Genuinely giving to others from a gracious and loving heart, especially to those who cannot give you anything back, is a gift to your own soul.
I feel that God Is working on healing the deep things in me, an ongoing perhaps lifelong process, and that now His Love is gradually enlarging my heart.
Whenever I see a new ‘follower’, or one of you liking my posts, my heart is touched to know that He Is using the painful things in my life, and turning them around, to hopefully encourage, inspire or help other people.
His Love Is at work in my heart and I am seeing this less as a part in my healing journey and more so in feeling somewhat awed to know that there are people, real people, you in this same country, and you on the other side of the world who might have their burdens eased a bit in their day. And that means so much to me. Not just because of the significance of it in my personal journey, but because of God’s Pure Love at work in my heart.
Is it possible to love people I may never meet? Is it possible to care so much about your wellbeing from the other side of a computer? I think it is really beginning to mean much more to me. That’s what you mean to me. People precious to and loved by God, and so He Is pouring His Love for you into my heart.
It touches me to know that you might find some comfort from this little blog, and I will seek and pray for His will to show me how to be an encourager, how to care for those He loves, how to help you when you are down and how to be a friend, albeit behind a computer screen, when you feel alone or in need of some advice on moving forwards.
I write a lot about a lot of different things from creativity, lifestyle, mental health, depression, faith, anxiety, and encouragement to name a few things. I write a lot from experience, so it is authentic, raw and real. If there are any things you would like me to write more about that might help you, please do comment and let me know.
Everyone needs compassion, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.
My love and prayers go out to each and every one of you. x
Instead of letting the tough times and suffering in your life turn you inward, allow that pain to make you more compassionate towards other people who need that human kidness, even today.
Let your suffering lead you to a deeper and more compassionate life.
Your kindness today might just be what somebody needs to help them keep going forwards in their life.
Everyone needs compassion. And that includes you, and me. Sometimes we face the cruellest words and unkindest treatment from our own selves. Self compassion can be a hard practice to learn, but it is also worth the time, and can be transformative to your outlook on life, your perception and feelings towards yourself, your mental and emotional health, your physical wellbeing and your relationships with other people as well as your confidence to make a positive difference in the world.
It can be hard to know where to start with being kind to ourselves, so here is a simple exercise, that although simple in concept can be challenging to some of the more ingrained negative thoughts and attitudes we hold towards ourselves. Give it a go….it can’t do any harm, and may in fact do you a lot of good. Be blessed. x
Self-Compassion Exercise – fill in the blanks:
Today I am grateful for_______________________
I recognise that I struggle with __________________________ , yet it took me courage to __________________________, and I am proud of myself for this.
I often compliment other people, and I recognise that as human beings we all are unique yet equal in worth. So, just as I compliment and show kindness to others, I will do so to myself. This is something I’d like to compliment myself on today________________________.
I realise I can be negative towards myself, especially in my ‘self talk’, whereas I am more encouraging to other people. I might not have done brilliantly at _____________________
but as an encouragement to myself, I’d like to say that _____________________________.
Something I like about myself is ___________________________________.
Something nice that other people say about me is________________________.
I recognise that I have the positive quality of____________________________,
and I’d therefore like to make a positive contribution to the world I live in and the people around me by__________________________________________________.
I am worthy of love, and I appreciate myself. I will be kind to others and myself. One way I will do this today is__________________________________________________.
You may have heard or seen the quote that encourages us to “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”. As I continue on my journey through life, I realise more and more the truth of this. It can be easy, especially if the hardships we faced have seemed more intense, unfair and challenging than those around us, to believe that other people are cruising along in their lives and don’t need any help. It can be far too easy to think that ‘so and so’ or ‘such and such’ has such a ‘perfect’ life of blissful ease, where everything goes right for them. We are drawn to look at the surface of things, to see only what we think we see rather than what is actually there.
Can you think of anyone you know now, as a friend, who has shared their struggles and difficulties and pain in life with you, but whom you once thought of as having it all together, before you came to know them? Most of the people I am friends with now and who know well can fit this description, and I can too. I used to put certain people on a ‘pedestal’ because they seemed to really be ‘good at life’ in a way that I was not. My pain and struggles were obvious to me, as yours will be to you, but the reality of things is that no one can live in this world for too long without having to face something that they would rather not. Many of those smiles you see are hiding something beneath the surface, some of the people whose lives seem amazing are harbouring deep hurt and insecurity. Remember that things are not always as they seem.
With that being said, I’d encourage you as a little ‘lunchtime inspiration’ to choose today to let your kindness shine. I’m sure you do so anyway, but sometimes a little reminder can go a long way to us being more intentional about things. Everyone gets hurt in this world. Every one. So use your lunchtime to show some kindness, no matter how small that act of kindness might seem to you, to someone in your life, or someone you come across that you may not know that could do with the blessing of kindness. When we begin to think of how to be kind, we begin to see that there are opportunities everywhere…from the gift to someone of sharing your smile, to a hug, an encouraging text, email or phone call, taking time to listen, to have that conversation, to help out someone with their work or just be a friend, to buy someone lunch, to give food to someone who is homeless, to telling your loved one that you love them, to be intentionally kind to the people we tend to take for granted….the list is endless. So use your lunchtimes wisely. And let your beautiful kindness shine forth to a world that is in much need of compassion. xx
Self-care is such an important practice to incorporate into our lives on a regular basis. But what even is it, and where do we start? I will blog in more detail on why this is important in a separate longer post, however, I want to keep these simple challenges ‘short and sweet’ and as accessible as possible so that if you so wish, you can follow along and incorporate some of these suggestions into your life.
