An Open Love Letter to Patti Digh, Mary Anne Radmacher, and Karma

poster gift from Patti Digh to her mailing list

I am cradled today in the comfort of kindness, the awareness that every kindness you ever offer somehow finds it’s way back to you. In the simplest way, this is karma–every action has a consequence. Today, I am humbled by it, my heart softened, opened by the practice of generosity, and the kindness that has found it’s way to me because of it. I feel tender and raw, sad and weepy because of it, but also so joyful and grateful.

card from Mary Ann Radmacher

Patti Digh is one of my favorite authors, humans. I have learned so much from her about showing up, keeping my heart open, cultivating courage and compassion. She’s given me so much, and there is no way to repay that kind of gift directly or completely.

live shot of Patti during a virtual party for the launch of her new 37 days website, oh that smile!

And yet, at the end of this summer, I had an opportunity to help her, to give what I could give. Her husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer during a time when he had no health insurance and he needed an expensive surgery. The John F. Ptak Relief Fund was created and I was happy to donate, happy to offer some small kindness to a woman who’d already given me so much.

The story doesn’t end there. Just as I was about to make a donation, Mary Ann Radmacher announced on Facebook that the first ten people to make a $100 donation and contact her would get an original piece of her work. She’s an amazing artist and writer. I love everything she does. Her quote “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow” has offered me so much comfort in the past year.

To create my original piece, she asked for my most favorite colors (purples, blues and greens–colors of flowers, the ocean, and the trees), shape (infinity symbol) and most treasured iconic image (lotus flower). When the package arrived in the mail and I saw what she’d made, my heart was so full it felt like it would break.

Holy Wow. I can’t stop staring at it. And that’s not all, she also sent me a signed copy of her new book, Honey in Your Heart: Ways to See and Savor the Simple Good Things. Do you understand, kind and gentle reader? She didn’t have to do that. The book wasn’t part of the deal, a deal that was already super sweet, above and beyond, but she sent it along anyway, added a bonus gift. One generous act beget a kindness that, as it was passed along from person to person, heart to heart, grew so big, got so bright. I have faith that it won’t stop with this.

“Honey is a sweetness, occurring as the result of creatures doing what comes from acting according to their nature,” says Mary Anne in the introduction to her new book. We humans are fundamentally good, inherently compassionate and wise, and this sweetness, these kind acts (Patti giving, me giving to her, and Mary Anne giving to me because I gave to Patti), this infinity loop of generosity and love is, I believe with my whole heart, just that: the result of creatures doing what comes from acting according to their nature.

8 thoughts on “An Open Love Letter to Patti Digh, Mary Anne Radmacher, and Karma

  1. tinakomi

    Thank you for this, Jill! You’re so right about these women. I had the great fortune of meeting Patti when I took a workshop she gave in Portland a couple of years ago, along with Jennifer Louden and Susan Piver. Patti’s amazingly funny and warm (as are, of course, Jen and Susan.) Patti is a national treasure!

    I missed the post from Mary Ann about her wonderful offer, but am definitely going to order “Honey in the Heart.” I looked at her other books and think I may have come up with a couple of wonderful Christmas gifts.

    You’re a gift in my life too, sweet Jill! xoxo

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I remember you telling me about that workshop. I’m so jealous. They were supposed to do another one this year, but I think it got interrupted by the need to focus on John’s health. I was thinking the same thing about her books, what great gifts they would make! And I’m so glad to hear from you. I’ve been thinking about you, missing you. Much love!

  2. Lissa @ lafcustomdesigns

    Jill, I don’t know you well, but I know enough. You deserve all the good that comes your way! The gift that showed up in my mailbox from you today renewed my belief in the goodness in the world. I was overwhelmed at your kindness. Thank you.

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I love the way you share your heart. ;->

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I’m so glad you liked it! I was worried you may have already bought it for yourself by the time it got to you. I’ll be curious to hear what you think about it. I’m really enjoying it. I’m so glad you found me too 🙂

  3. Kimberley McGill (@berleyq)

    I’m so glad I stopped in tonight. The beautiful art, the beautiful big hearted women you write about, your lovely way of experessing it all. The thing that I needed so much tonight was that last quote. My heart was stirred up with conflicting emotions. I decided to read a few of my favorite blogs before my bed-time practice. Thank you, the rumbling in my heart has settled with the beautiful reminder.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Me too, Kimberley–that quote has been a saving grace for me on so many days, kept me from smashing myself to bits for “not getting it right.” I’m so happy it was helpful to you too.


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