No Jacket Required…

Posted by Sooz on Saturday, January 15, 2011 | 5 Comments

Welcome to The Society for the Preservation of Goodness – yes, we know, it sounds all stuffy and formal, like you should be wearing pearls or a bow tie just to say it. But really, it is very simple. We believe goodness is important and can change your life. Our goal is to help people live beautiful, authentic, well-functioning lives by helping them pursue goodness for themselves and the people they care about. We encourage everyone to look for Beauty, Trueness, Love, and Life-Giving Things everyday. We have found these things to be at the core of goodness itself. Focusing your thoughts in this direction can have amazing effects. We hope you will explore goodness with us and see what it can do for you! Come as you are…no jacket required.

What do Yosemite and the Society have in Common?

For 15 years Meri Lee would talk to Sooz about wanting to have a business. This business would, above all else, communicate to people that they are loved. It would remind people of good things, and encourage them. The two friends had much conversation about their ideas and dreams, but for a hundred different reasons, nothing ever came together.  Just when it seemed that all hope was lost and it was time to give up on their big dream…an idea came.

The Ken Burns’ special, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” had premiered and the Goodness Girls found it very inspirational. To learn about men who had the wisdom and foresight to set aside land to be preserved for future generations, who sacrificed and gave their lives for this dream – that was compelling. To hear the beautiful words of John Muir float through the air as we watched the majesty of forest vale and mountain range parade across the screen  – that was deeply moving. To think about the countless lives that have been blessed and changed because of the efforts of these people to hold on to something sacred and pass it on to the future – that was inspiring.  The series proved to be quite thought provoking and challenging.

What if we were able to create a “Society” that was given to the same kind of purpose as the preservation of the parks? What if we could start a movement to preserve something huge and sacred; something that was at risk of fading out of style, if not full force extinction? What if we could stand up for Goodness? It was a concept not as easily outlined as a mountain range, but surely as important to preserve. So Meri Lee and Sooz sold Beth Ann on the idea (it was easy), and the three of us were off! We hope you will feel the tug to travel along with us and join us on this magnificent adventure. We need you – for Goodness’ sake.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to pray in and play in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” - John Muir

Not Gurus…just girls!

The Goodness Girls are three friends who are just crazy enough to think that they might be able to make a little bit of difference in this big old world. We have embarked on the Goodness journey together and are learning how to build our nests and strengthen our hearts through beauty, trueness, love and life-giving things. We have seen each other suffer and are watching each other soar. We want to share what we have learned with you in hopes that it will make your journey a little easier. We are not therapists, counselors, clergy, or gurus – just girls (well, at least in our minds we are still girls) who love goodness.

Some Facts about Us

  • 1 of us plays the harmonica
  • 2 of us are Cancer survivors
  • 1 of us is an artist
  • 2 of us live on the same street
  • 3 of us think You Matter!
  • 1 of us is a homeschooler
  • 3 of us love Book Club
  • 1 of us drives a tractor
  • 2 of us love to travel outside of the US
  • 1 of us just wants to live in a barn
  • 2 of us enjoy the occasional after dinner cigar
  • 1 of us is a phenomenal cook (2 of us wanted to say gourmet, but she said no) who dreams of life in Tuscany
  • 3 of us have pets
  • 1 of us got a pistol and holster for her last birthday
  • 3 of us think tenderness is sexy
  • 1 of us is of Native American decent
  • All of us believe that you are worth investing our time and energy in.

The Pillars of the Society

  • Goodness is the greatest untapped natural human resource and must be promoted and preserved. (save goodness)
  • The process of cultivating goodness must begin inside you, and then be passed on to others.  (inside > out)
  • Goodness grows in us when we feed on Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life Giving things. (good in, good out)
  • Goodness is best preserved and spread one person at a time. Systems fail, our priority is the individual. (one person at a time)
  • The practice of instilling and spreading goodness must be specific and intentional. (build a good nest)

Could You Define that for Me Please?? Need a little clarity on what we mean…

The Society:  A community of people devoted to pursuing and promoting goodness in our own lives and the lives of others. Go Goodness!

Preservation: The saving, keeping, and passing on of goodness from one generation to the next. Just think…you can leave a Legacy of Goodness!

