Origins in Lifelong Friendship
Women in Mind, Women in Kind
Two childhood friends came to the same place in life at the same time, realising they had shared skills and resources that could make a difference to the health and education of women across the globe. They are inspired to connect lives with compassion. Their own passions in life have fused with the intent to create a cycle of giving and receiving which can nurture self and serve others.
One woman’s purpose and passion for sharing mindfulness (women’s health physiotherapist and business owner, Mandy Hogan) aligned with the other woman’s passion and dedication to teaching self-identity and belonging (teacher and business owner, Liz Phillips).
Both Mandy and Liz have invested high levels of energy in their separate successful businesses for over 25 years and have been dedicated to their growing families and local communities. In 2017, they each arrived at a time in their lives that sees them shifting focus from some of those past responsibilities to expand and pursue a greater purpose in their future vocations.
Bringing Us Full Circle
History has a habit of bringing people full circle. After painting and dressing-up together at kindergarten, Liz and Mandy later shared secondary school classes, with big dreams for their futures. As sixteen year olds, they marvelled at the cultural differences in the world on their first overseas school trip to Papua New Guinea. At age 20, they found themselves embarking on their dream adventure of trekking together in the wondrous Himalayas of Nepal. On arrival in Kathmandu those 30 years ago, they were each presented with the white Khata scarf which is a Tibetan tradition for sharing compassion and purity of heart, from the giver to the receiver. These actual scarves have since remained on Liz’s bedside table awaiting their future direction!
Recently a combined vision for these women came to light over a glass of pinot noir in the Huon Valley, Tasmania on a 50th birthday celebration weekend with other old school friends. As they toasted and celebrated their gifts in life, the ‘girls’ reflected on their learnings in life.
Mandy shared her desire as a health professional to have a greater impact on educating busy Western women that taking time for self is essential for protecting mental health and nurturing physical health. She described her practice of taking 'one white day a week' on a regular basis. This is her example of her own self-compassion that dedicates time for replenishment of mental, emotional and physical energy reserves. It allows her to sustain health whilst keeping up with the demands of a productive and goal-oriented life.
Beginning With White
The 'white' concept grew as the Tasmanian wine flowed, and the friends chatted. Soon, an imaginary book was being written called One White Day a Week, with a white scarf wrapped around the book! This scarf would be a token gift for the book purchaser to wear as a reminder that it’s OK to dedicate time to self first, in order to then be able to serve others.
With that thought, Liz’s eyes lit up as she said, “Mand, remember the white scarves we were given in Kathmandu? Let’s go back to Nepal and source white scarves from women there to help women in need across all walks of life!”.
The dream soon became reality. Those two young girls of the past returned to Kathmandu as 50-year-old women to source a hand-made supply of the white scarf from the fair-trade organisation Seven Women (sevenwomen.org) and Association of Craft Producers (ACP).
They have commenced the not-for-profit project called Connect with Compassion and intend to use the white scarf as a symbol of self-nurture and to cultivate an ability to share gratitude, compassion and generosity to others. The sharing of the white scarf will be underpinned by increasing mindful awareness of how compassion can nourish self and serve others in a cycle of giving and receiving for improving mental and physical well-being of women from east to west, north to south.
Liz and Mandy are passionate about making a difference to the health and education of as many lives as they can across the globe, by sharing this concept of loving kindness for all human beings.
"Share your smile with the world. It's a symbol of friendship and peace."