Profiles in Team World, Part Two

Hello, Team!  I hope you all had a fabulous holiday, and are rested, refreshed, and ready to save the world in 2009.  I’ll soon continue writing about ideas to help us do that, but this post is one of my Team Member Profiles. 


Team Member Profile: J’Lein Liese

J’Lein Liese, December 2008

In the early years of the new millennium, the genocide in Rwanda had lost much of its steam.  This was largely because almost every Tutsi in the country had been slaughtered by the Hutu militia, and the remaining refugees had vanished into the forests or neighboring countries. 

Few Westerners had dared venture into Rwanda since the atrocities began.  So a petite, polite, smiling young blond woman, traveling alone, was an unusual sight at the Rwandan border.  Several hard-drinking Rwandan men hanging around the checkpoint were very, very interested.  And not in a good way.

“I had to get out of the car,” J’Lein Liese tells me a few years later, over coffee.  “And, well, I don’t want to sound paranoid, but the way they were looking at me was pretty unnerving.”

Paranoid?  To me, J’Lein sounds almost suicidally brave.  I’m terrified just hearing the story.

“They had that predatory look, and a lot of them began walking toward me, sort of circling me like a pack hunting.  So I do the girl thing and look at my driver, as though he’s supposed to help.”  J’Lein laughs, a deep, infectious laugh.  I’m hoping that’s the only infectious thing she brought back from her adventures.  “Of course the driver staring into the middle distance, pretending he’s never seen me in his life, and I don’t blame him.” 

“My God,” I say.  “What did you do?” 

Anyone wanna spend some time here?  Alone?


I’ve only just met J’Lein.  Our meeting in this coffee shop was arranged by a mutual friend, South African Team member Judy Klipin.  This is ironic, since we live just a few miles apart, in Phoenix.  In person, she seems much too pretty and harmless to have survived an encounter with Hutu militia. 

“Did you have a gun?”  I ask. I’m not a gun person—quite the opposite—but if I were ever in the position J’Lein’s describing, I would probably go all Charlton Heston.

“Nope,” J’Lein shrugs.  “So I had to use energy.”

“Energy,” I repeat.   Girlfriend, please!

“Yeah, you learn to use energy a lot when you’re deal with horses—oh, at one point I was planning to train for the in Olympic equestrian events, except before I finished my Junior Years, for some reason one of my lungs collapsed.  Which was fine, because it helped me realize that what I really wanted was to eradicate racism and prejudice from the planet.  Anyway…”

I’m furiously taking mental notes, storing up questions.  I have to hear how the Rwandan border incident unfolded, but every autobiographical detail J’Lein tosses out makes me want to shout, “What?”


Mental notes: ask J’Lein about her potential Olympic riding and her collapsed lung…


“So I gathered my energy together—“  J’Lein goes on.

“Wait,” I interject.  “How?”


J’Lein’s brow furrows.  “It’s hard to explain,” she says.  “You just pull it all together…”  She curls one hand into a fist and presses it to her abdomen just below her navel, at the point martial artists call the hara, or energy center.  Then she runs out of words, because, as Lao Tzu said, “Those who know, don’t talk.  Those who talk, don’t know.”

“Okay,” I say, impatient to hear the rest.  “Then what?”

“Well, once I felt centered, I sent it out.  I mean, nothing looked different—I kept smiling, kept walking, didn’t change my posture at all.  Just sent out this blast of energy that said:  ‘YOU. WILL.BACK. OFF’.”

I nod, aware that my academic training should make me roll my eyes in a dismissive fashion.  But nowadays, I’m more and more aware that we’re all manipulating energy, and that we can communicate with it very powerfully.  Anyway, J’Lein has a Ph.D. herself, and should be eye-rolling right along with me.  But just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there’s no room for academic scorn in a lone woman at the Rwandan border.

“Well, what happened?” I ask.

“Nothing,” says J’Lein, shrugging.  “Which is kind of huge, when you think about it.”  She sips her coffee.  “It was as if an invisible wall appeared around me.  All the soldiers just lost focus and wandered off, like they’d forgotten I was there.  Like a bunch of dogs who’d realized the squirrel they were chasing was only on TV.” 


Oh, My Goodness, the Team Is Real!

When she gave me J’Lein’s number, Judy told me I’d be meeting another Team member, and boy, was she right.  The first Team member profile I posted on this blog, you may recall, was son Adam—someone whose life appears unusually tame (but is actually very exciting).  J’Lein, by contrast, is living a version of Team life so exciting that I, for one, would prefer something several sizes tamer.

There’s a kind of unfolding wonder that happens when you meet another Team person, a blend of certainty (“Wow!  This person has all the markers of a Team member, the personal history, the sense of mission, everything!”) and incredulity (“Oh, my God!  This person has all the markers of a Team member, the personal history, the sense of mission, everything!”)

The Shaman’s Checklist

Let me just run down the checklist, so you can see what I mean.  Remember, I believe Team members share the archetype of the shaman.

Shaman figurine (if this is yours, please call the Lost and Found in Middle Earth)

In all cultures, shamans are typified by characteristics including (but are certainly not limited to) those on the list below.  I’ll pop in illustrations from J’Lein’s life, to show you how distinctively she fits the markers.  These aren’t fortune-cookie characteristics.  They’re rare.  But not for Team members.

1.  Difficult childhood and adolescence:

As a young child, J’Lein took on more than her share of responsibility for helping her single mom.  Her home life was so stressful, and her sense of destiny so strong, that she left home permanently at the tender age of 13, to spend much of her adolescence under the supervision of a riding trainer who had become exceedingly successful because of the exacting, stringent demands she placed on the riders she trained.  J’Lein’s drive to work with the young and the dispossessed stems, she believes, from this emotionally wrenching youth.

2.  Strong connection with animals (three examples from J’Lein):

First example:  

“I was the one they’d get to ride horses no one could handle,” J’Lein tells me.  “I’d do it no matter what—which meant I got bucked off, stepped on, kicked, bitten, you name it.  But I learned how to use my energy from those horses.


