The Art of Love Letters

My first Stop Drop and Love Letter's 

My first Stop Drop and Love Letter's 

I first Stopped Dropped and Love Lettered on a cool December evening in Manhattan. It was after a jazz concert at Lincoln Center and my girlfriends excitedly looked on as I discreetly placed a note on a table reading "Your Heart Matters" for one lucky individual to discover.  All of this joy and excitement had been made possible by Nicole Ahr creator of The Love Letter Library.  

The Love Letter Library is space designed to provide resources such as stationery and journals for people to grow and create invaluable connections through love and through the art of hand-written love letters.  

The idea came to Nicole, a former middle school English teacher, while on her winter break in December 2014 "it felt like a lightning bolt and a warm blanket at the same time" she says.  The company's first product was the Gypsy Journal-a continuous love letter that goes on and on from person to person to person. In the process of developing this idea Nicole started to to do a Stop Drop and Love Letter as a challenge for herself.  "The perfect serendipitous moment is when someone finds a love letter meant for anyone, but somehow also only meant for them" says Nicole of her 30 day love letter challenge. Every day for those 30 days she began posting her love letter drops on the Love Letter Library instagram account. "People started paying attention. It was easy! They got it really quickly and they could participate effortlessly." says Ahr.  "I think the Gypsy Journal is a little bit more personal and requires a little bit more heart work.  Not everybody is in a place to do that. The Stop Drop and Love Letter is the perfect place to start.  Once people start doing Stop Drop and Love Letter they start falling in love with the other things and ideas" she continues.

The most unique location a Stop Drop and Love Letter was placed: 

There have been pretty amazing locations where love letters have been dropped: at trail-heads, art museums, in library books, restaurants, dressing rooms, the list goes on. However, I think my favorite has to be from one of our youngest love letter droppers, Lana. While she and her family were visiting New York this past year, she decided that she wanted to leave her love letter at Ground Zero. An employee of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum  took note of what Lana was doing and asked if she could include it along with the other artifacts in the memorial itself. It is so moving that this love letter, dropped by a child, is now a part of something so precious.

What else can one find at the Love Letter Library?

In addition to the Stop Drop and Love Letter Stationery there are many other products on our website that have been designed with the intention to grow love like our mugs and bags to stationery and journals. You can also become a member of the The Love Club which is an extension to the Stop Drop and Love Letter Stationery. Every month you will receive a bundle sent right to your doorstep. It includes a set of our Stop Drop and Love Letter Stationery, Deck of Cards of Love, love themed pencils, as well as 3 specialty gifts.

I wrote 30 Stop Drop and Love Letters in 30 days and shared it on social media. My heart has never felt more alive and more open
— Nicole Ahr creator of The Love Letter Library

Advice on writing a love letter

  1. If you don’t know where to start begin with a quote. A quote that stays on your heart and let it flow afterward.  Maybe write what the quote means to you.

  2. Ask yourself what does your heart need to hear?' Write that down and let it go.  It’s freeing.

I am...

I am constantly thinking of ideas.  Sometimes they come in the middle of the night and I have to get up and work. I keep a good consistent stream of an ideas journal.  Sometimes I’m like 'what was I thinking' and other times I think 'Man, that’s going to happen.'

Coming soon to the Love Letter Library

"Stop Drop and Read":  People can drop books in random places. There will be a free download bookmark on the website designed to be placed inside a book that will read "If you find this book it belongs to you." In addition there will be a bookmark for purchase that is similar to the Stop Drop and Love Letter cards but created specifically to be placed inside a book. This bookmark will have a quote on the front and room on the back to write something down. "I actually did something similar to this with my students.  I love leaving letters in books" says Ahr.

We will also begin a book of the month and a children’s book of the month. So, stay tuned!

Words from the wise: 

Break the rules! You can do anything!  Anything! The internet is such an amazing place to connect people. Allow your dreams to be as unrealistic as you want. They can still be happen and it can still be magic in your life.  Breaking the rules has been my favorite piece of this journey. 

The Love Letter Library's Stop Drop and Love Letter Stationery

The Love Letter Library's Stop Drop and Love Letter Stationery

Fun Facts about Nicole: 

The greatest day of the week for me is: Sunday - coffee in bed, brunch, the New York Times crossword puzzle, time to just relax and be with the people you love! So many wonderful things about Sunday.

My favorite quote is  “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Nietzsche

My heart’s most content when - I feel like what I am doing has meaning and purpose in my life and in the lives of those I am around.

A book I recommend is.... It has been quite a while since I have read a book that was not about business. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. Danielle LaPorte is business meets spirit and I could not be more grateful for everything that she shares with the world.

