Share Our Abundance

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Wednesday, 10th of April, 2016

Sometimes I walk out into the back yard and stand between the two big maple trees and ask the universe, “Do I need to give or receive energy today?” I stand there on the soil, with my eyes closed and I either download excess energy (I have a lot)  into the earth or I upload it from the mighty source (because sometimes I do get drained). I have found that both impulses to give or receive are equally as valuable and useful in life – it really does not matter which you need. It is just an inner awareness. It is all energy, and just to clarify, I am not taking or giving anything material, it is just spirit, a vibration and a feeling so I know where am at. After I have done this, I usually hug one of the trees, then I go inside feeling the effects of having received or given. There is never a time when nothing is happening. Something is always happening. Life is either blossoming on the outside, or I need to grow on the inside. “What about rest?” you might say? Well, I do need moments of stillness during the day too, and so meditation, time in the imaginarium and naps are also a very important part of all that is happening. It is all a bit like being aware of gravity. The inhale and exhale, the give and the take, the push and the pull.

Share Our Abundance came to me about two weeks ago. I was super excited when I had the idea, and like with many of the things I think of it was a huge imagination filled with possibilities. With all the exuberance of the world I shared the idea with Cam. “And do you know what else?” I said midway through explaining the idea. “Etsy gives their employees 40 hours a year of paid service to charity, which means I could go into Etsy and find helpers if I wanted to make it bigger!” I said thinking of all the cool people I could tap into. Cam for once sat quietly, he could not think of anything to dispute the idea. I had it all planned in my mind, I would write to Maryanne Moodie, the weaving aficionado, and talk to her, because I know her husband works for Etsy. Of course, before all of that though… it has to start with me.

Ideas are one thing, and there are no shortage of ideas in the world, I mean, I have a billion in my head alone. But the idea can only come to life if you birth it, and that my friends can take some work. This idea however popped out like a fifth child. An hour of pushing, than bam, hello new idea! “I am going to announce this!” I said to myself without blinking an eye. I like when something takes hold of me and I do not have to over think, I just dive in, like it is making love… it is when passion takes hold! Social media really does make it easy to bring a project to life and so without any hesitation I shared the idea with my community.

The first announcement on Instagram went as follows:

“We started an Artist & Designer Charity portal { Share Our Abundance } @shareourabundance proceeds fill a food bank that helps provide quality nutritious food to children in need. There will be many more details to come about how you can be involved. I seem to have my mojo back. Combining my love food, cloth, art and children, which you know I feel so strongly about. Thank you for following along, for all the support. I am so grateful.”

I had no choice but to keep riding the wave of my own enthusiasm. Boxes of clothes had been sitting at the base of my cupboard for weeks. Did you know dresses can talk? Well they can in our house. everything in my worlds talks. You might open a cupboard, and a dress will say in a wistful voice. “I would love to be worn by a playful happy child.” and then you shut that cupboard as quick as can be, because you want that dress trapped in your cupboard forever… forever… ha ha ha (insert evil cackle). Well, not all dress are trapped. Some need to be there forever. “Oh Kirsten, I hope we never part, I look as lovely on you now as the day we met.” I actually don’t have a dress that says that, but wouldn’t that be nice?

So I went to the closet to negotiate with the dresses. This time though, when I opened the cupboard I was very brave and I started sorting. Some items needed to be thoughtfully and lovingly stored away for Grandbabies and so I had a fledgling mama bird by my side. “You can’t get rid of that dress.” Maya shrieked repeatedly, grabbing the cloth and hugging it to her chest. “I want that for my daughters!”

Maya is having three daughters, Lily, Autumn and Peach (Named after the one and only Peachy of course). I looked at the lovely dress in Maya’s hand, remembering my four year old Maya wearing it in Central Park. “I know sweetie, but if I save you 10 dresses for a 4 year old and then you buy and sew another 10 dresses, because we will want to sew and buy dresses new too, then she will have 20 dresses. How many dresses does a four year old need?” Maya put the dress down whilst considering my words. “You are right.” she said, “But let’s keep this one anyway.” I nodded my head, “Well ok then.” and the dress switched piles.

Most of my friends also have more than enough clothes, and so giving them our hand-me-downs would be like taking tea to china. Why offer them more? There needs to be a greater appreciation. Which is where paying for things comes into it… money creates value, it creates exchange.

In part I always rationalised the excess clothing we had with a sense of purpose in supporting small business, and ethical designers who are so often mothers just like me, trying to raise a family. These women are friends, dear and deep friendships were formed through our mutual love of clothes. Even still, with this big pile and all the healing work I have done to make sure it isn’t an addiction, I did not want to step away from supporting them, or them supporting me. So much of my self-development and discovery has come through the relationships I have with these friends. I had so many helpful, you and me, friendships, but there was always a part of me wondering, was I really helping anyone else?

I decided to dissolve that moral dilemma. I found great pleasure in clothes. I was and still am drawn to beautiful things, I can have them and help others in need too. Oh yes, the balancing act of giving and receiving. There is no reason I can not do both. But what about the environment you will say? I will get to that in another post…

Often it is in the rambling newsy letters to friends that I discover what it is I am actually wanting to do. For example, last week when I was filling out my ideas for Share Our Abundance, a lot came tumbling out in a letter of reply to Christine of Boy + Girl . The letter explains it perfectly, so I will share it:

Hello Christine,

​Thank you so much for writing! How are you? Yes, long time no talk or see. I stayed away from the last Playtime :)

Things are well with us. I am working on a charity idea called Share Our Abundance based around selling new or vintage artist & designer items for charity – As you know I was always conflicted and felt I needed to define my purpose with better intent. 

