“About 4 years ago, I became a yoga instructor and had started an Instagram to share about my classes called @yogamargo. Right from the start I felt like I wanted to share inspiration and other things on that account. In the beginning I think my first few posts were from Pinterest, but then I started looking for these quotes, inspiring messages, things, and facts then I started to document them and share them. I would see a few and to see where it’s come now, how I happened upon them and how they happened upon me, it would always remind me of how much goodness, positivity, and how many places people are encouraging each other and lifting each other up.
At the same time I was doing this, I was also studying positive psychology in college, which is the study of under what conditions do people do best. I found that through that pursuit of documenting goodness that a lot of the ideas that I was learning about I was able to live. For example, talking about optimism or looking at the bright side and trying to stay positive, we think about how can we actually have that? And for me, it was looking for goodness and using the sticker as an invitation to focus in on what’s going well. It’s very concrete. It’s very real.
As time went on and I started to document more and more, people would ask me about it. They would walk on the same streets as me and would not find the same messages, and I’ve always had a similar response to them in saying that it’s our attention and where we put it. That’s the core part of this. Your attention is yours and you can focus it on what you want. And that’s such a powerful thing because life is all about ups and downs and challenges, and this project isn’t saying it’s all goodness, it’s saying focus in on it.
People would send me things they would happen upon and for me that was it. Those things truly do make a difference. Basically, it felt really good that people would send me what they would find because I would feel inspired by the fact that people were inspired enough to change the way they went about their day. It’s an actual change, not just a picture they took. I’ve always had the idea to create something; a sticker of some sort or a reminder, so a little bit more than a year ago around summer I just knew it was time. I had a lot of reasons to say I wouldn’t do it at the time because I didn’t have a background in graphic design or anything like that and I didn’t want to outsource to get it done. I just wanted to make it happen. So the first stickers I made, I made through Pages and started sending them out for about a year to people who would want them.
Now, sending these goodness packs and sharing this message has been amazing because it has reached over 20 countries and they in turn would share what this would mean to them. It’s something that I realized means a lot of different things to people and that there are strings that hold it together and unites us all, and that’s what goodness is. What goodness means to me, is it’s always there and sometimes it can be hard to see. I see it as a thread, and sometimes that thread is hidden and sometimes it’s so clear. And I think the work is finding the fabric that it weaves.
This project and this pursuit over the past few years have completely affected my life and I’ve noticed a lot of changes in myself. Just through neuroscience and the way the brain works, if we continually do something, we create patterns and pathways in our brain. And with this, it’s noticing the goodness while you’re in it is very much a euphoric experience. In Positive Psychology, they have this idea of the good things experiment when you write three good things that happened to you each day. At first it can be hard because you don’t necessarily look for those things or even consider things like getting on the subway and getting to where you’re going a good thing. But the more you practice that, the more you notice the good things as they happen. Like in conversations, people, challenges, and everywhere.
I really want the stickers to serve as an invitation to focus in on what lifts you up with the goodness in you, the people around you, and your surroundings. It’s just the start, and though it’s just a sticker, I want to spread this idea as much as I can in hopes that it connects with people. I love giving these stickers to people and starting these conversations. Just the other day, I gave someone a sticker and they were so into it and happens to love stickers and even shared it himself and I love when that happens because it’s how the relationship and that story starts. Whenever I have these conversations with interesting people who are interested in my project, it really is a very special feeling.”
We connected with Margo in the beginning stages of Coffee & Convos just about a year and a half ago. When we were able to visit New York, we finally got to connect in person and chat all things goodness. It was a beautiful day and we got to enjoy delicious food and coffee together while we shared our passions. Margo is an absolute light and it radiates through her personality and her big smile!
From starting Project Goodness on a whim with a thought of creating a sticker as a reminder to be with goodness, to combining her studies through Positive Psychology, if there were a photo attached to the definition of goodness, her face would be it! She reminded us that if you truly want to do something, to just do it and not wait for everything to be perfect, because that’s not what life is all about. You can find goodness through those imperfections and grow with what you create! To see the growth of Project Goodness has been an amazing experience and we can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve (rumor has it, there will be workshops involved)!