Kindness Challenge
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Kindness Challenge Reflections

Author: G. Jefferies

 

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It is with some sadness that I find this week draws an end to the Kindness Challenge whose gauntlet was thrown down seven weeks ago by Niki Lopez. A metaphysical journey wandering through mindfulness and taking stock of ones thoughts; ordering them, as it were.

It has been a very strange week. A moment of history being lived through in the UK, for better or worse is yet to pan out. I may blog my thoughts upon this matter, to draw sense of it all in another post. Suffice to say the outcome is not what I expected and has distracted me somewhat; as has the end of my eldest son’s school examinations. Not to mention an unexpected kindness by another blogger that has reviewed one of my short story challenges.

Thank you so much Gary.

Even if that does sound rather odd; me thanking me, as it were. I assure you it’s not and the name coincidence is entirely serendipitous.

Returning to the point of this reflection, and no I’m not really a vampire, the challenge has been quite timely in that it followed shortly after completing a mindfulness course elsewhere. Otherย posts have covered my thoughts on what constitutes a habituated kindness or ‘chore’ that are taken for granted. Whether or not we, as individuals, look at these things mindfully or reinforce the default zombie mode negatively; I hate chores and chores hate me.

Hands up, I have been guilty of that, but this challenge has altered my view point. Some things need doing, end of. Is there any positive value in thinking otherwise? Realising this over the last few weeks has been a calming experience, blogging about the process enlightening and feedback in comments awesome.

In fact this challenge has altered many viewpoints, as has blogging. I’ve found kindness in many places. Maybe altered is the wrong word, crystallised, clarified or distilled them out. Either which way it’s been a very positive process. Take nothing for granted, if you are to perform a kindness or take onboard a friendship then take no conditions with you. Do something for someone and ensure it is done with the right spirit; expect something in return and it’s changed to bartering. The other person must return the kindness because they want to and certainly not because you want them to.

Was I kind before the challenge started?

I believe so, but possibly overlooked it or interpreted it badly. In the past I have expected people to be kind because that is my personal outlook. I watch the news on television and that has made my cynical at times listening to debates or stories that showcase negativity or try to spin headlines subliminally implanting false truths for people to tune into. These things do not inspire me, but increase negative feelings. Seeing them for what they truly are is liberating. Caveat; this week, in context with politics, liberating is the wrong word of choice. Any who know me here already knows my opinions of politicos and media. Alas I am in danger of going off topic and entering the realm of the other blog post I mentioned doing above. I digress once more…

 

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Returning to the challenge in hand…yes, it has been a positive experience. More so because, dear reader, you have inspired me to do more, think more, write more and catastrophise less. I thank you all for that most sincerely. Without your constant replies the motivation to continue might have waned.

I do have a couple of questions though, something that has cropped up in comments and discussions more than once. This was a seven week challenge but mindfulness is ongoing and journeying with it is kindness.

I believe Niki Lopez is considering unveiling a Facebook page to continue with the journey in positive enlightenment. Would any of you be interested in pursuing that? If so, visit her blog here and watch for updates on progress.

Secondly, are you interested in seeing more posts on the subject of mindfulness here on my blog?

Feel free to lodge your thoughts below.

Lastly, dear reader, thank you for following my journey. That kindness is appreciated more than you might think.

 

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A parting shot, the customery exit quote.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Henry Ford

 


 

ยฉ G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in: Kindness Challenge

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Former research scientist the became the primary stay at home Dad for two children. Writing has always been factual in the previous life but always had a fascination with fiction but never been brave enough to develop it further. A comfort zone thing. Science writing is familiar, fiction is not. Hopefully the blog will provide more confidence and lead to a change in career writing from home around children!

59 Comments

  1. Thanks for following Beyond the Flow and sorry if it’s taken me awhile to respond. I have trouble accessing some of my comments at times. I really enjoyed this post and the quotes were excellent. The groucho Marx one seems quite appropriate in Britain, Australia and the US at the moment. We had our Federal Election last weekend and the result is still too close to call. Can just see the place being a theatre for the next 3 years. Great!
    I’m a bit mixed about mindfulness but I think I actually do it when I take photos, especially down at the beach.
    I agree that we defintely need more kindness in the world!
    Take care.
    xx Rowena

