Okay folks. I’m going to bash out a bit of a phew here. What a week / year / life it’s been.
Thank goodness for the Message Eggs I received recently. Seriously. Sustaining this cracked vision to love bomb the world, one sparkly, seedy egg at a time, gets a bit tiring, and I sure need a break.
What’s been keeping me going is, well, you! The people who wrote me Message Eggs (my first ever, more on that soon), the people who come and write the most amazing messages for each other, the people who commission us to celebrate the lucky folk they care about – and the people who receive Message Eggs and are so generous in sharing their stories with us.
Gra built our operating system and it’s called Panda. I have a whole metaphor about what we’re doing being bamboo for pandas. So I have this little panda face go “ping” on my phone every time someone leaves a message for someone. And if I’m feeling a bit low or tired, I go read them and my heart fills. SUCH good messages. So much more than what we usually see in greeting cards, on facebook. The kind of stuff we only seem to say to each other when we are really drunk at parties, in wedding speeches, falling in love or sitting with someone who’s really struggling.
We even got new business cards, all different ones, featuring some of our favourite messages. Such good fun choosing which one to give, in the moment, to suit the person. This one went to Simon Gale, a new social enterprise colleague from Upstream. Too true!
I don’t know how many times I’ve told the story of what we are doing and why. It still brings tears to my eyes and I know I’m not the only one.
It’s been a year of highs and lows and everything in between. It’s the moments of flowing hum I like best really. More of that please.
We gently relaunched as Message Eggs a little over month ago, with our brand new name, website and all your inspirational, funny, heart warming case studies. Every time I read Paul’s and Kathryn’s, I remember why I’m doing this. All of them are unique and real and beautiful. Have a look if you haven’t already. New one’s coming all the time. We’ve had to water some of your comments down, they’ve been so positive! And your suggestions are all being taken on board too. We’re growing this every expanding circle together.
“He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in”
– Edwin Markham
Since then we’ve taken on a series of new commissions in England and Australia, and started to plan our proper launch to the world. Three recent commissions – a 50th birthday, a 70th and a ruby wedding anniversary – all involved people getting really sick or dying along the way. In one instance, a father left a message for his daughter just a few days before he died, saying something true and pure that surely would not have been said, and needed to be.
We’ve also become a member of Social Enterprise UK reflecting why we exist – “business where society profits”. We’ve been part of that world since 1996 and aim to keep growing in how we impact the fundamental human needs to:
- Be loved, appreciated and respected for who we simply are
- Belong, feel connected to others who care about us
- Feel good about ourselves and what we have achieved, no matter how humble
- Laugh, cry, create happy memories
Create a positive life story while living and, especially, before dying.
So many other milestones I can’t even think of now. But just to say, thank you. To our team and advisors for putting up with me, to you all.
I’m off to the Buddhafields Village Retreat in Dartmoor for the 10th happy year in a row, then working remotely from Sardinia for a couple of weeks re-creation. Have made a start on the book I am writing to gift to you all for winter reflection – “How to live a loving life”. It starts with self love, but it’s not linear.
Hopefully this time of self love will involve more painting than working. Let’s see if I can hold the obsession at bay. Taking oils and a microscopic photo of the first moments of life! A fertilised egg. Hopefully to be a friend’s grandchild. I’ll be painting from it and sending blessings on this little being who is currently making his or her mother rather sick. A welcome sign after IVF.
Cradle to grave love. One day there will be an exhibition.
See you in September.