Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A Very French Holiday

A few snaps from a recent holiday in France with some good pals. As you can imagine, there was much pastry-eating, wine-drinking, beach-lounging, lakeside-picnicking, top-of-your-voice-singalongs and general frivolity all round. A lovely and much-needed break. 

Apologies for my lack of blogging of late; classic case of life getting in the way. I'm finding that I'm lacking the motivation to write posts at the moment, or to try a new recipe out and indulge in a bit of food photography. It seems my mind is just elsewhere. Hopefully I'll fall back into my blogging grove sometime soon; until then, thanks for bearing with me. Have you ever lost your way with blogging? What did you do to get past it?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Goals for 2014: Be Kinder

This was a trickier update to write than my own less post. Which I guess makes sense; the act of clearing out excess material things has a nice, tangible feel to it. The process - sorting, dividing, giving away, throwing out or recycling – is physical, your success made evident by the resulting extra space. Measuring whether or not you’ve managed to ‘be kinder’ is a bit more difficult. Even with the best intentions of being nicer to those around you, life can get in the way – I don’t think I’ve been too successful at leaving my work stresses at the door when I come home, for example. I have tried to make a conscious effort to really listen to people when they’re talking to me, rather than simply thinking about my next response (a bad habit that I bet we all fall into sometimes – listening well is a skill, and takes practise). I’m sure I’ve got some way to go on this though. 

The one tangible thing I can think to count towards my ‘being kinder’ goal is becoming a Centrepoint Mentor this year – although due to circumstances out of my control, I haven’t been able to do as much mentoring as I’d hoped (fingers crossed this will change in the second half of the year). 

Anyway, I’m going to make a conscious effort to be kinder as 2014 rolls on. I think for me, being kinder often comes down to being gentler - with others and with yourself. Think the best of people – if a stranger, or even a colleague or friend, is a dick to you, assume they’re having a bad day. Most people are dealing with worries of some kind. Forgive easily. You don’t need to be a pushover, but find little ways to make other people’s lives easier - just because.

Kindness seems to be somewhat of a theme this year. Over the last few months I’ve come across lots of posts on the subject. Here are some of my favourites:

>> One women's mission to give elaborate cakes to complete strangers is pretty sweet.

>> Sarah gives lots of great advice, and I particularly enjoyed these 19 tiny things you can do to make the world a (slightly) better place.

>> I loved Elena's 7 simple ways to radiate kindness.

>> Important, but often over looked: don't forget to be kind to yourself.

>> I found a lovely short animation on this Brain Pickings article, George Saunders and the Power of Kindness:

Image: Glenn Fleishman, Flickr CC
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