photo courtesy of Fair Trade Friday, text added
It's true that horrible things happen (on a daily basis, it seems like), but the choice of whether or not to dwell on them is ours. We can set up our tents in the valley of the Fallen and grumble about the weeds - or we can climb to the mountaintop, the better to see the sunrise from, and sing about the flowers. We can use our energy like the precious resource that it is, lifting up the Beautiful and suppressing the bad by default.
A few weeks ago, in an attempt to salvage a bad day in a series of bad days, I sat down to do an exercise that I call but good. I write out everything that's happened that I perceive as negative - pretending that it doesn't exist doesn't make it go away, so I acknowledge it and its effect. But then I write over it, listing all of the good things that have happened, too. I was so flustrated by the inconvenient layout of the grocery store we went to that I forgot to get a box of tea I was wanting. But I did remember all of the necessary things on my list, and I still have some of the Harney & Sons Paris tea that Rebekah sent me so I can drink that this afternoon. It's my (usually successful) attempt to bury the negative in positive.
Here's an excellent but good: there are refugees from Nepal, Burma, and Bhutan in Houston Texas. They don't speak English, and they receive government help for not-long-enough and are then expected to take care of themselves. From this need, the Refugee Project was founded - art business classes and an outlet for the items that they make to be sold.
That outlet was originally the Fair Trade Friday club - beautiful monthly subscription boxes filled with goodies made by and empowering women all over the world. Then they added the Earrings of the Month Club, which I immediately signed up for. I've gotten four pairs so far, which have gone to augment my own collection and to help me get a head start on Christmas gifts (a great way to share what I love, both awareness and the beautiful items themselves).
I love earrings, and I love knowing that my purchase helps someone somewhere in the world, living such a different life yet not so different than me, in that she wants to help herself and her family with dignity. I like having a story to tell when someone comments on them, and being able to credit them when I use them in a design shoot. I had so much fun with City Girl - the knitting of it, the photoshoot that doubled as a date night with my handsome photographer/husband, the local coffee shop that was our dinner and backdrop, and getting to wear my first pair of earrings-of-the-month.
Shopping small is something I'm passionate about - local businesses and global artisans alike. I'm just a little voice in a sea of voices, but I'd like to use what voice I have to speak out about worth-while things. I'd like to share about the causes I care about - things like Mercy House (which I wrote about last fall). People and organizations that are dwelling beautifully, adding to the beauty in their Kingdom-corner, spreading light and life and hope and love.
photo courtesy of Fair Trade Friday
Because I love to share the things I'm passionate about, I'm giving away one pair of my favorite Earrings-of-the-Month yet - these gorgeous Tears of Joy earrings from India (giveaway pair is the silver-and-gold on the far right). Enter below, and check out Fair Trade Friday, the Earrings-of-the-Month club, and the Mercy House shop for more ways to change the world and look good doing it!
Beautiful dwelling is praising what's worthy of praise, and diminishing the impact of the negative by lifting up the lovely.