of ourselves now." If we become fully alive, do we necessarily need to be alive in the body? Perhaps not!

The winds of change are blowing our debris away. What will be left of us? To surrender to the process can truly feel insane. If I become clear, will I suddenly die? Or will I remain here, ingrained in this world, a clear light in a body helping guide other people to become clear lights in bodies? For certain, our egos will die and be replaced with the warm wisdom of the heart. We will KNOW we are intimately connected in a unified field of energy and love. What difference then does it make whether we maintain our physicality or shift entirely into the higher frequencies of ourselves?

This time of soul-crafting is incredibly important, it seems to me. It is now that we set our real tone to vibrating throughout the entirety of ourselves, and by deciding who we will be, we get serious about bringing our soul into full consciousness. What's interesting is that the consciousness of the soul does not come through our brain alone, in the familiar way we know when recognizing new information and insights. The realization, or physicalization, of the soul comes through the mind-in-the-heart. It comes whispering, in a new language we are not used to speaking,

The soul brings with it the experience of The Sacred Heart; the exploded heart, the heartfield. As soul takes over, the heart expands so rapidly that it becomes not a thing, but an environment to live within. And if we are not practiced in being porous enough, or soft enough, forgiving enough, or surrendered enough, our hearts may pound and try to escape our bodies. They may drift out when we are absent-minded, beyond the confines of our everyday auras, to commune with millions of other hearts. And we may find ourselves inexplicably overcome with emotion, or empathy, or experiences of human suffering and sacrifice. The heart eats pain and transforms this mistake of perception back into love again.

We must remember that our hearts are strong and flexible. They can zoom out and back in again. They are powered by divine sanity, and responsive to the needs of the collective. Hard hearts are not good; expressing hate, no matter how subtle or disguised, wounds the heart and stunts it, make it unable to make that quantum leap from object to environment, that is coming soon for all of us. In this time of soul-crafting, I encourage you to commit to keeping your heart soft and open, no matter what seems to be coming at you from the world. I encourage you to think with your heart and discover what that actually feels like. I encourage you to exercise your heart, expanding it in various ways and letting it settle back to seek its own level again, like a pool of clear water.

If you, like I, have lost a loved one recently, I encourage you to continue to connect with them and let them guide you in stretching yourself to encompass more and more of your totality. Part of you is already in the frequency that they occupy, and you can take your mind there just as easily as keeping it contracted into the small ball we call daily reality. Stretch out, relax, build your frequency, relax, run more energy, relax. Soften your heart, then focus. Let go of your identity ideas, then see what you are. Let the wind blow through you and be your friend.

Copyright by Penney Peirce, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Time of Soul-Crafting - Part 1

I wrote this several years ago, just found it, and felt it was relevant for what's happening now. This is the first half of the article.

It just happens, as I begin to write this, that a strong cold wind has come up, gusting in off the Pacific. My wind chimes are banging wildly and the trees are dancing madly. When I feel out into the world with my intuition, I can sense the power of this primal element expressing everywhere, under the surface, at a global level. The Winds of Change really are pushing on us relentlessly, blowing down dead branches and leaves, clearing the way for a new kind of perception and a new world.
Most people simply wrap their belief systems more tightly around their shoulders and tuck heads to chest to try to make progress against the gale. How many of us understand the advantages of surrendering to the wind instead, of letting ourselves be blown free of clinging debris and swept headlong and trusting into new territory? Your capacity for this surrendered interrelationship with the irresistible force of profound change—what we could also call evolution, enlightenment, or self-realization—will determine how easily and quickly your new reality can materialize. But surrender can seem like an insane act today.

Catching Up with John
I was having a catch-up conversation with my friend John Wallace in Santa Fe, New Mexico, some months ago, and asked if he'd been noticing the waves of intensity hitting us lately. He laughed. Everyone he knew had been irritable, panic-stricken, and experiencing failure of their tried-and-true methods for surviving. This jibed with my observations of people facing their worst-case scenarios, even fighting the feeling of being possessed by negative entities. He and his girlfriend had decided this was an important time of "soul-crafting," when we must decide who we want to be, and how we want to be, unaided by anyone else. "No one can do this work for us," he said. I agreed and thought this was a great term to describe what's happening underneath the dissolution of the outmoded parts of ourselves.
And yet, I thought, we don't need to be alone, isolated, or martyred to do this work, as our drama-loving, either-or minds might have us believe. We can, and must, be involved in the world, connected to the flow of events, and the influence of other people—so the new selves we are crafting will be whole, complete, and integrated.

