Thursday, 30 August 2012

Question Time - who is Jenny Peers?

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Jenny Peers.  I'd obviously signed up to her mailing list when I saw her art somewhere.  In a moment of space, I read this email and learned about her Gratitude Card Project.  I had to speak to this woman!  The idea of creating a beautiful way to commemorate a moment of gratitude appealed immensely.  Combining it with social media to explore interconnectedness made the whole thing even more interesting.  I signed up to be an ambassador immediately.

My cards came wrapped in purple tissue paper it was like receiving a gift.  They are gorgeous and I felt a pang of regret at the thought of giving them away.  Then I realised that commemorating a moment of gratitude with something beautiful is significant and generous.  Jenny found the mandalas which are printed on the cards through ordinary sources like nature and textiles.  I can't wait to give them away and show my appreciation to people.  (I regularly thank people, but I think the significance of this can often be lost in the hurly burly of our lives.  And people often aren't very good at receiving thanks!)

We met yesterday at The Hub in Melbourne and had a lively conversation over a couple of hours.  We discovered that our lives overlap in interesting ways.  I learnt a lot!  I hope you enjoy meeting Jenny Peers as much as I did.

What inspired the Gratitude Card Project?
There's no simple answer to that.  It's a confluence of my interests.  I wear lots of hats.  I'm particularly interested in organisational culture.  To create a culture of innovation there needs to be organisational creativity, which needs collaboration, which needs trust which needs emotional maturity. I took myself on a "solo corporate retreat" to do a life review.  It was about exploring what I was put on earth to do.  I devised a set of rules for living.  Gratitude was one of these things

What do you hope to achieve with the Gratitude Card Project?
It's a combination of art, social science experiment and chaos and complexity theory.  I'm interested in the idea that one simple act can cause change.  What happens as a result of that act?  I'm also tracking where the cards go.  The cards are all numbered.  This enables us to note and remember the moment of gratitude.  The facebook page is a place to keep track and share stories.  If you're not on facebook you can still stay in touch via email.

I have this stuck on my fridge to remind me each day:  "Globally, there is a groundswell of opinion that the problems facing our planet can only be fixed in a spirit of creative collaboration, requiring a new way of interacting and being in the world.  So I am stepping up to the plate to do what I can to foster this new way of working, living and finding solutions.  My work will be with individuals, groups and organisations."

What are you grateful for?
Little things: health, my 5 faculties, living in this wonderful city, family, girlfriends, music.  Today.  At the end of each day I think about three things I am grateful for.  Even on the worst day there are always things to be grateful for.

If you were in charge for a day, what's the one thing you would do?
I'd wave my magic wand and rebalance the world's yin and yang.

What's your favourite word?

If you could script your dying words what would they be?
"That was interesting."  I'd like that as my epitaph too.

What gets your hanky in a twist?
Ignorance.  Channel 7. Prejudice.  Politicians fiddling while Rome burns.  People talking at me.

If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now I'd be...
...doing something I've already done.  I'd be living out who I am, my life's purpose.  I like to think about a poppyseed.  In that tiny seed are all the instructions to make a poppy - the hairy stem, the petals, the colour, the stamen - everything that a poppy is.  That's what a life is.

Find out more and get a set of gratitude cards at the website:
Follow and share stories on Twitter: @gratitudecards
Join the conversation on facebook:

Jenny is generously offering five packs of 10 gratitude cards to giveaway to 5 lucky readers.  To be in the running to start a ripple of your own, leave a comment on this post and tell us what you'd like to thank someone for.

Entries close on Friday 7 September 2012 and are open to all readers, where ever you live.


  1. Love the idea! Tanya you are very lucky to meet such wonderful people so regularly. You inspire me. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome Corenne! It's great to know I'm having a positive influence in the world - even if it's tiny. I think this is part of why I meet wonderful people! Thanks for reading.

  2. Almost two years ago, a friend started me on a meme on her lj to be grateful for one thing each day. I knew I couldn't remember every day but for the last two years I have thought of seven things each week. It's a very good exercise. Even on weeks that have been horrific I've managed to find seven things. And that inspires my friends to remember happy thoughts as well.

    I'm most grateful for having lovely neighbours. At the moment they are graciously letting me rip up the weeds in their garden to feed to my chickens who are penned up while I'm trying to get grass growing in the backyard again. But they are lovely neighbours for a bunch of other reasons too.

  3. Good neighbours are gold! You must be a good neighbour too. Thanks for reading.

  4. I was lucky enough to study with Jenny a couple of years back - what an amazing woman. having spent some amazing time with her, is something am truly grateful for. I have also signed up as an ambassador and the joy in the faces of people I have given a card too, is beyond wonderful.