Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rely on the Kindness (and Co-Creative Curiosity) of Strangers

There is masses of research in the wonderful field of Psychology of Happiness, Neurobiology and more [1] that proves something we all knew all along deep in our hearts: that when we give to others we are much happier.  What’s more, when we are part of a community and connect to others, we are also happier. Put another way, giving to others helps us connect with people and meets one of our most essential human needs - relatedness[i].

I love this!  I know this in my own life… and I am passionate about how being aware of this can increasingly influence our lives and decisions about how we go about things.

Oprah Winfrey recently shared about Biologists Jennifer D. Calkins, PhD, and Jennifer M. Gee, PhD, who raised $4,873 to study quails in Mexico. Scott Wilson pulled in nearly $1 million to design a wristband that turns the iPod Nano into a watch—and his creation is now sold in Apple stores. Musician Jenny Owen Youngs came up with $38,543 to record an album. Each of these projects owes thanks to Kickstarter, a Web site for creative types.  What's Kickstarter? - Well, it allows you to post detailed proposals online and solicit pledges to make them happen. International artist, film-maker and director of the Passionate Presence Center for Creative Expression,  Katheryn Trenshaw is definitely such a "creative type" and now her In Your Own Skin Project is doing just this.

The Kickstarter fundraising campaign is currently live to build the co-creative support that happiness is partly made of, and raise $20,000 for a community art project, enabling the In Your Own Skin documentary short to be produced. This will be the first milestone in a far-reaching social art project.

The fabulous online platform provides you the opportunity to discover the power of creative projects like In Your Own Skin. For as little as $5 you can become a part of this. In exchange you can receive rewards, such as signed posters, signed copies of books illustrated by Katheryn, DVDs, photo shoots with the artist, or even your own private In Your Own Skin documentary screening (with up to 20 friends) in a Devon eco-venue complete with sauna and views of Dartmoor with the film-maker.

This is where the community and social nature of In Your Own Skin comes in. Check out the Kickstarter Link at and then join in the excitement and help build momentum for this Social Art by sharing this link with your friends and networks. You and your friends can even become involved by simply sharing the link because you love it and want to share the wealth and happiness it spreads; or support with a financial pledge in exchange for fine rewards to allow the next stage to happen. Cool huh?

Together, with the kindness and curiosity of strangers, we can take In Your Own Skin forward and provide the opportunity for more people to experience the power of revealing hidden truths. We're all potentially part of an incredible, international art exhibit with the power to bring happiness and freedom to so many others.

So if you want to feel good, do well!

FYI: Live events coming up:

EdenRise nr Totnes:               
Autumn: 7 Oct, 4 Nov, 2 Dec, and then mainly last Sundays in 
2013: Jan 27, Mar 3 & 31, Apr 28, May 26, and June 30.

IN YOUR OWN SKIN: A multimedia social art project inviting authenticity and connecting us all by asking people around the world a simple question: What is true of you but not obvious to strangers? What would you share?

GREAT NEWS!!! We have lift off.  The IN YOUR OWN SKIN Kickstarter* campaign is officially live!  Please share on your Facebook page, Twitter, E-mail and telegram with your peeps? Thanks loads!

*Kickstarter is a collaborative funding platform for creative projects in return for rewards.
Sunday Evening Passionate Presence Practice Group - Freedom of Being  EdenRise nr Totnes: Autumn: 7 Oct, 4 Nov, 2 Dec, then mainly last Sundays in 2013: Jan 27, Mar 3 & 31, Apr 28, May 26, June 30.
Oct 18 In Your Own Skin FUNdraiser at Totnes Civic Hall w/ Chris Paradox, Madrum, Jo Hardy & more Totnes Civic 7.30
Please join the IYOS community on FB and share the wealth with your friends. And please support this touching dynamic artful series of portraits in art and a documentary to come to the world. 

Katheryn Trenshaw
+ 44 (0) 1803 863552 

[1] More information for you on Happiness
(Thanks to the wonderful Action for Happiness organization)

Scientific studies show that helping others boosts happiness[ii]. It increases life satisfaction, provides a sense of meaning, increases feelings of competence, and improves our mood and reduced stress. It can help to take our minds off our own troubles too[iii].

Kindness towards others is the glue that connects individual happiness with wider community and societal wellbeing. Giving to others helps us connect with people and meets one of our basic human needs - relatedness[iv].

Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When we see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or we are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires us to be kinder ourselves[v][vi]. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behavior of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier, more trusting local community[vii].

[i]  Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: the 'other-praising' emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 105-127.

[ii] Post, S. G. (2005). Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It's Good to Be Good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.

[iii] Midlarsky, E. (1991). Helping as coping. Prosocial Behavior: Review of Personality and Social Psychology, 12, 238-264

[iv] Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: the 'other-praising' emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 105-127.

[v] Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: the 'other-praising' emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 105-127.

[vi] Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The How of Happiness. NY: Penguin

[vii] Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2010). Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(12), 5334-5338.

No comments:

Post a Comment