rva coffee love porch

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.

Check out RVA Coffee Love for more info. Be sure to tag your pics with #rvacoffeelove too!

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!

coffee kits

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. *

rva coffee love ryn

logo designed by the amazing Ryn Bruce – check out her VERY rad social experiment 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.

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We just need an hour of your time.
To be brave. To be kind.

American Bear and Guerilla Goodness are collaborating to bring you Kindness Captured: A Day of Bravery and Kindness in Syracuse, Richmond, New York City, Dallas, Boston and Seattle.

All around the city we will be placing Kindness Kits — complete with a draw your own mission envelope, the props you need to complete the missions, instructions, and a disposable camera to document your adventure.

TO FIGURE OUT YOUR TIME AND PICK-UP-POINT EMAIL PATIENCE at patience@kindnessgirl.com. Instructions will be e-mailed the week of June 25, 2012.

I will give you a time and a place to meet on Saturday the 30th. You show up at the location, with a friend or two in tow, follow the directions and have an amazing time.

All you need to bring is $5, yourself and an adventurous spirit.
There will be 10 missions in each kit and you and your team will complete one within the hour. Mostly they are very easy. Like picking wild flowers and handing them to strangers or writing three letters and sticking them under random doorsteps. The kit explains all the pieces. Then you will hand off the kit to the next team and they will continue to spread the kindness.

If you want to share the amazing and kind things happening in real time, we recommend a cell phone or digital camera — disposable photos take some time to develop.

The kindness is goin’ down in RVA friends… and we can’t wait.

You can find out more about the American Bear documentary and Guerrilla Goodness here:
www.americanbearfilm.com
www.iamakindstranger.com
www.guerrillagoodness.com

To sign up for the event and all the latest info, head on over to the RVA KC Facebook Event page!

birthday tattoos, one for each wrist

I woke up to 35 yesterday, so many blessing to count. After some just okay years, as far as birthdays go- I could have never imagined the doozy of a day that was waiting for me. There are years when you are sort of surviving your life, happy to at least be still truckin’ and then there are other years when you celebrate livin’ life- really living and knowing you are standing in yourself, right where you are meant to be.

This was a living year.

Around 11:30am I checked in with social media to find this on Richmond.com:

Yesterday we shared the story of Richmonder Patience Salgado and her Guerrilla Goodness missions. Salgado, known on Twitter as @kindnessgirl, is featured in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine for her everyday acts of kindness and today, Thursday, Sept. 15, Richmond is celebrating Salgado’s birthday by doing the good for her.

Salgado’s friend, Kira Siddall stealthily used Twitter to send out a message to all of Salgado’s friends and follower with a simple birthday request:

“Do a small act of kindness. Tweet details to @kindnessgirl. It’s her 35th bday, let’s make RVA kinder to celebrate. SPREAD THE WORD.”

Needless to say, I was floored, speechless. After such a week with so much genuine joy, love and well wishes, now my beloved city, would show their love and kindness in this way- it was overwhelming. So I went to my Twitter account and there they were, tweet after tweet after tweet, all with small acts of kindness. 200 Facebook friends shared Kindness Day on their walls and so it spread...a city taken over by kindness.

Things like:

@MDPartner:  Honoring @kindnessgirl and all births today, we played DingDongDitch at OneMonumentAvenue. Anybody hear our smiles?
@busse: drew my kids pictures to find at the breakfast table tomorrow morning Happy Birthday! #smallactsofkindness

@MolleeRVA : I mailed a tiny pumpkin and a thinking-of-you note to a friend who recently moved. #smallactsofkindness

@jenniferemiller: I bought groceries for my elderly neighbor.

@PaulaBHough: brought chocolate bars to mothers grp + xtra 2 share. Then gave bars to random strangers in your honor.

@Julie_Bondy: sent birthday cards to friends this week instead of the usual FB post. Real mail is more fun!

@johnhaydon: @kindnessgirl Happy Birthday. I’m making a donation to a local animal shelter. #kindbirthdaywish

@horhey: In honor of @kindnessgirl , paid someone’s toll this AM. #smallactsofkindness

@fyeahmotherhood: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I’m tonguekissing everyone I meet today. Kindness for all!

@ksiddall: Happy bday @kindnessgirl! I’m guerrilla Goodnessing w/ Starbucks cards to celebrate! Be kind today RVA 🙂 http://t.co/oeMlHVGU

@heyart: Buying extra McNuggets to share with all of my mates at work today in honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday!

@sheenajeffers: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I donated $50 to wounded soldiers (thank you ALL for inspiring me to be and do better)!

@gregorysheldon: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I gave my favorite barista a $5 tip. cc: @KSiddall

@rvafamilymag: In honor of @kindnessgirl , took my CSA share veggies to daughter’s school for the teachers. #smallactsofkindness

you can read some of the rest here.

I know, I know the potential power of this thing, but to see it move, to watch people gather and find their own way to express it- well, it wakes something up inside you didn’t even think was asleep, and invites you to imagine what can come next. It makes you feel hella proud to be living together, side by side with these people…and makes you want to share and make the circle wider- so wide you can’t even see to the other side but just feel your hand wrapped around the person next to you.

So someone wrote me this week and asked if they could start a Guerrilla Goodness chapter in their town/city- With a resounding “YES!” my e-mail was returned to her through the internets. If this is something you might be interested in, please write me at patience@kidnessgirl.com. I am a total mess right now, not even sure where to start to organize and plan, but I would love to help you (if you feel called) so you can join in this deep joy of living life in a kind city too.

Thank you Wren, Jen, Kira and Chad for the sweetest celebration and to The Empress (new friends Melissa and Carly) for offering your soulful space and amazing  food with us. We can’t wait to come back!

Oh, and I got TATTOOS!!! So ridiculously exciting…and a story for another day! Thank you all for making my birthday one I will never forget.

AND chocolates are coming friends, they sure are!