June 3, 2013
June 2, 2013
You can read the story about the wheel was created here.
*also, for all those looking to make your own kind wheel, ART 180 is working on a short how-to page, soon to come.
May 31, 2013
I have a new mission for us to do together… below is a video explaining…and I hit publish before I chickened out or went to try to put myself together and re-record.
The MOTHER of all Journals Mission:
1. Leave a comment for me today to share in the journal before we send it out into the world- tell me something you wish someone had told you, your fears, your best (and worst) parenting moments or stories, something funny or shocking, anything you wish you could say but don’t always feel like you can, a note of kindness for another…anything really! The comment can be anonymous or you can send them to me at email@example.com.
2. I’ll write them in the journal and then leave the journal in a public place where I think a mother might find it.
3. When the journal is full, on the last page we will leave the journal’s fate entirely in the last person to find it. They can decide whether they send it back to me to have the collection shared as an art exhibit or online, or they can keep it, OR they can bury or burn it!
4. If you want to start a community journal in your city, here is what we are are writing on the inside and back page to help explain this project:
Inside: The MOTHER of all Journals found you! (yep, you) This is guerrilla kindness project is a collection of advice, confessions, joys, failures, encouragement and kindness from mothers all around our fine city. You can add to it, just read it, curse or bless it, cry in it, yell at it, kiss it, put it next to you like a friend, it’s totally up to you- you know just what to do (and so does it)…the only thing we ask is that when you are done, you leave it in a dry place for the next mother, sister, friend to find. If you aren’t a mother, that’s cool too… you can leave a message to a mom, or tell us how you wish you were one, or share what you think!
Last page: YOU ARE THE LAST PERSON TO FIND THIS JOURNAL…oh my lord, this is so exciting. You get to decide what happens next. Please do one of the following:
1. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out an address to mail this journal back to. We will then share all the content online and in an art exhibit- anonymously of course!
2. Keep it for yourself or give it to someone you love as a treasure find!
3. Bury it, burn it…destroy it in a grand and beautiful way!
Whatever you choose, it will be awesome…and let us know at email@example.com. We love you last finder! Kindness Changes Everything!
Jokes, secrets and poem journals are next…if you want to hide one, hit my e-mail up…OR if you start a journal in another city, let me know too so we can tell our friends in that area to be on the lookout!
*update*- LOTS of goodness is coming into my e-mail box for The Mother of all Journals …lookin’ for a few funny and light lines or stories if you got ‘em! patience@Kindnessgirl.com
May 5, 2013
photo by Marc Cheatham
When Betsy from ART180 asked my good friend Marc Cheatham (of the famous RVA blog The Cheats Movement) and I to facilitate a program at Atlas, their new art center for teens, I was super stoked. Oh, how I love ART180, so much. I love their intention and process, their values, how they do things and hold a certain kind of space in the world.
To be honest, I was also a little worried about the whole thing. I had no idea if we had enough ideas/material to teach a 6 week class on Guerrilla Kindness…or rather what the approach should be so that it would be meaningful to teens. I knew teens hold all the power and goodness to access their call to kindness but I didn’t really know what the path would look like or how I could help exactly.
…but the best part of art, kindness and facilitation (not so much teaching really) is the teens really led the way. After a few weeks of connecting, talking, a few missions (remind me to tell you how they kindness bombed a city block) and a brainstorming session, the teens came up with THE MOST BRILLIANT KINDNESS PROJECT.
I was out of my mind listening to them and watching the project evolve. I loved how bold and creative they were, how they each stepped into kindness in their own way.
I give you The Wheel of Kindness my friends:
Nic Cossitt, a good friend to ART 180 built the giant wheel of kindness with the help of the kids’ design and idea, then we all got to paint it together.