    • Hi Rowena, no need to thank me for following! I love exploring new blogs and meeting new bloggers. Also don’t worry about delays, I’m as big a victim of them as you are. Sometimes time just doesn’t allow me to comment half as much as I want to ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
      Groucho Marx was, as you surmised, deliberately chosen for its relevance to world politics and in particular the Bexit vote campaigns here. I’m very annoyed with politicos playing politics for self advancement rather than real world unification. Bloggers I know worldwide simply say we get on given half a flipping chance ๐Ÿ˜Š Mindfulness I was very sceptical of until I did a course on it. I didn’t really understand what it meant until then, but now it’s something I’m striving to do because I have been very guilty of living in a default zombie mind ๐Ÿ‘ป It helps keep clarity and focus. I think sometimes we don’t realise when we’ve dipped into a low level default autopilot. I probably explain it better in the posts!! I suspect, like you said, you are entirely mindful taking photos…hobbies do that, chores do the reverse…shock, horror ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Thank you for popping over and taking the time to comment…really appreciate that kindness ๐Ÿ™ƒ x

  2. I’ll have to catch up on this happiness challenge! I saw that you stopped by my site, so I figured I snoop around yours. ๐Ÿ˜› True mindfullness is quite a progress, but I have much respect for people on that path. So many travel through life mindlessly, not quite aware of who they are and why they do what they do. Mindfulness is…taking control in a sense. But some might argue it is also letting go. I look forward to catching up on your happiness challenge posts, and thank you for the follow!

    • Oooh, snoop away and thank you for taking the time to do so ๐Ÿ˜Š Very true re your points on mindfulness too. It’s easy to say, but putting it into practice is quite the opposite. A course I took said it is more like re-training the mind, especially if it’s an ingrained habit using a default mode autopilot that drifts or procrastinates. I rather think it’s a combination of resting control in the moment and letting go of catastrophising at the same time. Quite a journey really and long may it last!!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment too, I really appreciate that ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Thank you so much for participating in the challenge Gary! I’m so glad that you got so much out of it, especially because you were so torn as to whether or not to participate when it began due to the demands on your time as it were. I’ve enjoyed reading the reflections each week and seeing where the week took you. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments from your readers and encouragement and support they provided. I too felt that void and you now know I did end up publishing the Facebook page we discussed. I hope you continue with your journey of mindfulness you began before the challenge that this challenge was able to compliment and hopefully leads you to a renewed sense of mindfulness. The interest from your readers about you continuing with mindful posts has been incredible. I too hope to see you post on that topic more. Thank you again for joining us on this journey that has come to an end in an organized capacity but never really ends! I hope to see you more often at the new Facebook page as it’s intended to pick up where the challenge left off ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Here’s the page in case anyone else is interested as I know you’ve found it since this post was published ๐Ÿ˜‰

    https://www.facebook.com/everydaykindnessondisplay/

    • Wow, thank you so much Niki. A very lovely comment and I’m very appreciative of it too ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m glad I did it as it happens and I’m very pleased people felt able to engage with comments too. If that helps spread the message then your idea has been absolutely the right one to throw out. I had a week off blogging but intend to follow up with mindful posts every so often and will share the Facebook page at every opportunity. I’m trying to work out a schedule to keep on top of things instead of this random way I’ve been doing it. I’m forgetting to do things and it’s frustrating me a bit. See…that’s an outcome of this challenge too ๐Ÿ˜Š Will definitely be seeing you on Facebook too!!

      • That’s a great idea,a schedule or routine well make it easier to compete what you set out to. It’s been a great experience! I’ll see you around, and thank you for thinking of spreading the word on the new page ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Yes, I think so too….I’m just so very far behind and in a muddle ๐Ÿ‘ป See me around?? I should think so my good friend! Whenever your page gets a mention I’ll ping back to your blog to let you know ๐Ÿ˜

          • Haha it just seems like it’s been ages since we’ve talked! Aww thank you. Another blogger mentioned he’s seen the kindness challenge around so it made me smile to know he’s run into it in the blogosphere ๐Ÿ™‚

            • It is but I was finishing school exam taxi service and you were ill. Time suddenly expands and poof it’s ages. I know a few who took it up late too…all I’ve said is join in when you can and go at your own pace. Hope you don’t mind ๐Ÿ‘ป

              • You’re right, just like that nearly 3 weeks have gone by ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

                No, I don’t mind at all! I’ve wanted this to be a stress free challenge. One that anyone can take up and work into their life however they can. It’s about the focus being incorporated and that’s the most important thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for encouraging others to participate!

