Tag: Kindness

The Art of Giving to Yourself

Over the festive season there is a lot of giving going on, but how much are you giving to yourself?

In January it is time to give yourself gifts and feel true gratitude.

If we don’t fill up our own cup, we will eventually become depleted and not be able to give to anyone at all.

This is not only about gifts that come wrapped in shiny paper with ribbons, I am also talking about the gifts that cannot be wrapped.  The gifts of time, indulgence and those that do not have monetary value.

The Little Book of Hygge

For Christmas I was given The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish way to live well by Meik Wiking.  This is published by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.  My grandfather was from Denmark and I am entranced by this idea and how Danes find happiness.  I am sure I will be writing more on this subject this year, but for now I wanted to quote the book regarding giving and gratitude.

Wiking speaks of hygge in terms of giving yourself and others a treat.  ‘It is about savouring the moment and the simple pleasures of good food and good company.

‘It is giving the hot chocolate and whipped cream the attention it deserves. In short indulgence.Hygge is about the now and how to enjoy the moment and make the best of it.

‘More than anything, savouring is about gratitude.  Gratitude is more than just a simple thank you when you receive a gift, it is about keeping in mind that you live right now and allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have and not what you don’t.”

He confirms that evidence-based studies show that practising gratitude has an impact on happiness.

The Art of Giving to Yourself – January Challenge

As a January challenge I am going to give something to myself every week – and perhaps take it through 2017.  I would love it if you would join me on this challenge.

I have put a quick list together of gift items you may consider:

  1. I recently visited the Seabreeze Beauty Clinic in Oranmore (very close to where I live). This is a wonderful oasis of calm.  The staff are friendly and welcoming and the treatments I had were sublime.  I am definitely going back for one of my gifts to me.  In January it might be small – a manicure perhaps, but I have a whole lot more on my wish list.  The day spa includes a wonderful relaxation room, seaweed baths, a sauna and of course all the wonderful treatment rooms. (This was event organised by the wonderful ITWBN)
  2. A good book and a big cup of tea. There is nothing quite like a good book.  I read on my Kindle a lot and you can pick up a great read for as little as 99c.  I subscribe to BookBub and find out about some great deals.  Why not make yourself a jumbo cup or better yet a pot of tea and give yourself a full hour to sit quietly and read.
  3. Time out to simply be. We live in a world where everything is rush rush.  I am not the worst but I remember when I was working full time and there simply wasn’t time to be.  Why not book yourself a holiday day (or take a Saturday or Sunday). If you can’t do a full day start with a half day.  Tell your partner and family you are having a me day and do exactly as you want.  It may sound selfish but it really is important.  But refuelling in whatever way suits you best you will be in a far better place to be the best you can be.  It may be a day shopping, or going to the gym.  It is a day for doing what you want to do and answering to only you.
  4. Have tea with a friend. I love a good chat – and if it is accompanied by tea or coffee and cake even better.  Taking an hour or two out of your day won’t cause stress, I promise it will reduce it.
  5. Take a class. I teach craft classes and I think I get more out of the class sometimes than the students.  Putting yourself in a situation where you are in flow is so good for the soul.  Although I am tired, I am also energised after a class.
  6. Eat well. I am a few kilograms up after Christmas and despite loving all the yummy Christmas treats I don’t feel great.  I intend gifting myself with some lovely meals.  I will make them, set the table and sit down and eat them.  I will savour each bite and know I am giving my body a gift.
  7. A good magazine – or if you can afford it a subscription. I love the Psychologies magazine – it is my one monthly indulgence and it feeds my mind as well as being a great read.  No matter what you choose – choose for you, and of course feel free to indulge in a cup of something while you read.

 

The most important thing – according to Hygge is to savour your gift to yourself.

If you would like to join me on this challenge I would love to hear your ideas and how you get on.  Feel free to comment here or on Facebook.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

Human Kindness – the Story of the Yellow Handbag

The Yellow Handbag and a story of kindness

 

This is a little story about a yellow handbag, but really it is a story about human kindness.

I was visiting London just after Christmas and was delighted to receive a beautiful yellow handbag as a gift from my sister. I was excited, and immediately changed everything over.

The next day I packed up my things to catch a train to Birmingham where I was attending a craft exhibition at the NEC.  I felt really smart heading off with my new handbag and a borrowed backpack.

I need to stop here and draw a little picture of where I was in my life at the time.  I was suffering from severe depression and had made a decision (on my own) to come off the anti-depressants.  While I was over in London my Dad was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, and I was trying to process this.  Life was a little hard, to be honest but I was still determined that all would be well.

On the second day of the exhibition I packed up early and had a quick breakfast in my hotel in the centre of Birmingham before catching the rush hour train from Birmingham Central to Birmingham International.  I boarded the train with my backpack, my yellow handbag and my bag of goodies from the exhibition.

What I didn’t realise was that my body was going into withdrawal from the anti-depressants and that quite honestly I was cracking up.

It is a short distance from the station to the exhibiton.  Considering the day ahead, I walked along and then  I stopped and stumbled and nearly fell over in shock.  I didn’t have my handbag with me.

Passport, money, phone,  train ticket, air ticket, house and car keys, everything.  I felt physically sick.

I stumbled along to the organiser’s office where I told them what had happened.  They offered me a seat and the use of the phone.  By this stage everything had closed in on me.  I was crying uncontrollably.  The shock added to everything else that was going on in my life, the worry about my Dad and the loss of my handbag had flattened me.

I had no idea how I could even get back to London, never mind Ireland.

I walked back to the station and asked about my ticket.  “You need to purchase another ticket to London”, I was told.  I walked back to the NEC – I didn’t know what to do.

Human Kindness from a friend

On returning to the exhibition I tried to focus and realised that I needed money of some sort to at least get back to London and to my sister.  Thankfully Sara from Crafters Companion, who was exhibiting, knew me didn’t even hesitate – she loaned me 50 Pounds.

I tried to enjoy the exhibition but by this stage my heart was not in it.  I felt broken.

Walking back to the station, yet again I really didn’t know what to do.  Something led me back to the enquiries office where I had been turned away earlier.  The man on duty clearly saw my distress and told me to go down to Platform 7.

Human Kindness from a stranger

There I met the kindest man who took my missing handbag seriously.  He called everyone he knew.  He traced the train down to London where it was on a siding being cleaned.  He spoke to the cleaners.  He left no stone un-turned.  He checked every station along the way.  He checked lost property.  I just sat there with my crumpled tissue feeling lost and desperate.

Eventually he had exhausted all his options and we called the police.  There had been a number of incidents where handbags had been stolen they told me.  They took down the report.

Just as I sat down the phone rang.  ‘Stay here,” he said.  Minutes later he walked in with my handbag.  My beautiful handbag.  ‘Check it please,” he said.  I did and nothing at all was missing.

Human Kindness from a woman I never met

The story was that one of the staff members on Virgin Trains had seen me get on the train at Birmingham Central with the yellow handbag and seen me get off at Birmingham International without it.  She was near the area where I was sitting, and rescued my handbag and brought it back to Birmingham International where she knew I would be stranded.

This was quite a few years ago, but I have never forgotten the kindness of the man who helped me search for the bag and the woman who had cared enough to bring it back to me.  I don’t know if it is possible, but perhaps through social media I might find this angel and be able to thank her properly.

If you have a kindness story, I would love to hear it.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

 

 

 

 

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