So here’s how it works:
1. A player spins the wheel and lands on a particular color.
2. They are given the same corresponding color balloon.
3. The person then pops the balloon (this part was SO much more exciting than I thought it was going to be).
4. Inside the balloon was their very own kindness mission rolled up on a scroll to be completed that day.
It was so, so thrilling!!! We set up the wheel in front of ART180 on RVA’s First Fridays Art Walk and in conjunction with the
photo by Marc Cheatham
The kids invited folks walking by to play, I was amazed how many different kinds of people joined us…and I wish we had more pictures of their faces. It may be almost impossible to walk by a giant rainbow wheel and not want to spin it. You find yourself yelling things like “Come on!!! Big kindness, big kindness, no whammies!” and cheering for someone, anyone to land on the double dog dare GOLD triangle of kindness.
It’s kind of wonderful when we let kindness lead even if we have no idea where it will go or how we will get there…when we invite joy, wonder and simply listen to each other…and when it all starts in friendship and connection. I think this is the magic of ART180- making space for all of that.
Early in the class, Marc asked the teens if there had ever been a time someone was kind to them, their faces went blank. I then asked them if anyone at ART180 had been kind to them, they all spoke at at once and on top of each other. My favorite answer was from a young man that really had not said one word all day… “They respect me here.”
photo by Marc Cheatham
If you are in RVA, you can still see the Wheel of Kindness at The Big Show on May 15th at 6pm at Planet Zero (0 E. 4th Street) along with art from kids across the city.
Hope to see you there or hopefully on some street corner in the future spinnin’ the wheel!
May 1, 2013
A guest post from our dear friend Nicki Peasley:
A couple months ago, I posted a story about my friend Jen and her hero’s journey through one kidney transplant… and the looming imminence of another.
I am sad to report that Jen’s health issues have become more complex and urgent. The doctors have discovered a growth on her pancreas that needs to be removed before a kidney transplant can be considered. And with her kidney failing at a more rapid rate than anticipated, Jen and her family are struggling to remain hopeful in the face of fear and the unknown.
That’s where we come in.
Today is May Day, a day when the veils between the worlds are thin and anything is possible. A day when all the forces of the Universe are working together to bring Light to our world. A day that invites us to connect heart to heart and experience deep compassion, sacred unity, divine oneness.
And so tonight, I invite you to a light a candle at 7:30 pm. To hold the Cave family in your heart. To pray (in whatever way you pray) for Jen’s healing and her family’s peace. And in the sanctuary of your heart, to know that you are not alone, but united in a Love effort with the power to create miracles.
See you tonight, in the Light.
For more information about Jen’s journey, go to her facebook page… Sunshine for Jennifer Morris Cave.
Share this with fellow mothers, families, friends and please feel free to send pictures of your candles lit on the page too. It would be so powerful to light up Jen’s wall and the world with hope and love.
April 28, 2013
Sometimes when there is too much around me and I am just not sure where to start or what to do in my life, I head to the vault. It’s a collection of pictures, a group of moments I keep buried in my files waiting to be held, processed, finished somehow…At times the vault tortures me as I can never seem to get to the task and at other moments I think of it as the vessel where little bits of treasure rest, where stories wait to be told or the reminder of how sweet things were resides.
I often wonder how many small moments of our lives are still there waiting for us, hanging out in the back of the vaults of our hearts…places for us to escape back to with a more gentle and kind view of our lives…maybe this is the best part of leaving things undone, unfinished, and not exactly having it organized the way we think we should.
As I looked through the pictures of Lyra’s birthday last September, all I could see was what it looks like to be loved and adored.
The love started by Jen offering her back yard for the party and I was reminded that no mother should ever do birthday parties alone… and how love doesn’t always look like a Pinterest page and is often more of a modge podge of simple kind offerings.
One princess tent already infused with joy from a birthday of another dear girl earlier that year was lent for fort goodness.
One old slip n’ slide that gave many a never-ending slide was shared to double the awesomeness of the new mega slide.
A last minute decorating job to a store bought cake made mermaid cake dreams come true.
…and each person shared what they love about Lyra on magic rocks that she will keep in her own heart vault to pull out when times are rough, or she loses her way, or just to know what it feels like to be loved and adored…again and again.
And it isn’t so much about perfect parties and picture moments but how each little part, each little offering adds up to something bigger …and that when we love each other and share whatever we have, the circle of love and adoration grows wider and wider, including us all.