As you know, I don’t believe in coincidences, therefore it came as no surprise when a random like on Instagram turned into something so much more. I met Oriana back in December when she liked a photo on my newly created Instagram account. The name of her account caught my attention and I paid her a visit. I fell in love with her work, message, and mission from the moment her feed displayed on my phone.
With images as cute as this is it any wonder it was love at first sight?
Her message is kindness and her mission is to spread it around the world. I contacted her to see if I could feature her here and share some details about Kindness Calendars. She graciously accepted and in the short month that I’ve known her from our email conversations, I’ve connected with her in an amazing way. She has such an incredible vision and can’t wait to see how this grows.
It’s so heartwarming to meet a kindred spirit and I’m so honored our paths have crossed even if only in a virtual manner. I’m very pleased to introduce you to Oriana and have her share about this incredibly inspiring initiative she’s leading to make the world kind again.
If anything should go viral, this is it!
Tell me a little bit about who you are.
I’m a self-proclaimed intimacy addict who loves going deep with people, one-on-one. I resonate deeply with the works of Brene Brown, Byron Katie, Ann Lamott, Ellen, Oprah and Tosha Silver. I’m an INFJ and often struggle to balance my love of people with my craving for solitude. I am very clear that my purpose in this lifetime is heart work. I’m a complete and utter foodie and LOVE to cook, mainly because I LOVE to eat. My ultimate mission/passion is to increase the quotient of positivity in the world. I’m known for my smiles and sunny disposition, but underneath lies a deeply sensitive empath. I love, love, love, to laugh. I firmly believe in one person’s power to affect massive change in the world. I am especially inspired by those in positions of power, who use their influence to spread goodness, kindness, and love like Ellen, Oprah, Jack Johnson, Queen Rania of Jordan, Russell Brand, Justin Trudeau, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Brene Brown, Meryl Streep, Pope Francis, Matt Damon, Emma Watson and so many more.
Kind people are my heroes.
Can you tell us a little bit about what the Kindness Calendar is? It’s a wall-hanging calendar made of fabric and wood, that features 30 little burlap envelopes each made to house one or more laminated act of kindness cards.
As of right now, we offer the following packs:
- Adult – Assorted pack for adults with the acts being tailored to a wide range of lifestyles and financial situations.
- Couple – A pack tailored to couples to help increase intimacy, connection, and joy.
- Kids- broken down into age groups (3-5, 6-11, and 12-17)
- Self-Love – Prompts to promote a healthy self-love, worthiness, and self-confidence.
- Bravery – Inspired by Brene Brown’s work on Bravery and Vulnerability.
- Corporate- Prompts are available for employer, employees, and customers.
What was your intention when creating it?
To transform the world, one Act of Kindness at a time.
What inspired you to create the Kindness Calendar?
Kindness Calendars was born from the painful experience of separating from my partner of 10 years (and husband of 6 years). After spending a couple of months completely engrossed in my heartache and loneliness, I ran into a woman at the grocery store who was visibly distressed. She was desperately trying to convince her 4-year-old to come inside so she could get her grocery shopping done but her daughter was having none of it and adamantly holding her own ground. I couldn’t help but notice the pure exhaustion and look of defeat on the mother’s face. So I stepped in, introduced myself and offered to watch her daughter while she went in to shop. She tearfully accepted and 15 minutes later returned with a glimmer of hope rekindled in her beautiful brown eyes. After she thanked me profusely and we parted ways.
It dawned on me that for those 15 minutes my focus had shifted from me and my pain, to another’s needs. This resulted in a lightness of being, a strong feeling of connection, and a deep sense of elation that I hadn’t felt in months. Committing random acts of kindness became a daily ritual and a means to heal my broken heart. I strongly believe that the speed with which my heart mended is directly correlated to this powerful ritual that brought me out of my head and my ruminating thoughts, and back into my heart space. Having experienced the effects of committing regular acts of kindness in my life, relationships, and overall well-being AND living in a world currently inundated with so much hate, violence and despair – it felt time to share my findings and to help infuse the world with a massive dose of love and kindness. And so was born: Kindness Calendars.
Thank you so much for opening up and sharing the personal experience from which this project was created.
Where did you get the kindness prompts from?
Many sources! Some came from me, some came from several sources online, and others came from friends and family. My friend Keith who runs a successful communications company helped me with the Corporate packs. The kids’ packs were the most challenging because they really needed to be age appropriate – so I got together a little panel of each age group (thank goodness so many of my friends have kids!) and had them help me brainstorm acts that they would feel comfortable committing at school and at home. As an unexpected bonus it was incredibly heartening to see the various groups of children get so excited about the idea of committing regular acts of kindness!
How long has it taken for you to go from idea to finished product?
Almost two years! I didn’t want to rush it or force it, but instead allow it to unfold organically and really allow myself time to gauge if there was a real need for these in the world.
Oriana, thank you so much for your time to answer my questions and for the honor of sharing this with the blog community. I’m wishing you lots of success, may the word spread far and wide, and may you be overwhelmed in the best of ways with the incredible success of this project. Keep shining your light into the world and inspiring others to make the world kind again. ❤
If you’d like to make 2017 a year to focus on kindness, this is the perfect way to incorporate it into your life! I encourage you to get one for your home, workplace, or both! Let’s do our part to make the world kind again. Be sure to reblog or share this post to spread the word about this great way to include kindness in each day.
When sharing on social media, use the tag #maketheworldkindagain to support the cause, boost visibility, and contribute to making this go viral!