Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
I feel a need to say I'm not talking about major trauma here, though I'm not saying don't try. Or don't achieve. But you know those niggly annoying things, it's them I'm chatting about here. Say you're cut up by someone in the traffic queue, someone talking too loudly on the train whilst you're trying to work, everyday things that we can allow to perculate and grow into bigger irritations.
The penny dropped for me last week when my neighbour, who has probably been one of my biggest teachers, did what she has done over the last nearly 5 years and did her purposeful ignoring in front of someone else. I'm over the drama of it, and can relate to it being her show not mine and I don't have to participate in it. But still it irked a little. It wasn't acted out from a place of being respectful to another, or being kind, two values I appreciate lots.
So instead of dwelling, I decided I'd look for 3 nice things I could do for someone else. Clearly somewhat enthusiastic about my idea, I set off to buy flowers, dropped one bunch off at a friend's, had one myself and put 4 in a bucket with a note saying that it felt like a day for a random act of kindness - if you'd like a bunch of flowers please to help yourself. By just after lunchtime there was just a soggy note (it was a gentle North Yorkshire drizzly kind of a day) and an empty bucket left.
I'm a big believer in a random act of kindness and feel sure that really that's what makes the world go round, not gravitational forces and magic, but kindness. Rutger Bregmen's book Humankind* gives illustration after illustration of it. Intriguingly some of them are things I was taught whilst studying my degree - and here the other side of them is seen after his unpicking of original research or reports. He shows what happens when the 'real' Lord of the Flies occurs, when a group of school kids steal a boat and find themselves washed up on a deserted island for 15 months. There's a write up of it here. Bregman gives example after example of kindness (frequently not the story about incidents we were given) and the beauty of humanity shines through.
Chatting about what to do when people aren't kind to you with friends one time, the answer came 'still kindness' and I mused on that. Kindness directed where? I'm all on board, but still the answer didn't provide, well, any answers for me. In the end I found more personal strength (and compassion for self and the other) from undertaking more of Kirstin Neff's Fierce Self Compassion work which is, well, totally brilliant and I recommend her book/website to people frequently.
But this time I got it - for each time I get one of the nonsense moments (I'm on board with the fact that to me it makes no sense, to her probably all logical), I'll instigate a few moments of joy or kindness. And not just if events occur from the same person - if other things cause upset or hurt, I'll use the same strategy. 3 is the number that springs to mind, but I'm also aware of my disliking being told what to do - even by myself. So at least 1. Probably 3.
What to do? It could be letting someone go in front of you in the car or supermarket, a compliment, a smile, a cake, bunch of flowers, setting up something nice for someone else - or yourself - let's not forget acts of kindness for ourseves.
In a world where we rush about, busy busy style, stopping, slowing and doing something lovely for ourselves is a perfectly valid moment of joy or kindness in my opinion.
Of course don't suppress your emotions, do allow yourself the time needed to process things if and where needed - but our brains are generally great at looking for the bad out there, and I'm a big fan of neuroplasticity (or as I like to call it neuropossibility). We can easily see the negatives, but what if we look for the joys, and how we can bring small joys to the world for and around ourselves? It may just be that the spectacles become more rose tinted by themselves.
PS Telling a friend (who happens to be an entirely brilliant coach) about my realisation and subsequent actions, she sent this blog on the topic that she'd found. Further evidence of kindness helping the world go around. Or at least feel more joyful. Love it.
I have a feeling we can all co-create a more joyful, beautiful world from little acts of kindness, bringing moments of joy to each other.
* I have no affiliation with Waterstones where the link goes to - but rather them than Amazon - that said, buy from wherever you like, or better yet, get your local library to get a copy (or 5) in.
Love to hear what you think - and I love ideas for kind deeds so feel free to share away other joyful acts if you like.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.