Partners in Flowers

As we mentioned in a previous post, we are fortunate enough to have partnered with some local flower providers.  The first that we are going to highlight is Flourish Flower Farm.  We were so excited when we met owner Niki Irving.  She didn't just show up with her own passion to help us get flowers to people but she brought other interested people too!  Thank you Niki for supporting us with flowers and other supporters.  We love handing out your beautiful flowers.  Now check out what Flourish is all about....

Flourish Flower Farm grows specialty cut flowers using sustainable, natural practices in the mountains outside of Asheville, NC. We do not use synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or sprays. Our flowers are truly mountain fresh.

Flourish Flower Farm is owned and loved by Niki & William Irving. After years of traveling while working in outdoor education, running a small business and charter school and volunteering as a farm hand on the side, Niki finally turned the dream of operating a flower farm into reality. She truly believes that flowers make the world a more beautiful, enjoyable place and is inspired by the way a fresh bouquet of flowers can light up someone’s entire face.

We are delighted to supply high quality, fresh, fragrant flowers + unique, garden-style floral designs to Western North Carolina! At Flourish Flower Farm, we believe that beauty is the language of caring.

Donated with LOVE

All week, I've been thinking about this post. How to make it catchy and exciting, because today we got to share our first donated flowers from two awesome partners in flowering kindess! Niki, who owns Flourish Flower Farm and Libby, who owns The Gardener's Cottage in Biltmore Village were so gracious to share some of their beautiful flowers. I wanted to make their first mentioning something SPECIAL. But truth be told, I've had some challenging moments in my brain this week and my creative mind hasn't been feeling very extroverted. Yesterday, in the thick of the muck, I knew I hadn't prepared for the Pop-Up like I had wanted or started on this post and all I wanted to do was call it quits because whatever I did wouldn't hold a candle to the awesomeness that is connecting with Niki and Libby and having them WANT to be a part of this process. 

 

I texted Jeremy and told him I wanted to call off the Pop-Up and as he responded with his calm words of wisdom, I recognized that I was trying too hard to SHOULD this process and make it "look" the right way. I was worried that if I didn't do it perfectly our partners would realize I don't know exactly what I'm doing and be embarrassed to be connected to Power Flower Project. Ummmmm, yeah, then the quiet voice inside asked me the question..."Aren't these fears and worries part of the reason you started doing this whole thing?" Ding, ding, ding! Power Flowering is about showing up and BEING REAL. I'm not sure how long it will take for that lesson to sink into the depths of my brain, but hopefully it will be sooner than later. 

So, I showed up. We had our Pop-Up at Habitat Brewing, with kids running around and the adults cutting and coloring flowers. It wasn't relaxing at all, but it was a gathering and energy towards building community which is exactly what the PFP is striving towards. AND if I had canceled that experience I wouldn't have been able to see my friend ,who has been a supporter from day one, who came with her two boys and brought the awesome gift of the first ever Power Flower Pen! You never know what will happen when you show up!

Every single thing in the picture is a DONATED with LOVE! Thank YOU Niki, Libby, Pauline and Alissa! 

Every single thing in the picture is a DONATED with LOVE! Thank YOU Niki, Libby, Pauline and Alissa! 

 

This morning, while my kids did their kid thing I got to arrange the flowers from Niki and Libby into not one but FOUR vases (which were also donations from my lovely neighbor!) We headed out to run errands and act randomly in kindness with our beautifully community contributed Power Flowers. 

We gave them to a woman in the Aldi parking lot as she walked by and commented on how beautiful the flower drawing was. At the bank, we shared them with the bank teller. And tonight, when I get to go on a long-overdue date with my husband, we will pass along the remaining two bouquets. 

Once again, as I drop into the process of the PFP, my system is settled and my brain is reminded what my heart already knows...cultivating kindness and compassion AND actively sharing it rewires my brain and allows me to be the REAL ME! Onward I grow...ever grateful for all the people who are a part of the process. 

 

 

Partners in Kindness - Ben's Bells

Our empty Partners page is looking a bit sad with all of zero partners listed.  This isn't because we are friendless, cold, undesirable kindness fools, destined to trod this journey to bring kindness and compassion to the dark places all by our lonesome (Ohh boy).  Truth is,  it is intentional.  Of course we are looking to add partners both local and afar to join us in our mission and various projects.  Remember, we can't go it alone.   But we also wanted to take the time to acknowledge those who partnered with us from the start.  Those who shined some kindness our way when we weren't sure we were so deserving.  Who knows, maybe we'll make this a regular thing indefinitely. 