Thank you Nicole for adding so much love and light into the world. You are making a difference!  Visit the Love Letter Library and get 10% off your purchase with promo code "MYHEART10".  

Until next time friends keep spreading love, giving love and being love. 

Tatum Fjerstad: Paving the Road to Her Heart's Work

Have you ever daydreamed of trading in the stability of your 9-5'er in pursuit of your heart's work? In December 2015 Tatum Fjerstad, creator of the Move Sit Write tour, a concept she uses as a means of healing and self care for herself and others, did just that.  Here is the story of how she decided to make this bold move to leave a life of comfort and hit the road. 

Tatum in Naags Head, North Carolia while on her Move Sit Write tour

Tatum in Naags Head, North Carolia while on her Move Sit Write tour

Can you explain what the Move Sit Write tour is?  

Sure! It’s what I’m calling my first 3-month adventure around the country teaching movement (move) , meditation (sit), and writing (write) as means of self-care and healing. In addition to teaching, I’m meeting people along the way, asking them to share stories of triumph, loss, grief, transformation and growth. I take these stories and compile them for a series I’m doing with called Actual Humans of Yoga. When I’m not doing that and writing for other publications, I’m doing some deep self listening. I’m sort of at a turning in point in life where I’ve decided that the way I’ve been living is doing more harm than good. I need to decide what and who I want to include in the next chapter of my life and what I want to be doing and where I want to be doing it.

I knew that if I didn’t do something in bold support of my dreams, I was about to succumb to the stuff of nightmares.
— Tatum Fjerstad

What was your turning point when you decided to give up the security of that stable income to pursue and create the  Move Sit Write tour?

It was a really dark day at the beginning of December 2015. I was hungover, heartbroken and injured. I received a shitty email from someone I loved and some hard-to-swallow feedback from my boss at my day job. A close friend planted the seed and encouraged me to consider leaving New York City for a while to do that which makes me come alive: teaching movement, meditation and writing. Initially this sounded like something out of Eat Pray Love and while that book was fun to read, I’m no Elizabeth Gilbert. I, like many people, have a lot of fear around money and abundance. But I knew that if I didn’t do something in bold support of my dreams, I was about to succumb to the stuff of nightmares. I started saving money, picking up freelance income and when my job laid me off, I was a month away from hitting the road. Timing was perfect.

I hate it when people say shit like this but it really did feel as though my decision to show up for myself initiated a shift in the way others showed up for me.

What was the first step you took in order to turn this idea into a reality?

I made a lot of lists, spreadsheets and budgets and enlisted the help of a lot of friends. This was no simple undertaking. I booked 12 studios in less than 3 weeks because I got my shit together and worked my ass off.

What can attendees expect from a Move Sit Write session?

My workshops are split up in a variety of different ways, depending on what each studio had time for. My yin courses are all about how The Five Elements of Chinese Medicine show up in the body during each pose. My writing and meditation sessions are about listening to our thoughts, writing them down and deciding what we want to do with them. This is actually pretty serious work and requires really examining our internal landscapes with non-judgment and acceptance.

How many cities will you be traveling to?

I’m a month into the tour and I have two months and 5 cities left: Asheville, NC, St. Louis, MO, Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, and Cincinnati, OH. You can see a full tour schedule here.

Tatum in conducting a Move Sit Write workshopPhoto Credit: Julie Hove Andersen

Tatum in conducting a Move Sit Write workshopPhoto Credit: Julie Hove Andersen

What were the biggest challenges you faced when organizing this tour? 

Believing that what I have to offer is enough or worth it. I don’t know that I’ve overcome that yet. I think that might just be a lifelong practice. I’m also very Type A and have a little bit of a patience deficiency. So when people don’t respond to emails in what I consider to be a timely manner, I get anxious and worry that everything is going to fall apart. Grappling with that and learning to breathe through it and deal with problems as they arise (rather than creating them out of thin air) will likely also be an ongoing practice.

What inspires you?

Pain and fear. These are two of the strongest forces in my life. Many of my most brilliant ideas and bold adventures have been born out of the darkest, most heart-broken phases of my life. I am also motivated by love, compassion and the sweetness of being helpful to others. But I’m tired of looking at pain and fear as the enemy. Rather, I believe I have two choices: I can choose to lean into those scary, ouchie places and figure what I want to do with it or I can keep running away from them and play out the same sad stories over and over again.

I can be both brave and terrified. Lovable and unkind. Joyous and sad. I don’t have to be one or the other. There’s room for all of it.
— Tatum Fjerstad

What are some of the things you’ve learned about yourself while on the road?

