What Death Valley, Bilbo Baggins and You Might All Have In Common

in About Unitas Project

What Unitas Project is About:

Unitas Project is about you, me and all of us together uncovering our potential as we spur one another on to discover our often hidden brilliance, live life with a resounding clarity of purpose, and embrace the beauty, strength and wonder of who we are.

The Beginnings:

Unitas Project all started with a conversation between Carl and his niece Alina, from Alina Joy Photography, over a Starbucks coffee at a Chapters Bookstore. Carl shared with Alina his heart to create an environment that would enable people, regardless of creed, race and gender, to break-free from the bonds of fear and uncover the brilliance they are.

Alina, using her gifts as an artist, went right to work creating the logo for Unitas Project along with the tag line, “Be You. Be Unitas.” Her logo design of three distinct leaves converging as one paints an image of how we, as unique individuals, are comprised of different personalities, stories, roles, and beliefs that often give rise to fear, shame and isolation within us, and therefore, among us. However, the underlying message of the Unitas Project logo is that beneath all our perceived differences, beliefs and fears, the life giving truth is: we are one.

“Be You. Be Unitas.” is a call to embark on a new journey; to write a new story for your marriage, your family, your physical health, your spiritual and emotional well-being, your career, your community, your world.

It is a quest to discover the greatest treasure you will ever find – your true essence and the brilliance of who you are. “Be You. Be Unitas” is a mantra that reminds us over and over again that we are not our actions, our choices, our thoughts or our feelings. It is a refrain compelling us to dig deeper, to see with greater clarity, to listen more attentively, and to love wholeheartedly.

Perhaps as you read these words today, you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about your present circumstances, and, as a result, your reality feels full of angst, uncertainty, isolation and shame.

Wherever you may be on your journey in life – hope, healing and courageous transformation are present and available for you.

Ken Robinson in his best selling book, The Element tells an inspiring story that resonates with the heart of Unitas Project. Listen to what these words may say for you:

 A few hundred miles away from my home in Los Angeles is Death Valley, one of the hottest, driest places on earth. Not much grows in Death Valley, hence the name. The reason is that it doesn’t rain very much there – about two inches a year on average. However, in the winter of 2004-5, something remarkable happened. More than seven inches of rain fell on Death Valley, something that had not happened for generations. Then in the spring of 2005, something even more remarkable happened. Spring flowers covered the entire floor of Death Valley. Photographers, botanists, and just plain tourists traveled across America to see this remarkable sight, something they might never see again in their lifetime. Death Valley was alive with fresh, vibrant growth. At the end of the spring, the flowers died away and slipped again beneath the hot desert sand, waiting for the next rains, whenever they would come. What this proved of course, was that Death Valley wasn’t dead at all. It was asleep. It was simply waiting for the conditions of growth. When the conditions came, life returned to the heart of Death Valley.

Death Valley in Bloom, Jubilee Pass


Take as much time as you need to read and re-read this story. And as you do, give your body and mind permission to open like a flower turning toward the warmth of the summer sun.  Consider the possibilities this story holds for you. Breathe deeply. Breathe slowly.

What if your life, your career, your health, your finances, your relationships are just like Death Valley? What if underneath the perceived barren and desolate surface, fresh vibrant growth is patiently waiting to emerge?

Isn’t it time to begin writing a new story for your life?

A New World Awaits You:

Very simply, at Unitas Project we begin with the transformational truth that the optimal conditions of life, love and vitality are within you, right at this very moment. It is on this foundation that Unitas Project builds, and it is from this vantage point that you are empowered to create and write your new story. As a result, you live, love and work from a place of fullness, not emptiness; from wholeness, not brokenness; from acceptance and gratitude, not fear and judgement.

Imagine yourself embarking on an adventure that begins with a return to wholeness and, as a result, discovering that you are already enough. And like Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit, this unexpected journey will ask you to let go of the things to which you held so tightly – the very things from which you derive your sense of identity, certainty and significance. And finally, like Mr. Baggins, this adventure will open your eyes to a whole new world, it will quicken your body and mind, challenge your resolve and free you to live, love and grow.


Be You. Be Unitas.


Photo of Death Valley in Bloom from iStock Photo