Being Kind

Last week I looked at my diary and saw two late nights followed by two early starts, in four different cities. My first thought: “I should have scoped this better…” followed by “I need to start booking hotels if I’m going to keep doing this.”

I decided to be kind to myself, and get a train 20 minutes earlier that would actually cut an hour off my journey, and give me the opportunity to grab some proper breakfast when I arrived. I’m never hungry when I wake at 5am but breakfast at 8am after all the travelling was done and before the day starts – now that’s a treat.

So cue alarm at 5am. Woke up, surprisingly awake. Got to the station in plenty of time to buy my tickets for the 6.22. Which was then delayed for 15 minutes. Which meant that I would miss my connecting train.

Ok there’s nothing that interesting about a delayed train. But what was interesting was my reaction.

My first reaction was to try and control the situation. How long is it delayed for? When’s the next connecting train? What are the alternatives? What if I changed at Birmingham instead? But that train takes much longer. Oh hang on, the expected time keeps moving. The 15 minute delay is now counting up. It’s getting nearer to 30 now. My head’s scrambling to make the calculations. Should I jump on the other train? Would it be worth it? I was like a dog who’s owner was whispering “Stay…”

In the end I just had to make a decision, not knowing if the delay would keep on growing or if I had made the ‘right’ decision. But once I made the decision, and the alternative train had pulled away, I felt… peace.

Sometimes we need to let go of making the ‘right’ decision, and just make the decision and choose to be at peace with it.

Of course, the irony hadn’t escaped me that I had got up super silly early, in order to catch a train that was then 30 minutes late. But there was another thought. I was awake, I was actually feeling awake rather than like a zombie. I actually managed an early night the night before and it had worked!

I chose to be grateful to be awake, rather than resentful. I chose to focus on feeling good because I’d had enough sleep, rather than frustrated that I could have had another half an hour in bed.

I chose to be kind. To me.

Sometimes being kind to you means giving yourself more time than you need. So you can stop, have something to eat or simply take your time.

Sometimes being kind to you means letting go of trying to control the outcome – or the pressure to ‘get it right’. Simply making a choice and being at peace with it.

Sometimes being kind to you means choosing to focus on reasons to feel good, rather than reasons to feel frustrated.

That’s what being kind to me looked like last week.

What about you? How would it be if you chose to be kind to you this week? Go on, give it a go and let me know what you discover.

  • freya

    Really enjoyed reading this Grace & I’ve written down a quote from it to remember. …I am left wondering – did you make your meeting on time and did you get breakfast? ! I know this is not the point of the article but I’m intrigued! 😉

    • Thanks Freya – I did! I got my breakfast, caught up with my colleague before we went across to the client for the workshop. All worked out well in the end 🙂

  • Glyn

    Grace, this article reminded me of the message I took from the book Nothing by Chance by Richard Bach. He seems to be saying that you need to be positive and to take what life throws at you. Go with the flow of things and somehow it will work out for the best in the end. Almost like saying ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’ because there is nothing you can do about it, other than to take an open and positive perspective about things and events.

    I found the following quote on Amazon by another reader:
    I have read other books by Richard Bach but this one is a special journey and a life lesson in loving the now and the original choices we made.
    Grace, your last three points resonated with me about how we need to ‘let go’ and to just ‘soar above things’ even when it seems like the odds are against us and we dearly feel like we are in control or we certainly would like to take control.
    I have no connection with Richard Bach other than having read a few of his books.

    • Thanks for the recommendation Glyn, I’ll check out the book! Funny what you said about enjoying the ride – reminds me of another conversation I had a while back about being on a rollercoaster – that you can grip tight and try to steer (to no effect) or you can put your hands up, shout and enjoy the ride!

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