Day 84: BBC Radio Nottingham

Being kind by handing out chocolate bars, face-to-face:

I did something new today: I handed out chocolate bars to strangers.

Face-to-face!

EEEK!!

And it felt really good.

My confidence is obviously growing! OK, it helped that I wasn’t alone. My lovely mum was with me, and also the lovely Sarah Julian a presenter from BBC Radio Nottingham.

I’d been invited into the studio to talk about my kindness acts in a pre-recorded interview, and then go out to perform some kindness acts with the presenter.

I was pretty nervous going into the studio, but focused on my mission: to spread the kindness message. Sarah and I had a great chat, and although it was really cringey to hear myself on the radio the next day, I’m happy that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself (well, I hope I didn’t anyway!).

And it was so much fun going out with Sarah to do the kindness acts.

We drove to the nearby retail park, which houses one of my fave shops: Hobbycraft – I asked mum and Sarah to keep in me out of there, by force if necessary!

My mission was to hand out some chocolate bars to busy shoppers, each with one of my kindness cards attached with the message: You are AMAZING. If you forget that, please read this again.

you are AMAZING

After I’d approached the unsuspecting shoppers, Sarah asked them a few questions about the experience. A couple of people ran away – Sarah kindly pointing out it was probably due to the big fluffy microphone she was holding – most were surprised, and everyone smiled.

WooHooo!

It was brilliant to see Sarah join in and hand out a couple of choccie bars too. And as we drove away in high spirits, I was happy to hear she’d had fun too. I can honestly say that from my experience, the giver benefits as much as the receiver.

Exhausted but happy, I got back home to find this lovely message on my blog:

“My partner and I met you today whilst you were with BBC Radio Nottingham at the retail park. We love what you’re doing and think you’re a fantastic lady!!! We bought you a little gift as a thank you for making us smile, when we came out of the shop you were gone! Is there any way we can get it to you? Xxx”

WOW.

This is what it’s all about: making someone smile.

I am so touched that this lovely couple made the effort to get in touch. And that they were kind enough to want to pay it forward is the icing on the cake, with the cherry on top!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by handing out bars of chocolate, face-to-face!

ps if you fancy a listen….

Here’s the studio interview with BBC Radio Nottingham:

Here’s the outside broadcast by BBC Radio Nottingham:

Day 83: Kindness Advent Calendar (2015)

Being kind by creating an Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar so everyone can take part and spread some festive kindness:

Today I’ve put the finishing touches to my Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you.

I was inspired by a lovely friend forwarding me a fab one for children a couple of days ago, and I thought it’d be great to create one for us grown ups.

So I set to work and this is the result:

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar by maketodayhappy.co.uk

To download your copy, please click on this link: Acts-of-Kindness-Advent-Calendar-by-maketodayhappy.co_.uk_.pdf (13378 downloads)

And I’d like to invite lovely you and yours to join me in doing a kindness act every day for the 25 days leading up to Christmas.

It works just like a normal advent calendar but instead of receiving, we are giving.

How cool is that!

Now, I know December is an extra busy month for most of us, and we can find ourselves rushing around trying to get everything ready in time for the Christmas holidays.

So, I’ve tried to make each kindness act:

  • Quick: most days it will just take a few seconds, and a couple may take a few minutes,
  • Easy: they don’t really take too much effort or energy to do at all, and
  • Cheap: well, actually most of them don’t cost a thing, and a couple cost the price of a cup of coffee or chocolate bar in the vending machine.

This way, anyone and everyone can take part.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, or even make up your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day – imagine how amazing that would be!

It’s such a wonderful way to spread some festive cheer and boost our own spirits at the same time.

But I really need your help.

Please help me spread the word by encouraging family, friends and colleagues to take part in this kindness extravaganza as we countdown to Christmas.

And I’d be ever so grateful if you could share this blog post with others – simply click on one of the ‘share’ buttons below, or share it however works best for you – and let’s get the kindness ripple effect reaching out far and wide over the festive season.