Oh, boy. Where do I start? I tell myself a lot of different stories about my worth and lovability to keep myself playing small. I care entirely too much about what other people think of me. Alone time is both sacred and terrifying. I need to work on being a better listener. I am at my best when I’m being really honest about what it’s like to be a human being having human experiences. Forgiveness is slowly becoming my new best friend. I can be both brave and terrified. Lovable and unkind. Joyous and sad. I don’t have to be one or the other. There’s room for all of it.

What are you hoping attendees take away with them after partaking in a Move Sit Write workshop?

A better understanding of who they are and what they want from life and a renewed commitment to a daily writing and meditation practice. Before this tour, I  taught these workshops all over the country at different Wanderlust Festivals and in New York City. Many of my students still pop in from time to time to say they’re still at it and that makes my heart swell big time.

Photo Credit: Julie Hove Andersen

Favorite moments while on the road?

I love just sitting in unfamiliar places and listening to people talk to each other. People watching has always been a favorite pastime of mine. When there are no people, I like to watch birds or other animals and give them voices and make up stories about them. I have all these great memories that I can pull from, but this whole is like one big favorite moment, even when I’m broken down and crying and scared.

What would you recommend to those feeling unsettled and looking to connect but are unable to attend a Move Sit Write workshop?  

Email me! Don’t be shy. We can talk about setting up a stop in your area or maybe just working together one-on-one.

What can we expect next from you after this journey is complete?

Great question, dude. I’ll let you know as soon I know.

Thanks Tatum!  To learn more about Tatum and to follow her journey check her out here on Instagram or read her blog.

Until next time keep spreading love, giving and being love.  


Recognizing the Good Around You Can Change your Life's Outlook

It’s been a year where I’m seeing the things I’m passionate about come together” marvels Margo Chabot, founder of #ProjectGoodness, a community dedicated to noticing and adding to the goodness that surrounds us, as she sits down for our coffee date in Manhattan’s lower east side.  

Margo, also known as Yoga Margo on instagram, is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized study where she studied Positive Psychology, Health, and Wellness. She is a yoga instructor, health coach and goodness advocate.  In 2015 Chabot founded #ProjectGoodness.  “I had the idea this past summer to design #ProjectGoodness stickers with an arrow to focus one’s attention on the the goodness around them and the goodness inside of them.” #ProjectGoodness has brought a great deal of inspiration both in the world of social media as well as in the outside world with stickers already reaching 22 countries and counting.

Chabot pointing out some discovered goodness.

Chabot pointing out some discovered goodness.

My Heart Project (MHP): Can you share a little about yourself and the journey that led you to create #ProjectGoodness?

Margo Chabot (MC): 3 and 1/2 years ago I completed my yoga teachers training program and started my instagram account, Yoga Margo, to inform people about my yoga classes. I found myself wanting to share the inspiring things that I came across.  My first few pictures were probably from Pinterest.  And then I started looking around. Ever since, I’ve  continued documenting these uplifting messages only to see those message more and more and to not only see a change in the actual things in my environment but it has become a way of being, of thinking and of getting through problems. I’ve learned that by documenting goodness and looking out for it, it ends up spilling over and affecting everything around you.  

After awhile of sharing these photos I would often be asked ‘Where do you see these things Margo? I walk down the same streets as you. I don’t see it.’ I’d tell them that if they pay attention they too would begin noticing the goodness around them. Those same people started sending me photos of the good they began to find.  And for me that was it!  That’s the magic because that means they weren’t just inspired by the  pictures I posted but they were inspired to go about their day differently.  They were inspired to focus their attention.  The stickers really came out of that.

And in a world where there's so much we can't control, our attention is ours, and we can choose what to focus on. Focus on the goodness, and that's what you'll find. Everywhere!

I’ve learned that by documenting goodness and looking out for it, it ends up spilling over and affecting everything around you.
— Margo Chabot

MHP: You studied positive psychology, health and wellness at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. What was the source of inspiration that encouraged you to pursue such a major?

MC: I was always interested in helping people. I’m still interested in health and well being….I went to Gallatin where I was constantly pushed  to think about the things I wanted to learn.  It was an amazing program that helped me grow.

One class in particular that really influenced me was a class in positive psychology.  Every week we spoke about things like gratitude, and optimism, spirituality and nutrition and different conditions that people do well under. We’d look at studies and read literature. It was my first introduction to a lot of these concepts.

MHP: What have you learned from your studies that you have been able to apply in your own life?

MC: In my positive psychology class I was first introduced to the  3 good things experiment: How the experiment works is that everyday you write down 3 things that went well for you that day. It can be hard to think of 3 things at first but the more you do it, the more you begin to notice those things as they happen and you start to “tag” them as good things - Which enhances the “good thing” as it's taking place.