Second example:  

“I went to Rwanda partly because I had to see the gorillas….  We were told not to approach or touch them, but the gorillas apparently hadn’t gotten that memo, because the babies came up, poked me, played with my funny hair.

Third example:

“The day Obama was elected, I was on a tiger safari in Nepal.  No one—not even the trackers—had seen a tiger for months.  But I was thrilled about the election, and I swear, animals love hanging out with that energy.  That morning not one, not two, but three tigers came out of the jungle and hung out a few feet from us for half an hour.”


3. Unexplained illness that pulls the person off a “normal” life course:

“No one really knows why I had a collapsed lung,” J’Lein recalls.  “I was devastated—it took me out of the running for the Olympic trials—but looking back, it’s obvious my health was part of what guided me into my life’s work.”

4.  Sense of mission:

“I’ve never had an actual job,” J’Lein says, sounding a little baffled by this.  “I’ve always just jumped in wherever I thought I could help, and money shows up one way or another.  I have a company called the Foundation for Global Leadership.  I take groups of First-World people who are looking for meaningful experience, and lead them into areas of the world that need their help.” (You should check out the company website at

J’Lein’s good works are spread through her Foundation for Global Leadership

J’Lein has led dozens of groups into sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where they are benefiting orphans, AIDS patients, women and children forced into the sex trade, suriviors of genocide (she was scouting out a site during that Rwandan border-crossing incident—er, non-incident).

5.  High level of woo-woo talents, apparently genetic:

You’d have to be dead not to notice the high level of energy J’Lein brings into a room.  That’s why I have no trouble believing any of her stories about a non-physical communication with animals and humans.  But in case I needed a reminder, I’ll get one later from J’Lein’s four-year-old son Ethan, when they drop by my house over the holiday break.  Ethan asks for a tour, and then says, “Why do you have two pianos?”

I almost say, “We don’t,” because I’ve forgotten all about the tiny, rickety upright in my piano-playing daughter’s bedroom.  Ethan hasn’t seen the room, no one’s playing either piano, and J’Lein couldn’t know about piano number two.

“Ethan,” I say, “how did you know we have two pianos?”

He spreads his small arms wide and says, with some impatience, “I just KNEW.”

See, it tends to run in families.

 Ethan: born on the Team

Blending Missions

So as far as I’m concerned, J’Lein is clearly, obviously, glaringly on the Team.  During that first coffee conversation, we both talk as fast as we can for two hours—not two strangers, but two players for the same side, bringing one another up to speed and plotting a forward strategy.  It seems logical to combine my obsession with taking people on life-transforming ecological adventures, and J’Lein’s life work of helping human populations in need. 

When we’re not plotting a merger, we discuss the urgency we both feel about connecting Team members with one another, all over the world.  There’s barely time any more for Team members to sit around marveling at all our common traits and interests.  The game is already in progress.  If we chat, we chat on the fly.

Your Turn to Make a Link In the Team Web

So, now it’s your turn.  After you read this post, it’s your turn to meet ‘n’ greet a Team member for yourself.  I’m not sure how thinly or thickly dispersed the Team is, but you probably know at least one or two others like yourself.  As the time to save the world grows very short, the network of Team members seems to be tightening.  More of us are talking to each other, more of the time.  We’re getting close to the center of the web.

Within 7 days of reading this post, ask at least one of your Team friends if they’ve met other Team friends.  Arrange a coffee-talk of your own.  Meet in groups of two, three, or more, but make contact with a new Teamer.  Connect.  Then post an account of your own Team meeting.  We’re all curious as hell, and the more we meet each other, the more fun we have


Never forget: your life should feel like this.

 Having Fun With Fear

J’Lein and I are definitely having fun.  For starters, we’re planning to take future groups of life-coaching clients into Nepal, to find their own sense of purpose and help repair some of the region’s devastated people, animals, and plants.  In addition, J’Lein has her sites set on her favorite demographic group: at-risk adolescents.

“Here’s what I’ve been thinking,” she says.  “A lot of the Tutsi women in Rwanda saw their children slaughtered, and then they were raped by soldiers.  Some of them got pregnant, and it wasn’t like they had a choice to end the pregnancies.  Those children are all about the same age—about 12, 13 years old right now.  They’re products of war, with the genes of two mortal enemies.  Their mothers are, well, ambivalent about them.  That cohort of children will either be the most monstrous population the world’s ever seen, or the most saintly.  No in-between for someone with that history.  Now, those are kids I want to work with!”  J’Lein beams.

“Um, yeah, okay, you bet,” I croak, gripping my coffee cup for strength.  “I’d been thinking more about bored American Baby Boomers, but yeah, Rwandan rape orphans…why not?  Ha ha!”

“Hey, you know some of those Baby Boomers are supposed to be helping out in Rwanda.  It’s the Team, remember?” 

I do remember, though clearly, I haven’t yet reached J’Lein’s level of courage or faith.  Sitting across from me, all bubbly personality and bright green eyes, she doesn’t look like the sort of person you’d choose to rescue people from the darkest and most terrible pockets of human tragedy on the planet. 

But then there’s that energy thing.  The more J’Lein talks about her ideas, the more I feel saturated, right through my bones, with the hum of her energy.  If I were to try doing what J’Lein does, I’d definitely be a fool rushing in where angels fear to tread.  In her case, however, that can’t happen, because she clearly has a vanguard of angels that goes with her everywhere, like the Secret Service.

My watch beeps, reminding me to leave for my next appointment.  Neither J’Lein nor I can believe we’ve been talking for over two hours.  It’s great to catch up with an old friend, especially one you’ve never met.

“I’ll let you go,” J’Lein says, “but damn, woman!  We’ve got a lot to do!”

“We move at dawn,” I agree, my head spinning with new plans and J’Lein’s soldier-stopping energy.

I leave wondering how many more Team members are connecting, right this minute, like strands of spider silk.  The whole group grows stronger with the meeting of any two Team members.  So accept the challenge this week—find someone.  Link energy.  Subtract one more number from the “degrees of separation” that make so many Team members believe they’re isolated individuals.  And if this assignment happens to take you into war-torn chaos, who you gonna call? J’Lein Liese.  I do believe she’s a match for any army on earth.

