the art of wisdom…

November 30, 2012


the studio and table will be open tomorrow… and there is a place for you.

My dear friend and soulsister Suzanne Vinson will have her annual Holiday Open House tomorrow as part of the LGRA Ginter Park Art Show tomorrow (12/1).

Kindness Changes Everything Stickers (and prints) will be there as well as Be Brave and Kind prints too…along with so many other soulful, wise and pretty things.

I am kinda silly excited about these:


I hope to stop by after 2pm some time, maybe we’ll see each other there. Here is all the info if you would like to meet Suzanne and take in the art of wisdom:


Saturday, December 1st

10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

3421 Hawthorne Avenue

Richmond, VA 23222


all photos by Suzanne Vinson


“Be brave, be brave, be brave…” she whispered to herself as she put on her helmet. Lucy was (and still is) learning to ride her bike. She said the little mantra over and over and added a “You can do this” as she climbed on the seat.

I didn’t really know that bravery was calling me this year, until it did. Every situation around me was asking me to step into, or hunt it down or take one step closer.

…and I started whispering my little mantra to myself each time I was faced with some thing big or even something small that felt big… “Be brave and kind, it’s all you have to do, be brave and kind.”

maybe being brave is saying the words that are hard to speak, or to say nothing at all…

maybe being brave is making the next move, when it feels like there may not be any left…

maybe being brave is trusting you are enough…

maybe being brave is holding on, holding hope just a little tighter or by your last finger grip…

maybe being brave is believing what you hope is true, stepping boldly into joy…

Whatever it is, I know we are not meant to be brave alone, even though we face our worlds on our own. I remember years ago when I was very, very pregnant and our family was going through a very hard time. Depression had fallen over our house (for Jorge) and in the way where everything sort of fell apart , everything I knew over the years was looming suddenly became so clear.

While we were finding our way through, my dear friend Heather offered to give me a massage therapy session. During the session, at a point of finally being relaxed after holding so much, I closed my eyes and this very clear picture came into my mind like a giant movie screen.

I was walking up a huge hill, each step taking all my energy, at one weary moment I turned around, and a massive group of people were behind me, rows and rows, as far as the eye could see… holding hands, locked together like an army. It was a walk of bravery ahead, but even in all the darkness, the kindness was behind me.

So when Suzanne and I started to dream of what we wanted our soulsisterhood to be, we both knew Be Brave and Kind would be part of what we wanted in the world (I wrote about it here first). …and yet it feels more like part of our dream is that this art would bring people together like the rows, like hands locked together.

Just yesterday, I reached out to a few people I love, people that have walked the hill and people that have stood behind me, people that know what it is to be brave and kind, people that are claiming it everyday whether we succeed or not… I asked them to be part of this project by collecting each face in a picture.

Suzanne and I would love it if you would join us in making rows and rows of pictures…we would love it of you took a picture with the Be Brave and Kind print and send it to so we can add it to the next row and watch it grow.

There are quite a few choices of prints and stickers you can buy here. Prints and stickers of all sizes.

But even if the print is not something for you right now but you would like to be part of this collective heart and art, send us a picture with the words Be Brave and Kind written on a piece of paper or your hand, or any other creative way you can think of. We would love for you to be part of this either way.

In the next few days, I will be giving clues as to where we hid a 5×5 sticker and just a couple tiny stickers around RVA. (because sometimes you just gotta hunt for that bravery!)

today’s hint: there is one sweet little sticker in the top copy of  The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo at the Broad Street Barnes & Noble on Libbie Ave. on page 243.

And today we offer  one 5×5 Be Brave and Kind Print to one lucky winner,  just tell us one high and one low in your day today in the comments and you will be entered. We will announce the winner tomorrow night by 11pm.

Be Brave and Kind, it’s all we have to do…


Beth from Savour, you are our winner! What a lovely blog you have too! (winner picked by a

photo by the amazing Meghan McSweeney

I am reading your notes…so many notes. You all are holding so much, but I wonder if we all are…in our own way.

I am amazed by you, and have so much respect. Every night, before I go to bed I think about you all and sometimes wonder what you look like or how your day was, or imagine what we all had for dinner, or hoped your car started, or that the job came through, or that you scraped up enough for rent, or your results from the chemo were good, or that someone called, or that you passed the test, or that you had a kick ass St. Patrick’s day, or that you made up with your dad, or that you didn’t feel so alone tonight.

Then I think about the picture the editors at Huffington Post picked to be the cover photo of the article… it was a picture of some graffiti on a wall, it read- all you have to do is be brave and kind, and love the trees. I searched and searched looking for the author, someone to give credit to for these sweet words because I am holding them so close today.

It’s all we have to do- be brave and kind. And for some reason, that feels like something I can do (even if it isn’t pretty or graceful), even just for today and maybe even tomorrow. It doesn’t say things will be easy or even work out but I am discovering it may be more about how you find you in whatever is thrown your way, good or bad, big or small, no matter what…

Kindness has always come so easily to me….but bravery, well, I often think, “Awww, crap, the universe is going to ask me to be brave?!!”

I resist bravery, because I don’t always believe it is in me…but the truth is, it’s in everyone. It’s in being vulnerable, in realizing the truth (about yourself and others), in handing it over when it weighs too much, in allowing yourself to be loved, in holding something hard so you can see, in standing up tall, in receiving, in forgiving,  in stepping in or out, in relentlessly walking the path (even while tripping), in holding love.

…and it’s all so complicated anyway, and yet really, really simple…anyone can be brave, and anyone can be kind.

it’s all we have to do.

we are writing, writing, writing notes…but until then, feel free to share about what is asking you to be kind and brave in the comments today.