And most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy creating a kindness ripple effect in your community.

Thank you so very much.

xxXxx

p.s. I’d love to hear about your kindness experiences in the comments below…

To download your free copy of the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, please click on this link: Acts-of-Kindness-Advent-Calendar-by-maketodayhappy.co_.uk_.pdf (13378 downloads)

p.p.s. Thanks to EVERYONE who’s shared, forwarded on and/or downloaded my Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar so far – you are AMAZING! I’m so excited by how so many lovely folk are joining me in spreading the kindness message this festive season, including the Nottingham Post – THANK YOU!

Day 82: City love

Being kind by leaving more kindness messages around my city:

Today I went into the city to go to my first hair appointment in, well, quite a few months. And I thought it’d be a great opportunity to sprinkle some more kindness around my city.

I wrote my new favourite kindness message on seven of my Kindness Cards: “You are AMAZING. If you forget that, please read this again” and set off to get my bus.

you are AMAZING

I’d planned to stick my messages onto lampposts around the city centre, but as lots of rain had been forecast, I knew they’d get wet and ruined very quickly. So I decided to bring my kindness act inside.

Kindness Card #1, I left on the seat of my bus, hoping to make the next passenger who sat there smile.

Kindness Card #2, I left on a bench inside the shopping centre, so the next tired shopper needing a rest would find it.

Kindness Card #3, I stuck on the bathroom mirror of the shopping centre, so shoppers can read it while washing their hands.

Kindness Card #4, I stuck on a pillar inside the shopping centre so busy shoppers will notice it as they pass by.

Kindness Card #5, I hid in the condiments tray on the café table where I had a bite to eat, so the next diner would get more than bargained for when reaching for the salt!

Kindness Card #6, I stuck on the cafe’s bathroom mirror, to make diners smile as they washed their hands.

Kindness Card #7, I sneakily stuck on the mirror while I was having my hair done, without my lovely friend and hairdresser noticing (Gotcha lovely Mel, tee hee!).

I hope it made everyone who saw one of my kindness cards, feel AMAZING. And if you’re one of the folk who’ve come across one of my messages today, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving more kindness messages around my city.

Day 81: First snow

Being mindful of the first snow shower of the season:

Wide awake at 4:30 with a mind like a monkey
I pull back the curtains to breathe in this new day
A sprinkle of winter magic makes my heart gasp
A light dusting of snow sits gently on the grass

A soul stroll at noon awakens my senses
I spy birds’ nests perched high upon the bare branches
My babbling brook full to the brim, near overflowing
Icy shards crunch with each step, my spirit is soaring

birds nest

icy shards

 

Day 80: Word search fun

Being kind by helping Callum with his spelling homework:

My seven-year old nephew Callum is having weekly spelling tests, and it’s not his strongest subject.

Each week he gets a list of around 14 words that will feature in the following week’s test and his mummy sits with him each day going through them.

I’m keen to help him too, especially as English was my favourite subject. If it was maths he was struggling with, I’d have no chance!

Callum comes to our house twice a week after school, and I’ve been spending some time going through the words with him. But like any other seven-year-old, he gets bored easily. Really easily.

So, I decided to try and make it fun.

Having trained in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, I truly believe that using a more active approach through games can motivate learners, and find it helps them learn and retain more.

And from my six years of experience, I have a lot of fun yet effective tricks up my sleeve –  I just need to find them!

As Callum loves the word searches I’ve been printing off for him recently, I’ve decided to make them more relevant to what he is being taught at school.

Each week using one of the thousands of fabulous online resources, I create a few different word searches using the words he needs to learn.

And he absolutely loves them. I find that his concentration span is two to three times longer than before.

His teacher also hands out a short definition for each word, which I type up in large font, print off and cut out. After I’ve mixed them up, it’s down to Callum to match each word with the correct definition. Again, it’s simple stuff, but I find the interaction makes it so much more effective.

