Posted by Calming Moments Aromatherapy Admin on

‘Kindness’ we’ve heard this word a lot over the last 2 years haven’t we?
We’ve seen it demonstrated lots too, but lately I feel maybe we haven’t seen as much of it as we could especially now restrictions ease… mostly to ourselves.
I used to think of kindness as:
  • A person holding a door open for me
  • Giving up a seat on the bus
  • People doing sponsored events for charity
  • People going above & beyond to help others
Since I’ve been sick I’ve had so many mindful acts directed at me, friends dropping little gift bags around, the texts (that mean so much to me) to check in on me, the nurse whose holding my hand for once rathe, a change from me being the nurse. The cheery pharmacy delivery man who always delivers my medication & makes a point of chatting to me and our dog. 
The in laws and parents who are there day in day out, the friends who have given me lifts and made me get out. Those people online who I’ve connected with who are of huge comfort day or night!). The people I’ve met through starting Calming Moments Aromatherapy- from the initial set up answering my endless questions to the business mindset coach who doesn’t only help me with my business stuff but helps me with my mindset. My counsellor, who just gets it. Ever more, my loyal customers, my new customers and even my followers. Kindness, all of those people who take time to take an interest, invest, listen or even love me in those times when I may not be loveable or mainly feel very loveable.
Kindness extends to the dog walkers I see every morning who always smile and say hello, the couple on their bikes who say good morning every morning & have commented on my progress. The school children who I haven’t seen for 6 weeks who have cycled past me these past few weeks and shouted hello & asked if we had a good summer.
Kindness, the knowing look you receive from another parent or carer when you’re struggling with your children. The look of do you need a hand to the look of ‘I’ve been there, you’ve got this mama’
But do you know who we aren’t kind to- Ourselves
We are our harshest critic. Any of you who know me will be aware how hard this is to write.
I am my harshest critic, I’m never doing enough, done enough, achieving enough, successful enough or parenting enough.
I have a disability, I’m running a business, I’m parenting 3 children (2 are under 2 & one is weaning), I have depression & anxiety, I have a career I’m unsure what is going to happen with once my maternity leave ends. I have a wonderful husband, wonderful family & wonderful group of friends who will tell you: I never ever give myself credit. I used to feel arrogant if I did this.
They use words like ‘inspirational’ and ‘resilient’, nope I don’t think so, I just do what I have to do. I’ll do anything to avoid a hospital admission, anything to prove I can cope, anything to prove I’m a strong independent women in the pursuit of perfection. Which has come up this week in counselling. My definition of perfect.
Perfect to me: gym going, coffee drinking, yoga doing, whirlwind parenting, dressing well, make up on daily, immaculate car, home cooked organic meals, slim, trim, sushi eating, outgoing, sociable, home baking, home schooling, PTA attending, dog walking, power achieving career driven focused yummy mummy.
Now its not exactly realistic is it?
Okay, let’s leave the disability aside for a minute. I hate the gym, I can’t do yoga, I don’t like coffee. I hate ironing, I dress well but I also LOVE a slouchy day! Who doesn’t love a messy bun?! . I do parent, yes, I parent just like anyone else- not perfectly. Do I wear makeup daily- nope, I honestly can’t be bothered.
Immaculate car- 3 children & a dog. Not a chance. I can’t even drive at the moment. Home cooked meals- check! Love a beige dinner or takeaway- check! Sushi eating? Yuk no thanks. Outgoing and sociable? Yep do pretty well for an introverted disabled 32 year old coming out of a pandemic. Home baking- Yep,  I do that not as often as I’d like but I’d like to lose a few pounds but slim and trim? Unrealistic when you hate the gym & yoga and LOVE CAKE.
PTA attending? Doesn’t sound like I have time?
Dog walking? Yep get round the block the odd duck feed. For someone who can’t walk far? Smashing it.
Power achieving career driven. Kind of- I’d say I’m pretty successful considering all the rocks being thrown at me.
Focused Yummy Mummy? Damn right.
So, was I unrealistic?
No, I’m not exactly unrealistic, my point was we all have things we want to change about ourselves.
However, when you dig deeper and take a closer look at yourself are these things you wish to change what you really want or even need? Do they define your success? Do they define your failure?
No, they don’t, because no one is ever a failure. We are all our own harshest critic.
If there is one thing I’ve learnt on my mindset, counselling & self-help journey since October is that I am me & you are you. Whilst I might love to be you, you might love to be someone else. We are all unique and individual and that deserves celebrating.
If I spoke to a friend, the way I used to speak to myself in my head on my daily basis id have no friends. I told myself I was a failure, I wasn’t doing enough, wasn’t good enough and didn’t have enough. The grass is greener on the other side? No, its not.  We all have our own differing needs, challenges, and struggles.
You never know what is going on in someone else’s mind, life or career. That’s where being kind comes in.
As evidenced, we are quick to be kind others, why aren’t we so kind to ourselves?
(This isn’t about self-care which for me is a whole other topic!)
Have a think about the way you look at situations- if you are angry with a company and ring up get angry and complain you’re not likely to get anywhere. If your ring up calmly and explain you are unhappy with the service and ask them to help you to come to a resolution, your far more likely to get a response and leave the conversation feeling happy.
Have you thought about speaking to yourself like that?
Thinking about what you did achieve today rather than being angry at yourself for what you didn’t do. Thinking about what you have in your life rather than what you don’t?
Next time your being harsh to yourself have a little think what you would say if you thought that was your friend sitting in front of you and you heard them speaking to themselves like that? Then do some mindfulness- imagine you are sat with yourself in front of you.
Be Kind, be your own friend.
Practice daily gratitude, rather than kicking yourself for what you didn’t crack off your to do list lay in bed and think about what you have in your life to be thankful for today. I now often journal my gratitude and look back  (& forwards) when I’m working through my depression.
Here is an example thought for you, my gratitude from last night:
  • My family
  • My beautiful children
  • My dog
  • My friends
  • The bumble bees who adore my garden
  • The robin I saw this morning
  • The 2 magpies sat on my lawn this morning telling me it was going to be a good day
  • The dog walkers who shouted morning and asked if it was nursery day when they spotted my toddler wasn’t in his pram.
  • The children on their way to school who shouted hello
  • The bud on the gorgeous plan my mother-in-law bought me opening fully, I’ve been photographing it all week to make a reel.
I’ll leave it there for now folks, I’d love as always, to know your thoughts.
Much Love, Lucy Xx

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