So we’re a few days in to this month’s Slow Home Experiment, and I just wanted to say how excited I am that so many of you have decided to join us!
I am convinced of the power in small acts of kindness in our everyday, and after speaking with the inspiring and uplifting Jono Fisher a few weeks ago I knew this was an experiment I wanted to try. The fact that so many of you feel the same is so exciting to me – I think a better world lies on the other side of kindness and I love that we’re sending out ripples all over the world.
In today’s poggie Ben and I talk about how we’re feeling a few days in to this experiment, what’s been challenging, what’s been surprising, and what small acts of kindness we’ve undertaken over the first few days.
When we first announced this month’s experiment there were two questions that kept coming up, so we spend a little time today unpacking our thoughts on each of them.
Firstly, what constitutes an act of kindness? Can we be kind to ourselves? Our family? Our friends? Or does it need to be more expansive than that?
Initially I thought it needed to be a big, expansive act of kindness but so many of you had such great insights to share on the importance of kindness to ourselves, that you actually changed my mind. Kindness is kindness, and when we treat ourselves well we fill our cup in order to share the love further. Ben and I talk about this a little more in the episode, but I just wanted to thank you all for showing me the importance of kindness in all areas of life.
The second question related to money, and the cost of many popular random acts of kindness. The oft-quoted ideas of buying a coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop, or buying flowers or a meal for someone – while lovely, thoughtful ideas – are out of the financial realm for most of us. So we spend some time working through a list of non-financial ideas that will hopefully encourage even more people to spread kindness this month.
Here is an incomplete list of acts of kindness that don’t cost a cent:
- text a friend and tell them why you love them.
- email someone you admire
- bake a treat for someone
- pick herbs or flowers and leave them on someone’s front door step
- talk to a stranger
- wish someone a good day – and really mean it
- tell someone how much you appreciate the job they do
- breakfast in bed
- build a fort with the kids
- take morning tea over to a friends house
There were also some gorgeous suggestions over on the Facebook page this week, including:
- Ling: Being kind to myself if I haven’t been deliberately kind to anyone else today (rather than putting myself down – but definitely not using that as an excuse to not do it everyday)….
- Krista: Offering more of yourself than you might generally do (playing legos 20 min longer, offering a back rub to that family member who loves them, making a meal you don’t like but that other person does).
- Tams: I think for people feeling nervous about it, include Loving-kindness meditation in your challenge! Its a beautiful way to become comfortable with being loving towards everyone in your life, from the easy ones of being loving to those you adore, through friends, family, people you don’t know, and to the hardest, which I think in our culture, is being kind to ourselves.
- Angel: Smile at the people you meet. sometimes a smile from a random stranger lifts your day. Sometimes things are so bleak, you can’t believe life still goes on, and a smile reminds you that there are still things that are good in the world. It costs nothing. and it’s good face exercise
Regardless of the ‘success’ or otherwise of this month’s experiment, it’s already having an impact on me as I rethink the importance of kindness, and also the impact of tiny (seemingly insignificant) acts every day that help us build a lens of kindness for ourselves through which we can then view the world. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m glad to be doing it with you all!
This is another experiment that anyone can join in on, so please feel free to play along, and tag your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment.
In the meantime, have a gorgeous week! Enjoy!