Smiles and kindnesses

Today has been a series of small kindnesses by those in my life and those passing fleetingly across it.

Outside the yoga studio I heard a really exuberant “Good morning!” and belatedly realised it was directed at me. So this friendly stranger and I stood for a peaceful moment our faces turned up towards the spring sunshine, before we warmly wished each other a good day and went our separate ways.

My yoga teacher always greets his students with a smile and today was ready to offer me suggestions for how to negotiate practice when I’m not feeling so well. Kind but unfussing, happy to stand back while I conduct my own small experiment: how will my weak and aching muscles respond in the hot studio, and how will my body receive opening postures when it feels protective and inward-turning.

heart coffee.JPGThen the barista who brought me coffee with a heart pattern in the foam, and discretely let me be as I sat for ages playing with the teaspoon and staring at nothing, but all the while occupying his best table.

And the dalmatian owner who stood patiently by while I played with her exuberant dog.

Finally home to Hubby who listened without judgment while I poured out my feelings of frustration and tension, of responsibility and of ultimate helplessness. By talking I realise I have given a lot of myself recently. I feel empty. Temporarily depleted. I have held space for any number of difficult conversations at work these past weeks. Grief, illness, depression, injury — they’ve all sought me out and I’ve done my best to to offer compassion and strength to those who are suffering. It’s a genuine honour that colleagues find something helpful in me. But all this alongside my corporate responsibility to the bottom line, as I try to make impossible ends meet and navigate the unsettling possibility of restructures and redundancies.

So today is about me, finally making space for my needs, and allowing these small kindnesses to wash over me and soak into me. It’s sometimes better to receive than to give.

The circling of life and living beings. Giving, receiving. Falling and rising. Resting not working.



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