Today's post is part of a segment on Positively Present called "Positive Change." Posts labeled "Positive Change" are featured periodically on Positively Present and will highlight the people, websites, and organizations that are striving to make the world a more positive place. Today's feature is an interview with the founders of One Kind Word Project, a website making a positive change in the world by using words to make the world a kinder place. If haven't already heard of the project, please check it out and also take a moment to consider how you can use kind words in your life. Just one kind word can make a BIG difference!
The inspiration for One Kind Word came while I was stomping around my neighborhood after a long, tough day at work. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the evening air, I found myself mentally reviewing all the things I'd been doing wrong. All of my thoughts centered around the same rhinoceros of doubt -- you're just not good enough.
Finally, I had the good sense to stop myself. In the middle of a crooked, brick pathway, I made a resolution to speak at least one kind word to myself everyday. I had a strong sense that just one word would be enough, as long as it was gentle, uplifting and most importantly, true. Life is hard enough without the added burdens we place on ourselves.
From there, I started gathering a creative team of people who were interested in the idea of exploring and experimenting with kindness. As we get deeper and deeper into the project, we see it change and grow all the time.
2. What message do you hope to spread?
Seek and cultivate the soft places of your heart and soul. Dwell in the deep places of your imagination. Let go of doubt, shame, and fear. Celebrate small, sweet things, even if (or maybe because) life is difficult. Extend kindness to yourself and others. Write it on your heart, wear it on your sleeve. If you can't speak very loudly, whisper.
3. Can others get involved?
Yes! We would love to have others join with us in writing, drawing, photographing, sewing, letterpressing, painting, crafting and imagining. The project is now in blog form, but it will eventually exist as a printed anthology, which will be published through an imprint of my sweet, small publishing house, Capital City Books. We welcome contributions of any form, any tone, any length, and all entries to the blog project will eventually be considered for the book.
4. What are some of your favorite posts?
Two of a kind
Even when it's hard
Walk your road
My heart, in a sea of purple
5. Your site is so inspiring! What inspires you in your life?
Seeing the creative sparks in those around me inspires me. As a small, independent publisher, I get to collaborate with amazing people -- writers, artists, editors, designers. I love it when authors share the joy they felt when they finally overcame their self-doubt and had the courage to finish an important project.
Very few things in the world are as beautiful as seeing someone go from feeling stymied and doubtful as they stand in awe of the creativity of others to feeling the strength to tap into their own talents and abilities. Inevitably, their work turns out to be far more powerful, beautiful and unique than they ever dreamed. It sounds corny, but it is very much like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon.
Seeing this creative courage on a daily basis has made me realize that way more than half the challenge comes from the limits we place on ourselves. That's why I think kind words are so important. We've got to let those messages of encouragement and empowerment soak into our souls if we're going to do the glorious things that we were meant to do.
6. If you had to pick one word to represent the entire Project, what would it be?
7. What is the ultimate purpose for the site?
Since we work as a team (of writers, photographers, designers, illustrators), we'd love to see the boundaries of our creative collective grow. We want to share our tender, whimsical words and ideas, but we also very much want others to join us. So many wonderful things happen when people can encourage each other and become a true community.
As an extension of that focus, we will be donating a significant portion of our book proceeds to a local non-profit organization, Tricycle Gardens, which creates beautiful, delicious gardens and green spaces in urban communities in and around Richmond, Virginia.
More more information on One Kind Word Project, visit the website at www.onekindwordproject.org. Or, check out One Kind Word on: Facebook, on Twitter @KindWordProject, or on Flickr. In addition, one of One Kind Word Project's contributors, Emily Smolak, has an amazing blog of her own. Check it out at Sassy Smolak: Vintage Fun, Rad Photos & Rockin' Inspiration.
Know of a person, organization, or website making a positive difference in the world?
Share it in the comment section and it may be featured in "Positive Change"!