To start, we chose to highlight Ben's Bells and it's founder Jeanette Maré.  Check out the intro to Ben's Bells provided on their website...

We were fortunate enough to get connected with Jeannette around the time the Power Flower Project was beginning to take shape.  Clearly, Ben's Bells is inspiration enough to go outside, get face to face with some humans and pollinate some kindness but Jeannette offered us a wee bit more.  She provided us with guidance on how to follow our passion as we looked to dig deeper into the work of kindness. Jeannette cheered us on and gave us hope that our small acts of kindness could have a much bigger impact. This may have been a small thing in her eyes but it was quite meaningful to us as we took the plunge to create the Power Flower Project.

We love what Ben's Bells is doing and hope to find ways to partner with them further in the future. Until then, we will continue to root each other on in spreading kindness in our communities.  If you are ever in Tucson, AZ stop by one of their studios and keep an eye out for their "Be Kind" logo, it is quite literally everywhere.  Thank you Ben's Bells for intentionally focusing on kindness and educating so many on the impact it can have. 

Follow Ben's Bells at:

https://bensbells.org/

Instagram: bensbells

Twitter: @bensbells

https://www.pinterest.com/bensbells/

https://www.youtube.com/user/bensbells

https://www.facebook.com/BensBellsProject

 

 

 

 

When life feels like shittake, make COOKIES

Remember yesterday, when I talked about how taking action, no matter how small, matters? Doing the little things, rather than getting stuck in the muck? It works! And it is healing. And here's a beautiful example...

My cousin is a high school teacher in the public schools in Hilton Head, SC. She is one of the many people in my life who have been working for years to make a difference in the lives of young people in public schools and needless to say all of the political happenings with with the Department of Education have taken a toll on her ability to stay positive. 

This morning, this post graced my facebook feed and my first thought was "YES!!!! Every little positive action makes a ripple!" 

I asked her if I could share this with the Power Flower Project community (Yep, if you are reading this, you are a part of it!!) She responded with these words, which I find so heartfelt and true...

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So, yes, I may sound like a broken record...BUT at least it's a positive broken record. Every action we take to share kindness is an opportunity to balance out all of the shittake that we are faced with every day. We have to MAKE, FIND, and ACKNOWLEDGE the beauty when we experience it. 

Onward, Power Flower People...may we be kind and loving EVEN in our darkest hours. 

Dear Me, Get the Hell Out of MY WAY!

 

I have this friend, and she knows A LOT...I was listening to her give a talk about our nervous system and leading with the frontal brain. How the main job of that part of our brains is to find out what is wrong, to protect us from danger to FIX the problem and then find another one. Obviously this is a very important part of our survival.  But the thing is, especially in the society most of us live in where water, shelter and food are easy to access, we don't need to be in constant survival mode....but our brains don't know that. 

So today, when I woke up with cold my first instinct was to fight that shit with some hard core cold medicine. But I can't, because I'm growing a baby...which then started my brain into a ping-ponging of "woe is me" and "get over your spoiled self" and quickly escalated into some serious harsh fighting words which then shuts me down to do anything productive or adult like. 

I let that happen for a little while, but then I remembered...I have the knowledge and ability to snap out of that cycle. All of the money spent on therapy hasn't gone to waste!!! 

So I took a lot of deep breaths, I did what I call the "crazy lady self-talk" where I sat in my room and had an out loud conversation with the ping-ponging parts of my self AND LISTENED! And low and behold, I heard. All that jabber was just fluff to cover up the fact that I needed to hear "Hey, it does suck that you feel crappy and tired and still have to take care of little people and do adult things. I'm sorry and I understand and I know that you are capable. Just take one thing at a time." 

Usually I call someone and hope that they will read my mind and tell me those things, but this time I said those affirming words to myself...AND IT WORKED! I felt validated, as well as motivated to keep moving forward. So forward I went... I took a few minutes to write a Power Flower note, then headed out to the bank and the mail box and the grocery store. AND then to the bus stop, where I drove past a woman who was sitting alone waiting for the bus. I pulled into the parking lot, walked down the sidewalk and happily approached her with the beauty of simple flowers. She told me that it made her day and asked to give me a hug, which I happily accepted...and then knocked her phone out of her hand and cracked the screen...BUT alas it's the beauty within the chaos and the mess that we can focus on, right?! 