I mention John because his story, up until the sudden end of his life in early December last year, epitomizes many salient points and probably parallels the lessons many of us are consciously or unconsciously working on these days. John was (is?) a kind of soulmate to me, one of those people we don't necessarily talk to very often, but when we do, we put each other back into an effortless alignment with our best self and reestablish our gratefulness for being alive.
John had been working diligently for quite a few years to create an environmentally sound real estate development and learning center called Na'avoteh, just outside Santa Fe, which would exemplify the principles needed to regreen the desert. First among them was respect for water and everything represented by the divine feminine. To that end, he and his colleagues created the Rainmaking Institute, to help foster the work of today's rainmakers. Native American rainmakers were able to call in the rain because they LOVED the rain, John once told me. The rain came to them because of love. Similarly, today, we need to call forth new life because we love it, and those who know how to work with love as a practical, powerful force to create societal change are the new rainmakers—and we need more of them!
In his process learning to facilitate the manifestation of a huge project, and to do it in a way that was in harmony with the principles of feminine wisdom, not via sheer cleverness, charm, and will power, John learned many lessons about other people's fear. I know it was taxing to him, and continually prompted him to examine the limitations in himself that he hadn't previously seen. He was committed to what I call "radical honesty," to addressing what was real in every situation, and to get to the core so the soul, or spirit, could facilitate the easy flow of unfolding. I wonder if this noble "keeping on" in the face of fear's grip tired him out.

Battling Our Flaws Slows Us Down

In our conversation, he told me how he'd had a bodywork session to help clear a block he thought he had. The bodyworker said to him, "You are so much bigger than your perceived flaw, and giving the flaw energy by battling with it only slows you down." We talked about how we don't get comfort from our mental constructs now, from the way we organize the world, or identify ourselves. How it's actually painful when we buy into any way of being limited—the false constraints of our own perception. "We need FREEDOM!" John exclaimed. "We need to bust our collective stories."
"We're unraveling, he said. "Battling our flaws only slows our release. We have to be people who demand honesty and courage, and that requires openness and humility—to walk the path of truth. At this time," he continued, "there's no room for anything that gets in the way of soul alignment. Anything that doesn't bring us fully alive is too small for us. We cannot allow a diminishment of ourselves now."
He went on, saying, "There are non-negotiables that we've negotiated anyway. This is the pain today, and it's intolerable. Compromise is like kryptonite for us! We have to think: What can we let go of that doesn't support full aliveness? And yet all the interferences are so minor compared to who we are and what we're built for."

Things Don't Seem as Spiritual as They Used To
I paused and digested John's words, then said, "I remember when I started on my spiritual path thirty years ago, I had a great, dramatic yearning for a higher reality. Everything was tinged with spiritual growth, and the magic of accessing the higher, more intangible dimensions. Now, life often seems so ordinary. I worry at times that I'm being worn down by the world."
John said, "Yes, but what used to feel spiritual is gone, because we're actually inside those dimensions now, and they're in us. We're in the Mystery in a new, full way. We used to get rushes from what was beyond our reach, what was ideal and special. But now we're BEING the dimensions! And it's so huge and vast!" We got excited. I spoke of how we really have grown exponentially without realizing it, how we embody so much more than we realize because we don't recognize the "gap" anymore. We are truly like Zen monks, alive within the sacred that includes answering email, waiting on hold for customer service, and changing the furnace filter.
This was my last conversation with John. When we said goodbye, he—as he always did—made sure he told me how important I was to him and what an influence I'd been in his life over the years. Our conversations were always complete emotionally; we knew where we stood with each other, how we felt.
Copyright by Penney Peirce, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Inside View of Transformation Dynamics

Karen Bishop, whose intuitions are generally exactly parallel to mine, resurfaced with the following letter, which parallels what I have been saying to a T. I like hearing her slightly different explanations of various details because it gives new angles for understanding. I've edited it slightly, only to remove bits that were superfluous. 

"What a challenging and confusing ride it has been for these past several months! At the end of April and beginning of May, it was clear that many of us were going to be "removed" from the planet for a while, while a cleansing was taking place. I can remember telling friends that we would be lifted up like beautiful ornaments on a table while the table was dusted and cleaned, and then we would be put back down. But I had no idea it would take this long...nor be so challenging!

For the past three years or so, many of us at our soul levels (or those at the helm of this process) have been putting together new and revised plans to support this impending and certain Shift of the Ages. Many miscalculations were made, all with good intentions, and this resulted in many changes with the course and a much longer and drawn out plan than was anticipated. Very briefly put, it was thought that the souls here on the planet now would take over on their own, holding a high vibration and connecting together like a grid, but not enough souls chose to grow and expand and thus, we did not take over on our own. Many attempts were made to try and keep the vibration high enough by separating from lower vibrations through a separation of the worlds and then yet another one. Even after we "arrived" in a new space in the cosmos, this alone did not seem to have an effect on the tight grip of old patterns and denser and darker energies. Even in higher vibrating energies, many continued to create the old once again. 

So this latest plan was finally implemented, and with so many of us acutely weary from the extended time it had taken thus far, this latest plan really took a toll on many of us. Many also went into fear as so much that had been "predicted" did not come to pass as the plan had to continually be tweaked due to unpredictable fear based behavior patterns by many souls on the earth.  Was everything over and done with? Was all we had been through one big sad joke? Did the planet decide to descend into hell instead of into heaven? Not enough souls were "ready" for a higher vibrating existence nor ready to connect to one another. So then, a massive cleansing needed to occur. Many times I likened it to receiving chemotherapy treatments in tandem with huge "energy bombs" that blew anything and everything out of its old groove.

