There are so many extraordinary people in the world creating ripples with their acts of kindness. In this post, we feature Bronwyn Vanessa, creator of Beautyinthehearth, a project where she delivers 100s of messages of love and gratitude inside beautifully hand decorated bottles to friends, family and strangers in her community. Her only goal – to spread a little more kindness in the world. Here is our first Q&A with Bronwyn on her Love Bottle Project.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Bronwyn Vanessa and I have an Australian Mother and a Dutch father.
I live in the Netherlands and am the proud mother of three amazing children. My husband and I run two webshops created for the European market. Our concentration is on manual tools, power tools and welding machinery. I currently write the manuals, newsletters, and all the translations.
I started Beautyinthehearth two years ago, a movement to spread kindness and practice gratitude mainly within my community.
What do you do with bottles and how do you create one?
The Love Bottle Project is one of the many projects I do. I place a note full of love and gratitude in a bottle and ask the receiver to give the bottle to another person in their community.
Last year I completed a 60-bottle project and delivered them to people close to me with long special gratitude messages.
I later started a project with gratitude jars filled with 5 messages. This project went extremely well as I handed out 170 jars. The great thing about doing this is that I really get to see how the bottles make a difference in the way people respond to gratitude.
Now I am doing a 108 Love Bottle Project. Since we waste so many bottles in our western world, I like to use nicer quality recycled glass or plastic bottles.
I normally start collecting bottles a few months before I begin a new project. Before using them, I wash the inside and outside of the bottles, then I paint them with chalk paint and sometimes add some glitter. I use chalk paint because it doesn’t come off easily when water drops on it. I really want them to look nice so they feel like a special gift.
What is the purpose of sending these bottles?
Gratitude is not really a common thing in the Netherlands. Most people take their abundant lives for granted and a lot of people are stressed out and unhappy. Being grateful is one of the greatest keys towards happiness. It helps to burn the light coming out of your soul – the light which helps you to go after your dreams and your own happiness. There is so much to be grateful for, especially the people surrounding you who help you grow.
Growing up with an Australian mother with a Celtic background, we focused on how to be grateful for everything and everyone around and really love life.
Since most people are not really in a spiritual state of mind, I began to think about more simple ways to let them experience what gratitude can do for them. In the end, it is just a simple way to sparkle up the world a bit.
What gave you the idea to start sending out bottles?
Last year I started the Love Bottle Project with beer bottles after hearing the song, “Message in a Bottle” by The Police on the radio. I no longer use beer bottles though.
How long have you been doing this?
My most recent Love Bottle Project started at the end of January 2018.
On your Instagram page you talk about your goal of delivering 108 bottles by May the first. Why this number and why May 1st?
May the first is just for me. It takes some time to create the bottles, write very personal notes and hand them out.
108 is a very special number in many different religions and spiritual beliefs.
- Different beliefs use 108 beads for prayer and meditation
- There are 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra
- Chinese believe the human has 108 points in the human body to heal itself
- Hindu believe that saying OM 108 times will help them find inner peace
And there are many more interesting finds on 108.
What do you normally write on the messages in the bottles?
Most of the bottles I hand out are given to people I know in some way or people working in public service. If I do not know the person the points are more general. I give them thanks for their services.
The people I do know very well will get a very personal note and at least 10 points of gratitude.
For example (and it works very well to be specific):
- Thank you for being my friend/neighbor/the teacher of my children/ a worker in a shop.
- Thank you for your special services and qualities.
- Thank you for all your love and care.
- Thank you for the time we went on a picnic in the park together with all our children. The sun was shining brightly and we had so much fun.
- Thank you for taking care of my cat when we were on holiday.
I always end with nice words of encouragement and lots of love.
How do you deliver the bottles?
I give the bottles in person. Sometimes I ask a colleague to give the bottle if I tried to give it in person a few times and missed someone.