Don’t you love it when little threads of connections lead you to someone or something, and then it all comes together? The lovely Lyn Wedd from Little Acts of Kindness, is based on the Mornington Peninsula. She has a deep passion for practicing “little acts of kindness” by rescuing unloved materials and reimagining them into gorgeous artistic furnishings for inside your home with upcycled wood designs , as well as your outdoor living area and garden. She recently launched these “Kindness Bags” – gorgeous boutique style reusable Jute bags, lovingly hand painted by Lyn, with$1 from every bag going towards adopting Dolphins. That is so wonderful. You can head here to grab a few.
Lyn and Brendan rescue unloved materials from demolished homes, floor boards loaded with character from churches, driftwood, gorgeous fallen tree limbs, scrap metal and FSC approved timbers to create their beautiful work. You can listen to Lyn’s story on the podcast here with lots of tips about reducing plastics and helping to clean up our oceans.
Lyn is super passionate about plastic pollution, and sees first hand how it’s impacting our oceans, with hubby Brendan being a mad keen surfer, and living so close to the beach. “Dolphins are close to my heart, especially the Burrunan dolphin – its a species of bottle nose dolphin found exclusively in Port Phillip Bay & The Gippsland Lake” explains Lyn. To date they have not been found anywhere else in the world, with only about 150 mammals discovered. Sadly one was discovered washed up with plastic bags in its stomach, hence why Lyn created the Kindness Bags.
Plastic strangles, suffocates and chokes up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year according to cleanup.org. “This statistic tears at my heart. I simply can’t live this life not helping in some little way to prevent this from occurring” says Lyn.
Lyn’s story is also one of remarkable bravery and overcoming extremely traumatic circumstances. After being paralysed on the beach one day, she was diagnosed 8 years ago with Hemiplegic Migraines. These mimic strokes, including full left sided paralysis affecting her arm, hand, leg, foot, face, many times her tongue and she has no ability to speak and ask for help. They last anywhere between 10 – 90 minutes, then movement slowly returns, but weakness can last for days.
“It’s like part of the brain forgets how to function and I become a prisoner trapped inside, which is extremely confronting. Sadly 4 years ago they became chronic – the worst month was 23 days of Hemiplegia…Slowly, slowly I’m getting them managed, that is if you can manage hormones at that time of your life, which are my trigger… I’m limited with medication & treatment because of side effects and the probability of causing a stroke” says Lyn.
One one particular day, the episode lasted about 40 minutes and she could do was focus around her, when she noticed glistening in the sunlight numerous bright colours which turned out to be micro plastics. That’s when she realized the huge rubbish dumps that are out in the middle of the ocean are right here on our local beaches, and the majority of it is plastic. “I saw parallels with humanity being paralyzed towards their actions and the impact it has upon our environment, much like the paralysis I was experiencing and the impact it has on my own personal environment. I’m not able to ask for help neither can animals and our environment” stresses Lyn.
She explained to me that she knew immediately it wasn’t a coincidence that she was experiencing paralysis on the beach – “it was life saying please use your voice, speak up. I really felt the environment as an extension of my body, something was moving me! I knew from that moment I would create home and garden furnishings from unloved and ethically sourced materials, as well as “Kindness” bags”.
It totally unlocked a door in her heart that she had slammed shut many years ago, after having her designs stolen by a large Australian discount chain.
Another episode of paralysis on the beach happened and Lyn could not finish collecting all the plastic which she began to do after that first incident. It bothered her all day! “I felt so guilty for not collecting it all. It got the better of me and I grabbed my backpack and went back”. By the time she got to the beach she was totally exhausted which really pushed the anger button directed at herself…”I was flooded with anger at the thought of pushing myself, literally dragging my left foot as it was still weak, to pick up disrespectful people’s rubbish!’.
Lyn sat down grabbed her journal and wrote ‘Why?” Immediately the response was “because I care”. For some reason she looked up and noticed something in the water – it was a dolphin right there in front of her. She burst into tears and immediately was no longer moved to pick up from disrespectful people. Instead she was now moved to prevent Dolphins, birds and all marine animals from dying from the plastic & rubbish she was collecting and her heart changed entirely.
Lyn describes herself and Brendan as “dreamers, makers, signers, lovers of life, adventurers and weavers of beautiful handmade creations”. They have twenty-three fruit trees in their normal-sized backyard, with a wish list of about eight more. They are really passionate about growing their own food. Lyn says that life hasn’t gifted the couple any children to nurture, so they believe they are here to nurture the earth and speak up for those who can’t. Despite some terrible health in recent years, Lyn is doing all she can to spread little acts of kindness – what a remarkable human.
You can grab your Kindness Bags here.