Monday, September 2, 2019

Sustainable September 2019

Well it’s that time of year again... this is where I am usually pushing environmental kindnesses and sustainability. However, this year I am taking a break. If you all miss it I can bring it back next year! So let me know!!! 

I have loved doing sustainable September for the last several years and if you want to go again there are plenty of ideas to keep you going with blog posts from the last few years. You can work your way through those ideas for more ways to live a more eco-friendly life. 

It does seem funny that I’m not going to be doing Sustainable September. Particularly today when I was out as Reading, Berkshires, England’s first ever Green Market. 

Whilst still relatively small the market has such amazing potential to grow into a wonderful sustainability experience for Reading. We haven’t got much here so more is just what we need! 

It was a lovely day out. And taking my reusable cup, cutlery, water bottle & carry bags I loved to see other Reading people get into the spirit of sustainability too. 

Even though, this year, I’m not doubt sustainable September. I will continue to do my own sustainable environmental kindnesses. After all, there is no planet B. 

Much love to you all, 
Daena x

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A new kindness idea... for books!

I have been reading prolifically. I’ve been purchasing about 10 books a fortnight from charity shops. I must admit that most of them are Romance. I like to think part of it is research. I love writing and have for years and have been reading and writing romance for years. None of it is publishable yet, but I love to read them to see what types of stories I want to write. What I enjoy and how different people tell their stories. I am blessed to have a few family friends who are prolific and published Romance authors and Life lit writers. They are very successful at it too.

So I read Romance stories a lot. Which leads me to think about what to do with these books once I’ve finished with them. 

In the past I’ve been giving those books to a friend for her to read. My friend just got herself a new job and is moving to London in a few days! 😭😭😭 I’m going to miss that girl. 

But it leaves me with a question as what to do now with my large collection of romance novels. Not many other people have the same taste in books as I do. So finding someone else to read them has been harder. 

I no longer feel the need to keep all the ones I’ve read however I have kept a couple that I really enjoyed as inspiration. 

So, I decided to do something with a lot of the books I’ve been getting. I’m leaving them for people on public transport. Like this one.

“I’m in no mood for love” by Rachel Gibson was a sweet story of a woman getting over the heat break of discovering her fiancé in bed with another person, the washing machine repair man. 

I liked this book because it was set over a longer period of time. Not a couple days like a lot of the other books I have read recently. It is still a fast paced story with the two protagonists being writers in different genres. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of a sweet romance rather than hot an steamy. 

I left a little note for someone to find. I was visiting a friend in London. For me to get from Reading to London it takes a 30 minute train ride to get there ( I don’t know why I don’t go to Reading more often). 

So fun to leave the book on the train on my way to London. :) 

I must admit I did wait till almost everyone else was off the train to leave it there.  

Here is a great kindness idea for you to enjoy! 

Love Daena x 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The cookie...

Today on Facebook I shared the story of a woman who helped another younger woman  with epilepsy. What does this have to do with a cookie you might ask? Well hang in there and I’ll tell you. 

Let me sum up the story of those two women (for those who didn’t see the post). Read here is you want to see the story in full! 

Erynn was travelling home on the train when she was approached by a young woman. The young woman was holding out a piece of paper that said “seizure plan”. The younger woman knew she was about to have a seizure and was needing a little support and asked Erynn to stay with her until Erynn was going to get off for her stop. The young girl had moved her purse and folded her scarf to catch her own head when the seizure started. Erynn (chose to miss her train stop because she wanted to make sure the girl was okay) read the seizure plan and followed it. It became her anchor. Erynn times the seizure as directed. After 3 minutes the young woman comes around and they chat briefly before having a second seizure. The seizure plan becomes an anchor again as it explains the young woman has these seizure one to four times a day and means that sometimes they can last up to an hour. “Just think about that for a second. Think about being randomly completely vulnerable multiple times a day, and this is just... every day.” 

When the young woman comes around again she is so tired she just wants to go home. So that’s what Erynn helps her to do. She doesn’t call the ambulance or leave her in the hands or someone else, because that isn’t what she needed. In fact it could have made it worse as loud noises and flashing lights are triggers for her seizures, and both are common with ambulances. Plus, it would undoubtedly cost money and get her further away from her home. This is a daily occurrence for the young woman. She seizes a few more times under Erynns watchful gaze. Each time the young woman carefully tucks her scarf under her head. 

