February 6, 2014
It’s the nature of things to be vulnerable, the disorder is imagining that we are not. -Nora Gallagher
There are people in the world that when they speak, you lean in, just a little further. I have found over the years they tend to be a little quieter by nature, good listeners and very wise. Nora Gallagher’s writing feels like this to me, there is a weight of knowing, a wisdom from hearing and a depth from serving…all wrapped in a vulnerable honesty that sits true in your bones.
You can see it all here:
She knows the in-between, the mystery of a future unknown and the struggle of finding your way through the unexpected. She lives the beautiful balance of the tenderness of vulnerability and the power of resilience. It made such perfect sense to me to honor her gifts and work through serving fellow women who are trying to navigate their own moments of transition just the same.
Here’s the mission:
WomanKind shared an opportunity to support Hilliard House—a local nonprofit that provides transitional housing to homeless mothers and their children. Upon moving in to Hilliard House, each family gets a private bedroom and bathroom. The room is supplied with basic necessities like sheets and towels that the family keeps when they move on to permanent housing. Don’t you love pretty towels and sheets, doesn’t it make such a difference when you crawl into a beautiful bed at night?!
WomanKind has set a goal of supplying 15 rooms at Hilliard House with basic necessities.
1. We get to shop. I know. Head on over to this Target Registry or go to the store.
If you go to the store: Visit the registry kiosk, click on “Target Lists” and search for the organization name “Womankind.” Print your list, shop, and be sure to show your checkout attendant your list so he/she can mark off your purchases on the master list.
If you shop online: when checking out you can choose to have the item(s) shipped to you and bring it to St. James’s, or you can select ‘Ship to Cristi’ to have the item sent directly to Cristi Head, the volunteer coordinator for this WomanKind kindness mission.
In addition to Target registry items, donations of blankets in like-new condition are also welcome. Donations will be accepted in the St. James Narthex on Friday and Saturday (8/9th).
2. Make a Valentine or card. A simple note of love and encouragement will join these sheets/towels/blankets of sisterhood kindness. If you are not attending WomanKind and want your note of love shared, you can leave it in the comments or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a table at WomenKind to make a card or write a note.
There is something about sharing with each other really tangible human needs, a warm bed, a towel to dry your body, a kind word. So glad we get offer this to each other in honor of Nora and the truth that kindness changes everything.
February 3, 2014
I took a pregnancy test at a Harris Teeter grocery store once. It was one of those moments where my namesake was of no help at all. There was NO patience, not even a little bit, I had to know.
I remember looking at the two pink lines in shock but somehow I shoved the truth telling stick in my bag, washed my hands and finished my grocery shopping, of course. While standing in front of the 1,000 choices of yogurt, I glanced over at an older woman standing next to me. It instantly felt so very surreal- I was holding this information that would drastically change my life, information so big, and she was standing next to me with absolutely no idea what just happened- we were just both deciding whether to pick cherry orchard or key lime pie yoplait.
Part of me wanted to blurt out- “I’m pregnant!! THIS IS SO WEIRD and I’m kinda terrified and excited, and CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!!”…but that seemed super creepy, but now I wish I had. Because then there was another time when a dear friend was dying, way before her time, a girl with more life and fire in her than anyone I had ever met- and this time I found myself in front of that same row of yogurt, now with a baby on my hip, wanting to burst into tears. It felt surreal in a different way, the whole world was going on, buying yogurt and bagels, and she was still fighting…and losing…and that felt so wrong. In that moment, it was all too much for any of us to hold alone.
So we walk through life, standing right next to each other with no idea and yet with all the humanity required.
In a bit of divinity and magic, we sometimes find the words and crawl towards each other, or we hear of gatherings in the bread aisle where people find each other in the most ordinary of places and exchange offerings of bravery and kindness- Momastery is such a place.
This Saturday, I will be speaking at WomanKind, a wonderful conference created by women who yearned for creating a community and lasting togetherness. In the spirit of this goodness, we are inviting our fellow sisters to join us in 3 kindness missions this week- one mission each to honor the work of 3 main speakers and the communities they serve.
So here goes:
There is a woman waiting for her latte who is getting a call about her chemo results later this afternoon…
There is a kid who just stepped off the bus that changed her clothes 10 times this morning because she is wondering if she will ever feel beautiful…
There is a mom who is reading every weather report know to man and panicking because she is just not sure she can handle another snow day…
There is a woman that is cleaning someone else’s toilets and feels completely defeated when she looks at the state of her own house, there is just no time in 3 jobs world…
There is a woman walking into the business meeting of her life, the kind where she has to gather her deep bravery to stand in all her power…
There is a woman who has to tell her children that their dad just died of a drug overdose, he had been sober for 23 years before last year, bless his very tender heart…
and all these women will be walking to a bus stop, or waiting at a Starbucks, or opening a locker, or pushing the elevator button or stopping by the grocery store.
