We all want to leave the world a better place than when we came into this story; better for our children, and their children, better for the planet!
But we are bombarded with messages of how ugly humanity is and how we are all responsible for the continued destruction of our beautiful home. We can feel hopeless, powerless and small. We have forgotten that the real problem is not saving the world. It is, instead, saving ourselves and remembering that each and every one of us is individually important and can effect change.
Back in 2010 my world unraveled. After years of feeling lost personally and professionally, things came to a head with the first in a long string of deadly earthquakes to ravage my community. Inside of a few very short years I had lost my business, my ambition, my community, my creativity and I nearly lost my life and my family. I watched my world literally break apart.
I witnessed entire suburbs bulldozed to the ground. I cried with my friends as they pulled their lives apart and tried to put them back together. I grieved with my community as we lost our whole identity. I found myself struggling with finding a balance between honoring the past and creating a hopeful future! I forgot just how important I am to the people I love. I felt cast adrift in a world where nothing was beautiful anymore, least of all me!
Then, inside all of the ugliness and waste around me something special started to grow. I began to see the beauty of the broken parts. Like a seed, I realized that often-times things need to break completely to grow anew.
I rediscovered my creativity, making jewelry from discarded materials as a reminder that everything has beauty. I chose to make jewelry exclusively by hand to show how important each and every one of us really is. And I opted to make pieces that honor my past and where I have come from because this truly guides my way forward. I realized how vital kaitiaki - guardianship - is for me. That when we see and appreciate our own individual beauty, with our "faults" rather than in spite of them, we can have a powerful impact on everything, including our collective future.
So, wouldn't you love to give the gift of beauty, hope and heart-strong purpose to someone you love?
Oh, and imagine if that someone was you!?