Adamus has a lot to say about human relationships. In the Ancestral Freedom Cloud Class, he talks about how our family tree sets the basis for our thoughts, biology, beliefs, habits, dreams and more. In many of the live workshops, he says that one of the biggest distractions to enlightenment is our personal relationships with children, parents and partners. Needless to say, relationships are an integral part of our lives. They provide much of the beauty and love of our human experience, and oftentimes the sticky ingredients for karma.
There’s another type of relationship that has a large influence in our lives. It’s not nearly as meaningful, or romantic, or dramatic as our human relationships, but it’s worthy of discussion. These are our “brand” relationships. Like human relationships, they often come and go. Sometimes they’re healthy and supportive, and other times they’re filled with conflict and challenges. Brand relationships are like planets in orbit around our daily lives. Oftentimes we don’t even notice them, but they are part of our reality. Sometimes they can determine whether we’re having a good day or bad day.
A brand relationship is the interaction you have with the companies and services you use in your everyday life. You may be raising an eyebrow at this point, wondering what this has to do with spirituality. The typical human goes to the store, hands over their credit card and buys a product. That’s about as far as the relationship goes. But on closer examination, there is a connection – a type of emotional gravity – that goes along with the interaction with products and companies in your life.
I made a mental list of the companies that I have invited into my life. Yes, yes, I know these are just “companies” and products, but my life wouldn’t be the same without them. They make it possible for so many other things I do in my life. I’ll share a few of these relationships with you.
The first brand relationship I was aware of came back in the late 1980’s. That’s when I bought my first Apple computer. Up until then, I was intimidated by computers. I had purchased a small IBM DOS-based computer for my company but stayed away from it just like I stayed away from the furnace in my parents basement when I was a small child. I was afraid that it would blow up if I looked at it wrong or happened to brush up against it. I always took the long way around the furnace when sent by my mother to get something from the cellar, then raced up the stairs when I had procured whatever it was she wanted. The furnace and I were not friends. It made strange noises and belched fire like a dragon. I felt the same way about PC’s. Strange code appeared in a ghastly green glow on the screen. I let my business manager operate the computer machine, keeping my distance in fear that I would hit the wrong button and destroy the planet. (I tend to have a rather vivid imagination but my core intuition is usually correct.)
My company’s Art Director talked me into buying an Apple MacIntosh computer. He actually shamed me into getting into the modern age, pointing out how computers would eventually replace drawing tables, rubylith and X-ACTO® cutting knives. He said that someday everyone would have a computer in their home, and they would use the device to pay bills and send messages. I didn’t believe a word of it nor could I imagine a time when these machines would become part of my life, but my thoughts drifted back to the furnace in the cellar and I realized that it kept me from freezing during the winter. Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) later, the art department was furnished with an Apple MacIntosh computer, a scanner and a printer. It was the beginning of a long-term brand relationship with Apple.
Apple has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life. I have two Mac desktop computers, a Mac Pro laptop, an iPad and an iPhone. I like to get the latest models shortly after they come to market. I secretly name each device because they’re much more than circuit boards and processors. They are my friends. Really. They enrich my life, they resonate with my energy, they rarely betray me, and they are in true service to my needs. When I think of Apple – one of the world’s largest companies – my heart smiles. Ahhh! This is a good thing in my life. BTW, one of the best stock market tips I ever got was to buy shares in a company whose products you like and use. I don’t play the stock market (I prefer gambling at a casino), but Linda bought some shares in Apple about a year before they introduced the iPhone. Her heart smiles too at the mention of Apple; she’s done quite well with the investment.
Another brand relationship I have is with Costco. Costco is a large wholesale club, with stores nearly everywhere in the U.S. and in many other countries as well. They sell everything from groceries to cars, televisions to caskets. Costco has great prices, they treat their employees well, and there is no pretense about who they are. When I think of Costco the word “honest” comes to mind. There’s no hype, no come-on, no wheelin’ deals. Just great products and merchandise. I’ve never been hassled when returning a product. They are in service to their customers, and it shows. I go to Costco about once a week when Linda and I are home. Sometimes I go there even when I don’t need anything, although I always find something I can use, at a great price.
I have a brand relationship with Toyota. After a disastrous relationship with Ford back in the late 1970’s, Linda talked me into buying a Toyota Celica. My family nearly disowned me. They were Ford and Chevy people. They couldn’t possibly imagine why anyone would buy a foreign car, especially from Japan. It was just plain un-American. I’ve owned Toyota’s ever since. I name my cars. I talk to them. And I’ve never had a problem with my Toyotas as long as I change the oil on a regular basis, and I can easily get 250,000 miles of loyal service before trading them in for a new model.
I have many other brand relationships in my life. Here are just a few examples:
- Amazon – I order lots of things through Amazon and have never had a problem. Just one click and the product is on my doorstep a few days later. Amazon is so easy!
- Kubota tractors – My tractor is the best man-toy I’ve ever had. It’s also the most expensive one, but well worth every dollar. It loves to work hard so I don’t have to.
