Summer Stories
7.2.14
7:30 pm
A backyard show
Info here: on.fb.me/1pJ4gkJ

It’s summer guys and time to bring the LOHK community together! Join us for a night of stories featuring Kristin Pedemonti and local storytellers Jennifer Lemons , Katie Holcomb , Susan Howson, Josh Epperson, Doug Orleski and more…we’ll have beer, s’mores and some LOHK magic all in the backyard.

It’s a free show (a kind soul gave us beer people!) and night, but bring your dollars because we’ll be passin’ the hat so we can send Kristin off with lots of love and kindness! (in true LOHK fashion)

AND you can pick up your LOHK t-shirts from the pre-order sale! Hope you can join us!

With kindness,
The Light of Human Kindness team
thelightofhumankindness.com
#lohk
music by “Self-Portrait” by Jahzzar

stories of humanKIND…

August 12, 2013

binford stories

 

Stories of HumanKIND is a community art event on 8/17/13.
Join us as we kick-off The Light of Human Kindness mural installation by hand writing and painting the stories collected at www.thelightofhumankindness.com on to the kindness wall at the old GRTC Depot as part of the RVA Street Art Festival.
Hamilton Glass will start painting the mural over parts of the stories on 8/19/13.

Feel free to come and go through out the day. We will be there with paint and markers covering the 80ft. wall with stories of dark and hope.

If you have ever wanted to be part of a mural installation, here is your chance!

For more info: www.thelightofhumankindness.com
To share your story: http://thelightofhumankindness.tumblr.com/

Kids can chalk on places on the wall while the adults/teens paint and write. All supplies will be provided.
Rain date: 8/18/2013

all the good things…it’s important to find them, or let them find you.

LOVE…we need it now. This is for you and me J.

We called these grasshoppers Louie when we were kids…this is for you Kate.

Kinfolk Manifesto from Kinfolk on Vimeo.

Life is art, art is life…love this magazine.

and…

a dear person and her kind work in the world going viral on Huffington Post!! (i predict) SO excited for Melinda! Hug on!

a true story…

July 8, 2012


photo by Dean Hoffmeyer

Feeling humbled and grateful to have a Flair article written about my work in the Richmond Times Dispatch…you can read it here.

I always have this mixed sort of feeling about press- wanting so very much for our kindness work to move further but thinking, “Oh my lord, I hope people know what this thing really is…my feeble attempt everyday to do kindness the justice it deserves and yet sort of stumbling through. ” Ever doing the balancing act of trying not to get into my own way and being so excited that the voice is growing.

That one thing I want more than anything,  for people to know and see the power and accessibility of kindness for everyone…whether you really need it, or need to give it. It all counts….and knowing it’s so much more than being nice, it’s everything including the mess and holding tight to the one thing that guides you.

Bill Lohmann, the Richmond Times Dispatch reporter, really listened, he really heard my heart and message…and he wrote a wonderful and true story.  I am so, so grateful.

So go buy that paper or leave a comment, three cheers for the whole story and kindness. (and Bill.)

For new friends that are asking- here is where you find the Kindness Changes Everything stickers and the Soulsister collaboration with the lovely Suzanne Vinson.

special thanks to Dean Hoffmeyer for such sweet pictures too!

Seeing KINDNESS CHANGES EVERYTHING in bold is making my heart swoon this morning…my latest post for the Huffington Post made the front page of the Good News section and the main front page…and the requests for encouragement are pouring in. If you want to help write, shoot me an e-mail at patience@kindnessgirl…or if you need a note, please do the same. We may put out a call for postage stamps if this thing gets super crazy!

I am so touched that audacious kindness is working…it’s where we are headed friends. Together.

au·da·cious[aw-dey-shuhs]
adjective
1. extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless: an audacious explorer.
2. extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive: an audacious vision of the city’s bright future.
3. recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen.
4. lively; unrestrained; uninhibited: an audacious interpretation of her role.

all we have to do is be brave and kind…

“I don’t do this anymore, it just isn’t part of my life…it used to be though.” I said to my dear friend Christa as we sat and watched our kids play on the beach.

“What? sit? or just be?” she replied.

“Both.” I answered.

It was an impromptu trip, an idea you say out of loud to a friend but not really expecting it to happen. You know, the “You know what we should do? we should…” …but this time I just said yes. So we booked a cabin in a Virginia Beach camp ground for a couple nights. I didn’t really have money, time or energy but all of those things are short these days and some times you just have to call it in. Since money was tight, my friend did what any good girlfriend does, she slipped me a $20 and her dear husband Cris went out and hooked us up with a mad amount of groceries…then he sent a lasagna. And with way too many bags (plus some christmas lights)

and even more children, we were on our way.