Erynn could have so easily made it someone else problem. But that’s not what the young woman needed. She needed to be supported. All the young woman asked of Erynn was to be accommodated until Erynn needed to get off the train. But Erynn went beyond that. 

The young woman needed a lot more kindness than she asked for.  Erynns post calls us to be a kinder community to everyone and not just be ‘accommodating’ because that is how as a community we thrive. 

“Accommodation is the bare minimum. If I sat with her until my stop and then left, that’s what accommodation looks like.

It’s not good enough. Not for me, not for her, not for community and not for our world.

Build something better, folks. Build a better world.”

We are a community. We are not separate from other living beings ( I’m no hermit even if somedays I feel like one). 

This post has me think about how we accommodate others and how we can take that next step to kindness. 

It’s not easy. But everyone needs kindness. 

It doesn’t matter if they are rich, poor or somewhere in between. It doesn’t matter if they are socialy inept or socially proficient or if they avoid society all together, like a hermit. It doesn’t matter if they are black, white, pink, yellow, grey, rainbow coloured or are covered in tattoos. It doesn’t matter what ability level they have or challenges they face. It doesn’t matter if they have differing religious or political beliefs to us. It doesn’t matter what circumstances... EVERYONE needs gentle kindness. Everyone has the need to be seen and heard. Everyone has the need to be loved.* and it reminded me of a cartoon I saw recently... about a cookie. 

Kindness helps build community and connects us to each other. It is both profoundly powerful and fairly simple. If it is safe to do so, always be kind. When it’s hard to do it, be kind. When it is easy to do it, be kind. But challenge yourself, as I will challenge myself to go beyond accommodating others and work towards gentle kindness. 

Be brave and be kind! 
Love Daena x

*Everyone wants love and kindness. I also know not everyone you meet will be kind to you. Love bravely and act kindly but use both your intuition and your head to make cleverly kind choices. You can be safe and still challenge your own social predispositions towards other peoples, cultures, religions, sexes, creeds, abilities and genders so you can make wise and kind choices! Good luck! 😘❤️

Sunday, March 31, 2019

That little voice...

I’ve been away for the last two weeks for work. It’s been busy and crazy and messy. But I’ve met some great people and gotten to know others better. 

I’ve been able to stay in some amazing houses and go to new places. Work is never boring for me. 

However it has meant that I’ve been a bit off my game when it came to posting anything for two weeks. I decided to give myself a little break instead of pushing myself. 

How could I profess kindness and not look after myself? It would be silly.

So I’m doing my best to be kind to myself. But it’s hard not to feel guilty. 

Do you ever feel guilty when you don’t do something you said you would do? Even if you had to so you could care for yourself? I do. Often. 

I think that it comes to some old beliefs about myself that no longer serve me. I often struggle with those deep seated beliefs that say “I’m not good enough” or that “I’m not worthy” of anything. It’s hard to confront that part of me. It comes to a head any time I don’t do what I say I’m going to do. 

I don’t always know how to combat it. I intellectually know that I’m worthy of friendship and love. However, that little voice can be insidious. 

Sometimes I really struggle with being good enough to share anything, let alone share kindness. What does this little white girl originally from Perth, Australia really know about kindness? Nothing. I’ve not done anything so great. Some of the things I’ve done no body remembers (including me) so what makes me think I’m the person to share these things? I don’t know. So I struggle. 

Then I ask myself... how can I be kinder to me? If I’m putting myself down all the time, how can I be Kinder? How can I do what I do for others, but for me?

First I have to change my thinking.

Every time I hear my internal voice telling me I’m not good enough. I quietly listen and then tell it, “thank you for adding in your 2 cents worth but you, YOU are amazing.” I have to be brave. 

I must admit this isn’t always successful. Those negative words are something I’ve told myself on the inside for years. So dealing with them is hard. Rebelling is hard. So I don’t. That little voice that tells me I’m not good enough also tells me it’s too hard to be kind to others let alone yourself. So I do what I can to change my thinking. I can be braver. 