Now, go make your Team connection!


  1. Mer Boel
    Mer Boel says:

    Okay, I’ve forwarded the post to my girlfriend, suspected Team member, will report back after meeting. Thanks for all you are sharing.

  2. Christy Cuellar-Wentz
    Christy Cuellar-Wentz says:

    Brightest Blessings in the New Year!

    I love the call to action – thank God, seriously! I feel extremely fortunate to have been born the child of another Team member, Linda, someone who has always been perceived as a Healer even though she has had an enormously difficult row to hoe since the day she was born.

    Lots of mothers and daughters can’t stand to work together, but we teamed up years ago with our unique skills to form In the process, we unintentionally balance each other. Linda has been phobic of dancing since childhood. Yet she is enormously supportive of my “inexplicable” love of belly dance. And here she is helping to format my e-book for publication this week, “The Belly Dance Prescription: Shake Your Hips and Depression!”

    Together, we are forging ahead to find more Team members. Those of us working on the edges of the wild areas feel hugely fortified to hear about increasing numbers of Team members connecting.

    Here are some thoughts to anyone who thinks they aren’t on the Team just because they don’t “have it all together.”
    I didn’t set out to be a “leader.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sighed and thought “Do I really need to be be the change I wish to see in the world?” (Umm, Yes.), or “Can’t I follow someone else for a while?” (Not for long!)

    I may have been born on the Team, but I wasn’t born a “mommy-muse.” I knew when it was time to get pregnant with my first child, not because I had an overwhelming craving to be a mother, or even because my “biological clock” went off. I received a message from a powerfully loving voice that “this is something you have to do.”

    I had no idea that I would go through postpartum depression and wonder for two years if I would ever be “myself” again. But once I came out the other side, I knew I had to go through that experience to reach out to other new parents with strength and compassion through Mommy-Muse online.

    And now new Team members are finding me and we are joining up to do really cool things like start online zines and have tours with Mom writers and belly dancers, etc. It just keeps growing and I work to keep up.

    So be honest. If you have an internal knowingness that you are part of this, trust yourself and find some more people on the Team! Don’t set any artificial limitations on yourself just because you don’t think you’re “brave enough” or “together enough.” Honor what you bring to the world and you will be amazed what comes out!


  3. anne
    anne says:

    First of all, Tracee…if you contact me (I’m in Ireland, Europe) we could possibly link up! You can contact me via the website!
    Secondly, I wonder about the following…you see I’m being constantly asked for directions…I go for a walk, people will ask me for directions, I go to another country…I’ll be asked for directions. People DRIVE INTO MY HOUSE (well not literally!) and ask for directions…any other Team members have this experience??? Would love to hear…

  4. leah
    leah says:

    In a bit of synchronicity, I’ve got a gathering of like-minded souls happening this week (by phone) and it feels like we’re creating a fabulous group of team members! I’d love to find an in person group too (I live about 15 minutes west of Boston, MA).

  5. Emiko
    Emiko says:

    Any San Diego people?

    And I’ve been getting sick a lot lately (nothing serious, just colds and now some tummy thing) I’m thinking I’m either a shaman or my kids are incredibly effective germ mules this year, lol. Seriously, I live one of the healthiest lifestyles of anyone I know and yet I’m probably the one out sick the most – what’s up?! Then there are my crazy bizarro dreams recently . . . anyone else?

  6. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    Milwaukee, WI here.

    This story left me almost breathless! The strength, courage and complete faith almost pulses from the computer as I was reading it.

    I had a long chat (about 4 hours) with a dear friend this morning. We were together to meditate and share Reiki. As we talked we kept coming back to the fact that more and more we are independently meeting more people who are of like minds recently. People who realize that the world can be changed and improved by sharing our love and strong healing energy. If I sit and think about it, I find it overwhelming. But if I simply accept and go about living, it seems to be coming more naturally everyday.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful biography. It certainly goes a long way toward motivating me to ramp up my commitment to the world at large.


  7. Elena
    Elena says:

    Greetings, fellow Mini-Gandhi’s! (“you must be the change you want to see in the world”). Emiko, I’m in the San Diego area… 🙂

  8. Layla
    Layla says:

    Wow, it’s really amazing hearing from so many like-minded others. For so long i’ve felt so DIFFERENT from just about anyone else in the world.

    To Anne, I also get asked for directions just about everywhere I go. It’s happened so much that i’ve wondered about it. It’s funny fo hear someone else w/that too! LOL.

    Someone else mentioned amazingly detailed & wild dreams, I have these in technicolor every night. I wake up most mornings w/hours worth crazy stories. Anyone else get this? I always wondered what is different w/me that my dreams are so detailed & I remember so much. For example: last night I dreamed the devil showed up to tempt me, & offered me a black ferrari. I drove it for a little while before realizing I didn’t want it, & walking off from it. I then ran into a priest at the edge of a pond of clear water full of all kinds of fish. Some of the fish looked like serpents & I was scared of them, but the priest told me it was nothing to worry about & wanted me to jump in the water. I was standing on the edge of the pool (it was a drop down) in a white summer dress, trying to decide if I should jump (the dream then changed to something else).

    Interpretations, anyone? I get this kind of stuff ev. single night.

  9. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    To Layla —

    How lucky you are to have such brilliant and creative dreams!

    From my work with dreams, I’d suggest just a couple of things. Pay attention to your feelings – how did you feel when the devil showed up, and when you walked away? How did you feel toward the priest? (dreams can help us to realize what we feel, or what we’re not allowing ourselves to feel.) Pay attention to your choices – why did you choose to walk away, and what does that say to you? What does your inability to make a choice at the edge of the water say to you? Water can represent the soul going deeper – are you being invited into more depths somehow? And finally, you could try working with your dream awake, esp. with what you fear – imagine going back to the pool, and in writing or your imagination, first imagine what would you say about yourself as yourself, and then what would the pool say about itself. Perhaps imagine jumping into the pool – what happens after that? I had a dream once about being chased by a tsunami as I was running away (a pretty obvious symbol of my inner and outer life at that point) and was told to turn and face the tsunami. I did, it washed over me… and I popped up on a beach in Mexico with a young man serving me drinks… which I think said it’s going to turn out okay – that got me through a lot (the message, not the drinks). What happens when you face into your fear. Just some ideas, if they’re helpful.
    Take care.

