At Paul Terry & Associates, we make wisdom stones for our colleagues and clients. These stones have become a long-standing tradition (over 20 years!) and they express our intention to help small business owners tune in to their passions, stay focused on their goals, find meaning in their business management, and make a difference in the world.
Each stone, with its special design and word of inspiration, is unique and the process of making them is a labor of love.
Every year my wife, Leslie, creates a stone design. Together we select river rocks from a quarry, we wash and scrub them, I apply linseed oil, and then Leslie glues interesting handmade papers to each rock, often incorporating string or twine. The last step in the process is adding a word of wisdom to the back of each stone.
After so many years of making these stones and sharing them with others, we started to wonder… where do they end up and what do they mean to people?
So we asked. Here is some of what we found out…
They decorate people’s bookshelves, tables and mantels:
They live in the office, the bathroom and the garden:
And they can be found in many rooms throughout peoples’ houses:
“One is on my table, another on my bookshelf, a fourth by my meditation area, and a fifth by my bedside.”
“The chaos of my life always benefits from having a few wisdom stones nearby. And yes, they are in every room of my house. Almost.”
For some people, the stones are decoration. For others, they are continued inspiration. One colleague keeps her wisdom stones in her office and they inspire her communication with her clients. Another colleague shared,
“I sometimes have a client pick up a rock to guide our consulting session if they are stuck on some issue: it breaks them into a smile!”
This colleague used her wisdom stones at a party once as a way to introduce people to each other. Each party guest read a word on a rock and shared what it meant for them, which made for some fun ice breaker introductions. She then mused that if she could remember which rock she received on which year, it would be interesting to look at the words of wisdom and see how they matched the trajectory of her business and her business growth.
It has been fun to see where these stones have ended up and what they mean to people. For me, making the stones and then giving them away is a way to connect to community… sharing small objects of beauty that hopefully bring joy and inspiration to others.
If you have ever received a PTA wisdom stone, please let me know what it means to you.