It is about a month since I experienced a horrible ending. I was left with this bitter taste in my mouth. My first step was to practice what I preached and practice the art of kindness and self-care. I have been using my family moto to borrow Frank Sinatra’s lyrics: ‘pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again’. I have been taking the AA’s advice and ‘taking each day as it comes’. My body has told me to rest as much as possible and reach out to my loving support network of family and friends (that I am VERY blessed to have around me). With each feeling that came up I reminded myself to treat each feeling, good or bad, kindly.
Whilst I was sitting last Friday night at The Friday Night Kindness Cabaret at KuKlub, hosted by Patrick Cash of 56 Dean Street, and David Robson of Wandsworth LGBT Forum, it struck me, what the world needs more of is ‘KINDNESS’. We can see that we could have done with more kindness when choosing some of our world leaders.
I keep thinking to myself that we often think we have this whole equality thing sorted. I thought that regardless of age, being transgender, single, cohabiting or married, having a child; our race or ethnicity, religion or lack of belief, disability, gender and sexual orientation, no matter what our unique identity, we just expect to be treated with Kindness and as an equal human being. Most of us have intersectional identities. For me this means I’m not just queer and white but also come from a faith background. What we do not see is that whatever our identity we all have privileges and sometimes these privileges leak out. That is when we are not respecting ourselves, others may be feeling that they have just been punched in the stomach by our conscious or unconscious action.
My Kindness Manifesto:
- The starting point of this kindness manifesto must be to give what we want to receive. So, we must be able to be kind to each other.
- With every new day let us open the curtains and let kindness into our days.
- With every new beginning of relationship, job, friendship or connection we must begin with kindness and with every ending we must end with kindness.
- We must listen with kindness, treating each word that touches our ears with a warm heart and as if it is the most precious gift we have received.
- When we listen with kindness, we want to go on a journey with what is being said if it is truly unkind then imagine it as a piece of rubbish and visualise throwing it in the bin. But be kind to the feelings that may have been stirred up with it and talk them through with someone close to us that we can trust.
- When we are sick we should think how can we be kind to ourselves and nurture ourselves back to better health.
- When we have that annoying negative voice whispering in our ear we must kindly turn down the volume on it.
- As we age, we should try to be kind to ourselves and if we need support in any way then we should let it in. We have earned the right to gain that support.
- This modern world can be a lonely place and so if we have not heard from someone for some time we should reach out in kindness by phone or email.
- We need to be kind to our creative ideas and tools, treat them with the respect they deserve. We need to be kind with what we put into our bodies and what we let into our hearts.
- When our body or mind is tired, or a bit burnt out, we need to nourish it with kindness.
- When we shut our curtains at night let us rest our sleepy eyes in kindness and untroubled dreams.
Your Kindness Manifesto may look different to mine.
Perhaps write your own kindness manifesto and find out for yourself if Kindness in your life is YOUR WAY FORWARD.
Good luck out there!