By our resident coach, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley, aka The Wellness Chief
This week we had a little LWL festive celebration, which left me feeling all the feels, even if I had to make an earlier than desired exist thanks to a 5AM alarm that was followed by the longest Friday ever. The whole evening from start to end was full of real conversation that made me really walk away feeling like I was a better human for being part of this community.
Kindness, would be the one word to sum up the whole evening and conversations had. Whether that was the kindness in Emma opening up her home to us or the fact that she attempted non-alcoholic prosecco for me, or the fact that we talked about how we could help some of our nearest and dearest together to really make a difference this season or the idea of us listening so intently to each other as we shared some of the woes we have been struggling with without being judgmental or just the general chat that was being had around us all just trying to be better humans in a world where it sometimes seems as though kindness is really hard to find or the multiple other things we discussed that add to this equation.
As the night drew to an end for me, I waddled into my Uber with the word kindness on my mind as it stayed in their through a sleepless night, an early morning SoulCycle ride that was done to raise money for Mind with colleagues of mine, through a million administrative immigration appointments and through a whole host of work calls which wrapped up my Friday and then onwards as the weekend began.
Kindness as defined through google is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.
Just let that definition sit with you for a moment. And then ask yourself what the last thing you did that could be classified by this definition and on the reverse, what was the last thing you were on the receiving end for that could be classified as kind.
It took me awhile to really think about both questions for myself and not because I am an unkind person (or at least I don’t think I am!), but because as of late I have found myself so focused in on all the unkindness around me. You know, the people that haven’t been around, the rude guy on the tube who didn’t stand up for me, the millions of commuters who don’t seem to care if they bump the pregnant lady, the general unfairness of life at times and the list continues. My head has been so stuck in believing that no kindness exists, when the reality is that if I really pay attention there is so much kindness around. Such as the 30+colleagues of mine that showed up hungover, tired and full of energy ready to ride for Mind on Friday, the shopkeeper at Lush who gifted me with a shower gel randomly, my husband who seems to be ready at any moment to tie my shoe laces even if he has hurt his back doing stuff for us in our eventual new home, family members who have sent sweet little tokens for our soon to be little one, the guy who gave me a seat on the train and then continued to stand guard to make sure no one bumped me as they sat down around me and / or as we got off the train, and the list continues.
The truth is kindness is all around us.
However, often times we get so caught up in the things that just don’t seem to be okay that we forget that through it all there is some good weaved in between everything. Sometimes we just have to be a bit more present, mindful and open to seeing the good.
In my last post I talked about how this season isn’t what it seems for everyone out there. And while I agree with that sentiment, there is one thing I think we could all do to support ourselves, our mental health and each other this season whether we identify with it or not and that is to pay attention for the kindness that does exist around us. Pay attention to it in a way that allows it to light you up, make you smile and grab hold of you in a contagious way that causes you to want to embody the same amount of kindness without worrying about how big or small the gestures have to be. I mean “being friendly” is part of the definition and could be as simple as smiling at the person you walk by on the street - being kind doesn't have to mean a redefinition of yourself and / or some grand expensive gesture. It just simply means taking perhaps a bit more time to think about the choices and things we do.
So just like the quote says – “in a world where you can be anything – be kind” and look for the kindness in the things around you because it does indeed exist.
That’s it for me this week, as this is my last article before we head into the heart of the festive season, I ask you all to not just think about “kindness” but also to reflect on your year, this past decade and how 2020 will be for you as a result. One thing I have started doing is identifying and / or naming a “word” that the year will represent for me – almost as to name a theme. If I am honest pregnancy brain has really wiped out the word I had picked out for 2019, but I know that the theme has been around letting go and as I look forward I have definitely picked out my word for 2020 which actually scares the living life out of me but sometimes we have to do the things that really scare us to allow life to go ahead in the direction we really want it to, so what would your word be? More to come on my word, how we can reflect, reset and set ourselves up for a fresh perspective without getting caught up by a list of resolutions that seem to fade after a few weeks in the posts to follow after Christmas.
So, until then Happy Holidays to you beautiful community.
Here is to a week full of kindness,
Arti aka. The Wellness Chief xx