  10. Layla
    Layla says:

    Thanks Maggie! I really appreciate it. That gives me alot to think about. I’ve been struggling alot lately w/wanting to leave my lucrative corporate job for something more fulfilling, I suppose it’s related to that in some way. I do like the ending of your tsunami dream! I’ll meet you on the beach. Best wishes,

  11. Sigrid Mortensen
    Sigrid Mortensen says:

    Okay, Martha, you’ve worked your magic. I now not only accept that I’m part of the Team, but I am willingly (okay, grudgingly… no, no, willingly) stepping into my leadership role.

    Why? Because this just gets weirder and weirder.

    First, there’s how I felt the first time I saw your face on Oprah’s Law of Attraction episode. (Mind you, I don’t watch Oprah regularly — it’s difficult when you live in the boonies and have no TV antenna — but was led to this particular episode because of my long-standing interest in LoA.) How did I feel when I first saw your face? Like I knew you. Like you were an old friend who just happened to be on Oprah.

    I went out and systematically borrowed or bought all of your books. I’ve even read most of them. (And I promise to get back to the other two really soon!)

    Second, there’s the reason I even signed up to receive your emails. I have a tiny little company called Self Help Software, Inc. that I started with the intention of creating software (that’s what I do for money: design and build software, and I can do it very efficiently… when properly motivated) that will make it really easy for readers of self-help books to do all those well-designed exercises so they don’t just read the books and throw them on their bedside tables, but get out of them everything the author intended. It’s just more fun, in my opinion, to do exercises on the computer when you’re prompted to answer specific questions or click on things, than to do all that laborious handwriting. And I was duly impressed by all of the exercises in your books (how Do you come up with them all?) and thought we’d make a good… er… team. You come up with the exercises and I code them.

    So I’ve had the company for eight years and so far have not written one bit of self-help software. (Instead, I use the company to do software development work that turns my soul to ice but pays the bills. This is, incidentally, the other reason I sought out your books.) At the beginning, I tried to sell Self Help Software by partnering with, frankly, more powerful people with more authority: literary agents, established authors, etc. And was left feeling totally powerless… which is probably why I was too chicken to come out and actually ask you if you wanted to partner with me on something like this. Instead I just passively signed up to receive your newsletter.

    And now I realize that I was just not willing to take a leadership role. I wanted to just ride the coattails of someone else’s success. (More about my leadership phobia, below.)

    Okay, so I intend to get back to the Self Help Software thing really soon…. right after I attend to the small matter of….

    This Burning Desire I’ve Had Since Childhood to Write, Sell, and Perform Music. And if I get my way with that, the software thing is going to have to be just a sideline, because the whole music thing will take up every spare moment for as long as I live. (This is why Self Help Software had a domain name but no working web site — an abomination for a software company in a cyberworld where everyone and his dog seems to have his own website.) But back to the weirdness…

    So, I received your email list update yesterday and thought, “Oh, Martha wrote to me! I wonder what she has to say?” and proceeded to find that you had been blogging for a couple of months now about the Team. So I skimmed and read as much as I could cram in before going to bed (way too late, as it turns out) — I especially wanted to read about Adam and the whole dream connection — and all would have been fine if not for the fact that a dream (this is Weirdness #3, if you’re keeping track) woke me up a mere five hours later with The Best Idea I’ve had to date for writing and selling music. I’ll spare you the details — you’ll be able to see some of them eventually at my web site, but since I only registered the domain today, it may be a while — but suffice it to say that I was not only being fed The Best Idea in my dream, but I was learning lessons in my dream about taking a leadership role.

    I’m a person who thinks she needs about ten hours a sleep a night, but I could Not get back to sleep after those first five, because I was so buzzed about this idea, for which I worked out a lot of the details in the dark, and then started to put the wheels into motion during the day. I also had lots of time to think about the Team and about leadership, which I’d been shying away from since adolescence.

    Back story: I found out some time before Junior High that my first name meant, “Victorious Leader.” I was okay with that up until Jr. High, when I saw such atrocities of so-called leadership among my particular clique that I vowed off ever having anything to do with it (or them). To me, leadership meant politics, popularity contests, and subverting the will of the people through intimidation and social pressure so they’ll do what the leader wants instead of what they want. No thanks. Not for me. Since then, I’ve worn my name with no little discomfort, coming close to changing it on several occasions, but somehow never really doing so.

    Despite the fact that I had some experience being a fine leader in the corporate IT world — and had a fair bit of fun in that role, too — I never really embraced my leadership role. The power of it. It just felt dangerous. I could not, would not (Sam-I-Am) be That kind of person.

    But thanks to your blog, I now realize how I’ve been shying away from my own power by refusing to lead. And doing so needlessly. All I needed was a redefinition of leadership.

    At first, I wasn’t sure (aside from the whole Instant Recognition thing) if I was really on the Team. I mean, okay, your first four criteria fit, and, well, so do the last two, but no diseases or accidents or life-changing events, and — aside from the fact that I lost an entire year of my adolescence to ostracism and bullying because of that whole I-refuse-to-be-lead-by-you-lot thing I had going — I had a pretty happy childhood.

