Author: G. Jefferies
How time flies, or appears to; relativity in action as it were. A case of find something you hate doing and watch it go backwards. Balance and theoretical consistency is neatly maintained by fast forwards when doing something uber cool. Low level default mind can have the same effect; stealing time and throwing it back out several days later with no real recollection of the bits inbetween. Autopilot as it were, or zombie mind if you prefer a modern take (more on that later) I digress (becoming a theme that) and must begin my reflections on week three of Niki Lopez’s kindness challenge.
Radiating kindness, that was the goal this week. Have I achieved this? Good question. Last week I pondered the merits of day to day things that become sullied because they are, well, perceived as mundane day to day chores that create, what I’ve termed , a habituation loop. Does this mean kindness is no longer part of these actions and thus no longer valid? Can one simply reset this thinking by stepping back and saying ‘No’ to emphasise ‘Hey, I’m actually doing you a favour here?’
A conundrum indeed, and requiring the equivalent of strike action to raise awareness. I suspect that for the mindfull mind such a course of action would be preposterous and entirely alien. But, since the thought is now to challenge everyday chores and, if you happen to have children then no doubt the despair squid (another reference for the avid telly watcher…name drop, Dwayne Dibley…say no more) has visited more than once making life rather challenging every so often, we may as well chuck this into the mix as part of the habituation loop and drag the unnoticed kindness radiation…or at the very least formulate a massive sentence like this one to see who skim reads, going ‘eh?’
Everyday chores…parent…enough said really, if you are one then you will know what I mean already; if you aren’t then more than likely at some point this will make sense in the future…good luck, there are few manuals; enjoy the ride…it’s not that bad, and mostly brilliant, not to be missed stuff…where was I? Oh yes the habituation loop and chores.
Back in circa 650 B.C. Aesop dropped into Greece and somewhere between then and 564 B.C. wrote a few words including the above quotation. Dates people…dates…not new this kindness lark by a long stretch of the imagination. Recurring theme throughout history really and has the lesson sunk in yet?
Blogosphere 1 politicos 0, to use a football reference.
Several blogging friends have reinforced, or radiated, to vaguely stay on topic, this very point. I’ve yet to meet a new blog where the owner moderates a comment with ‘Clear off’…have you? I shall wager the answer is no…digression mode active…reset…
The habituation loop
Parents and chores, laundry as a random example. How many folk just do their own? Not many I suspect but, that is a case of unmentioned kindness. Family members waking up donning clean clothes and assuming that whoever did it was having a delightful experience. Personally I don’t find it fun, but one does it because it needs doing. Of course that means somebody around you hasn’t got to…ergo it’s actually a kindness dressed in the habituation loop. No need to thank but what happens if you don’t do it?
‘Dad, I’ve got no socks’
‘Really? Has Gandalf not waved his staff this week and applied mystical incantations upon your washing and transferred the contents of thy laundry bin unto your drawers after passing through washing, drying and folding inbetween?’
Not that I imagine Gandalf would cheat, but one wonders who did his…or Aragorns for that matter. Mind you he ended up a King so probably paid minions to do it. Not the same though that, not really. Paying is employing; kindness is free…although service with a smile is radiating kindness in its own way. A happy employee is a productive one. Why? They are happy and happy oozes uncontrollable kindness. It rubs off too…just take the time to people watch then write a paragraph seeing how many times you can use the word kindness like this one. So much for being a writer; although it could be a subliminal kind control experiment. If you smile at all whilst reading that then in true God Strain thinking; upload complete.
Laundry is but one example of the forgotten kindness, opening a door for someone else is another. The thank you is automatically dealt out but if it comes back with a smile then the kindness is registered. Not that one expects a smile for clean underwear but that’s not really the point. The point is instead of thinking chore, think kindness in action; how many people around you benefit from what you are doing? Then apply that to all the other chores.
This is a word I’ve encountered several times this week, both inside and outside the blogosphere. Inside, on a great number of blogs I follow and outside as advice. At first I thought little of it, then I read the above quote and it made me think. The habituation loop covers the mundane. Maybe even raising awareness that even the simplest tasks radiate kindness in their own particular idiom. Louise L. Hay makes a poignant point though. How we choose to think dictates the harmonic state of mind that recognises balance; the old adage springs to mind;
I have no idea who Jack is or was (hence the wiki link which throws up a whole heap of irrelevant trivia) but the sentiment is pretty clear.
Balance, it’s all about balance. This radiating kindness in the habituation loop is hard work, more so if you are just beginning the mindful process. One must find time to radiate self kindness too; not being too self critical, setting personal targets that are realistic and not unreachable, breaking the overwhelming into doable chunks, getting out and doing something, well, selfish…for you…let’s call that the selfish kindness. The one that balances radiating kindness and, in some ways even fuels it. The time out for ones own indulgences. Don’t be a Jack.
One last thing. You are probably not the only one radiating kindness. Look around and ask yourself the question.
‘Am I also in a habituation loop, have I stopped seeing kindness and taken things for granted too?’
If the answer is ‘Yes’ then step back and breathe. Enter the moment and consider what I said right at the start. Default mind or zombie mode. The beast that creeps in and thrives on negatives and catastrophising; it misses kindness all the time. The one that seems entirely absent in young children filled with awe and amazement at the smallest of things. I remember that feeling but don’t recall when it silently drifted away leaving behind a default program that runs on uninterrupted recycling things and changing perception of time…now there’s a discussion point all of it’s own.
Thus ends my week three diatribe. One hopes it makes sense and, whilst the subject is a serious one, I feel it is not beyond small infiltrations of humour; in fact next week I may try and include some.
Have a great week wherever you might be and remember, the politicians are wrong, we all get on. Go radiate that one!
Returning to idioms….here is my weekly parting question. Who said this and from which book or film? No googling.
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.