Also, I was was constantly pushed  to think about the things I wanted to learn and my goals. They basically taught me to be introspective and to think about what you like and what your interests are. So my concentration was constantly evolving.  

MHP: Through your studies and life experience as a yoga instructor and goodness advocate what are the conditions you’ve noticed where people really thrive and live their happiest most positive life?

People really begin to thrive when they start focusing on the things that are going well in their life. It can actually make the things around them go even better.  People thrive when helping others.  It feels good to do good.  Connection is also very important.  Spend time with friends and family.  They are your support system.  I read a study that people’s happiest moments happen in the presence of others whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. And having gratitude. Gratitude helps put things into perspective.  So, kindness, recognizing goodness, having connection and gratitude are all the conditions where people can begin to thrive and do their best.

MHP:  How can people get involved with #ProjectGoodness

  1. Request #ProjectGoodness stickers

  2. Explore what goodness means to you. Answer the questions that will come with your #ProjectGoodness packet that pertain to noticing the goodness in yourself, others, and your surroundings.

  3. Focus. Commit to focus your attention to one, or all, of these places.

  4. Add to the goodness. Once you are aware of the goodness that already is in your life, you can expand on it and add to it! For example, if it’s for someone you care about it could be as simple as sending a sweet note or a phone call.

  5. Share your experience. You never know who you might inspire. If you choose to use Instagram, #ProjectGoodness so that I can highlight your story.

Taking time to notice these things will open your eyes to the best things in life.  The goodness that surrounds us always just waiting be discovered.  



MHP: How has the use of social media aided in the growth & purpose of #ProjectGoodness?

MC: I’m aware of the pluses and  minuses of social media and  how it can make people feel a “lack of” but it’s important to acknowledge the potential social media has connecting and inspiring others. It is because of that shared inspiration and connection that #ProjectGoodness came to be.  If I was taking all these pictures and only keeping them for myself what fun would that be? What really makes #ProjectGoodness is the fact that I get to share those uplifting messages and I get to meet people who share that same vision.   

MHP: What have you learned since creating #ProjectGoodness and watching this community grow?

MC: I’ve learned that there are so many great people out there, interested and goodness and passionate about inspiring others.

I've also learned how important it is to make things happen in a realistic way and to actually have them come to fruition. I look up to company's that just start and go. Maybe they are not at their best in the beginning but they continue to add and to grow with time. When I made the #ProjectGoodness stickers I had no experience in making stickers and designing those stickers you see. It continues to be a learning experience.

And lastly, lately I’ve become obsessed with the idea that you don’t know the impact of sharing these little reminders.  I know from my own experience that little things have impacted me.  Recently, this company My Sticky Quotes sent me a pack of inspirational post-its and I put one on the train.  I was riding the train for a while and people were getting on and people were getting off. Then someone  got on saw this little post it note and took it. I can’t tell you the impact that a tiny note had on him but I did notice the sparkle in his eye when he read it. It said “The harder you work, the luckier you get” and it was a Monday morning.

MHP: Do you have a favorite #ProjectGoodness photo that has been shared with you?

MC: This is a very hard question. I love each and every story and photo shared. Although, when I get a request from a new country (so far we have reached 22) I get extra excited. To think about where those stickers will go and who they will affect keeps me excited and inspired. But, a favorite… I can't choose. There’s one, though, a note written from a son to his mother that I found to be the sweetest, sweetest note. That's just an example of one of the many touching posts shared through #projectgoodness.

A note from a son to his mother shared on #ProjectGoodness

MHP: What can we expect from you and from #ProjectGoodness in the future?

MC:  I’m currently working on a #ProjectGoodness workbook and creating a book of my photographs. I am also in the process of developing a line of life size goodness reminders, goods that would act as reminders to focus on what's going well. What's lifting you up. The stickers will always be free.  Whatever I end up selling will be something that is so much more than just a physical thing you buy.  I’m planning on having the #ProjectGoodness products come with information explaining the purpose of the #ProjectGoodness in hopes that the product will encourage people to start noticing all the good things around them.

Also, I’d love to do more speaking engagements. I enjoy teaching and sharing the things that I’ve learned. So, hopefully there will be more opportunities to do that.

As we finish our coffee date Chabot reflects “They get inspiration from me and I get inspiration from them. It’s a circle of goodness." she says of those participating in #ProjectGoodness.  "I really believe that when you choose to focus on the things that are going well and try to recognize something that’s ok, even if it's just one thing and even when things are not ok, that’s happiness.  That is living life to the fullest!"  

To learn more about #ProjectGoodness and join the goodness journey visit #ProjectGoodness  

Until next time continue to spread love, give love, & be love!