The Power of a Post-It

One of my favourite children’s books is When I’m Feeling Sad by Tracey Maroney. There is a line in the book that describes sadness as something which makes the whole world seem grey and dull and droopy. A perfect explanation of how our mind can shape our reality. And a perfect description of how things looked to me (and probably many others) on September 11th. I didn’t want things to look grey on that day – I wanted to see colour and resilience and joy everywhere. I didn’t want to feel sad, either – I wanted to feel inspired and motivated to perform a beautiful act of kindness on the anniversary of the most unkind act imaginable. But there it was: everywhere I turned, there were grey buildings, grey faces, grey thoughts. Sometimes the sadness and the greyness is just too big.

And then a few days later I remembered that whatever I wanted to see in the world, I could help to create it. If I wanted to be reminded that we live in a beautiful, colourful, joyful world, the best way was to remind others. So armed with some sparkly pens and pretty post-its, my friend K and I waged a kindness campaign against all the most grey and dreary objects we could find. We put love in phone booths, smiles on tables, positivity at bus stops and happiness on park benches …

We imagined people as they sat down at the table, stepped into the booth to make a phone call or sat down to wait for a bus, each one stopping for a moment as they found a little handwritten note. We knew at least some of them would smile. And suddenly, just like that, the world seemed a lot less grey.

Spreading the Blogging Love …

Well, the blogging world is just full of surprises! I did not realise there was such a thing as blogging awards, but apparently there is and another lovely blogger has been kind enough to award one to Year of Kindness. It is called the Irresistably Sweet Blog Award and there’s a bunch of steps to follow after you’ve been awarded. So, here we go …

Step One: Thank and Link the Person who Nominated You
Thank you Maggie, lovely author of Polite and Paranoid. Thanks for nominating me and for writing your awesome blog which is so much fun to read.

Step Two: Share Seven Random Facts About Yourself
1) I’m an only child. Yes, really!

2) Sometimes I sleep walk. Most people grow out of it but apparently I’m in the 2% of adults that didn’t…

3) My favourite colour is purple, partly because my cousin once told me that lots of good things happening at once is called a “purple patch”.

4) I’m vegetarian.

5) I have travelled to over twenty countries.

6) I’m an Aries.

7) I don’t really like talking about myself this much!

Step Three: Pass the Award Along to Five Deserving Blogging Buddies
It’s impossible to pick only five! I did a post a couple of months back listing my fave blogs at the time, so with that in mind I will pick five irresistably sweet blogs I have found (or that have found me) since then.

1) Kindnessgirl – this blog absolutely makes my heart a little bigger just by reading it. Whenever I’m feeling a little lost on my own kindness journey, I read about hers and I am instantly reinspired.

2) The Mindful Foodie – this is a beautiful blog dedicated to being mindful of your body, animals and the planet. Including lots and lots of incredibly delicious, creative and mindful recipes to try!

3) Enermazing – a blog about living a more creative, energised and self-aware life.

4) In Other Words and Pictures – a very creative blog exploring life through a very unique and beautiful lens!

5) Pocket Perspectives – a gorgeous little blog that combines two of my favourite things: inspirational quotes and beautiful images.

There are many, many more amazing blogs out there and I apologise if I missed you this time around!

Step Four: Contact Those Bloggers to Congratulate Them
Congrats to all those very sweet bloggers! You’re doing an amazing job – keep it up.

High Five Mission

My lastest kindness mission was the biggest one yet, and definitely the most fun. I called on some Kindness Army Recruits – Agents A, C, J, K and S – and inspired by Improv Everywhere we gave out free high fives to passers by at Central Train Station.

Central is one of Sydney’s busiest train stations and this mission took place during peak hour on a week day in one of the main tunnels leading to the platforms. Five of us stood next to one side of the tunnel holding signs reading: “We want” “To give you” “A high five” “Get ready” and the fifth person gave out the high fives. We all took turns being the high-fiver because this was by far the most fun!

Most of the commuters were coming home from work looking fairly tired and fed up, or just lost in their own little bubble and totally disconnected from everything around them. When they spotted our first sign they looked a bit confused, and then as they read the other signs many of them began to smile, take out their headphones, put away their iphones in preparation for the high five. Some of them even commented “Awesome!” “Wow, that’s great!” There were very few people who refused to give a high five, and out of the hundreds of people that took part, only two asked, “Why are you doing this?” The answer “Just because” seemed to confuse them even more. Not for money or advertising or anything?? Crazy.

I think one of the reasons it was such a successful kindness mission was because rather than approaching people trying to give them something, they read the signs and made the choice to approach us and accept what we were offering. All the Kindness Recruits had huge smiles on our faces throughout the whole mission, and so did most of the high-five recipients. It was quite amazing to experience how such a simple, silly gesture could instantly brighten up so many people’s evenings. The lovely Agent K used her beautiful photography skills to capture some of the best reactions of people:

Thankyou to the awesome Kindness Agents who helped make this mission possible, and to the recipients who jumped on board so joyfully. And to all you other lovely Kindness Recruits, go give someone a high-five “just because”!