Here’s your mission:
1.Find a post-it and write down a note of hope or encouragement*, maybe even something you need to hear yourself and leave it in a public place for someone to find.
Because the truth is, even if we never speak to each other, or we have no idea…we can be together. It just doesn’t work any other way.
2. Take a picture of you, or your note or where you left it and post it to the WomanKind Facebook page . Be sure to tag it #WomanKINDness on Instagram , Facebook or Twitter.
3. ALSO, if YOU need a message today, let me know at Patience@kindnessgirl.com and we’ll send you a post-it pic of hope privately or on the LOHK page.
Hope to see your kind faces on Friday night or Saturday, if you still need tickets, you can get them here .
*p.s. simple messages work just fine- you are loved, you matter, we are with you, you survived, you are beautiful…just the right person will find it.
January 5, 2014
Your heart needs a hug too… by Lucy, age 8
I don’t always know what my heart needs, in those moments I find my mind wanders in circles only stopping to turn the old rocks of my soul over or to imagine (i.e. obsess over) some sort of despair and forever lack of clarity. This may or may not happen every third week. I find this is possibly the dark side of FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS ALL THE TIME.
Then in an unexpected moment, someone wise says something so simple…and obvious. …like your heart needs a hug too.
Oh yeah, that.
Could it be so uncomplicated? It seems the most foundational truths usually are. This is why it’s good to keep babies and old wise ladies around. Newness reminds us how we all just need to be close to the source of safety and love, and the aged show how to loosen our grip, that everything changes (both good and bad) and we will find our way. There is no need for worry and fear, the energy need not leave our hearts and is best served other ways.
The fortitude grows, leaving only enough space for that which you truly need.
It’s too much for me to think of a whole year or life change. So today I start small, and new…the most simple need, the most simple thought…let it be, let it grow.
If you like, you can tell us your most simple need or truth in the comments. Is it a shower? Is it that you need someone to squeeze your shoulder or hand? Is it a walk or fresh air? Is it a one more blanket? Is it that you actually are very, very tired from the holiday? Is it that you need a stranger to send some hope or make you laugh? Is it that you are scared and strong at the same time? tell us loves…we are here.
January 4, 2014
jack, age 11
His entrance to the world was not an easy one…it was my hardest birth, giving birth to a deep bond between us- only the other knowing just how deeply we loved and worked.
He walks through life much the same, a quiet persistence and wisdom. Both with a very matter-of-fact delivery but somehow with ancient roots.
He asks me how I am with sincerity every single day and thanks me for every meal.
He watches too closely over his sisters and is frustrated by the lack of respect he receives from them for this careful eye.
He is forever loyal to his brother, like a twin who is bound beyond even blood.
His charm is unconnected, he is unknowing of the power it possesses.
He works towards his dreams methodically, catching them, holding tight.
His mind forever curious, his heart tender and kind.
Some days, to me as his mother, he doesn’t seem of this world- I have no idea where he came from…almost an enigma to me.
Without trying to understand why or how, I land in a place of deep gratitude that we are in a family together.
…that I am his mother.
Happy Birthday Jackie-boy! We love you so…
December 1, 2013
November 29, 2013
October 8, 2013
I’ve written no less than 10 posts…and hit delete or save draft every time.
There is so much I want to say, and yet I have no idea where to start. I wish I had written all along, but alas, I did not.
So instead of trying to catch up, let’s start right here.
I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the last 36 hours, yuck. …but the good part is I am resting, watching mindless television (hello Scandal!!) and it gives me time to make a small offering to you (and myself) today.
So if you are plagued with a stomach bug, or too many bills, or family shit, or general sadness, or had a fight with your partner, or have a hard work sitch, or are an exhausted mother, or have no idea what to do with your life, or on the verge of something big or hard, or nothing is wrong in particular but nothing is right either…we have an audio message for you, from one of us, or from a kid.
Text NEED SOME LIGHT to us at: (804) 426-2357
Tell us in a sentence or so what’s going on…and we’ll text you back some love…and kindness…because kindness changes everything…and we can be together in the dark.
(audio messages are available until 12am (EST) on October 8th- but don’t worry, we are going to do this again and soon!! )