    But now I’m sure I am on the Team, thanks to Weirdness #4. After reading this last post about connecting with Team members, and going through my mental list of who could possibly be on my Team, the very first response in the comment section — the very First! — is from a woman with whom, the moment I first met her almost eight years ago, I felt that Instant Recognition. And after that first meeting, when she later left a message on my answering machine, as soon as I heard her voice, even though consciously I didn’t yet know who had left the message, a part of my brain thought, “this is from one of my dear friends.” She lives in my community; I met her when she interviewed me as I was applying for a software development job; she is a fellow musician; she’s into the same “weird ideas” I have studied for decades; she actively encouraged me to pursue music when I was most in despair about ever doing so; and she has a way of popping back into my life whenever I need a kick-in-the-pants to get my music career moving again — or, come to think of it, it’s always right after I’ve taken some bold new step with my music (like I did today). I’ll just happen to run into her on the street after not having seen her for a year or more. Or… if not on the street, in cyberspace, as it turns out. 🙂

    And although I am not the “suspected Team member” she referred to above, I have invited her to have coffee with me tomorrow.

    So, Martha, thank you, thank you, thank you: for telling us all about the Team, for bringing it to our conscious awareness, and for inviting us (generally) and me (specifically) to embrace our/my leadership role(s) once again. It’s all starting to make sense, thanks to you.

    Of course, the excitement has caused me to jeopardize yet another night of sleep, but I’ll get over that. 🙂

    Lots of love,
    — Sigrid.

  12. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Asked for directions? Yes. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I am usually asked for directions when I am in a city unknown to me.

    Maggie – love your dream work. I have massively powerful dreams and reoccuring metaphorical characters. Can’t wait to take them to another level. I also have been having strong connections to Portland if you want to chat.

    I am in Chicago and will reach out to Sandy and Leah – my midwest team.

    Anyone know teachers, books, or magic beans that will help me hone my energy skills?

    Thanks! All the best!

  13. Layla
    Layla says:

    I’ve taken a few Tai Chi classes, & that really helped. In massage training alot of schools require students to take Tai Chi, Aikido or Chi Gung because it increases your sensitivity. Also, certain kinds of yoga focus alot on prana. Or look into getting & maybe learning Thai massage or Reiki. I think traditionally these types of practices are supposed to balance & strengthen your chi, & make you more energetically sensitive (or something like that).

    A small aside, it’s great to hear so many Team members talk about experiences with energy. That is another unusual trait i’ve never been able to rationally explain that I now think is a Team marker: above average sensitivity to various types of energy (geographic, personal, spiritual, etc).

    I’m thinking we need a discussion forum for Team members!

  14. Emiko
    Emiko says:


    Do you have a Facebook account? Even if you don’t I think you can still send me a message there, my full name is Emiko Jaffe – hope to hear from you 🙂 Excellent quote, one of my faves!

  15. Lynne
    Lynne says:

    Hello from the NW Suburbs of Chicago — and a shout out to Sandy, Leah, and Melissa… looks like we might have a growing Midwest Team!

    I have always felt that I had “something more” to offer the world… and have been at a loss to name it or to truly harness it (because I think I really haven’t understood it!) until now. Part of me has always felt that there was something more I was supposed to be doing with my life — something more I was supposed to be putting back out into the world.

    Martha’s Team concept speaks to me so clearly and so loudly, that I intend to listen — and more importantly, act. Melissa, Sandy and Leah — I will be in touch…

    Blessings to you all…


  16. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Hello from the midwest – Indianapolis. I just started an online women’s group right after the first of the year. It’s kind of taken off like wildfire and I’ve had 28 people sign up in 10 days! Wow. It’s not an exclusive Team Member group but I recognize at least two or three others already. There are women from all over (Arizona, Oregon, North Carolina, Chicago). It has exceeded my expectations and I’m extremely grateful. I think there are lots of people who have a desire to do more and to connect. I’m not sure if they are on the Team but I think they could be if given the chance. The site’s all about connecting and growing and sharing and it was brought into existence with the help of a lot of Magic.

  17. Christy Cuellar-Wentz
    Christy Cuellar-Wentz says:

    Oh, this is so fun! I followed my inner guidance on a completely different issue and discovered a Team member living not too far from my neck of the woods. It’s awesome to connect and help people who are new to this realize they’re not all that “strange” by our standards 🙂
    …and certainly not alone – not by a long shot – when we’re harnessing the power of internet connectivity!

    Martha, if you read this, what do you think about starting a Team ‘Zine? There could be monthly columns by Team-members, monthly calls to action, we could showcase different Team-mates around the world and encourage support for their / our projects, co-ordinate joint efforts, as well as help reach more of the Team we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet!

  18. Susan
    Susan says:

    There are 3 of us at least here in Alberton, South Africa. We have been meeting since November on a regular basis. Any more tribe members we don’t know about anywhere nearby?
    Susan Viljoen

  19. Annette
    Annette says:

    Help Help!
    Where are the Team members in Phoenix, AZ????
    I know you’re here – come out come out wherever you are!
    Let’s have coffee and meet n’ greet n’ plan & breathe a communal sigh of relief we’re not alone!!
    Along with a billion other things, I want to start a documentary company that goes behind the scenes and shows the life of those who reach out and touch others to help this world be what it can be (please to start with Wildlife advocates). I think if more people saw the people that are helping the animals and what they go through on a daily basis, they’d be more inclined to pitch in.
    I have connections with the technical aspect, I just need a starting point.
    I have a certain person in mind who happens to have started us on our Team realization – – – –
    hint hint nudge nudge

  20. ID
    ID says:

    I am a Team member in Chicago. Would anyone else in the Chicago area like to get together for coffee or dinner some time? Let me know if there is interest, and I can try to organize something.

  21. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    I was seriously elated when Martha accepted my friendship one Facebook mid December. She’s spoken to me in wonderful ways since I read Breaking Point in 2001 — that was the first one of all of them.

    I’m in Central Iowa — I love the idea that, beginning tomorrow, I might find a Team Member around any corner.