It will basically be that I sell some of the clothes that we have been given through instagram – with all proceeds going into a food bank for underprivileged children. I will launch it with what we have, and then I will open the platform for other families to add to it themselves from where ever they are in the world – Each person will be responsible for their own contribution. I share the sign in password, and individuals can list as little or as much as they like. Then we can all do a little charity work now and then, by doing what we love, which for me, is styling creatively and using social media :)  It adds value to the clothes, making them collector items, and it allows mothers like myself who love clothes, to give back, and make space to have more. It creates a positive cycle, generating another layer of fiscal profit, that then goes to charity. 

Giving the clothes directly to Charity just does not work so well anymore, charities are over run with clothes – and unless the individual sourcing clothes from thrift has a connection to the designer, the clothing item’s value can be lost once it is in a charity bin. A mother who can barely feed her children does not really think twice if a dress found in the thrift store is made in LA or China. With this platform the designer’s beautiful process and value is kept – and the money generated goes to giving what the children in need really need – nutritious food and clean water. There is also a sentimental benefit to the seller too, knowing that the clothes are going to someone who will appreciate it as much as they did, possibly someone they “know”. 

The money made will supply better food or water for low income families. These children need good wholesome food before they need second hand designer clothes. 

So the idea is that Share Our Abundance will provide opportunity to parents  – those that want to be philanthropic by either giving or purchasing something that gives 99% as well as to those in need. 

It took me a long time to realize, food and cloth are so important to me, and I could combine my love of both, by helping myself and helping others. So, with all of that said, I am a little busy now, but I would love to work together again a season in the future if we can connect this way down the track. I admire what you do, and am so grateful you thought of us.

Do take a moment to write back and tell me how you are. 

Kirsten xo

Thank you Christine for allowing me to share my letter to you!

I realized, I can sell clothes and that you can sell whatever you have an abundance of on the same platform. We all could give a little, take responsibility for what we can manage, and all the money goes collectively into the food bank – that we manage. I promote the sellers, with my reach, and so it can potentially extend each others community through good work. We all do a little social media, a little ironing, washing, packaging and postage, and we all get a good feeling from it, and the money generated can be used in a positive way.

I started to visualize myself enjoying the process. Listening to music in the attic while I  ironed the clothes. Using the lint brush as a microphone to sing into as I really got into the feeling of making a living by helping someone else (insert Dolly Pardon; Working 9 to 5 “For service and devotion” part). Then I would go to my nature shelf and do a series of poetic fashion flat-lays to display the clothes, and make everything look so pretty and loved. Snap a few pics, share on insta, then off I go on my lady’s bike, riding to the post office on a perfect Spring day through a sea of petals. My bike basket is full to the brim of brown paper packages tied up with string. I pull up outside my preferred post office, the one with the peace n’ love folks, not the one with the guy that owns the gun riffle range ( I go to that one too, on days I feel like talking about guns), and I remove my bike helmet, and I am just so happy I could skip. I made $100 bucks for charity. Yep, yep, yep, that imagination was great!

“$100 bucks?” Someone might say! “That is all you made?” My face drops a little, but I decided to be chipper anyway and not worry that I raised so little. Becuase after that, I pass the baton. If everyone is happy to raise a little too…. well then you know what happens. We raise lots! Yes you and me are all drops in the river that meets the ocean of life. So get going ladies, imagine yourself on your bike peddling to town singing… “Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!”

What! My favorite things!

Oh dear, ok, yes, let’s go back a bit. I know these favorite things are hard to part with. I am sympathetic, I know how much you love those little moccasins, but you see, leather is best worn, not sitting and going stiff in a box. These used to be your favorite things and now they are going to be someone else’s favorite things. Because you are going to get new things! Ooohhh, yes, it is about generating a high vibration cycle.

Every thing starts with an idea…

After being given the clothes as barter for the photography work and social media promotion we do, it did not seem right to me that I would sell the clothes for my own gain, but better to use the clothes for charity. As I already said, I needed this mode of selling to generate appreciation. This allows us to share our abundance with those who really want it. I know then that all the things are truly loved and that money can be given to those who really need it.

And after me, comes your turn. That is the most important part about this, is that I can not do it alone. It will take you as well! Some of you will be effortlessly pulled in because you are inspired to do something beautiful and you have a lot to give, and some of you may feel pushed into it by a universal moral conscience. For others it will be a little of both. It is all ok, it is all good. Thank you for being here, thank you for being you.

I do hope you feel moved to become part of Share Our Abundance Charity Collective. It is proof we are all woven together, we all make up the tapestry of each others lives, and together we can shuttle each others passions through the warp and wrap up those in need with our warmth. It does not have to be only clothes, it could be anything you wish to give, I am just starting with clothes, because that is where our abundance and interest lays. If there is something you have a lot of, or something you like to make, or something you just need to shift, and you would like to list some items, please DM me through Share Our Abundance instagram account, or email kirsten.rickert@gmail.com

I just love the concept of the energy passing through all the hearts and the things passing through all our hands, and once again… Dolly reminds us so well why we need charity… “It’s all taking and no giving.”

Follow Share Our Abundance on instagram

Thank you for reading Magnesium Blue.

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