 

So friends, to all of us humans with brains that over think and over fix, let's remember that usually it's just because we need some extra comfort and validation. Let's stop getting in our own way...and do things, no matter how little. 

Kindness Continuum

Hi there Power Flower fans, this is Jeremy.  That's right, not Corey.  It's okay. Don't freak out.  Breathe deep.  You are still in the right place.  For those who don't know me, I'm a part of the Power Flower Project and at times will be contributing to some of the content you find here and on our other social media sites.  Oh, well it's a pleasure to meet you too, thanks. You guys are too kind.  Okay, glad we have that out of the way.  Now, One of the things that you will begin to notice is that we are expanding our content beyond Power Flowering posts.  One of these such posts will be to highlight where we are seeing kindness out there in the world. We here at PFP are very aware that we are just a small slice of the greater kindness continuum. There are so many different people spreading love, compassion and kindness, in so many creative ways, that we just have to share some of them with you.   So, without further ado.......

Recently I had the opportunity to see the band Cloud Cult for the first time.  I'm a sucker for any band who expresses a philosophy through their music.  For Cloud Cult they are this wonderful mix of science, spirituality and humanity all wrapped up in quirky chamber rock. If there is any band who is putting out some goodness into this world it is Craig Minowa (lead singer/scientist) and Cloud Cult.   I don't know if I have ever experienced such a generous, sweet and kind energy from the stage before.  I mean, Craig himself responded to an email I sent to their website regarding content on the band that I could no longer find.  He pointed me to the On Being podcast I have attached below, which I highly recommend you give a listen.  The Cloud Cult story is so beautifully tragic and if you get the chance to see their documentary, "No one said it would be easy," you wont be disappointed.  Like the Power Flower Project much of Cloud Cult's energy and movement began out of a desperate need to heal.  Craig and his wife Connie (who paints live during shows) unexpectedly lost their 2 year old son back in 2002.  This of course sparked dark times but led to healing and some beautiful music.  It has also led to lyrics that at times feels right out of the Power Flower Manifesto (we do not have a manifesto).

Someone tell the devil we don’t need no hell.
We’re all pretty good at beating up ourselves
. - No Hell
 
I’m done being stupid and worried and dramatic, so I lay down my every disguise
So if ever I can’t see the magic around me, please take my hands off my eyes.
I don’t know where we’re from, but we came here to be.
We came here to be courageous.
- Through the Ages

We here at PFP clearly love words and find them powerful. (See our unfiltered posts and web pages plastered with words from our supporters).  And while so many lyrics and interviews from Craig offer inspiration and connect emotionally as well as philosophically with our mission, I'd like to bring two interview quotes to your attention. 

From an NPR story Craig discusses the loss of his son through the understanding of thermodynamics...

To that point, he has his own take on the first law of thermodynamics. "Basically, what it says is that energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be transformed," Minowa says. "So any kind of energy that you put out there never goes away. Everything that we did together, every moment that we had together, everything that he felt and everything that I felt for him still resonates out there in the universe. And I refuse to believe anything less than the idea that I'll somehow be with my son again."

And from the On Being podcast...

There was a fact that I read. All of physical matter, as we know, is made of energy. And all physical matter can be converted back into energy. And it takes a tremendous amount of energy to make the smallest particle of matter. And so in the average human body, there’s 7×10 to the 18th power joules of energy. And that translates into 30 hydrogen bombs. Just this physical body right here, the energy in it, is equivalent to 30 hydrogen bombs I have right now. And that’s my only guarantee. I don’t know about tomorrow, but I have right now, and I’ve got this power. What am I going to do with it?

So as the Power Flower Project starts this new leg of its journey, I can't help but think about all of this energy we have in us.  What will we do with it and what kind of energy will we put out into the universe?  We want to thank Cloud Cult for being a part of the soundtrack to this experience and we hope that you will join us in putting an energy of kindness out into the universe that never goes away.  I can't wait to see what we all do together.

https://www.cloudcult.com/

@cloudcult

@cloud_cult

I Power Fower