Each of us is unique, and therefore what is important in terms of looking after ourselves, may vary significantly from person to person. However, we all do share similar basic needs in terms of health & wellbeing both emotionally/mentally and physically, so hopefully you will find something of value to enrich your life and relationship with yourself through this simple series.
So here goes, and keeping it quite simple for the first challenge:
~ Invest in a notebook that is just for you. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or expensive as there are plenty of places nowadays that you can buy a very inexpensive yet beautiful notebook. Just something that you are happy to look at and write in.
~Make it your aim to use this notebook ONLY for your self care challenges, i.e. not for shopping lists, or writing down friends’ birthdays or daily ‘to-do’s’ – this is your special personal space, just for you.
~And once you have your notebook, here’s a task for you. Think about someone you admire for their qualities and characteristics. This can be someone you know, someone from history or someone you’ve heard about through the media or through friends. Now think about what you admire about them, not physically, but in terms of character traits, such as kindness, gentleness, passion, commitment and so forth. Don’t write it down, just think about it.
~Next, gently and compassionately think about yourself. It may be hard to think positively about your own character traits, but just as you are able to do so for other people, now is your chance to do so for yourself. The difference this time is that I would like you to write down three to five character qualities about yourself that you admire, and think about at least one way for each of these qualities that you have displayed them.
Take your time over this, this is your time. Think about and appreciate what is special about yourself and write it down, with pen and paper preferably as I find you are more connected, but if you prefer to blog it, and link to this series, you are most welcome to do so, I would love it if we can go on this journey together and share insights as friends.
To help you out, I’ll give it a go myself.
Qualities about myself that I feel positively about:
1. Kindness ~ I have a genuine care and concern for other people and seek to do what I can to be helpful, kind and caring to them. In the past I have done special things for others such as making personalised gifts, giving food to homeless people and helping someone in a fatal accident before they died.
2. Loyalty ~ I am a good friend to people, and I love my friends and family. I seek to build and maintain good relationships with the people in my life and have long-lasting relationships with close friends and family as a result.
3. Creativity ~ I find inspiration almost everywhere, and long to share this inspiration with other people. Creative things that I do include photography, writing, blogging, ‘doodling’ and the occasional collaborative project with creative friends.
Ok, so now it’s your turn! Pretty simple, but important, and a good first step. I’d be delighted if you want to share with me, but there is absolutely no pressure to share your self care with anyone but yourself! So go for it…be kind to yourself today, and I’ll see you soon for Self-Care Challenge # 2. 🙂 xx
Picture courtesy of Google Images.
Kindness: noun: kindness
The novelist, Henry James, once said: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
The importance of kindness cannot be understated. Nor can it’s power to impact another’s life be underestimated.
You may be familiar with the film ‘Pay It Forward’, in which when a class was asked by their social studies teacher to come up with an idea that will have a positive impact on the world, one little boy, Trevor comes up with the idea of ‘paying it forward’. To pay it forward would mean that if someone does something good for you, instead of ‘paying them back’, you would ‘pay it forward’ to three more people and they in turn would do the same. A central premise, however, is that the act of kindness would have to be something of significance that the recipient couldn’t do or achieve for themselves.
I think this is a wonderful idea. However, I think acts of kindness don’t have to be ‘big’ or of monumental significance to have a deep and lasting impact on others and ourselves.
In thinking of the idea of ‘RAKs’ or Random Acts of Kindness, I have come to the conclusion that ‘random’ doesn’t need to mean unplanned.
We can have it in our minds and hearts that we will do something for someone even if we don’t know for whom or at what time in the day or week that might be. For example, buying a sandwich or a bottle of water and keeping it ready to give to a homeless person that we might come across.
There are so many ways we can inspire each other to be kind, and to extend that kindness beyond ourselves and our own circle of friends and contacts.
Think about a kindness someone has shown to you. No matter how small. Think about how that made you feel, and don’t underestimate the power of the gift of kindness that you hold in your own hands to give to another.
I remember in school, I had been bullied and was very introverted, shy and had little self esteem. I felt in many ways, dehumanised. Years passed and in my final year of school someone showed me kindness. Not with any monumental act or deed, but in simply taking the time to show that they cared, that I was worth listening to, and getting to know.
It was a real shock to my system, for although I had by that time managed to make a few ‘friends’ I had never before felt that anyone in school actually *cared*. The kindness was quiet, yet palpable. I didn’t know how to accept that someone would want to be kind to me.
And yet, a small gesture ultimately set the wheels in motion for my heart to soften, learn to trust and for my life to change.
My heart is open to giving kindness to others. We may never realise the impact that even a small act of kindness may make not just in someone’s day, but on the trajectory of their whole life. Isn’t that in itself miraculous?
I’d like to encourage you to think about kindness today. How you can be kinder to yourself and to other people. What could you do to reach out or to reconnect?
Here are a few ideas to get you started. And don’t forget to ‘pay it forward’ 🙂 With love, x.
- Reach out to a friend that you haven’t connected with for a while.
- Write a letter to tell someone that you care.
- Give a homeless person a drink or some food.
- Write a random note or a postcard to encourage someone and leave it in a library book, in a coffee shop, or somewhere that someone you don’t know will find it.
- Tell someone they are wonderful, today.
- Be aware of the people around you and whether they need help – the old adage about helping ‘grannies’ across the street, isn’t such a bad one 🙂
- Inspire yourself by making your own list of ‘random acts of kindness’ that you can plan to do in the coming month.