February 13, 2014
It’ s almost Valentine’s Day guys! There are no neutral feelings about this day, people either love or hate it THE WHOLE WAY. I think this is because the day serves as some measure or barometer of how we love or are loved. Chances are, romantic or not, we could all use a little more. We long to be included in a party of love, one we are ALL invited to.
In the world of love expression, small acts are magic to me. I don’t feel too sheepish to receive them and they still hold a genuine weight in my heart. When done by a stranger, I am sure the whole world is conspiring to be connected- this brings me ridiculous joy and hope.
On Monday, I met with some lovely folks in RVA looking to do something BIG and KIND, then after lots of dreaming and talking, we came to a starting point of small and wide- which I love so, so much. I believe almost everything beautiful starts small and usually with just one person (which turns into a billion).
SO, I give you #RVACOFFEELOVE (a party of kindness, one we are all invited to):
On Friday- Valentine’s Day- the Richmond community is encouraging everyone to share love by buying a stranger a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop.
If you want to participate but are super broke ( been there and still visit often!), we will have a few kindness kits at the LOHK wall complete with coffee gift cards and certificates (look for small boxes in ziplocs behind the window grates).
Inside each box there will be a gift card with enough $ for one cup of coffee for you and one to share, a small tip for the barista, stickers and a bit of chocolate because ALL kindness missions are better with chocolate!
Look for kits starting late this afternoon (2/13)- hopefully some with still be left by morning! I will post pics on my Instagram when they are up.
I hope you feel so loved tomorrow, and if you don’t, I hope creating some will bring you joy and hope.
This is RVA, we have kindness here. *
*If you are not in RVA, you can still play! Do the mission and hashtag all pics #coffeelove or post them on the LOHK Facebook page.
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.
October 18, 2012
If you ask a pair or group of sisters any question, you will quickly get the real deal on any given subject. This is what I love about them, well, that and you can feel like one at any moment…you can feel sisterhood. Chrissy and Sarah (who are actual sisters) from Sweet Spot in Short Pump are these kind of friends. I think this must be why their candy shop feels more like a hang out…a super yummy hangout.
They are funny, sweet and kind. There are little pockets of their killer style and friendship all over the shop but I was even more drawn to their sense of community and desire to use their space for something good. I think this little shop will be a haven for kindness.
It’s the kind of togetherness that you have to live first, and then hold the space for others to experience. When they contacted me about wanting to do a kindness project for Sweetest Day (celebrated officially on 10/20), I was so jazzed. The ideas flowed and I think there will be more to come but we thought inviting some kindness magic was a really great place to start. Especially since Sarah’s daughter Maggie (age 3) found a Magic Wand that my daughter Lyra (age 3) left near the shop one day before we met.
So come join us (and the sisters), bring your kids (and their sisters, brothers too) and hang out with us as we create a little kindness magic together! If you want to learn more about The Magic Wand Project for Kids, you can check it out here. The Magic Wand Project For Kids is a community adventure where kids can discover their kindness magic can change our world!
See you tomorrow (Friday, October 19th) at Sweet Spot from 4-5:30pm at
2228 Old Brick Road Glen Allen, VA 23060
*just a little fyi, no monies exchanged in this here partnership, just a little more kindness in our town. 🙂
October 18, 2012
I met Kelly on the first day of a new school, a new direction, a new start for my family. We had just made a huge decision to pull our kids from a really stable, established, old elementary school to a brand new charter school. It was the first of its kind in the entire state. Josiah was nervous, things are always tricky with new…and then there was Kelly, his teacher, she was a force of light…and happy.
The year ended up being hard because trailblazing is, there were SO many problems/challenges in the school but Josiah was thriving like I had never seen. I knew this teacher was some kind of magic. Her positivity, her grit, her joy was contagious. The year ended and she moved on to her next act of goodness. She started Happy Camper Productions.
Happy Camper Productions exists to spread good cheer, unite the community, and help those who need it most. We work with local causes and organizations to host events, drives and collections. We host our own functions as well as energize existing programs by involving the Happy Camper Nation – our loyal members and overall do-gooders who look to make a difference, but don’t necessarily know how.
At a new beginning again, the Kelly Elias and HCP force is moving, spreading their joy and goodness from the start. The very first Happy Camper Fest is on for THIS Saturday from 12-6pm at The Canal Turning Basin. It will be an annual event held by Happy Camper Productions to celebrate everything wonderful in the Richmond area. The primary recipients of donations made through the fest this year will go to The Richmond SPCA has and Communities in Schools of Richmond .
Don’t miss the Canal Run & Walk, Dog trick and costume contests, local artists/farmers, local bands, local businesses, local food /beverages, and much more.
I am really excited because Kindnessgirl will be there with very rad kids from The James River High Guerrilla Goodness club. 2 really lovely students came to me this spring wanting to start the group after some amazing kindness stuff happened there last year…turns out 90 kids showed up at the first meeting last week.
