We hosted a beautiful Letter Earthlings event in Dubai last weekend where 19 of us came together to write 70 letters that will soon reach 5 people who live across the world!
The event was at XVA art hotel and café, and their beautiful, calming space really set the tone for our gathering. Anita and her two lovely sons Aryan and Siddharth, 11 and 14 years of age, were the first to arrive, very promptly, 20 minutes before we were to start. Karen found out about the event from a friend of hers travelling into Dubai, only an hour and a half before it started, but still turned up with a bunch of stamps, stars and pretty little things to add love to the letters. Satish had been lost, trying to find his way through the winding alleys that lead to the café, until he stumbled upon ever smiling Joanne who was also on her way to the event. It feels like there were many serendipitous moments that brought people together in the circle.
We were blown away by the sincerity with which people were writing. They were truly there to step up their feeling of empathy for those they were writing to and expressed this so well in their beautifully crafted and designed letters. Just watching this made us smile so much 🙂
We closed with a circle of sharing where everyone shared one recent story of connection with a stranger. Mavi shared about a recent taxi ride in Amsterdam that had left her in tears because of how deeply she connected to the driver. They had this almost ‘emergency break moment’, when they discovered that both of them were vegan! Karen shared about her experience writing the letters and about how deeply she connected to one of the requests. Varunya elevated the energy (as always) with her powerful story of connection to a family at a café in Dubai. Turned out that the man she was talking to was a new hire to the company she works for and she’d just emailed an hour before! She gave his entire family heart pins and was ecstatic when he showed up for his first day of work wearing his heart (on his sleeve). Satish laid his heart open with his deep shares about his deep empathy and love for people. He’d recently helped an old couple get to the hospital easily, and was embraced with so much love for doing so. Joanne was moved by two new friends she made on her travels to Casablanca, who were just so curious to get to know her better and understand her culture. Constantina shared an amazing experience from her travels in Iran, where she’d met a local family on the bus and ended up staying with them at their home for a night, creating moments of human connection that will stay in her heart. Toprak shared about her experience during the event and how she’d found that she was able to deeply empathise with everyone she was writing to. Anita shared a powerful story of communication that went beyond language. She’d worked in the department of mental health at a hospital and a young woman who’d been in and out over 4 years, finally shared what she was going through in a language Anita barely understood. Anita’s youngest son Aryan beautifully reflected on the event, “Being here is my moment of connecting with strangers. It’s nice to be with all of you, write, laugh and have a good time. My heart feels good.” Troy perhaps the sincerest writer shared that he hoped the letters he wrote would touch the hearts of the people who received them and make some kind of difference to their day! Ravi, a frequent volunteer shared how he loved showing up at these events to connect with people. Sonia shared a story of connecting deeply with a taxi driver in Dubai, so much so that he refused to take a payment from her when she arrived at her destination. Siddharth beautifully said, “I see what we are doing here as a way of bringing a beacon of light and hope into the lives of people.” Shweta wrapped it up with a very kind story of how a colleague had gone a long way to transform a rough day by surprising with her favourite banana bread.
Nikki who couldn’t stay till the end sent us a note sharing, “when I was walking back home I realised how complete and selfless I felt. Those were an amazing 45 minutes of my life after a very long time. Doing an anonymous activity made sure that not even my unconscious ego was served at all.” Karl amazed us with his sketch of the London skyline in a mindfully crafted letter to a recipient in London. Aimy and Pooja as always brought their genuine hearts and desire to be kind to the circle.
Overall it was a little bit of magic and a lot of kindness. We are grateful! 🙂
Letter Earthlings is one of our most popular projects. We receive letter requests from individuals through our google form; for their friends, family, colleagues or maybe even themselves. These requests maybe for someone going through a tough or just for someone who needs to reminded of their awesomeness. And then we get together at community events to write letters of love, encouragement and support to these strangers all around the world. The letters are beautifully packaged and posted anonymously to the recipients. And one fine day the recipient receives this bundle of handwritten letters filled with love and compassion from different parts of the world 🙂