The Creative Kindness Project: a compassionate, caring way to spread kindness to others
I am so excited for this guest post by Sarah Ness, PhD because she created The Creative Kindness Project and I know your clients and students are going to love this amazing project, which is simple for you to implement and can help make the world a brighter place!
Creative Kindness: The soul care we all need
Sarah is a creative wellness expert and the founder of Arts in Health Institute. She believes that everyone is creative and everyone can benefit from the power of arts engagement. She thrives on developing new projects, like The Creative Kindness Project and her upcoming podcast called Dearest Stress, to encourage creative wellness and community health. Learn more and contact Sarah at drsarahness.com.
It’s no secret that the past year has been exceptionally challenging for most of us. Let’s be honest, 2020 will go down in history as a year full of stress, struggle, and chaos. But, if we dig deep enough through all of that mess, I believe that we can find some hidden beauty. For me, the hidden beauty of 2020 was found in the lessons and insight that only such times can unearth. One unavoidable insight came in the wake of the intense divide that surfaced in this country. Divide over the pandemic, divide over politics, divide over racism, divide over violence. So much heated division.
Poet Theodore Roethke once wrote, “In a dark time, the eye begins to see."
And, in the midst of all this dark divide, one thing became crystal clear: we have a major kindness crisis on our hands.
So much division, and so little empathy. So much hate, and so little compassion. So much violence, and so little kindness. It’s a heartbreaking reality, and it compelled me to take action.
As a creative wellness expert, my go-to action is creativity. I believe fiercely in the power of the arts, and I know it’s an effective tool. My 15 years of professional work has allowed me to dive deep into the heart of creativity and study its impact on the mind, body, and soul. Creativity feeds our soul, and kindness is an expression of our soul. From this perspective, the antidote to our kindness crisis lies in the roots of the soul.
The Deepest Level of Self-Care
Tending to our soul, what I like to call soul care, is the deepest level of self-care. It’s the good stuff that we feel in a visceral way, and it’s essential to whole-person health and well-being. I talk about soul care in my online course on Burnout Relief and Creative Resilience for Mental Health Professionals, and one of the key elements of soul care is altruism.
Altruism encompasses kindness, compassion, and helping others. And while acts of such kindness are selflessly given to benefit others, the inherent mutual benefits are undeniable. It nourishes the souls of all. In the game of human kindness, everyone wins.
But wait, it can get even better. When we add in creativity, the combination magnifies the impact. Making art is a personal process. We put a piece of ourselves into what we create. Making something, and then giving it in kindness, promotes a deeply meaningful soul exchange. It’s pure organic food for the soul - exactly what we all need right now.
The magical combination of creativity and kindness has the power to unite and bring us together. This is why The Creative Kindness Project was started. It’s a passion project to help mend division and practice creative compassion.
This project invites everyone to get creative and make a kindness card. All cards are donated to shelters and nursing homes to spread love and kindness throughout our communities. The act of creating and donating a card feeds our soul and boosts our sense of well-being. And, when a person receives a card, the shared love and compassion is felt and feeds their soul, too. Everyone benefits and healing begins.
I want to make and donate as many kindness cards as possible, and I need your help. I’m calling on all creative and kind souls to take action with me. Get creative, make a card, and send it to The Creative Kindness Project to be included in the donations.
The Instructions Are Simple:
1) Create a 4x6 or 5x7 Creative Kindness Card
A homemade card created with love Draw it, paint it, collage it, color it… get creative! Add encouraging words, affirmations, and/or a note of love and compassion. The ONLY rule is the size limit of 5”x7”
2) Send your creation to The Creative Kindness Project
Find their mailing address here.
Sarah will receive your card and include it in The Creative Kindness Project donations! She will place your card in a clear plastic sleeve to keep is safe and clean. Then, she will donate your card to a community shelter or nursing home to ensure it makes someone’s heart smile.
Join in and make someone’s heart smile. We all need more soul care in our lives - now more than ever!