    The Shaman’s checklist is a match … a perfect match. I’ve known these things for many years. Seven years ago I began waking at 4 am each morning. Anyone else? Three years ago I began noticing a certain animal magnetism of a different kind, I draw animals of all kinds — two “dogs, six cats that found me and live here with my children and I. Think “Africa” is what I say when I meet other parents and talk about pets. READING THIS BLOG TOTALLY HIT ME

    As a mother I have learned to care for the thoughts in my mind, my daughters have an unusual gift that humbles me. A year ago a school counselor, who was a neighbor, and met my daughter Mia over a few hour visit. The next day my neighbor called and said she thought my daughter Mia needed help with her speech. I had heard this on two other occassions from two people that were not counselors. I thought she may have a point. Two other people had said something, not teachers, not doctors … I went to sleep on it. The next morning we left the house, headed for the car and Mia ran up to the car windows. She drew a heart on the window in the condensation. She said loud and clear, “I was born perfect. Some people can’t hear what I say.” And it’s true. There are a few people she’s known in her life that were not tuned in — Martha has a term “Dark Arts Personalities” that describes these people best.

    I had this great moment yesterday in which a man had written a comment regarding his marriage which was in a state of despair. I responded to him as “Sweetheart” (not my style) and brought home a few points that were weighed with my studies in Mediation and in Couples Communication (I have certificates in both) — anyway, my tone was motherly. I asked him to write a new post and introduce his wife to us, tell us who she is, what he admires, etc. And he wrote a post that began by confessing his wife had asked him to call her this pet name but that he’s resisted doing so. These things bring a grin. I feel I’m tapped into things I don’t fully understand.

    So I’m more than electric about this experience. Electricity might be a whole different subject which I might be coaxed to write about. But not yet.

    Dawn O’Brien
    45 – professional student of life

    I’ve never had a real job, the money always comes.

  22. Andi
    Andi says:

    Dear Martha,

    I couldn’t wait to read your next memoir. And do you plan to write a book on parenting some day? I would love to read that.

    Much love.

  23. Dawn K
    Dawn K says:

    7 weeks of -25 to-30 C weather has finally broke and I have willingly ventured into town to do some wireless work on my laptop.
    Yesterday, someone from Amsterdam, Netherlands told me to chek out Martha’s blog ( for a reason totally unrelated to this subject)
    So here I am, responding…because it is the way it is.
    I live in the middle of the boreal forest on the edge of a lake in central northeastern Saskatchewan,Canada.
    Many of my friends think I live in an isolated area. I call it paradise.
    I live with abundance on every level and have been called a shaman more times than I can shake a ‘talking stick’ at over the past 6 months. Apparently, this too is simply the way it is.
    My team members show up effortlessly in all shapes and forms…real, imagined, dreamworld…you name it…., in all walks of life from all over the globe.
    I find it all rather is it I can find team members while I live in the middle of nowhere..I don’t even have cell phone access anywhere close to my yard…Apparently the middle of nowhere falls smack dab in the middle of everywhere.

    I first heard about Martha’s work with Rwandan children one last Monday.
    Can’t say I was surprised…seems like I have been waiting for this connection for a long time. Thanks to CBC radio I have followed the Rwandan saga since it first burst onto the media scene, in great part to Cdn Major Delaire…..
    I inderstand that this Team doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Rwanda but for me it seems to play a big part.
    Thanks for listening.
    Happy days.

  24. Robin Goodfellow
    Robin Goodfellow says:

    I know, somehow, that I am part of what you’re calling the Team. I’m not sure what this means, but like I say in the book I’ve just self-published, seems to me that we’re all just one river of energy, something leaping up against itself. Like the one hand, you know, clapping in joy and skill.

    In the vision board in my office, it’s no accident that your kind-with-a-splash-of-fun face is right there above the Chinese proverb, Martha: Keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come. You’re my singing bird, and I know thousands of others feel the same way…so thank you forever!

    Four friends and I gather at a great little place called La Ville Inn for tea or cappucino and talk every Wednesday. You’re often there, too, encouraging and guiding us through the warm words of your books, particularly STEERING BY STARLIGHT. Like I say in OPEN YOUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY, if you want a quick way to find it in the bookstore, turn off all the lights. It’ll be the book shining on the shelf!

    My book’s got 90 brief chapters that I hope will motivate and delight. I discovered your work when I was almost finished with the first draft, and it gave me permission to play a little harder, write a little brighter…and more frankly. I don’t know what else is to come besides writing and publishing, but like Shakespeare said, “Action is eloquence.” And I’m going to get eloquent.

    I’d like to invite any of the remarkable folk visiting this Web site to zip over to mine sometime…if the mood hits you…at And I wish everyone the most remarkable experiences that this magical thing called life has to offer!

    Best wishes,

  25. Linda
    Linda says:


    Des Moines, Iowa here! Leah, I’m not a Hawk Eye but I live in Iowa. A shout out to all the other mid-westerners.


    I’m signed up for Oprah’s email newsletters and pretty much automatically click on your articles. Maybe it’s your gut-grabbing titles or maybe we’re team??

    I showed my 19 year old son your article about the team because he and I have both always felt like misfits. (Like the island of misfit toys in the Rudolph story we see every Christmas.) My son doesn’t talk a lot but he said, “That sounds about right.”


  26. meela
    meela says:

    I’m in Sacramento. And I’ve sent my friend inn Iowa the blog link. She is the one who introduced me to you. We are Team members without even knowing the Team existed. Two little girls lost in the woods like. Full of uncertainty and wondering where the breadcrumbs went.

    Yay, Team!

  27. Gretchen
    Gretchen says:

    Wow, Iowans Iowans everywhere! I am Meela’s friend and I live in a little town east of Iowa City. And I’ll verify we’re team members – unbeknownst to us in such a formal way, anyway.

    I am definitely a shaman who hasn’t yet found a way be successful in life. I have just recently become a massage therapist in a desperate attempt to find a income-making outlet for my VERY woo woo tendencies (psychic medium, channeler, energy healer… the whole nine yards).

    Perhaps we Iowans should have a meet-up?

    And Martha, you’re one of my idols and the person I wish I’d grown up to be.


  28. Laura
    Laura says:

    Does anyone need a teammate in Colorado? I’m new to the Springs area – I’m definitely a team member lol.

