What has struck me most about learning about mindfulness is that there is still kindness out there. There are still genuine kind people in the world. To be honest I had gone through some life experiences - both professional and personal that really made me question this and after running my own design agency for 15 years I frequently felt disillusioned with the fact that you had to be a little bit guarded with people in order to protect your business and I struggled with that. I am very open and trusting by nature and always struggled with that aspect of running my own business. In fact it was the side to running my own business that I didn't like. I didn't like the term 'Boss Lady' as it conjured up so many images for me like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada! I never wanted my staff to be afraid of me so I treated them like friends. I cared for them in a way that unfortunately most of them took for granted and some of them took complete advantage of.
I began to think that I was too trusting and it bothered me when I looked at my children and wondered how I was going to advise them about life, friendship and work without making them negative or cynical. both myself and my husband wanted them to have the trust and openness that we both grew up with but yet we wanted to protect them as much as we could. That is one of the reasons why I am so grateful I discovered mindfulness which has lead me on this journey.
When I walked into the room the first night of my MBSR Programme I got such a lovely feeling. There was a warm welcoming feeling from the people there. We were people of all different ages, there for different - but similar reason and all hoping for the same result - to better our lives through mindfulness. Some of us knew a small bit about it - some maybe knew more - either way we all wanted to learn. That was the start of me knowing that learning about mindfulness was going to have a positive impact on my life.
From that first night of my course until today I have been so overwhelmed with the amount of lovely and kind people I have met. Whether these people have been people I have met in person or just people who I have communicated with through email or my MoMe social media accounts the same thing has struck me - these people are all so kind.
Discovering Project Goodness
Apart from the direct contact with the people on my course one of the first people who reached out to me on this MoMe journey was a girl called Margo who runs an amazing website called Project Goodness which is basically a community dedicated to noticing and adding to the goodness all around us. When Margo contacted me first I did have that moment when I regressed into my old way of thinking and thought "why did she contact me?" and "Is she genuine?" I had been so trusting in the past only to learn the hard way that it was hard not to let my defences down completely - I was after all still new to the mindful world so it was only natural my defence went up a small bit but once I brought myself back to what I had learned on my course and what I had learned through meditation that I began to listen to my gut instinct and I felt a connection with Margo. I knew that she was genuine and I was so right. Margo is a beautiful, kind girl who has is dedicating so much of her time to her website and basically spreading kindness. She sent me a welcome pack that had stickers in it saying "I'm With Goodness". A simple clever little sticker that I believe has so much impact. I immediately put one on my mug at work, another one on my computer and my daughter and took the rest from me to put on her pencil case, school books and in her bedroom. She came home from school the first day after she stuck one on her pencil case and told me that a few of her friends had asked her about it and she explained that it was about being kind and I thought to myself "Wow...how cool is that!" I thought that if these young girls were looking at my MoMe Cards and also seeing stickers like these that they might just help them be a little kinder to each other. A little more prepared for the very cynical, filter-driven world that social media was going to throw at them. A world that I thankfully didn't grow up in. Kindness needs to be nurtured, needs to be cared for and it's people like Margo who need credit for this.
It is this kindness that I have found infectious since I started my Mindful Journey. This kindness that has helped my develop something that started out as a little project into something that is now a little business... this kindness has given me the energy I needed to reignite my creativity. So while I started my MBSR Programme to help me deal with my tinnitus it had ended up benefiting me so many other ways than I could ever have imagined and it's continuing to do so every day. I am very grateful for that.