In addition, many of us have been "removed" for a while, so that is a bit different too. (Feelings of not being all here, not in our body, blocked from our creativity, difficulty in waking up in the morning, memory problems, not on top of our game, etc., are symptoms of being removed for awhile.) Because of the cleansing plan, we had to get out of the road. We had to be removed from the massive energy blasts that were due to hit, and which DID hit! But there were other reasons as well why many of us needed to duck and cover.

Many of us had to walk around the planet sealed tighter than Fort openings allowed. We were simply following the new plan and removing our energy for a while. The connections consisting of heart energies remained nonetheless, and so, finding or maintaining these was a beautiful consolation.  Beginning with the solstice in June, the massive "energy bombings" arrived. Just when we felt we might be situated somewhere once again, pow! Along would come a huge hit and we would be knocked out of our grooves all over again. Everything had to be removed and usurped from its prior location so that the big heat of the "chemotherapy" treatments could take hold. So then, everything was usurped and what did not need to remain was "burned off."

Experiencing heat stroke with our animal companions and ourselves was common during this time. Have a lower vibrating thought of fear or negativity, and the heat brigade would rush in and clean up! What an intense training in positive and higher vibrating thinking! Because of all of the above, there was a massive absence of light during these months. Those holding light were sealed up like a vault, or under cover, while what remained was being bombarded by the cleaning crew implementing a massive scrub down and clean up mission! In this way, there was nothing to connect to. We were separated from much, and at the same time, in yet another massive birth canal, unable to see outside of its walls. Completely empty and surrounded by seeming darkness was a common occurrence. And those chemotherapy treatments left nothing much within us...we had to be wiped clean for a very new start. Seemingly no light anywhere, but lots of destruction and removal everywhere. Many souls chose to leave the planet during this time as well.

A clean slate was needed for different choices to be made. In this way, what needs to sprout now is the light. It needs to dominate. This newest plan then, also involved a loss of choice and power during these months, but there was good reason.  We would tell our vehicle to turn right and it would go left. Step on the brake and we would go forward. Step on the gas and we would go backwards. Start something new, become excited, and the next day it would blow up. Try and think of something new, and it would not gel. A piece would trickle in, we would follow the crumbs (the VERY FEW crumbs), and then it would suddenly disappear. What was happening here was an attempt to hold onto a new shore while we were still flying down the river, not yet at our intended destination. Not enough had been cleared away to reveal the new and pristine energy that was to remain. Not time to hold onto anything quite yet.  All this time we were being divinely protected. Strangely enough, all our needs were being met, if even in strange and unusual ways.

 After we were done experiencing the massive pressure tunnel created by all the celestial events beginning with the solstice, we finally landed somewhere on August 8th. We may have felt that we were finally "somewhere," that we were now home and that we could exhale. But only for a few days, as it did not stick. During this time we may have felt like we were in a parallel universe, or perhaps we had gone back in time, or even felt unsure of where we truly were. Like two massive ships docking side by side, attempting to connect to each other, one parallel universe to another, we may have felt great but only for about four days. We bounced out of the new connection. Things really got tough after that because there was NOTHING to hold onto then. Plans that had been put in place were suddenly changed, new information received was suddenly not implemented, and this was when things really got tough.  

As August neared its end, the "energy bombings" ended as well. Then the "releasing" began (the dizziness and vertigo felt from our light bodies assisting in taking us somewhere new was common during this time). We were beginning a process of being released from old obligations and much of anything that had been holding us down and keeping us back. By mid-September, the releasing process was gaining momentum and the message was clear that we were DONE. We had completed this monumental phase and we were finally done. We may have felt like suddenly travelling, starting a brand new life, and so forth, as we prepared ourselves, FINALLY, for the new.

Now that many of us are "done," we will now connect to each other and create a brand new grid. An energy "pin" has been put into place to hold things steady until these new connections are complete. And when they are complete, this "pin" will be removed and the level below us will then begin to collapse.

Is the internet going to collapse too? No one can predict a scenario like this, but it has certainly outlived its original and pristine purpose and become contaminated like so many other arenas. The "New Age" movement is over as well, but where we will find ourselves is on an even playing field with those who match us through heart connections. 

Many made great strides during this time. We adjusted our personal energy patterns where they needed adjusting (I am still not done yet!), and in this way, we will finally be able to connect to one another as was originally planned. Our energies are much more subtle now, if we allow them to be. But there are yet others who have not chosen to benefit from looking within and making changes. We will find ourselves connecting to those with whom we belong, and thank goodness, because we can no longer go it alone. We need this new grid, and it will be comprised of each and every one of us who have chosen to stay and continue on with the creation and/or experience of the new planet earth." 

Bird Tree by Mary Blair