I first met Carolin Post just two weeks ago while I was browsing through the #1000Speak posts. As I scrolled down the Facebook page, a picture of a painted stone jumped out at me. The story behind it was even more beautiful than the stone. I found her story such an inspirational one I felt moved to contact her. Carolin is not only extremely talented, she is a kind, caring and compassionate soul. I’ll leave it to my new friend to tell you about her amazing Compassion Stones.
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Interview with Carolin Post
About me… I am an artist, wife, mother and nature lover.
How it all began…
I started writing a few friends names in the sand on the beach in Maui 3 to 4 years ago, which blossomed into inspiring quotes by Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Rumi, and more. I have created over 100+ inspiring quotes on the beaches of Maui. This is a photo of me, where it all began, designing in the sand in Maui, Hawaii.
I knew then that I would stop selling my art and in turn share it with everyone. After selling our condo, I searched for over 2 years for a way to continue sharing my art and inspiring messages. Nothing clicked.
This winter, knowing I would be in California for 3 months I was certain I would continue my passion of sand designs. The sand here is very beautiful, yet not ideal for my designs. Finding an untouched spot to create is difficult with seaweed brought up from El Nino and the hundreds of off leash dogs that visit the beach daily. While walking on the beach last month, I though, why not paint the stones that wash up?
And so it was.
I do not sell the stones because I feel I was given this gift to share with the world, to bring peace, comfort and uplift. It does not feel right in my heart to ask people to pay for kindness and compassion.
What are Compassion Stones?
They are stones that I collect from the beach, wash, hand paint and add inspirational words / messages and leave them in random public places with a note.
How did I come up with the idea?
After some unsatisfying attempts at sand designs, I noticed the stones on the beach and the thought came to me why not paint the messages on the stones? Also I knew then and there in my heart that the stones had great significance… that they were of great importance.
Where do I leave my Compassion Stones?
Wherever my heart leads me to leave them. I usually have 2-3 with me when I go somewhere (depending on size). I make sure there are not too many people around who will see me leave the stones in case they think I dropped it and they want to return it to me.
My very first stones I left without notes and a woman emailed and asked me if I had lost a beautiful hand painted black stone! Hahahaha Which is how the note cards were born.
My husband placed 4 stones while watching the Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament a few weeks ago which drew great crowds as all the pro golfers were here and celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Bill Murray, etc.
I have mailed 12 stones to winners of my first draw, ranging in States from Oregon to Florida.
I have contacts in Singapore, the UK and Australia where I will ship stones to them to scatter in their city. I am waiting to do this when I return home to Canada as here in California I do not have a return address. My husband and I are travelling to Alaska in June, I will bring some of the smaller stones with me to scatter.
Basically wherever I go, the stones will be 🙂
Have I heard from stone recipients?
Yes. I have heard from approximately 10 out of 60 abandoned stones. I do not create and leave the stones to hear from people, that is not the point however I absolutely LOVE it when I hear back.
This was the first message I received back… (after I began leaving notes with the stones )
As I was walking on scenic today, my friend & I spotted the plastic bag on the bench. Being curious we opened the bag & read your note. We inspected the stone & commented on the art work & the message that was written.
It was very emotional for us as tears came to our eyes. I lost my husband
2 weeks ago on a Friday after battling cancer. It was if he were there letting me know to carry on his believes. He was a noble man & loved by all for his kindness.
Thank you for giving me faith!
How does it make me feel?
There are a lot of emotions involved with the stones.
These quotes that I designed in the sand capture some of the emotion / reasons why I paint and leave the stones:
“be the change I wish to see in the world”
“I am not here to change the world, the world is changing because I am here”
It is important to me that I be the best “me” I can be during this lifetime. I don’t want to be someone who has regrets, I just want to be me, all of me, no holding back. I don’t want to have to say I wish I would have loved more, or been kinder, I want to embody that now, in this moment.
I am learning everyday to love unconditionally. It is something important to my heart and challenging at the same time.
My favourite piece?
A few grab my heart more than others… those are harder to leave! LOL
Favourite sand quote?
Oh my goodness I have so many quotes memorized and never remember who said them!
So many wonderful quotes, like the two I mentioned above, plus the one from Mother Teresa:
“Do small things with great Love”
My message would be…
It doesn’t cost anything and benefits so many.
See the good. Do not judge.
Love without condition.
It is my belief that we were born with only the capacity to Love. Everything else, fear, anger, hurt, sadness man created.
Love is the answer.
Where can you see my work?
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Reading through the messages from the finders of Carolin’s Compassion Stones is quite moving. Please do take a look at her beautiful Facebook group; I can guarantee smiles and maybe a few happy tears. I feel inspired to paint my own woodland stones and leave them for people to find – a little summer project for my children and their friends.
Several of Carolin’s friends are planning to leave stones in the areas they are visiting on holiday. I’ve volunteered to distribute some of Carolin’s Compassion Stones over here in the North of England. Wherever you live, look out for little Compassion Stone gifts; who knows where in the world they will end up. If you are lucky enough to find one, please share your story. Stories are only shared publicly with the consent of the sender. I’ll leave you with this beautiful story from one of the Compassion Stone recipients.
It was dark and my husband and I were trying to find a short cut to the restaurant in Carmel and ended up in a small walking alley… it was a dead end and so when backtracking I saw your stone on a bench (obviously meant to be)… curiosity piqued my interest so I opened the package with stone 18 and your message… your gesture brought me to tears. This was the first time (other than doing to doctors and hospitals) that I had really ventured afar in 5 months due to illness (I’ve never had more than a cold, so this has been a huge, huge bump in the road for me). We were in Carmel as part of a road trip further south from Canada and the intention had been to change my environment, perspective and hopefully help whatever was going on my body. I was having a hard time adjusting, eating and staying positive and your stone found me at the exact moment I needed it. In an instant I felt that it would all be ok and I’m not as alone as I had been feeling. I’ve kept it with me throughout my trip and pulled it out when I felt I needed a ‘boost’. I’m home now, stronger, not healed yet, but heading that way. When I feel fully healthy both in mind, spirit and body, I’ll pass it on with your note included to the new recipient.
Thank you for taking time out of your days to create such beautiful stones and above all, thoughtful gestures that obviously (from reading your facebook page) find the individuals that need the stones and sentiments most. You’ve reminded me how loving and gracious people can be.
Thank you Carolin for allowing me to share this on my blog. Sending you love from the other side of the world.