Archive for January, 2011
Were you inspired by Sew Honeybee’s story and beautiful creations? We will have a section dedicated to volunteering your time and talent in the new get involved section of the Joyful Heart website.
As a self proclaimed crafter (knitting, crochet, card making, sewing and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on) I am always interested in what other people are creating and I am VERY interested in a good DEAL!
You can shop for yarn, quilting supplies and fabric, scrapbook supplies and much more at Joann Fabrics using GoodShop and 4 – 5% of your total can benefit JHF if you select us as your beneficiary. You can also use GoodSearch to search for free projects and patterns, each time you search 1 cent will be donated to the Foundation. Those pennies add up! We’ve already earned over $1,600 thanks to GoodSearchers like you!
And in addition to a percentage of your purchase being donated to Joyful Heart, GoodShop also has coupons and discount codes you can use to save money. When I last visited, GoodShop was offering 40% off one item and free shipping for purchases over $50.
Knitting, crochet and other rhythmic needlework is said to have many health benefits including preventing and managing stress, pain and depression and lowering blood pressure and heart rate, all which strengthen the body’s immune system. The repetitive movements are said to activate the same areas of the brain as meditation and yoga. So crafting is good for your mind, body and spirit!
Joyful Heart is so inspired by what all of you are doing to give back to your local communities. We’ve created this People Giving Back section to share stories about our supporters and all their great ideas for helping to spread our mission and help survivors of violence and abuse.
Sew Honeybee has been sending handmade quilts to domestic violence and rape crisis centers to show their support in a crafty way. I was so inspired by the incredible quilts that Sew Honeybee was sending. What a beautiful and creative way to show someone in need that their community feels for them and wishes to provide them some simple comfort during a difficult time.
Here is Sew Honeybee’s story:
I discovered the Joyful Heart Foundation accidentally one day after a Law & Order: SVU episode that I wanted more information about. At the time, I was unemployed and moving back home. I had been toying with the idea of starting a sewing business. As I packed, I thought about how I would like to donate to JHF, but I knew that I could not help financially. I thought about trying to sell a quilt and send the proceeds to the Foundation, but I didn’t think I had the advertising power to sell something, even on the Foundation’s behalf.
I knew of a few quilting organizations that gave quilts to people in need. I decided that if I could not send money, I could at least help by sending my talent. I made the art quilt Joyful Kaleidoscope, and I had always intended to frame it and sell it. Instead, I framed it and sent it to JHF.
The second quilt I sent was much more functional. I thought the cheerful colors and Carebear theme would brighten a child’s day, and I hoped that someone would love it and drag it all over the place.
I made the third quilt, Sand & Seaglass, because I was inspired by the JHF website design and the organization’s unique programming.
I took on an ambitious project in the fourth quilt I sent, Mending Hearts. I chose a full-sized scrap quilt design that also reminded me of JHF. The hearts on the quilt are not a single fabric, but rather a patchwork of similar colored fabrics sewn together. Many who suffer rape and domestic violence find that their heart is in pieces. I felt that this quilt represented how JHF helps mend their hearts, so they once again feel whole.
As I was about to send another quilt, I received an e-mail from JHF, thanking me for the quilts and suggesting I send them to a local shelter. I found TESSA of Colorado Springs, and brought them the Blue Kitty baby quilt.
I am honored that I was asked to share my story, and I hope that it helps inspire others to give help where they can. Although most shelters need money the most, sometimes a home-made item can bring comfort in an otherwise bad situation.
Because Joyful Heart does not serve as a shelter or crisis center, we sent Sew Honeybee’s beautiful designs to a local DV shelter with which we partner. And we want to encourage Sew Honeybee and any of you who might be interested in sharing your talent with survivors to look to your local shelters and centers and find out if they accept donations of this kind. And if you’re looking for inspiration on what to make, there are many crafting sites that can help you. More on those soon!
Are you crafting to support a local rape crisis center or DV shelter? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Metta Kindness Practice
The Buddha gave a beautiful teaching on the development of lovingkindness called the Metta Sutta (also known as the Karaniya Metta Sutta). I think it’s a perfect practice to follow during the darker, quieter winter months.
To begin, find a comfortable seat, take a few moments to quiet your mind and focus your attention on your breath. Noticing the inhale and exhale, feel the air flowing in and out of your nostrils. You will begin by offering Metta to yourself. If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them, you can make a mental note or label them and then gently return to your concentration.
Visualize yourself and repeat the following phrases several times:
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I be at peace.
May I be free of suffering and the roots of suffering.
When you feel connected, move on to a person that you love, someone who makes you feel joy. Visualize them and repeat mantra to them:
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be at peace.
May you be free of suffering and the roots of suffering.
Next, chose a neutral person. It could be the person at the grocery store, bodega, someone in your neighborhood… anyone you feel no strong connection to. Visualize this person and offer the mantra to them: May you be safe… May you be…
Now move on to a person who you are in conflict with or struggle with somehow. Offer them the same mantra: May you be safe… May you be…
Finally, repeat the mantra for all living beings, yourself included:
May we be safe.
May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we be at peace.
May we be free of suffering and the roots of suffering.
Sit and take 3 – 5 breaths before opening your gaze and when you feel ready, gently open your eyes.
I began dreading the onset of winter in October, convinced it was only an enjoyable time for lovers and people who have kids. My anxiety about the impending winter grew as it drew closer and I found myself fantasizing about escaping the city, going somewhere, anywhere other than where I was, where surely I could go through my process in a more uplifting environment.
But alas… there I was… here I am. Seeing no other option, I embraced the uncomfortable spectrum of my human experience, eyes wide open. As the days became shorter and the on-set of darkness enveloped much sooner than I was prepared, I felt the threads of light hanging on, somewhere deep beneath the surface. I am graced with presence of an amazing support system, which fueled my resolve, to not only sit with what was going on with me internally, but dive head first into its depths, with the intention to stay with my suffering until I learned it’s lessons.
As I released my resistance and moved into acceptance, I found myself more liberated and present than ever. That’s when I re-discovered the gifts of winter. What better time to serve my process! A season that allows–and in some parts of the world forces–us to rest, reflect, hybernate, germinate, retreat into the cave and sit in the slow-time, looking within while planting the seeds for the new patch of ourselves that we will harvest in the spring. The dark-time, the winter time, became just the healing I needed. The cycle of death that Winter holds, whispers a promise of rebirth as the light once again emerges.
Darktime by Shae Savoy
So the way the lip of night
curls protectively around starkling moon-grey days
doesn’t have to be
Winter isn’t evil
The dark gives rise to cusps,
a sweetly nestled seedling cupped and precious
in the Dark Mothers
We revolve too hotly around the sun,
value the detached transcendence of
incandescent bulbs and a certain maleness
of solar authority.
The Dark half of the year suits me just fine.
Winter time. The Dream Time.
Worms and calligraphy.
A quiet turning under, the underbelly
A rich velvet basket,
stars and fog tucked around the edges.
The Dark, my love, is a
When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.
- Carl Jung