Not only have these simple techniques made Callum’s spelling homework much more fun, I’m really enjoying polishing up my teaching skills again. And I‘m sure more ideas will come back to me as we continue on.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by helping Callum with his spelling homework.

Day 79: Nottingham Post

Being grateful to have my kindness mission featured in the local newspaper:

What an exciting couple of days!

I’m absolutely thrilled to be featured in today’s newspaper, the Nottingham Post, about my acts of kindness.

Back in the summer, the Post kicked off a ‘Good Deeds’ campaign encouraging 1,000 readers to do an act of kindness and tell them about it. So, I wrote to them about my kindness acts around the city but I certainly didn’t expect to be featured like this! What a bonus!!

I was interviewed and photographed yesterday, and told it would be in today’s paper.

Yikes!

As I searched through the newspaper this morning, I got a bit of a shock to see such a big close up photo of me, revealing warts and all. But this isn’t about my vanity, it’s about spreading the kindness message throughout my county!

I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the result:

Nottingham Post full page

I have to admit I was a little nervous because my brain fog was quite bad yesterday and I stumbled over my sentences and struggled to find the right words. I hoped I’d come across coherently. And on the whole, I think I did-ish 🙂

I particularly love and am bowled over by the print version’s byline: “… a one-woman mission to make the world a brighter place.” How fantastic is that!

It’s also exciting to see the article in the News section of the online edition.

Notm Post online
As I’ve mentioned before, when I do my acts of kindness I think it’s really important to keep my intentions pure: I simply want to bring a smile to someone’s face. And I never expect anything in return.

One of the unexpected bonuses that continues to surprise me is the response from others. And I really appreciate that people take the time to write such kind comments: from friends, my Happier family, and Facebook. Thank you 🙂

My mission is to continue spread kindness and keep the ripple effect going…  even more so in light of the recent terror attacks in Paris. It’s easy to lose faith in humanity, but we all must continue to shine our light and continue to spread love and kindness.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful to have my kindness mission featured in the local newspaper.

Day 78: You are AWESOME

Being kind by hiding kindness messages in my local newspaper:

Today I’ve been sprinkling some kindness around my city.

I’ve been inspired by a lovely little card sent to me by a very kind Happier friend. It formed part of a fabulous collection of goodies in the recent Happier Connection Box and reads:

“You are AWESOME. If you forget that please read this again.”

Happier Connections Box

I love it sooooo much, I wanted to continue this kindness ripple effect by spreading this uplifting message across my city.

I decided to hide the same message inside my city’s newspaper, The Nottingham Post. In August, the paper launched a ‘Good Deeds’ campaign to “make our community a better place” and has set a target of 1,000 readers to do an act of kindness over the next few months.

Nottm Post Good Deeds

Each week the newspaper features kind folk in our community who’ve carried out a kindness act, such as raising money for charity, volunteering in the community, or helping out a neighbour.

I wrote the “You are AWESOME” message on seven of my Kindness Cards, and set off to a busy city centre newsagents.  I found the page that mentioned the Good Deed’s campaign and popped a Kindness Card inside seven newspapers, waiting to be found by its purchaser and readers!

You are awesome

Kindness Card in Notm Post

I really hope they make the people who come across my kindness messages smile. (And if you have and you’re reading this, it’d be really, really fantastic to hear from you in the comments below!).

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by hiding kindness messages inside my local newspaper.

Day 77: World Kindness Day

Being kind by spreading the kindness message:

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” ~ Dalai Lama

 

I wasn’t planning to post today. Feeling utterly exhausted and wiped out, I can’t really think straight (so please forgive any mistakes!) and need a day or two of complete rest.

But I couldn’t resisting writing this very quick salute to World Kindness Day, which is today!!

Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, and now with over 25 member nations, its awesome mission is: “To inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world.”