I listen to meditations that encourage a positive mindset and encourage kindness to the self. They work. But not all the time. When that voice is really loud I need more than affirmations. 

I listen to Podcasts like “The Mindful Kind” which gives helpful tips and tricks about how to deal with that voice inside you. It helps me have a healthy outlook. The podcast offers strategies to be kind to yourself too. But you have to put those strategies in action and when I have little energy, it can be hard. 

So, I watch inspiring movies that motivate me to be kinder like “Pay It Forward”. I watch “Hallmark” movies because they make me feel good so I can be nicer to myself because I feel better on the inside. Whilst some might find them a bit too mushie, I really enjoy them. I know comedy is also a great source of changing your mood (just a reminder to myself to stay away from dark humour or otherwise it feeds into my negativity). 

I think these little tricks are like giving my inside self a little mental cuddle. Like you would to a friend who is struggling. Embracing the darkness to reveal the light.

When it comes to mindset with me it really comes down to providing myself with strategies that can subtly fool my inside voice into believing differently. 

I’m not perfect. I need to forgive myself for that. There are ways I’m working on me being a little bit better. A little bit kinder to myself. A little bit kinder to the world. 

Nobody is perfect. And the expectation that you need to be the exception to the rule is dangerous. 

It’s a struggle to embrace that part of you that always criticises you and judges your choices and actions. It needs love and kindness too! 

All you need to do is be Kind and Brave and you can do anything. 

Sending love to you all, 

Love Daena 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Note after New Zealand’s Massacre

On this blog we promote Kindness and love. Sometimes it is hard to love those different from ourselves. 

Sometimes it’s hard to even understand those differences. But we need to do our best to embrace them because kindness in the face of difference is where the greatest capacity for healthy change occurs. In ourselves and in others. 

My heart breaks for New Zealand. It hurts even more because I know someone from my home country perpetrated the crime, as though he speaks for me. He does not. 

I’m asking everyone this week to do a Random Act of Kindness and fill the world with Love. If you want to please share your act of kindness with your friends and family. Kindness breeds kindness. So the more who share the kindness the more kindness is shared. 

This week we need more because love eradicates fear. And we have enough fear in our world so let’s turn the tables and bring another person light and love.

I hope this finds you all well. 

Love Daena XX 

Monday, March 11, 2019

40 days of Kindness -Lent Kindness

I’m still healing after a week of being really unwell. I thought I would keep it simple and share my kind deeds for lent.

Day 1: 

Day 2: 

Day 3: 

Day 4:

Day 5: 

Well that’s all for now. 
I hope this finds you all well! 
Sending love, 
Daena XX 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Kindness for self and Lent

For the last week or so I’ve been quite unwell. Just a cold but it’s been enough for me to have a few days off work and I’m still not completely recovered. 

So I’ve been taking time to rest, heal and recoup. Needless to say, I’ve been able to achieve very little apart from the bare minimum of my own life. To be kind to myself I haven’t pushed myself to get the blog out or do too much else. 

Lent starts today around the world. Traditionally a Christian period of fasting, to represent the 40 days that Jesus wandered the desert and was tested before he made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Lent has evolved into a time when you don’t simply have to give up foods. It is often still a test of willpower. For those who are brave, they bravely give up something they think they cannot live without. It can be anything from giving up meat, to chocolate, fizzy drinks or even social media (which a brave friend is doing this year). Lent ends on Easter Sunday, and people can enjoy their repast again. 

As I grew up in the Anglican Church I’ve used lent in the past to see if I really did need certain things in my life. I’ve given up chocolate, coffee (before the days of insomnia as I’ve now given it up for good), sugar, Diet Coke or soft drinks in general, cakes and sweets, and so much more. 

But another idea for observing Lent is instead of giving something up, you take up something. Like a new habit or service to others. So I thought this year I would play a little game with myself. I might not post every day but I will record and share my 40 days of kindnesses. I want people to see how simple it is to take up acts of kindness. Even if it’s just for lent. This little exercise I am hoping will be motivating for me too. 

So here is day one... 

It might not seem like a bit deal but some days I struggle to go on social media or even take photos. So i know it will be a challenge to me. Which is perfect for observing Lent. 

Anyways, I hope you are well! 
May kindness follow wherever you go! 
Love Daena x