Monday, February 14, 2011

practice love. be generous.

sasha dichter wrote on her blog the other day about rebooting valentine's day as generosity day, asking for it to be "one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying “yes.” let’s make the day about love, action and human connection – because we can do better than smarmy greeting cards, overpriced roses, and stressed-out couples trying to create romantic meals on the fly." she talks about how we can do this by setting the "goal to spend valentine’s day being more generous, giving more money, sharing of yourself, being of service. all acts of generosity, small and big alike, count. but you have to say "yes" to everything that’s asked of you, all day long! it’s about creating more generosity in the world, and becoming a more open person along the way."

i've been thinking about this today as i've gone about my day's routines. remembering to be more generous. opening doors. sharing what i have with others as i encounter them. leaving generous tips. baking a huge pile of heart shaped cookies for my neighbors. gifting quilts to those who are in need of their warmth and love. donating clothes and food to local charities.

this has brought such warmth and joy to those around me and in my community. to my heart as well. i'm quite certain that this will be a continued tradition in my home. i would be honored to hear about any of your experiences inspired by these thoughts today! or, in honor of this week being national random acts of kindness week, of your experiences inspired by these thoughts throughout this week! that's it. no giant hoops to jump through. just share one of your experiences of generosity in the comment section of this post!

as my last act of generosity this week, i will be drawing a name at random from all comments made to this post between now and sunday, february 20, 2011, relating your act of generosity or random act of kindness and will be awarding that person with a special woven heart small cloth (measuring 6" X 7"). this small cloth sports a freehand heart woven from strips of cotton fabrics up-cycled and repurposed from my wardrobe, embellished with a heart applique cut from a scrap of vintage quilting cotton, all hand stitched to a vintage woven cotton napkin backing cloth. this heart-felt small cloth can be used by itself to adorn your wall, counter top, journal cover...or could be repurposed and incorporated into one of your own creations!

i will announce the winner next monday, february 21st. be sure to include your email address or to check back on monday so that i may send you your gift! if i have been unable to contact you and have not heard from you by the 23rd, i will draw another name, so stay tuned!

now, go out and be generous! spread love and kindness where ever you go!



  1. Thanks for the invite to your blog. Who could resist "manhandledthreads"? I love the name...made me smile...creative.

    Montana is one of my most favorite places so that was a second surprise. And the the quote from thich nhat hanh.....guess I better be a follower to see what other wonderful things are going on at your blog.

    I second your motion to spread love to everyone....I think about that as being my mantra....acceptance and love.....because it seems to be what we all really want and why not skip the meals on the

    Have a great day.


  2. What a lovely idea. I always try and pay it forward when a good deed comes my way so imagine if all the people you helped today did that too. All the waves and ripples it would create.

  3. Sometimes a smile is all another needs to brighten their day. The acknowledgement that they have been seen. What a wonderful tradition to start and continue through the year. Then on 2/14/12, you can reflect on all the love you sent and received. How is Piper? Our Nels is holding his own. I tried some catnip therapy and he raised his head. ;)

  4. Beautiful post! I sometimes make little note cards that I do a little drawing on and say someting sweet or inspiring inside, sometimes I put a dollar inside too and then I leave them around town in places they will be found.
    I hope Piper is okay. xoxo

  5. I Love the idea of leaving notes around the town! I put inspirational quotes and notes such as Your beautiful or have a nice day in libary books. I also follow operation nice...

    very inspiring!

  6. I decided Valentine's Day would be my day of "gratitude".
    So, I left little cards for people saying I was grateful for them and
    knowing them. What was so much fun is that they did not even
    expect it from me. Inwardly, I kept affirming what I was grateful
    for when I thought about it.

  7. since my dad died in october i have been very aware of the brevity of things in our life. i made a list of all the people who have helped me, inspired me or just plain been there for me and have been working my way through it and writing to each of them - by hand NO email!

    and speaking of helping others, have your heard of craft hope? it is an organization that helps through handcrafts. i just signed on to make a baby bag and blanket to send to haiti. since you love fabric it might be just up your alley.

    anywho, have a lovely day. and, p.s., it would be great to win. my birthday is on the 21st!!!!!

    cheers! olwyn

  8. Always add a dose of compassion and empathy. :)
    helen salo

  9. Hi Joe, I am taking the time to sign up for you drawing for the heart, as the idea is really lovely. As an old person I do wish there was less squabbling and war. However, power is the devil and it corrupts. I would love to win this heart to renew my view of love. Again I want to say I am so impressed by your blog.

  10. Hi Joe, this is a wonderful idea. I believe i'll be adopting it for future generosity days :) I think each little thing we do spontaneously to give a hand is good. It can be as simple as reaching an item on a store shelf that somebody else is struggling to get. It's always kinder to reach out and help a person in any type of need than to walk on past.

  11. Wow - love that transformation of Valentine's Day. Sounds like a great philosophy for life. Your act of generosity is marvelous & the heart is wonderful!

  12. Hi Jo and thanks for coming on board to follow me too.
    The sooner it becomes "Generosity Day" the better! It is even a shame that we need to devote "a day" to this occasion. It saddens me as it should be automatic that we try to live everyday sharing our lives in acts of kindness. You don't even need to leave your home to do this. Jeff, my husband, and I are building a room on to a small flat that we have on our property so Maggie (recently separated!) who lives in it has her own bedroom which at present is in her studio/living space. This room gives her privacy and a place for her son to sleep in when he wishes to visit her. This is our way of trying to help another person in need.
    Your heart is simple, beautiful and so colourful. It could be put into a small knee quilt and given as a gift even.

  13. Mornin Joe! Thank you for coming over to my place for a visit, and your comment on my Tango Cat! She's further along right now and if I ever get a break from homework I'll finish her and post it on my lonely blog. I have so much to say on there... and it's been so neglected.
    It's funny, on Valentines Day I decided to smile and greet anyone I made eye contact with on the college campus. Wow, I was absolutely AMAZED at the result! So many people struck up a brief conversation with me. One girl looked so happy and radiant when she went on to class and she must have turned around half a dozen times to tell me how much she enjoyed talking to me. It was the same result several times as the day went on. It felt so good that I've been doing it all week. There are a LOT of lonely, sad students on campus with me. Sometimes it's just too easy to plow through your day going from one thing to the next, and you miss so much by not taking the time to connect to the people around you. Anyway, I hope I win your birthday is the 23rd! It would make a lovely birthday present!

    :~) Debi

  14. Joe I'm so pleased I found your oasis of a blog ..if you spread the love it comes back tenfold .....this is for sure .....Love sent to you for sharing this gorgeous little heart ...and if you ever want to swap a little love let me know i love swapping ATCs and postcards and hearts .....x