    1.Difficult childhood and adolescence:
    Difficulty from before birth lol – My mother was a single woman who drank and smoked heavily throughout her pregnancy with me. I was born underweight with a healable hole in my heart. My biological father walked away even after a DNA test proved I was his…and that’s just the first few days of my life lol. My mom went on to have 5 more children (who my next sister and I cared for and cleaned up after) and 2 husbands (both horrifyingly abusive to us kids). Through all of it – I distinctly remember having a sense that how I was raised (beliefs like – men are better than women and you need to protect those who are hurting you) had no weight in the real world.

    2.Strong connection with animals
    Besides childhood pets – I used to walk by a pasture daily and the horses would come right up to me at the fence – sometimes fighting each other to get to me (and I didn’t even have carrots in my pocket lol). Another instance – a wild squirrel came right up to me when I was walking the other day (nothing in my pockets that day either lol).

    3.Unexplained illness that pulls the person off a “normal” life course:
    Beginning with the pregnancy of my second child I began to feel ‘off’. After he was born I began to feel increasingly bad from a wide array of debilitating symptoms. No Doctors have been able to diagnose me – though just recently (after a huge life altering event) I was on a health related social networking site and a stranger happened to recognize my symptoms as the same ones she has with her illness. That week I also got a recommendation for a really good Doctor in the area I’ve just moved to. So hopefully I’ll be able to name my enemy soon.

    4. Sense of mission:
    Even as a teen – I had no idea what to go to College for. There was no field of study labeled ‘World Changers’. So I worked retail – I excelled at my job (and others since) because I took Customer Service so seriously. It felt like my personal responsibility to give even the most crotchety customers top shelf service. Even now, in everyday life – I have an urge to make sure complete strangers have a better day because of me. It’s hard to explain – but I feel that while someday I’m going to do something or have an idea that saves the world – but until then I use the resources I can (even just a smile sometimes) to hopefully create a sort of Butterfly Effect of good.

    5.High level of woo-woo talents, apparently genetic:
    I joke around about ‘Practical Magic’ – a sort of everyday and practical application of really woo-woo things lol. Whether it’s instinctively knowing what my family’s craving for dinner, or unknowingly preparing for un-forecasted snow, or knowing which of my siblings needs me to call them and when. It manifests itself in sometimes silly ways too. I’ll be watching my favorite dancing reality show with friends and I’ll give a critique or praise – only to have the exact phrasing I just expressed spoken aloud by judges. I’ll make a prediction about the character of a celebrity – that comes true in a scandel the next day. I’ll be humming a song getting into my car and the exact part of the song I’ve hummed to is blaring on the radio when I turn on the car. I’ve been called a ‘pre-cog’ and ‘damn witch’ lol. Basically – if I have emotional involvement – good or bad – with someone they just sort of show up on my radar. I’ll have a dream of a place I’ve never seen or a situation I’d never expect (and seems crazy at the time) – and a few weeks or months later I end up in that place or exact situation. This ‘inside knowledge’ has literally saved my life at times.

    So again – if anyone’s ooking for a team mate in Colorado – let me know 😀

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hey Laura,

      I’m also Laura and live in Boulder, Colorado. I’m open to any team members contacting me. My email is LauraAWade (a) gmail (!) com.

      All the best,


  29. annie (UK)
    annie (UK) says:

    Reading the emails,I hope I am on the team .I suppose I can qualify myself as others have here ,with childhood abuse ,illness constantly knocking me off my career as a teacher to the point now where I am in a wilderness knowing there is something but not clear yet how to walk with animals.though I am drawn to them and KNOW them.the lack of speech … I have been sent someone who is healing me and I am hoping the path I need to take shows up so that I don;t take another wrong one.The woo woo effect could be mediator which I think I am crap at but have been in the Kofi Annan role for some people.I take on their energy it makes me ill but I have been sent a healer who cures me. Somebody tell me this isn’t crazy…sounds a bit Heroes script..I’d love some clarity and await ‘the move at dawn’

  30. Andrea Deinstadt
    Andrea Deinstadt says:

    Wow- just found Martha’s blog, although I’ve been a long time fan-and found it thrilling… the ideas resonated deeply, joyfully… Looking forward to more and connecting to the rest of the Team… signed- on standby in Westchester County, NY…

  31. Tracee Sioux
    Tracee Sioux says:

    Martha, I went on a Discovery Training thing and now I’m the goo of a caterpillar before it becomes a butterfly.

    Hoping the goo stage doesn’t last long.

    Where’s the next blog entry? About leading up in an insane system?

  32. Anne
    Anne says:

    okay, I’m a little late to post-just starting reading Martha’s blog.
    Maggie, I’m from Portland Oregon!

  33. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    The synchronicity here is interesting. Although I’ve enjoyed Martha’s columns in the Oprah magazine for as long as she’s been writing them, I just today decided to see what sort of internet presence she has. And the first thing I read is a call out to Team members. From looking at the dates here I guess I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never I suppose!

    I particularly resonated with Sigrid’s post. I’m a computer programmer AND musician too, also with the choice of how to either combine them or find some other way to use either (or both) to raise the energy of our planet.

    Anyway, if anyone is still reading posts here… I’m in Pittsburgh, PA and would love to connect with the Team!

  34. Jen
    Jen says:

    Seattle area?

    Martha – thank you thank you for telling me about your blog and the TEAM. You were right, I can totally resonate with the TEAM and I love that you have put this out there. I’ve always felt and sensed I had a bigger purpose and I can’t wait to connect with all of you on FB- Christy, you are brilliant!

  35. Erika
    Erika says:

    Just fell into this. Not exactly sure what the “Team” stuff is about but I feel very drawn to this too. I am just outside of New Haven CT and am, now that my two kids are a little older, creating a career for myself out of my gifts of music, writing, yoga and art. But not clear how it will all come together. Several years ago when I was working with a shamanic healer I had the realization that I want to be love and have been trying to live my life that way since then.