Some of their big, bold and brilliant kindness events from previous years includes:

  • Handing out 10,000 chocolate bars at London Train stations
  • Free hugs on Sydney’s Bondi Beach
  • Giving out 30,000 Gerberas in Singapore

But kindness doesn’t have to just be about big, expensive gestures. It can be as simple as looking the barista/checkout assistant/postman in the eye and saying thank you, letting a car out in front of you, or spontaneously hugging a friend or a loved one.

RAK_kindness_is_free

And please, please, please don’t forget to be kind to yourself…  go on, you deserve it ☆

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by spreading the kindness message.

Day 76: Appreciating autumn

Being mindful of autumn’s glorious beauty:

As I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps recently, I mentally flicked through my healing tools this morning searching for the best cheer-me-upper.

I decided upon a soul stroll.

And with the sun gloriously shining and the rainbow of colours still abound, it was the perfect choice. I realised there’s nothing like a soul stroll in the autumn sunshine to lift my spirits and feed my soul.

I have to confess, I’ve never been a big fan of autumn and feel that this year is the first year I have really truly appreciated this stunning visual treat of a season.

In the past, autumn has simply signalled the end of warmer, sunnier and happier days, and the beginning of colder, darker and murkier ones.

But as I’ve been focusing on appreciating the present moment over the past few months, I am relishing the dramatic palette of colours this season brings.

Every day I am in awe of the transformation from nature’s greens into the glorious shades of reds, oranges and yellows.

rainbow of autumn colours

I’ve rediscovered my inner childlike delight by swishing through the carpets of crunchy leaves, and the joy of leaf rubbing with my nephews.

crunching leaves

And I love keeping my eyes open for those intricate spider webs, the flashes of squirrels as they dart around hunting for their winter stash, and the cute little toadstools popping up in random patches of grass.

spiderweb

I am so grateful to have finally woken up to this season’s unique ability to turn the world into one big colourful canvas with nature’s paintbrush.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful of appreciating the sheer beauty of autumn.

Day 75: Meditating with Oprah and Deepak

Being grateful for Oprah and Deepak’s new 21 Day Meditation Experience:

Meditation has become a sacred part of my morning ritual: I begin each and every day with an Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditation, without fail!

I love love love their 21 Day Meditation Experiences, and highly recommend them to anyone interested in meditation. And I’m delighted a new one began earlier this month: Become What You Believe!

This 21 day journey is about:

“Together, we’ll take steps to tap into the power of belief – one of the most influential forces in life that leads you to the person you’re meant to be. You’ll learn how to:

  • discover your deepest beliefs and how they affect you
  • step into your highest potential by embracing your positive beliefs and dissolving the unconscious ones that are holding you back
  • connect to the innate power of your foundational beliefs to start directing the movement of your life.”

Oprah and Deepak share this beautiful gift with their growing worldwide community via a free online stream on their website or app, a few times a year.

Each guided meditation is around 20 minutes long and has a theme: for Day 11 it’s Living From Your Core. Oprah kicks off each day with a beautiful and inspiring introduction and Deepak follows by sharing more practical tips and wisdom.

Deepak then introduces the day’s centering thought: I cherish my true self in silence is today’s, and the sanskrit mantra Sampriya Hum, which means I am perfect contentment.

We are invited to silently repeat the mantra during the 10 minutes or so of unguided meditation time, accompanied by a gentle soundtrack.

BWYB Day 11

If you wish to go deeper, there’s an online journal with reflective questions, for example: “Take a moment to reflect on a time in meditation where you felt that love, self-worth, feeling secure, and feeling whole is possible, easy, and natural. Write down how this feels compared to your daily life outside of meditation.”

I’m deeply resonating with this experience. Our beliefs – conscious and unconscious – are constantly influencing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. And it’s encouraging me to be aware of, to think about, and to challenge my beliefs.

I find these meditations such a beautiful, gentle and enriching way to start the day. And what’s extra special about joining the online streams is connecting with over a million like-minded souls around the world.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for Oprah and Deepak’s new 21 Meditation Experience.