Good: The ancient meaning of the word Good is a picture of a woven structure surrounding a person or family – like a nest. The definition implies that if something is good, then it helps create a healthy, balanced, protective environment around you so that you can function as you were created to.

Goodness: Things that promote a beautiful, authentic, well-functioning life – the “twigs” of your nest.

Nest: A place intentionally created inside and around you where your heart rests, where you feel safe, valued, loved, and enjoyed. Like a bird’s nest, it is carefully constructed from materials that give it strength, comfort, and purpose. It’s your home within.

Heart/Soul: The place in you where you feel and desire and long for things. It’s where your “gut feelings” come from. It is here that love, passion, and character are born. It is NOT, in this case, the organ in your chest that pumps blood! It is where the real you lives…the essence of who you are. (Note: We use heart and soul interchangeably)

Beauty: Things that stir your heart. Beauty typically comes to you through the senses, but it can also come through memories or emotions. Nature is a primary source of beauty, as is music, food, poetry, art, and friendship, to name a few. Taking in beauty on a daily basis is vital to well-being.

Trueness: Our world is full of things that are fake or false, from altered foods to plastic friends. We encourage you to seek out what is real and true in your world. That might mean eating better foods or it could mean looking in the mirror and accepting a difficult truth about yourself. Insisting on things that are true and real in your life will give you a safer better nest that you can trust – and that is worth everything.

Love: The full devotion of your heart toward someone or something – including yourself! Love is a lot like water. It has to flow and move to be at its very best. Like water, no one can make it without love. It can be as difficult to receive as to give if your nest is not safe.

Life-Giving Things: Anything that promotes beauty, authenticity, and life in you. It can be as unique as you are. Some examples we promote are, taking time to be creative, spending time in silence to listen to your heart and see what it needs, caring for your physical body, pursuing your spiritual life, caring for others in a balanced way.

Inside>Out: The Society believes that it is vital to start your path toward goodness by making sure that you have a good safe place for your own heart to live. Our world has become deaf to the heart and few even give it any time or attention. Goodness starts in the heart of man. We believe that anything lasting must begin and be established there, then move out into the world around you.

Good in >Good out: We encourage you to pay close attention to what goes into your body, soul/heart, and spirit. These things often end up in your nest and have a profound effect on the quality of your life. They also affect what comes out of you toward other people. If you put in goodness, goodness will come out once you have a good safe nest.

One Person at a Time: Time and time again we see that systems fail. We believe that the only way to truly promote and preserve goodness in the world is to focus on individuals – one nest at a time. We are interested in YOU and seeing goodness start there!

Twigs: Just like a bird’s intricate nest, your nest must be carefully and intentionally constructed out of very special materials. Trueness, beauty, love, and life-giving things – these are examples of “twigs” that you can use to build your nest. The important thing is that to have a safe and reliable place for your heart, you must know the condition of your nest and what it needs, then be intentional about building or repairing it.

Field guides to Goodness: Field guides are guidebooks designed to help you find your way through some of life’s most challenging situations. They have been specifically created to show you ways to increase goodness in your own life, and ways you can help provide goodness for others.

A Legacy of Goodness: Did you know that you can actually create a Legacy of Goodness that you leave behind for those you love? These are the unique and creative expressions of goodness that you become know for over your lifetime. These things become a lasting and powerful gift to those you love for generations to follow.

5 Responses

  1. Cindy says:

    Ladies, I love the site, especially the bird’s voice and the great ideas for spreading goodness. Thanks for helping myself and others to recognize the heart of goodness. I commend all three of you! I am really looking forward to more great stuff!!!

    • Sooz says:

      We thank you Cindy and celebrate your brave return to college as an adult. Watch out world, Cindy is preparing to share her own goodness with you!!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    As a recipient of goodness, I am so proud of where else it has gone. This is a dream made real through years of hard work and true love and I am so happy for you all. If ever anyone questions the benefits of the things you stand for (after they get done talking to your children- the testing ground for this goodness you spread) they can call me. My life has been changed by the goodness you promote. Keep up the goodness- can’t wait for what hatches next.

    • Sooz says:

      Humbled by your kindness and hopeful for much “hatching” of goodness. From one lover of goodness to another, Much Love.

  3. Pam says:

    Oh my gosh! This is so inspirational! There is so much information that indeed, passes on Goodness! Thank you, Thank you Thank you!

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