We arrived and within minutes someone named the cabin, and it turned out to be a very fitting name- The Magic Cabin. I slipped a sign on the door, one invitation of kindness and the magic began. We didn’t really have a lot planned, a little, but not a lot. I was just too tired to do all that making memories stuff, but I am starting to think the best stuff just happens on its own anyway.

It started with a failed and messy Pinterest craft…but no one seemed to care.

and a sweet dinner…with the question answered- “What one thing do you want to do before you grow up?”

then there was nature woodsy stuff…

and vacation surprises and candy…

and beach treasures and kite goodness…

…and there were visits from a kind Granny, and kid conflict, and frolicking, and eating way too many clementines, and chai tea with homemade maple syrup whipped cream, and scary bugs, and laughing so hard your side hurts, and snoring, and exhaustion from packing and unpacking and packing again…and epiphanies about your parenting.

The kind that was so gentle, and unfolded just so, so you could see it on your own, without judgement and surrounded in so much love. I could see just how much my kids need me in an intentional way to hold experiences of kindness for them, and just them at times. For so long I have secretly feared my kids will grow up and feel like they didn’t get enough while I shared and invited kindness for the whole world…and I realized how open they are and how little it takes, and how over the last few years, little by little, I have lost bits and moments of family kindness.

And it was so sweet to just be, to be in the place where it all started, and to be in the only place that matters…and to know you can always call it back and decide to be a new way…and to be a little sad for how you lost your path and yet so hopeful and happy to know what you can do to find it again.

So the last night, we decided to give the kids a blessingway. (a blessingway is a ceremony rooted in Navajo culture and history as a way to “bless the way” of someone walking into a new part of life. Women often give them to pregnant women about to have a baby.) After about the million I have been to over the years, it never occurred to me to have one with my kids.

So we made a fire and gathered a circle with candles and decorated with the left over defunct Pinterest art that Josiah made into a nest. It was perfect. We called the kids in one by one, and whispered by name, “We are glad you are here ______.”

They sat with wide eyes as Christa explained what a blessingway was and the history behind it…and how we wanted to bless them as part of our families together. Over the weekend, the kids had been learning about animal totems and trying to figure out which animal best represented them and their spirit. Some kids knew and others weren’t sure. So we gathered some items from nature to represent the animal we chose for them. We presented the items and told each child the things we saw in them and the blessings they hold.

Josiah was a deer, Roman a buck,  Lucy was a bird, Jack was a wolf…and I watched as they soaked it all in. And one we were totally wrong about and have to still figure out. It was almost as if the little guy knew himself, knowing who and what he is so clearly…but we didn’t have the match right. It was a lesson in the value of struggle and finding your way to your kids, to listening and honoring each other in the process. It was the beauty of the kid bs meter, and that it’s worth it to be real and true, whatever that looks like. (and that s’mores can right almost any parent screw up)

It was finally Lyra’s turn and Christa started her blessing. She explained how Lyra was playful and engaging like a dolphin…inviting connection and love. And I watched as Lyra nodded her head in total agreement, while she whispered “yes” as she sat in my lap and listened to Christa’s wise words. Her eyes sparkled, it was as if someone just saw all of her for the first time. I was shocked by her response and how deeply she felt the connection, even at the age of three. It was a true soul experience, for all of us. She hugged and thanked me 3 times after we were done, and asked if we could turn her dolphin shell into a necklace. I don’t think it has left her neck yet.

I walked away once again amazed by how capable kids are, in their minds, in their hearts, in their souls- the magic they are..and how much they hold and have to offer…and amazed how magic comes in so many forms, the magic of not knowing, the magic of struggle, the magic of being discovered and blessed and mostly, the magic of just being.

you can see the rest of the pictures from our adventure here.

photo by Sandra Culp Marr

I love it when a mission is so simple and small that it holds its own kind of beauty and unexpected power, maybe it is the kind you just stumble upon. I think  when we connect to our most basic shared humanity, magic always unfolds.  Two weeks ago, we invited folks to join us in thanking Garbage Collectors around the nation for their important work and place in the world…and boy, did you ever. Stories and pictures came tumbling in each day.

The kind people at GOOD helped spread the word, kids in schools all over made cards for their garbage man and school custodians, and lots and lots of people passed the word on to family and friends. The mission traveled further than any we have ever done…and while numbers aren’t totally in yet, we are estimating close to a 1,000 friends joined us.

Some garbage friends were so busy they didn’t even see the signs, others stopped and chatted, some even came back to thank us…and now more than ever, we are longing to be connected in new and meaningful ways. Kindness is growing bigger and moving faster than I have ever seen..it’s so, so good.

Thank you for being part of this with me…and thanks to all our new garbage collecting friends, we are grateful for you.

And a special thanks to Vejay, Lionel and Joe for taking the time to talk to me and inspiring this mission, we hope you know and feel our respect.

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