We’ve never done anything like this before but our tent will invite folks to think about happiness and kindness together and there will be a kindness mission for everyone to take away. Also excited to be handing out Kindness Changes Everything stickers (with love from Suzanne and I) AND Tag, You’re It RVA kindness game cards!
Hope to see you all there!
July 24, 2012
photo taken from the World of Mirth Facebook page
Do you have some places in your city that just make you proud? …or feel cooler somehow (which is huge for me as I do not have a cool bone in my entire body)? Like when someone comes to visit, I say, “Let’s go to the river…oh, and there is this REALLY great toy store in Carytown, but it’s even more than a toy store…oh, AND a chocolate store near there too.”
World of Mirth in Carytown is one of those places for me. Besides a store feeling like art, it may be my friend Thea Brown that makes it especially rad. I have wanted to do something, anything with this crew for awhile now so I was really excited when Thea said yes to adding some magic to the mirth.
These are community events that are making our city known for being kind- these are the friendships and partnerships that create goodness and a really great place for our kids to live. This is the stuff to be proud of…cool toy stores and kindness.
Hope the RVA crowd can join us tomorrow for a Magic Wand Making Party from 1-3pm for The Magic Wand Project for Kids.
We will be making kindness magic wands for kids to take home and start some kindness…or leave somewhere in the city for another kid to find. All supplies provided, just bring your happy (or grouchy) selves and kids.
You can just show up or let us know you are coming on the Facebook Event Page here.
World Of Mirth
3005 West Cary Street
Richmond, Va 23221
Would love to see you all there! Bring on the glitter and kindness…more is more!
June 22, 2012
I am starting to wonder if it isn’t the most simple ways of connection that hold the greatest hope for change and good.
One man knowing deep in his soul and body that growing something green can bring us together and care for our most basic need that every human deserves
One woman believing sharing salad can heal us and bring life
One family calling in the rhythm of an ancient goodness with drums
…and for one sweaty Richmond night, none of it feels so complicated…it’s just a gathering of people in a community garden, eating salad, while kids give wagon rides and take turns watering the plants…and someone gets an impromptu photography lesson and another financial advice…while others that had no plans at all find their way out of their houses to listen to the drums.
…and the space is held unknowingly and yet with so much intention.
…because growth, food and community are the most simple ways to love.
If you live in RVA, you can join us for the garden and salad magic at RVA Salad Fest #2 this Sunday at 7pm at the McDonough Community Garden in Woodland Heights! Thanks to Duron and Maat for including me!
*these 2 sweet souls had never met but I caught this sweet hug at the end of the night.
June 6, 2012
Guys! Kindness magic is EVERYWHERE…like every where I turn there are more wands, more magic, more kindness from The Magic Wand Project for Kids. (we think there are close to 1,000 magic kindness wands out!)
…we ran out of wands and funds over here but that does NOT stop kindness…we decided to have a wand making party. The neighborhood kids were all about it and created their own magic in the process.
For the wands:
Wood dowels (that we spray painted silver)
Those skinny green bamboo sticks that you use in the garden also work great
For the stars:
I just drew a star freehand, although there are lots of star templates on the internet, we just cut ours out from some recycled cardboard
Some craft stores also sell wood star cutouts
Foam sheets are another great option
We found some lovely glitter paint so we didn’t have to mess with actual glitter although glitter is super magical!
For the pretty:
Buttons- beware of choking hazards though!
Feathers- oh, how I adore feathers
To put them together:
We used hot glue which won’t exactly make them weather proof but we thought they will still hold up well in doors.
We laminated (which was so exciting!) the tags- that you can download here– hole punched them and attached with a clear zip tie. We then cut the extra length of the zip tie off.
Make a wish:
Don’t forget to make a wish that just the right kid will find the wand and that more kindness will make a way to the place it is needed most.
We added a bit of our love and sent them out into the world. I think the thing I am most amazed by is how kids of all ages seem to love this project…and how it has opened my own heart to think about magic and kindness in a new way! LOVE!!!
We thought you might like to see how the magic is unfolding for kids across the nation, pictures and stories are coming in daily on The Magic Wand Project Facebook page. Here are just a few magical kids!
The response from teachers and schools has been so fantastic that we created The Magic Wand Project Teacher Guide. I hope we see lots of kindness pop up in summer school and even more wand making parties!
You can download The Teacher Guide here. (thanks to Lourdes and Jennifer for helping on the tech end with that!)
You are also welcome to share the video too!
Special thanks to our friends at Macaroni Kid Richmond who have helped to spread the word and to all the schools and teachers (and kind kids) that are joining us in all the magic!
Keep all the pictures coming! They do all our hearts some serious good! Kindness is MAGIC!