At the end of each month, I will be guiding you through the unmasked world of TKE, as well as sharing a glimpse of my own personal journey. I hope you read this with an open mind and an open heart. Today’s post is the first invitation into the world of The Kindness Effect. We invite you into our real, raw and honest lives.
June has possibly been our busiest month to date, having more on our plates than most of us can handle. We have been hard at work preparing for our next workshop, as well as welcoming our newest staff member Charlie. We were featured in Peppermint Magazine, helped raise over $5,000 for the children of Nepal with Save the Children and our Pozible campaign is underway and we cannot wait to launch this later in the year. In addition to this, we are also in the process of efficiently setting up our business plan.
I have been on a personal quest to find inspiration in an effort to create new and relevant content for our future workshops. For me, this stems from marveling at beautiful objects, plunging deeper into myself, engaging in conversations that matter and drawing inspiration from others. It also means taking the time to acknowledge the negative things in the world to gain a better understanding of what needs to be changed.
Some activities that sparked this for me included;
- Spending a day at the National Museum of Victoria, where I left my phone in the car and just bought my diary, a pen and my camera. I spent the day mindfully walking through each gallery, allowing myself to be mesmerized by each piece of art that caught my attention. I sat and stared, until I saw something I hadn’t noticed at first. And then I wrote, and wrote and wrote. The Museum is a place of refuge for me, one that brings about inner peace and allows my mind to flow freely and therefore creatively.
- I was driving through the back parts of Melbourne last week, when I saw three beautiful horses standing under a tiny tree trying to protect themselves from the horrific wind and rain. The moment I saw them I pulled over to stop and watch. The horses didn’t move, they didn’t sit, turn their heads or huddle together. They simply stood and stared into oblivion while the rain beat down on their backs and the wind knocked their legs. I felt extremely sad and heart-broken for these horses. I cried for their pain and it brought up thoughts in me about the mis-treatment of creatures of all sorts in this world that can’t defend or help themselves.
- Life is ridiculously busy and keeping excitement in a relationship can sometimes be difficult. My partner is studying at University, working and plays VFL (I’ve done well I know) which means he is committed to training three nights a week and playing every weekend. This, along with my two jobs and spending lots of my extra time working on TKE doesn’t leave too much spare time for us. So I decided to have a real conversation about it. I acknowledged that life is busy and we are tired, but that we love each other ridiculously and that no matter what, we will try to appreciate and support each other.
- I also landed myself another part-time job as Co-Facilitator of The Whitten Project, the Western Bulldogs Youth Leadership Program. Working with these passionate and capable young people inspired me beyond belief. I see these people making plans to create change and am taken back by their desire to leave a mark on this world. They are younger than me and some of them see the world as it should be, and I think that takes courage. Courage to challenge the status quo and to say ‘this isn’t how things should be’ and then actually do something about it.
Shifting the focus to our other team members, Gabi, one of our journalists has just bought herself a one way ticket to South America, and our other journalist Rachel has landed herself an internship at Mamamia news. Antonea, my partner in crime and throughout this journey, has just completed her first semester of university, and despite her angst about how it ended, this is her reminder that she is a capable and wise woman who needs to pick herself back up and keep trying next semester. We also met with the beautiful Lucy, co-founder of Project-Rockit who we consider an amazing mentor and who has shared with us many valuable lessons that she has learnt throughout her time setting up Project Rockit. Her help and guidance has been invaluable and we are so genuinely excited and humbled to be able to collaborate with her and for her to be a part of our next workshop.
This month has left me wondering more and more about human connection and how we think, feel and behave. What was the artist feeling when he painted a beautiful woman? What would those horses be doing if they were free to roam? Where would my relationship be if we didn’t have open and honest communication? And most of all where would humanity be if we didn’t show kindness to ourselves, one another and to our planet?