Lots going on this week. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed with everything going on. Some exciting and some is just work!
This week, our main task was to notice kindness all around us. As hard as it can be at times, I think it is a valuable effort to put forth to notice kindness. Anyone who has had times of depression, especially “light” bouts, knows how dark and cold the world can seem. The dark winter months especially seem to exacerbate this, but I know when I have been in those dark places mentally, I am very ME focused. Searching for kindness in the world around you forces you to look beyond yourself and see kindness, a true demonstration of the love within, in ourselves and others.
Seeing these kindnesses can renew our faith in humanity. I’ve observed small and big acts of kindness all over the world. Whether it was a Muslim lady asking if she could take a photo of my daughter and I in front of the local mosque she was walking around or the French lady who let us borrow her phone to call our hotel or the Mexican young man who gave up his bus seat for us, people everywhere are often EAGER to show kindness to a friendly face.
I used to be nicknamed “Smiley” by a couple who used to shop at the grocery store I worked at while in high school. A smile is my default response when making eye contact with someone. I’m not overly friendly, but showing small acts of kindness tends to come naturally.
This week, noticing small acts of kindness has been nice and much easier than finding courage last week. One of the events that demonstrated it the most was my weekly networking meeting on Wednesday morning. It’s the same group I gave a presentation to that I mentioned back in Week 12. As we do every week, we closed by sharing who we did business with in the group and the last woman that spoke, started by saying how grateful she was for MY presentation 4 weeks ago…and then she started to tear up.
I’ve never experienced someone having that type of reaction to things I have said. Another woman commented that she’s “still not over your presentation”. And another woman said she just loved listening to what I said and would PAY to hear me speak.
It is a very humbling feeling to hear someone validate what you’ve had in your heart for a long time. It’s been maybe 10 years or so that I first thought how neat it would be to do public speaking on a decent scale. I had no idea how it would come to be (and, honestly, I still have NO idea). Recognition for Creative Expression is one of the Pivotal Personal Needs I chose at the beginning of this journey and I almost changed it this week because I wasn’t sure if it resonated fully with me. The events of this week, however, are confirming that I made the right choice.
A mental block that has, perhaps, been holding me back came out during our Tribe call this week. A fellow MKE journeyer mentioned the idea of being held up on a pedestal and that struck a negative chord within me immediately. Being in that kind of position is on the verge of revolting to me because of how I’ve seen others seek it, desire it and do whatever it takes, even slandering their own children, to maintain that status. I want nothing to do with that.
But another journeyer talked about reframing that idea…becoming an Expert that simply helps people accomplish what I can help them accomplish. Putting on that kind of title is much easier for me to swallow. Even a Guide or a Leader is less intimidating than the idea of being on a pedestal. I spoke with my husband about this and he reminded me that I’m just not that kind of person. I’m a bit too real, too transparent, too willing to share more of the rawness of life to become one of those pedestal seekers.
So in the midst of a week of seeking kindness in others, so much kindness was given to me. And I’m grateful. Very grateful.