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Recycling Attitudes: A Personal Journey

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I wrote this blog three years ago when we began our partnership with Thistle Farms. Penny, one of the women who I met when visiting with the Paper Studio @ Thistle Farms for the first time, died this week. She was beloved by us and so many.  While our Bee United Limited Edition attitude has a red, white and blue undertone, it is inspired by our vision to be a company where everyone belongs and feels united in a common cause to bring positivity into the world. Penny brought so much positivity into our lives with the beautiful packaging she made for us and her own great way of being in the world.

Penny (read more about Penny here)

A couple of weeks ago we went to Thistle Farms to see the beautiful packaging they had created for our shirts.  While there, a woman who works at Thistle Farms told me that she loved making the paper from recycled grocery bags because for so much of her life, she felt discarded. So to make something beautiful from a grocery bag that would otherwise be discarded was healing for her. I was so moved by this because I could relate.

Often in life we get lost in the outsides, in appearances and we lose the common threads that bind us – the way we are just want to belong, fit in, be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  Abraham Maslow, a developmental psychologist most well-known for his hierarchy of needs, places the need for belonging 3rd in his hierarchy preceded only by safety and basic physiological needs.

While the outward stories of this woman and I might differ, our inner stories had a common theme.  For much of my life, I struggled with feeling discarded, lonely, less than and I have never really understood where these feelings began until I recently heard a Ted Talks by Brene Brown on vulnerability.

In her talk, Brene Brown talks about shame and how she defines shame was a lightbulb moment for me. In her definition, shame is a fear of not being worthy of connection. In other words, of being discarded. Maybe it was the time I forgot my lines in a school play, or when my dad died in 1st grade or when I became terrified of going to school in 7th grade – there are many moments in my life where I can identify that the underlying fear was losing connection to others – or shame. I now see that feeling discarded was probably my just throwing myself out before others might.

The beauty of getting older is the healing that often happens from self-defeating behavior and thoughts. Similar to the woman from Thistle Farms, at Bee Attitudes we recycle attitudes that need discarding and recreate them as positive, healthy attitudes that are much more comfortable to “wear”. At the same time, hoping to create a community where literally everybody can find a shirt and attitude that fits. Where everyone belongs. 

Thanks for being part of our growing community. For supporting us, spreading the buzz and helping our beloved homegrown company bloom.  We are so thankful that our healthy, happy and healing attitudes will be packaged in the beautiful recycled paper made by the amazing women of Thistle Farms.  

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