Bee Gaia: Connect and Cross-Pollinate Peace: Lulu Carter’s House of Gaia Promotes Global Harmony
Jul 01, 2012 08:37PM
● By Linda Sechrist
Lulu Carter had a very big vision when she created Bee Gaia, a nonprofit organization with the House of Gaia as its community and learning center. Committed to fostering a global perspective that promotes a more peaceful, creative and conscientious world, Carter has gathered together a group of equally committed, trained professionals to help with the center’s mission to educate and connect people of all races, cultures, religions, ages and physical abilities in order to build community through programs of art, culture, well-being, travel and community service. Carter, who has dedicated her life to making a difference, is more than happy to offer anyone else that is interested an opportunity to join her.
The House of Gaia is nothing new to Carter, who transformed a mundane space on Shirley Street, in Naples, into the two-room, multicolored Out-of-the-Box Studio in 2008. A place of self-discovery, it offered the community wide-ranging multimedia art and culture exploration, as well as science education for children, families and educators. Through programs in the arts and global culture that resembled those she developed and used at her bilingual school in Brazil, it took Carter and her team of volunteer professionals only four years to enhance Southwest Florida’s cultural life. “We created a synergy between the community and the rest of the world, and children were able to explore their own creative energy in the context of conceiving and creating a peaceful world,” says Carter.
Like the bee, which Carter chose to represent the efforts of everyone associated with the House of Gaia, she is busy with her version of cross-pollinating the world. Already successful, this local version of a United Nations ambassador has been drawing together families from Afghanistan, Russia, Thailand and other countries, with the hope of building a peaceful and conscientious global community. “Our goal is to do this through deliberate consciousness-raising programming, a defined curriculum and community service work. We aren’t entertaining people here; rather, we have a defined intention for creating a global community behind everything we do,” advises Carter. Proud that her new center feels more like a home than a community learning center, she says, “Everyone who comes here comments that they feel welcomed and at home.”
The center’s curriculum is important to Carter. “There’s no, ‘Be like me,’ and what takes place in this space is important, because we are building up energy for important life-changing and world-changing work. Without a curriculum, we can’t accomplish our mission,” notes Carter, who points to the number-one house rule: Only positive thinking allowed here. “Attitude matters in creating a culture of peace, so we don’t allow anyone to vent their frustrations. We aren’t living on the Isle of Denial, where we don’t recognize the world’s problems, or in a positive La La Land. Instead, we’re simply acknowledging that our thoughts have an effect on others, and that negative thinking and actions impact our goal of creating a harmonious community that adds to global peace.”
Due to the negativity and sorrow in the world today, Carter believes that each one of us needs to, “Bee Gaia. Connect, pollinate and bring about the fruits,” she advises. “No bees—no fruit, which translates into everyone working to bringing humanity to consciousness in a peaceful way. We are at a point in history where we must make time in our life for more things that make a difference.”
Outreach projects include partnerships with New Life Children’s Home, which operates a service-enriched shelter for homeless children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Acajatuba Village, in the Brazilian Amazon, which operates a micro-enterprise project for sustainable eco-tourism; and Torgome Village, in Ghana, which offers a cultural immersion program for volunteers participating in educational programs.
“The House of Gaia will work because it’s based only on love,” Carter emphasizes. “If love doesn’t work, nothing will.”
Location: 1660 Trade Center Way, Naples. For more information call 239-272-6152 or visit HouseOfGaia.org or BEE GAIA on Facebook.