- Wikipedia – I use it nearly every day and always donate during their fund-raising drives. It’s my brain-away-from-my-brain.
- The local dry cleaner – I’ve been going there for 15 years. The owner always takes a few minutes to chat. I know his children’s names, and he knows my dirty laundry.
- Columbia Crest wine – Always dependable, always mellow. Always in stock at the Hoppe house.
- Home Depot – A large hardware store chain where I tend to get lost in guy-stuff. Lowe’s Hardware is just across the street but you’ll never see me in there. Just Home Depot.
- Google – What would life be without Google searches, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Translate, YouTube, etc.? The Big Colorful G is definitely a part of my life.
- Northern Tool – This is an online store for serious tools and equipment. Nothing makes me smile more than when the delivery truck pulls up with a new chipper/shredder, a 50-gallon spray tank, a gas-powered generator, a 4000 psi pressure washer or a hydraulic log splitter. (I’m beginning to see a trend here. I buy a LOT of guy-stuff.)
- The Green Bay Packers – An NFL football team near my hometown in Wisconsin. I’m not a sports guy but I have great passion for the Packers. They’re not doing so well this season but I’ll stand by the relationship through good times and bad.
The list of brand relationships goes on and on, but you get the idea. These are companies I like to do business with because they add something to my life.
I’ve had disappointing relationships with some brands. They fell out of my good graces for one reason or another, so I no longer open my wallet or my life to them:
- Sears – The old dinosaur of a retailer. Poor quality products and even worse customer service. We broke up a long, long time ago. I won’t ever go back.
- Sony – At one time, we had a great relationship. I boasted lots of Sony TV’s, audio systems and even a Walkman. But after numerous mechanical breakdowns I finally hit the “off” switch for good.
- Whole Foods – A “natural” grocery store chain. I used to feel really good when I went into a Whole Foods store, but their high prices, deceptive marketing and pretentious attitude had me turn my attentions to their competition. Plus, they don’t sell American Spirit cigarettes. What the heck? American Spirit is an all-natural cigarette. You should be able to buy them at a natural grocery store.
Then there are a few brand relationships I’d like to change, but there are no good alternatives:
- The government – According to the U.S. Constitution, the government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Seriously? Have you gone to get your driver’s license renewed lately? Talk about low consciousness and lack of service. Or how about an IRS tax audit? These people are into power because they have nothing else. There’s not much I can do about my government relationship other than move to Canada. Oh, wait! They have government workers up there too, eh?
- Direct TV – Because we live in the mountains we have to subscribe to this satellite TV service. (Netflix doesn’t work for us because we have such slow Internet speeds, but that’s another story.) The selection is good but I can’t even tell you how damn expensive it is, for as little TV and movies as we watch. Linda would make me cancel Direct TV if she knew the monthly cost.
- United Airlines – Don’t even get me started! I’m stuck in this relationship because United is the only real option for Linda and me out of the Denver airport. United and I have been together for 1.5 million miles, but they don’t hold a candle to Lufthansa and other carriers like SAS, Air Canada, Thai Airlines and Virgin Airlines. Their aircraft are usually dirty and their flight attendants are generally unpleasant. Linda and I are “elite” 1K customers due to all the traveling we do, but there are times I’d almost rather ride a donkey than deal with United. We grin and bear it, but I have to say it’s one of the most challenging brand relationship in my life. We take Lufthansa from Denver to Europe whenever possible.
All of us have numerous brand relationships. It might be a favorite hair dresser, a pharmacy, a local coffee shop or restaurant, a petrol station, a department store, a website, or a TV news channel. They become part of our lives, and for the most part they make us smile a little. They are energy balls orbiting in our personal universes. Even though many of these are companies or products, they are created by and offered by people. It’s all another aspect of relationships. Ultimately, it comes down to one of my favorite Adamus sayings: A Master allows energy to serve them. A Master also allows brand relationships to serve them.
And now to my point of this article: This is a special time of the year. It’s the holiday season, Christmas time, the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one. It’s a time when we take a moment to reflect on the past twelve months, and give thanks for the relationships in our lives.
Linda and I sincerely hope that the Crimson Circle is a good relationship in your life. Along with the Crimson Circle staff, our desire is to be in service to you and all Shaumbra around the world. We hope we’ve made your journey just a little easier. We hope that we’ve made you laugh, and brought a few tears of joy. Not a day goes by without realizing that we’re dealing with some of the most sensitive and potentially transforming parts of your life. We’re honored that you’ve allowed us to be one of the relationships orbiting in your life, and will do our very best to continue to earn your trust. Whenever you connect to the Crimson Circle, whether by tuning in to a Shoud, coming to a workshop or contacting the staff, we want it to be a delightful and nurturing experience. When you think of Crimson Circle and Shaumbra, we want it to make your heart sing a little sweeter.
We wish you Happy Holidays, and great realizations in the New Year.