BIG LOVE stories from around the World
Following a car accident the week before Christmas which made the festive season a very different one this year (and not in a good way), I thought the Big Love challenge may help my thought process and recovery. I was in a very stressful, negative place and was finding the anxiety difficult to deal with at times. However, this week, after following the relaxation and breathing exercises I seemed to have turned a corner. It's something that I need to practice and improve on but I can already see the benefits.
I find I am focusing on being kind to others and have sent an emails and cards to thank people for their help. Surprising how good it makes you feel!!
I really took the opportunity to take time for myself after Friday the 20th. That day was dreary and sad. Like a funeral had taken place. If I looked at the loss of a great President who spread kindness and love as gone I would loose. So I decided to sign up for the challenge. First I had to slow down my thinking and that started with the things I could do for my daughters and that would help spread from them outward. So far I have organized 5 years worth of checks and set up a filing system for bills, and other things that come thru her life with 2 boys. As a single parent she has her hands full. And I was frustrated by the clutter and piles of paid and accumulating mail pile plus all the things they bring home from school. So with the practice of patience with myself I completed the task and she feels like she has more under control.
For my other daughter- I took an adventure and went to pick up her dry cleaning, and dinner for her and her hubby who is the best son-in-law anyone could have. And treats for their dog. We had a nice dinner and I had ventured out of my comfort zone. I don't just drop by so this was different for me.
For my 20 year old grand daughter I am more supportive and have found her humor delightful.
The people I met along the way I made sure I got their names while checking out for a purchase and acknowledged them by name in addition to saying have a good day or evening.
Giving myself time to slow down and more thought into what I do. With that comes love.
Went to our local grocery store- Greeted everyone by name that I came in contact with I am surprised at some of the looks i get. Surprise mainly- and usually followed by thank you with a smile. Makes my day just to give out smiles. Also various persons in mobile shopping handicapped carts- while waiting behind a few at any given time they would turn and apologize- I would respond no problem I don't mind at all- one or two behind me were not so nice but giving respect and kindness is not hard to do . This challenge has slowed me down to think before I react. It is paying in such big dividends to observe and think.
I let someone go in front of me in the supermarket queue as he only had 3 things and I had half a trolley! He was so grateful and it was such a small gesture I was so pleased it see it listed as a good deed! I also love that most of them are such small things and so easy to incorporate.
We are running a 'random act of kindness' event at our school. Today a year 11 boy let three Year 7s go in front of him in the lunch queue because he could see they had been pushed back by others. Loving seeing the impact and hoping it will continue!
I was in Liverpool on Saturday for my friend's hen night but had to leave early Sunday morning to drive back home as close family were meeting to scatter my Grandad's ashes. I left the apartment we were staying in around 7.30am and walked 100 yards to the carpark, just before I got there I saw lots of belongings, sleeping bag, duvets etc on the pavement, I started to think I hardly had any money with me, literally just a few pounds in change but then I thought well that's better than nothing. There was a lady and 2 guys who'd been sleeping rough and a dog, I told them I had very little change and was sorry it wasn't more and the lady said "at least you acknowledged us". I think the kindness was stopping to talk for 1 minute more than the money! Similar to the homeless guy I sat with and chatted to in Manchester last summer, he couldn't believe when I gave him £5, you'd have thought it was £100 but the biggest thing was when I asked if I could sit down next to him on his step and he asked 'are you sure?!' and proceeded to move things and make a tidy space and we had a chat about how he'd ended up on the streets etc and he was so grateful to me for taking the time to ask about him and his life. Just wished I could do more but hopefully made a difference for a few minutes.
I still wonder about the young guy in Manchester and what he is doing, if he's still on the streets or managed to get any help. He was too young for life and society to give up on him, I'd say early 20's - if that. Just him and his dog. He said he'd had a very tough childhood and showed me marks on his arms where he'd self harmed.
He'd had to move from Bristol as he couldn't get any help as the council said he was intentionally homeless! I really don't think anyone intends to end up sleeping on the street. I really hope he is ok. In fact I am going to send him good wishes in my good vibes exercise tonight. X
I stopped and asked a homeless man if there was anything he needed. He wanted a tea with 3 sugars so I got him one and 2 tea cakes! I later returned with an essentials pack for him. He wasn't there so I hid it under his duvet. It was nice to imagine what his reaction might have been.
I received an email from a colleague that I perceived as abrupt and rude but instead of reacting negatively I told myself to be kind and that there'd be a reason for the behaviour and later on sent an email asking if the person was ok and if I could help with anything. I got a very positive response, including an apology/ explanation for the earlier brief message and our working relationship has been better than ever.
As part of my spreading kindness I let all the Let's Go Singing toddler group I run have a free session on Friday (but they didn't know beforehand) and told them a little bit about The Life Raft and the Big Love Challenge. And we managed a tiny micro-meditation...with kids! Only lasted couple of mins but many people appreciated! Hope you don't mind!
I've really enjoyed it - so powerful to know others are doing the same mediation on the same day. The Mindfulness For Mums course last year was brilliant and I've really felt this last week that principles and techniques have been easier with the prior knowledge. I think I'm generally a 'nice' person! But definitely doing this challenge has made me think more about loving strangers and spreading kindness. (Especially to myself!)
On the way to the singing group a vehicle in front of me cleaned their windscreen...covering my windscreen with their spray too! In my mind it's a GREAT example of the knock on effect doing things (/kindness) has on others around us without us even realising!...I had to clean my windscreen....then ?car behind too?! But other effects like worry/stress can spread easily too. How much nicer is out to spread love, kindness and generosity rather than anger/hate.
Thank you so so much for your dedication to supporting and helping so many through this challenge and all you do. Very best wishes,
Big hello and big love to the BIG LOVE Team.
I am writing from Istanbul, Turkey.
My modest contribution is that I have experienced huge delight in practising
- a) the breathing, which in my busy days has a calming and centring effect which I adore. It’s a great guidance and incentive which on my own I have always difficulty to commit to. This time it is easy – maybe because I feel held in the love by the team and those who participate around the planet.
- b) sending love and health to someone whom I love.
this makes my entire body warm, i feel the love in unexpected ways and, as you had pointed out, i feel it in myself, streaming back to me.
I still have a long way to go to apply it to myself directly. It has been very helpful that you suggested to go back to childhood, that was very moving.
I particularly love the fact that you give two days for ex 1 and 2. Havent done todays yet and the day is gone. But I will catch up.
thank you for all the wonderful work and inspiration and I am thrilled to know that you will continue. It will become a global, huge, desperately needed field.
BIG LOVE TO YOU ALL
Hi - I just wanted to say how much I am loving BLC?
It's been life changing in my thought process! I've been doing lots of helping people acts that you've highlighted for a long time so I thought this would be easy! I meditate, love a bigger picture and we 'must leave a mark and make a change' is always my mantra!
However my husband and I have had a rocky couple of years with things beyond our control and it has been very easy to slide into 'sniping, frustration and a void between us'. BLC has made me stop and look at my thought process in doors. If we're being nice and kind to strangers but not at home then I need to address the balance! I love the 20 second cuddle and focus - straight after another squabble is very tough but god it works!!
Thank you for all your doing, but most of all thank you for allowing me to look at love challenges that start at home!
I paid for the parking at hospital yesterday, stuck a couple of quid to the machine and a note saying have a nice day! Was putting my son in the car and heard a couple walk past saying 'there's still nice people in the world then' ... actually made me non-stop smile all the way home!