Listen with Your Eyes

Affirmation Bowls

We hear so much about what’s wrong in the world that we can easily forget that a lot of kindness and generosity happens every day. An Affirmation Bowl is a tangible reminder of those people who help us, love us, support us and bring meaning into our lives.

The Affirmation Bowl Project is a tangible way to focus on those people who help us, love us, support us and bring meaning to our lives. On January 28,100 art bowls will be distributed to each participant to keep for three months. During that time they should display it in a prominent location where it can be seen daily, prompting them think of their friends, family, or even strangers who have been an important part of their life. When the three months are up they will be reminded to pass it on to someone whose presence in their life they wish to affirm. They are to tell the recipient why they want them to have the bowl – to say thank you, and perhaps even you are special to me because. The cycle will repeat four times over the course of one year and then returned to me for a final exhibition and celebration. 

The Affirmation Bowl Project has begun

Round One: February - April 2018

Round Two: May - July 2018

Round One: August - October 2018

Round One: November 2018 - January 2019

As the bowls have travelled I have received many interesting and heart-warming stories about the people who have given and received them. In the spring of 2019, there will be an exhibition of the bowls, and their stories at The Simcoe County Museum, Barrie ON. Details to follow.


1. What do I do with the bowl?
Nothing other than putting it in a spot where you'll see it every day and use it as a prompt, a reminder to think about all of the important people in your life. It's a sculpture, you're meant to look at it.

2. How much does it cost to participate?
There is no cost to participate, but each participant is responsible for transporting the bowl to the next participant  (of their choice), whether it's delivered in person, taken in a car or sent in the mail. Participants are also required to submit a 100-word story or reflection about their time with the bowl.

3. You want a story about the bowl?
The stories about the people who give and receive the Affirmation Bowls and are an important part of this project. Who gave you the bowl? How did you feel when you received it? Did it arrive at an important time? Was there an unexpected outcome? Did synchronicity play a role? How did it make you feel to receive the bowl?I want to hear about the people – those who inspired you to give a bowl; what it meant to receive one – anything that you feel is important. Short stories only please - no more than 100 words. And, to ensure privacy, no last names will be used and first names will be changed at the request of each participant.

4. How long do I keep the bowl?
Every person will keep the bowl for three months. When that time is nearly up I will send an email reminder that it's time to send the bowl on to the next person.

5. What do I do with my bowl after the 3 months are up?
If you are the first, second or third person to get the bowl, you choose a meaningful person in your life, send the bowl to them and tell them why you've chosen them. If you are the fourth person to get the bowl, you must return it to me at the end of your three months.

6. What are my responsibilities as a participant?
It will be the responsibility of each participant to transport the bowl to the next person in the chain and to assume all associated costs. This may mean driving it in your car, walking it across the street or sending it by mail or courier. Creating the bowls was a labour of love, but it involved thousands of hours of work and took more than a year to complete. In order to ensure that none of the bowls go astray participants are required to get tracking numbers for all bowls sent by mail or courier, and that bowls that go sent outside the country must be sent via air mail since surface delivery may take several months and delay the project. I have great faith in those who choose to participate in this project. The bowls are made of a variety of mixed media, but are primarily made of fabric. They are pieces of art, meant for display purposes only. They are not toys and are therefore not suitable for children. Do not use them to hold food or get them wet. I ask only that you take care of the bowl as you would a precious keepsake.

7. Where do I send the story?
Stories are to be sent to within one week of passing the bowl along to the next participant. Reminder notifications will be sent to project participants.

8. What happens to the bowls at the end of the year?
The fourth person to receive each bowl will return it to me at the end of their three months. When all of the bowls are back there will be a display of the bowls along with the stories of their travels.

9. If the 4th person sends the bowl back to you, what story will they have to tell?
The fourth person can write about how it felt to receive the bowl; what it meant to them; anything they feel is important.

10. I want to participate. How do I become a particpant?
Great! Email me using the I Want to Participate button near the top of this page. Bowls will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis.

11. Where can I get my bowl?
The bowls will be given out at the Simcoe County Museum, Barrie, Ontario on Sunday, January 28th, 2018. They will return to the museum at the end of their year long journey for an exhibition that includes the stories of their travels. To be part of this exciting adventure you must register in advance. You must be present to pick up your bowl in person OR make arrangements to get your bowl in advance of the pick up date. Contact me at I will confirm your registration and keep you updated!

12. I don't live in nearby, can I still participate?
Yes. Contact me at info@listenwithyoureyes and together we'll find a way to get you a bowl!

The Bowls

Bowls have been around for millennia . Like people, they are vessels for holding things . . . in the same way people are the vessels of their own personal stories. Regardless of who we are; our age, gender identity, ethnicity, or sexual orientation deep down inside we're all very much the same. We all want to find a place in the world, to belong and we share similar hopes and dreams. The stories about the people who give and receive the Affirmation Bowls are an important part of this project. The Affirmation Bowls are individually hand-made pieces of art, much like a piece of sculpture. No two bowls are the same, just as no two people are the same. They are not meant to be "used", but rather displayed. The intent is for you to display the bowl somewhere you will see it every day, and to use it as a prompt or reminder to pause for and few minutes and think about the special people in your life.