Tag Archives: random acts of kindess

Do more – Let’s spread a little love…

Hello again!

Remember last month I said my motto for 2013 would be Give more. Do more. Be more? Well, I started with Give more, telling you what I’m doing this year under this heading and asking for your help to raise awareness of (and funds for, if the cause compelled you) Dost, a small charitable organisation in London (UK).

For the rest of this month, let’s Do more, together.

I have been true to my word, and so far this year I’ve been paying it forward as often I can. I won’t list everything I’ve done here, because that’s not why I’m doing it, but examples range from telling the lady who works in our local corner shop how much my son looks forward to seeing her and misses her when she’s not there, to paying for someone else’s morning coffee and croissant (anonymously, before they buy it. Interestingly, some people are very suspicious of this!)

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. The second most celebrated holiday around the world (only after New Year’s Day), it first became associated with romantic love in the middle ages and evolved into a day for lovers to express their love for each other around the 15th century. Mass produced greeting cards didn’t make an appearance until four centuries later and here in the UK, we now spend a ridiculous amount of money each year telling our loved ones how much they mean to us.  It doesn’t need to cost this much, and it doesn’t need to be Valentine’s day, to tell people that we love them, but there’s nothing stopping us from going all out on today if we feel like it. This year, however, I have a suggestion…

As well as using this opportunity to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, why don’t we use the rest of month to spread a little love a lot further? I’m going to anyway, and I’d like to invite you to join me.

For the rest of the month, I will make a point of doing something every day for someone else. Whether that’s something for someone I don’t know, such as  offering my seat on the tube to someone else (who isn’t obviously in need – otherwise I’d give it anyway), or something for someone closer to home, like sending an unexpected gift to a family member I don’t see often. Earlier this month, I also signed up to More Love Letters.  Based in the U.S, they send love letters to wherever they are needed, all over the world. If you know someone who could do with a parcel of love to uplift them, or simply love letter writing yourself and want to get involved, head over to their website to find out more.

I want to spread some love too!

Great! To join in, simply do one thing for someone else before the end of this month. It doesn’t have to be big but it should be something you don’t usually do anyway. Telling your kids you love them doesn’t count if you tell them every day but if you rarely talk emotions with your teenager, for example, telling them you love them and specifically, why, does. Even if their response is ‘like, yeah. Whatever.’ Post a comment below with the details, or tweet with the hashtag #spreadfeblove and let’s see how much love we can put out there this month!

Do more

Do more

2013 – Give more. Do more. Be more.

Earlier this month, I posted a New Year blog, summing up the past two years. In it, I said that my future plans were pretty much more of the same. Well, they are and they’re not. I have some idea of what I would like to achieve this year and that is (kind of) more of the same… Lately though, I’ve been thinking more on how I want to be in 2013.

As you may have noticed, this blog carries the ‘strapline’ Writing. People. Poetry. This year, I’ve decided to try and live by three simple ‘rules,’ a kind of strapline for 2013, if you will. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen it already:

Give more. Do more. Be more.

Give more. Do more. Be more.

Great, but what does that actually mean? Let me break it down:

Give more
In the past, my charitable giving has been sporadic. Sometimes I’ve given food to the homeless guy on the street, sometimes I haven’t. I’ve given a lot of text donations and supported friends’ fundraising efforts. I always put small change in collections boxes at till points. This year, I want to be more consistent. I plan to give a percentage of my earnings to two or three chosen charities, as well as do some kind of fundraising activity over the course of the year.

That said, giving doesn’t have to cost anything. I’m also a great believer in paying it forward. I used to do this all the time but lately I’ve been ‘busy.’ That was my excuse anyway. Now, I think that’s silly. Who’s too busy to smile at a stranger or help a neighbour carry her shopping? It doesn’t take much, really, to give more, which brings me on to…

Do more
I’m already ‘doing’ quite a lot of stuff. Over the past year I’ve taken on more since my son started nursery in March (you can read  more on my ‘About me‘ page and/or connect with me on LinkedIn) and as some of you know, I recently started writing a novel. If anything, I probably ought to think about doing a little less in order to do everything better. So, ‘do more’ in this case is more about…

Less Self, more Other. This is the theme of an art project, Acts of Kindness on the London Underground that struck a chord with me. I want to do more for others this year. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a lot of generous hearted people around me throughout my life. These people have thankfully had a greater influence on me than the more negative relationships I’ve had and I feel blessed to know or have known these people. My life isn’t perfect but who’s is? I think relatively speaking, that I’ve got it pretty good and I want to reflect that back out into the world. I’ve started with some small random acts of kindness. This past week, for example, I’ve lent some yoga DVDs to a pregnant colleague and bought a small thank you gift for a friend who has done me a lot of favours recently. It’s not much, but that’s kind of the point. Besides, it’s really more about shifting my state of mind. As I am thinking more and more of others, I will automatically ‘do more.’ It’s part of who I am, when I’m not getting caught up in what I’m doing, which brings me to…

Be more
I used to look back to the past. A lot. This wasn’t helpful and it contributed to recurrent bouts of mild depression. I’ve moved on from this now and my focus of the past few years has been moving forward. I am now much more focused on the future and as a result, much happier in myself. But… What about the present?

I’m often so busy thinking about what’s coming next that sometimes I miss what’s happening right now. I can be playing with my son and thinking about a blog post I want to write when he naps… Or I’m writing that blog post and thinking about an upcoming work project… Or I’m walking to the shops and thinking about the next chapter of my novel. I’m sure many of you can relate. Lately though, I’ve been thinking about what I’m missing. I’m too absorbed in my thoughts to notice how stunning the twilight sky looks as I walk back from the shops. Too ‘busy’ to notice the old man  struggling to reach something from the top shelf in the supermarket but too proud to ask for help… Too busy to breathe – I don’t mean the kind of breathing that keeps us alive, I mean really, to stop. Drop my shoulders, inhale, hold it, and… Exhale – Really breathe. Too busy to just… Be.

I mentioned in a recent post that writing small stones helps me to practice being mindful so you will be seeing more of these this year. If you’re interested in small stones, you can find lots of great ones on twitter by searching the hashtag #smallstones. As well as this, I also plan to do more yoga, spend more time offline and just breathe. More. Better. Deeper.

So, that’s me. Expect to see more posts this year under these headings. What about you…? How do you want to be this year..? Do share your thoughts, aims and dreams below and let’s help each other to keep on keeping on!