Proof that kindness matters.

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When Jen Lemen and I spoke four years ago at WDS conference in Portland, Oregon we did something a little crazy. We hand wrote 500 blessings on index cards that we then taped underneath each seat in the theater. We took this job seriously, lounging on the couches at the Ace Hotel with Sharpies in hand, channeling each note with every cell of our being – What does this person need to hear? And we’d see what would come.

Turns out it takes a long time to write this many notes and throughout the weekend you could find us cosied up on our hotel room beds, on park benches across from the museum and at bars drinking cocktails late at night writing, writing… Do we really have to do all of these? I would ask Jen when I was losing steam. YES. She would say emphatically. We even enlisted some help from a couple of dear friends – Kelly Rae Roberts and Rachael Maddox – and they wrote their hearts out too.

On Sunday, at the end of our talk, we asked everyone to look under their chair for a special note written just for them. There were shouts of joy and surprise and more than a few tears… then they all rose to their feet and cheered. I think we got a standing ovation. It was an extraordinary moment.

And then. Four years later this happened.

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Through a serendipitous connection, Jackie shared the above story with me and I melted. So touched by this thread of connection between us. And then she started a thread on Facebook and other people shared their stories. My heart has been so filled up by this exchange.

It’s reminding me how much kindness matters.
How much the love we put into the world matters.
It makes me want to write love notes all day long.

More from the Facebook thread:

Nina Grenningloh Reyes: “My word was “freedom” and my note said this. Both of which I’m still working on daily. A rebel never gives up!”

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Jill Seeger Salahub: “This is a picture of it, Andrea, on my writing shrine, where I start every morning. And I don’t know if you remember, but my hand shot up at the end of your session, and I said “THIS ONE is MINE.” It absolutely was a message from the Universe. I was feeling a little out of place at WDS — it was great to meet IRL all the people I’d followed online, but I had no sense yet of exactly what I had to offer, and what I could imagine seemed so far away, almost impossible. Then I got this note, and it was absolutely the “how” I was missing — “make some space.” So I went home and did just that.”

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Sophia Habl Mitchell: “I keep mine pinned up right next to my desk. This was the final “message” I needed to leave corporate and start my own consulting biz. Four years later, my business is more successful than I thought possible.”

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Steve Errey:I still have mine taped to the back of my WDS journal, and I *love* it.”

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Angie BryantMy word was juicy. Ripe. Ready”

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Ellen Berg: “I taped mine in my journal. I realize now that the past few years have been bringing this seed to bloom. My hubby has his taped up in his office.”

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Gregory Berg:Mine is like a little beacon when I need the reminder! What a gift you gave to all of us, Andrea and Jen!”

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And finally, Mike Hrostoski’s pictured at the top of this post:
I have two since there wasn’t someone sitting next to me. They are both on my altar at home. For some reason, those two cards are some of the most valued possessions I have. Probably because that first WDS was the springboard to my current life.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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20 Comments

  1. Susan Halla

    LOVE. THIS.

    Thank you. This was very inspiring – just being a tertiary part to the story!

    Reply
  2. Tiffanie

    beeeeeautiful!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Claire Kelly

    I just got seriously teary. I wonder what it would take to get people all over the world leaving notes of import for each other and making people really open their eyes and wonder what their life could be like?

    Reply
  4. Rebecca

    Sometimes, often, this site brings me to tears. I was not there that day but my imagination has me there while reading this post.

    Reply
  5. rya1

    This makes me want to wish I was there

    Reply
  6. Sherry Richert Belul

    ohhhhhhh!!!! I love this post so so much. Thank you. What a beautiful testament to the power of love/kindness.

    Reply
  7. Amy

    You stir magic into life Andrea!

    Reply
  8. Anna

    The day before my birthday in 2009, you posted this. I have felt like it was a birthday present just for me. I copied it out and carried it in my pocket for years. I reposted it to my blog, wrote it in my journal, and kept another copy on my night stand. Whenever I need to feel like I am enough, I read it again.

    It is almost like I was there at your talk with a lovely affirmation under my seat.

    A million thank yous
    ———-
    You are loved

    Really

    Truly

    Just as you are.

    And you don’t need to look

    Outside yourself

    For validation anymore…

    You are held and known and treasured

    For all that you are

    Not just the good parts.

    Let that truth remind you

    To be compassionate

    With your own heart,

    To extend to yourself,

    The compassion you give to others.

    There is nothing to fix

    Because who you are

    However human

    Is always enough

    To be loved

    Right now

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    So teary. Love this. (Also, I recently became a barista and I have been writing little love notes on the to-go cups when I have time + markers. I will remember this in the moments when I wonder if anyone ever sees them or cares. Because really, I care, and that is reason enough.)

    Reply
  10. W. Lotus

    These are beautiful. When we let our hearts shine at the right time magic always happens.

    Reply
  11. Ellen Yale

    My whole body just went all goosebumpy from reading this.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Julia

    Thank you, just thank you.
    More than you could ever know right this moment-
    From light years away…
    A star is born…

    Reply
  13. Melanie Martin

    Thanks to you and Jen and Mondo Beyondo, I have started a photography business, gave it a good go, then found I really disliked weddings and gave it up. Now that may sound negative, but it is actually a big positive. I went all in for it. There will never be a need for me to question “should I have done it?” because I did and discovered that it is not for me. A note from Mondo Beyondo is still stuck on my bathroom mirror “Your dreams are worth pursuing.” It has been there from the first day I joined that course, so so many years ago.

    And because it says dreams, not dream, I am currently following my new dream: writing. I am fighting the demons once again, but the battle field is strewn with demon bodies, because I know that if I set my mind to it, I can.

    So thank you

    Reply
  14. Jenny

    You addressed your jewelry shipment packages “To The Amazing…” and my name. I cut out that section and put it on my vision board/dream board. I need a daily reminder that I am amazing, still work in progress to believe it.

    Reply
  15. Cheryl

    Ah, wonderful! One of those was meant for me but I didn’t make it. I bought the ticket for WDS just before a complete financial melt-down and I couldn’t raise the money for the plane ticket and other expenses so I didn’t come. 🙁

    Reply
  16. Fiona Fitzpatrick

    You are scattering stars of lovliness again, Andrea.I love this post. Wish I could’ve been there, wish I could’ve read every note under those chairs and wish you would share every single one of those crazy beautiful blessings. I wonder if you kept a record of them?

    Reply
  17. liz

    I love this post so much! I have mine from the second WDS when I went to your session. It’s on the wall of my studio. You put so much goodness into the world dear girl. Yes.

    Reply
  18. Sara

    I’m actively trying to find ways to write love notes in my life. I feel so drawn to do this. So compelled to spread the magic that’s burbling in my soul into my little corner of the world.
    Thank you, always. I get so much from you.

    Reply

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