Day 11: Flower power

Being kind by giving flowers to a stranger:

Today I took a big scary step into the wonderful world of being kind to a stranger: face-to-face.

As I’d taken myself into the city for a yummy brunch, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to face this fear.

I bought a pretty little bunch of orange gerbera’s and asked the flower seller to attach my kindness card to it, with the words: Enjoy the flowers… you deserve them.

Ok, that’s the easy part done.

Now to find someone to give them to…

Gulp!

Call me crazy, but I thought an older lady – in her sixties or seventies – would be a good choice for my first attempt. I felt a younger person might be suspicious of my intentions and a man may take my gesture the wrong way: especially as I was so nervous. As I grow more confident, my intention is to do face-to-face acts of kindness to all, regardless of age or gender.

With butterflies flitting and fluttering around my tummy, I walked up and down a couple of busy shopping streets. I focused my search to those sitting on benches or waiting at bus stops, as I thought it’d be easier to approach someone who wasn’t rushing off somewhere.

I then scanned the seating areas on the city’s Market Square and finally found a couple looking happy and relaxed. The man was doing a crossword, and the lady was watching people go by.

She smiled at me as I walked by, and I knew she was the one.

My heart pounding, I approached her and told her I’d like to give her the flowers. I explained that I’m doing acts of kindness and asked if she’d accept the gerbera’s from me.

She graceful accepted them without question.

Phew, I was so grateful. I’d expected a little suspicion as to why I wanted to give a stranger flowers, and was relieved to find an open and willing recipient.

The lovely lady explained how they’re just visiting the city, and so sadly didn’t have anywhere to put them. But as she was meeting her sister-in-law later, she would pass them on: spreading the kindness, she told me with a knowing smile. WooHooooo it works!

I walked away my heart feeling happy and proud of myself for putting myself out of my comfort zone.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by giving flowers to a stranger.

 

Day 2: Me, my BFF?

Being kind to myself by being my own best friend:

Today I’m focusing on the wisdom from my ‘Louise Hay’s I Can Do It’ calendar: I am my own best friend. Other friends may come and go, but I am always here for me. I support myself in feeling good.

When I saw this, I instantly wished it had come later in the the 100 days, as I felt I couldn’t possible have both Days 1 and 2 as being kind to me. That’s a pretty selfish way to start this project.

But then I thought why not?

So instead, I’ve chosen to take it as a sign: lesson I need reminding of.

Being your own best friend is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learnt on my self-growth journey so far.

I remember my self-love guru Louise Hay asking if you would ever talk to a friend like you talk to yourself.

It was a huge light bulb moment for me.

Ultimately, we have a choice: we can either be our own worst enemy or our own best friend. I know which I would prefer to choose, but is it that easy?

I follow two-step programme for being my own best friend: The first step is to listen and catch my inner voice, the dastardly inner critic, when it’s berating me. You know the one, it’s the voice that says things like: “Look at the size of your muffin top, you are so fat”, “Why did you say that?” or “You’re such an idiot.”

I was pretty shocked to witness how my inner critic could get really stuck into me. I know I’d be absolutely horrified if a friend told me that’s how they talk to themselves.  So why should it be any different to how I talk to myself?

The next step, is to banish my inner critic by showing myself kindness, understanding, compassion and love. Whenever I catch my inner critic rearing it’s ugly head, I pause, take a deep breath, and think what I’d say to a beloved friend in the same situation.

It’s pretty liberating and so much nicer than telling myself off. Hopefully I’ve made a friend for life.

So with that in mind, my happy for today remembering to be my own best friend.

 

 

Day 1: A happier me

Being kind to myself by committing to this project and becoming a happier me:

Eeek! My first day. And I’ve no idea what to write.

OK Helen, take a deep breath in… and out… that’s better.

Sooooo, here I am: embarking on my 100 days of happy project.

I think I want to kick off this project by being grateful that I’ve decided to do it! That I am committing to my quest to being a happier me.

Doing a project like this has been on my mind for quite a while and I’ve been inspired by the 100 days challenges that have been popping up recently.

Happiness means different things to different people. For me it’s about feeling more positive, being content with my life, being the best friend/daughter/sister/auntie I can be, improving my health, and simply, because it feels good. I say a big fat YES to all of the above! Life is too short to be unhappy.

So, after a bit of digging to look for inspiration on how to carry out this project, I came across ‘The Happiness Challenge’ workbook – (a collaboration by Action for Happiness and Headspace to support a feature on happiness by BBC Breakfast in January 2011).

It gives me a good starting point and suggests three simple actions to try in my daily life: being mindful – do less and notice more; being grateful – remember the good things, and being kind – do things for others. It also has great ideas and suggestions with questions to answer and sections to complete – making it easy to track changes you experience.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind to myself by committing to this project and being a happier me.