    I think I fit the profile of, lets see if I can remember it,
    1. difficult adolescence-yes, yes. But I see it as a gift now. I was so painfully shy that it hurt physically. I struggled with my parents divorce and the alcoholism and depression in my family
    2. connection to animals-my cat (well, it was my stepfather’s cat but became mine) was one of the ways I got through the struggles or my adolescence. The other ways were plants and reading-a lot about fantasy and magic.
    3. Unexplained illness-manifested more emotionally, connected to the depression in my family but clear of it now.
    4. Sense of mission-becoming clearer and clearer to me as I develop more confidence in myself.
    5. woo woo-synchronicity happens in my life all the time, especially as I get closer to my true mission. I am drawn to Tarot cards, spent two weeks at the Findhorn community in Scotland in 94 and that was transformational.

    I first read Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam and used it with my art therapy students when I was in Boston and teaching and practicing art therapy. Since then I have read and reread all the books and it is the reason I get O magazine whenever I see it on the newsstand-to read her columns.

    Thanks for reading.

    Sending this out into the universe to see what happens!


  36. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    In the first years of the new millenium, the Rwandan genocide had been over for six years. Rather than having fled into the forests, Tutsis now controlled Rwanda’s government. Many, many Westerners had gone into Rwanda, without incident, for years. The story about the border is a serious misrepresentation of the situation in the country.

  37. Jo-Lynne Jack
    Jo-Lynne Jack says:

    Amazing! To think there are SO many simpatico souls out there! Who woulda thunk? I am a just, just learning to LISTEN and to RELAX into the energy we all use to communicate. I’m in New Zealand, living here after a tour in the Peace Corps in the West Indies, and maybe soon to be heading to Papua New Guinea to work with special needs teachers. Thank you for being you, keep the faith and shine bright!!!

  38. Lola
    Lola says:

    After reading this article and more particularly the comments, my knee-jerk reactions was to feel like I needed to go sit somewhere with a paper bag and my head between my knees. Surely this feeling of shock and fear is not a normal reaction? Well, not that I get accused of being normal very often, but anyway. I have a question now though: If you think you are part of the Team, but are absolutely terrified that you might be (and are man or woman enough to admit it) – where do you begin? What if you’re new to this and don’t even know where to start?

  39. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Hi Susan,

    This is so totally unlike me, but feel I just have to do it. I am in JHB South Africa. Are you on Facebook?

    There are 3 of us at least here in Alberton, South Africa. We have been meeting since November on a regular basis. Any more tribe members we don’t know about anywhere nearby?
    Susan Viljoen

  40. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Lola ~ I’m right there with you on the shock and fear…not sure where we are supposed to begin, but I think admitting the fear might be the first step 🙂 As for me, once I owned up to the fear a few months ago it freed me to work on the courage to follow wherever this calling is leading…still working on the courage, but it sure feels good to be moving in what feels like the right direction – finally! Hang in there, and you’ll know what to do when the time comes.

  41. Susan
    Susan says:

    Not sure if you meant me are not however….
    I have been a fan of Martha’s since Expecting Adam
    I live in the Washington D.C. suberbs and have travelled
    to Kenya many times on Medical Mission Trips…I am a Nurse and
    I know I want to continue to travel to Africa in different venues
    and am exploring different ways to do just this. Would love to
    connect to other “Team Members”…..

  42. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    It is so nice to know we are not, as it often seems, alone in our uniqueness. If anyone is in Denver area, I would love to meet you!

  43. Marissa
    Marissa says:

    Amazing! After my own energy levels blasted me out of Corporate Sedation, I can no longer ignore what always was. No longer in denial and just now finally taking steps to learn to harness and direct my energy for the better, have plugged into a wonderful team in the pac-north west through the June Training Course Opportunity. Not sure what we’ll do yet and know it will also be Amazing.

    Every day gets richer and the magic is beginning to show up wherever I seem to need it.

    Counting my blessings here and look forward to sharing as this unfolds.

  44. Connie
    Connie says:

    The more I read, the more the tears flowed. I have been fascinated with Immaculee Ilibagiza since seeing her on public TV a couple of years ago and have felt an unexplainable connection to her and all those brave women who have endured horrors I can not imagine. To have connected with Martha in such a magical way and now this connection with her and Africa and the team . . . I don’t know how or what exactly but I feel it!!! Go team!

  45. Helen McCracken
    Helen McCracken says:

    Would love to connect with like minded team members in Hawaii.I live in Oahu.
    Love reading the comments.


  46. Sharilyn
    Sharilyn says:

    Hello everyone! I had the same reaction as many when I read the TEAM article. I literally just about passed out and kept talking out loud as I read, causing my family members to check on me from time to time to see if I was okay!!
    I am voraciously reading more as I just can’t seem to get enough. Have all of the indicators – as well as children who have something they have called, “The I just Know IT!” skill!
    I live in Dawson Creek, B.C. Canada – so l am going to find a TEAM member here!! There has to be one close by!! I just know it!!
    I am also feeling a need to connect through the life coaching course and am focused on gathering funds for this endeavour as well. Can’t wait to see where all of this leads – it all feels very powerful!

  47. vadya
    vadya says:

    I’ve never considered that. A nice post to fire up new energy from dancers out there. Worry and fear has kept alot of aspiring dancers by the fence.

  48. Hunter Needs
    Hunter Needs says:

    Namaste! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. While visiting South Florida, I had the chance to visit Temple Arts Finess in Davie, FL. They are absolutely fabulous and I had a wonderful experience. The members and teachers were absolutely welcoming. I wish I lived in the area so I could attend regularly. If you are in the area, definitely give them a call and take a class. They have wonderful energy to share and have alot to offer.

  49. hot chocolate 15k
    hot chocolate 15k says:

    Amazing! After my own energy levels blasted me out of Corporate Sedation, I can no longer ignore what always was. No longer in denial and just now finally taking steps to learn to harness and direct my energy for the better, have plugged into a wonderful team in the pac-north west through the June Training Course Opportunity. Not sure what we’ll do yet and know it will also be Amazing.

    Every day gets richer and the magic is beginning to show up wherever I seem to need it.

    Counting my blessings here and look forward to sharing as this unfolds.