January 2014 and our first Blog Circle post of the year. This is a GREAT way to start the year. I’m still smiling about it. I can hardly wait to share what we’ve been up to.
We all like to think we view our lives through the lens of being a kind person. Someone who practices kindness as often as we can. Someone who is thoughtful and caring about the people and world around us. Opening doors and holding them open. Helping an elderly person navigate their way across a street. Giving up our seat on a crowded bus. Generally being aware if a kind act is needed at any given moment.
But the idea of intentionally planning a Kindness Act is something completely different.
For those of you who follow this group you will remember we all met through KRR’s on line class in the fall of 2012. A blog circle formed shortly after the course was underway with the intention of setting a theme or blog topic for each month. We’d all post on that subject and hop around the circle giving us a chance to get to know each other, and practice blogging . For someone like me it was an incentive to get a blog going and be supported by the group at the same time as making some amazing connections with creative others from all over the world. And it has been so much fun.
The concept of being intentionally kind and of doing something similar to the KRR’s Kindness Mission , started swirling around for discussion in this group. The idea of us doing our own Kindness Mission in whatever way we could, really struck a cord. Easy decision I would say, all in favour ” I ” , and away we went.
After reading her blog post you can’t help but be inspired. It’s a must read . I guarantee it will make your day .
So it was decided that for this January to kick off our year , our blog circle would post about what we chose to do around our own Kindness Mission. We have been working quietly away on our own parts of the world on this and I can hardly wait to see what everyone has come up with !
I sat with this subject for awhile before I was struck with what for me would be the perfect project..
I’m a ‘coming out’ artist learning about expressing myself in an intentional way with my art ( if you want to read more about my journey you can read about it here ). I decided I would combine my art as a random act of kindness and randomly share a piece of that art with strangers.
I bought a simple set of blank water colour cards with envelopes and some plastic sleeves to put them in. Chose to do 14 because, well , it’s 2014 after all.
I decided I would hand paint with watercolours a very simple picture of a flower on a card. Who can be offended by receiving a card with a flower on it ? I wrote a simple message around the edge and made sure every flower was a little different.
I decided I wanted my kindness mission to be about being bold with my abilities to create something worthy to share, and keep it simple, simple , simple. I use everything but the kitchen sink in my art, but decided these watercolour flowers would do the trick for this project.
I wanted my mission to be about communicating in a traditional way we don’t often see anymore . The handwritten word to me seems a lost or dying art and I wanted to revive it in some small way… Christmas greetings are often shared through a typewritten letter read off a computer screen more often than not now and handwritten thank you’s following Christmas are pretty rare I fear.
So I typed a letter to put inside each card and it said this ( typing just to make sure the the person finding the card would understand my intention ):
” This blank card has been hand painted by me, an anonymous artist.
It is my gift to you…an anonymous receiver. I have placed it ( and several others around the city ) in hopes of inspiring you to reach out to someone you think would love to get a note or letter the ‘old fashion way ‘. The card is all ready to go with a stamp. All you need to do is address it and write something inside. Even if it’s only 2 words ! ( miss you, love you, thank you , I’m sorry ….), or more ? Write to someone you are thinking about, and pop it in the mail.
It is a random active of Kindness from me to you. I will not know who you have sent your card to , and you will not find out who I am.
Computers have done so much to advance communication, but a letter in the mail is one form of communication I sorely miss. I’ve been thinking lately that I miss seeing the hand written word , in a note card or letter, addressed and on it’s way, passed through the hands of strangers to arrive in someone’s mailbox. Maybe a thank you note to a friend. Maybe a forgiveness note for something regrettably said. Maybe a love note or poem with heartfelt caring words. Maybe just a letter to an elderly family member who would love to be getting mail. I leave that part to you .. It is yours to send to whomever you choose. I hope I’ve made this easy for you. Write in it , address it, and pop it in the mail. And thank you for this experience of sharing my art in your world.
Happy Mailing. ……….#anonymousartcard.
I put a stamp on the outside of each envelope and the next part of this mission was ready to start.
I had a lot of fun coming up this idea and of course the painting always brings me joy. I had fun putting the explanation letter inside, adding my handwritten message and making sure each one had a stamp on it. But the real sense of being connected to people in a mysterious way came when I went around my city and distributed them. Not only did I delight in the excursion knowing I was going to be making someone, somewhere happy , but it made me look at the people around me with a different connectedness, wondering if ‘they‘ were going to be ‘the one ‘ that would find one of these cards.
The joy and excitement of being anonymous with my mission just plain ramped up the fun of it all.
I wanted to take pictures of where I put my cards but I didn’t wanted to an anonymous artist. I wanted the unknown journey of the card to be part of my mysterious wonderings. And of course I could not be taking pictures in some of these public places without drawing attention to what I was doing . I did the best I could to document a few of the circumstance and here is a sample ..
Boy is it tricky to be surreptitiously planting cards, taking pictures and slinking away .. It makes me smile just thinking back on it now. My inner joy came from thinking I was giving the gift of communication between two people.
I put one here…..
and here at one of my favourite gathering places in our city.
And here where someone will be thinking they’re just about to do a bit of banking !
And here :
The library was no easy feat. Although you can’t see it in this picture, it was packed with both adults and kids ! I had wondered about popping a card into a book, but I have to say I was more tempted by the immediacy of knowing my cards were out there getting going on their journey right now..
And even here at our local ski hill, when my husband and I went skiing one afternoon.
I hid two of them that day , I couldn’t resist
Now that this project is done and seeing all the other kindness missions that we all were doing has definitely inspired me to carry on . There are some great ideas out there and one of the girls in our blog circle chooses her birthdate as the date on the calendar to commit to kindness. I think that’s a great idea and on the 3rd of every month I’m going to commit to a ‘ RAOK ‘.. Easy date for me to remember and the good vibes I enjoyed on the days I was spreading my art were just more fun than you can imagine .
So glad to share this story. It was fun in the making for sure ..2014 is off to a good start.
And don’t forget to head over to the next stop on our circle to my friend Naz. Her post should be up and ready to go….@ http://www.agentlerebellion.com/kindness-mission/#.UuIpGPbTm2x
In the even the circle has some breaks in it , do make sure you get around from artist to artist.. I know they will all be well worth the read.
Ginger Deverell – http://redpearcreative.blogspot.ca/2014/01/kindness-mission.html
you are Here..Sandy King – https://sandymairart.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/kindness-mission-01-14/
Kristen Fairgrieve – http://bagladylulu.com/2014/01/22/im-on-a-kindness-mission-wanna-come/
Lulu Bea (Alaina McGinley) – http://lulubeas.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/kindness-mission/
Kathie Gadd – http://lavenderchalet.com/2014/01/the-kindness-mission
Lisa Ullrich – http://www.heartsoulcreate.com/kindness-mission/