                • At this rate it will be Christmas again and I’ve only just got past the last one ๐Ÿค•

                  That’s a relief too….I’ve always considered kindness and mindfulness as ongoing things. If you stop for whatever reason, it’s not the end, just start again, be aware and move onwards. It’s why you FB page is a good idea too ๐Ÿ˜Š

                  • They are ongoing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, I always appreciate your feedback and suggestions. ๐Ÿ™‚

                    • Brilliant and good…because I aim to keep them coming ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. You post is very inspiring. I really like how you have respond to this challenge!! Indeed, kindness is the way to happiness.

    • Thank you so much. It is indeed, both to oneself and to those you touch. The world needs more bloggers…bloggers are ace ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. That was an inspiring and thoughtful end to the challenge. Your readers would love to read more on mindfullness from you once in a while, apart from your wonderful pieces of fiction! ๐Ÿ˜Š I’d love to take up this challenge sometime and have been following Niki’s blog. You should definitely come up with a post on Brexit issue and your thoughts on the scenario. An overview for us from someone actually experiencing it!

    • Thank you my kind friend…I may return to some fiction first whilst pondering the right way to keep mindfulness going. I think the challenge is an open one. I know a few who started late and are doing it now.
      Brexit…yes, I voted to remain so a lot on that would certainly be filled with angst and some degree of reflection. It’s a proper piece of history and we’re sat right in the middle of it.!!

      • True that! For now focus on fiction, as that was the sole purpose of you being here right? ๐Ÿ™‚ But once in a while, when you need a break from creating fictional characters, you can jump back to mindfulness mode. ๐Ÿ˜€

        • Yes it was! And I’ve been a bit slack. Must get back on it….unless I’ve lost the ability to write ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I’m quite into mindful posts now too ๐Ÿ˜Š

          • Of course not! Mindful posts are great to read, I like them, kind of my genre. ๐Ÿ˜› Switching between themes is a good idea though!

            • I’ll give it a shot then. Mindfulness maybe twice a month and fiction the same….although that’s probably harder to do ๐Ÿ˜

  6. Groucho and Henry- both wise men!
    I’d love to see more mindfulness posts.
    “Thank you so much Gary” made me look askance, as well!
    At first I thought, well, he’s branched out into the royal we??
    He’s totally disassociated now?? lol
    Thanks for explaining!!

    • Excellent….the word choice there was my own mischief and quite deliberate ๐Ÿ˜Š I shall certainly consider more posts of this ilk then….although my manuscript came back last night….so I may go terribly unmindful when I open up the documents ๐Ÿค•

        • No no…my proof reader returned the manuscript after checking it. All good so far, few days for me to check it and then it’s the publish somehow step! Thank you for caring though ๐Ÿ˜Š

  7. Thoughtful post, Gary. “Thank you Gary” threw me for a loop. I kept waiting for you to tell us who read your short story! hehe I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes! Yes, if has been a weird week, news-wise. Who knows where it will all lead? It certainly had a big effect on the stock market. I came in at the end of your kindness challenge, so I’m not sure how the challenge altered or crystalized your normal tendency towards kindness. Did the challenge revive your blogging efforts, bring you new friends, cement old friend, surprise you? It sounds like it may have done all of those things.:) Have a great week and many years of great blogging ahead, Gary. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ooh heck does it not look like an obvious hyperlink? I never considered that…although I thought it was both weird and funny ๐Ÿ˜
      Yes very strange week indeed and getting stranger by the day it seems. My other posts are all under the kindness challenge category linked on the top right near the start of this one. It’s made me more aware of the kind things I do already but never regarded as such…some of the posts articulate it better than the review. One thing it has clarified is I’ve neglected writing….that’s where my blog started; fiction and stories, extracts from projects I’m working on. Mind you I also feel it’s brought new blogging friends in at the same time…some might even only have seen this challenge side too…could be in for a shock with my writing genre ๐Ÿค”

      That said I can write more of this type too. I feel the topic has important messages.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment too. Really appreciate it and have a great week yourself too ๐Ÿ˜

      • It does look like an obvious hyperlink, now that I think about it, but I was more drawn to the words than the underline. hehehe. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Good point though, maybe change text colour in a hyperlink to make it stand out….although in truth the words were deliberate, mischievous even ๐Ÿ˜

    • That I will my friend, that I will. Might even put some more writing up too! Seem to have neglected that a bit of late. I’ve really appreciated your comments too. Many thanks for that!

  8. You can guess that I am privileged to read anything that you are inspired to write….and, I am already following Niki’s blog and would be interested in her FaceBook/positive enlightenment page…and, lastly, I marvel at the connective-beauty of your writing/offerings…the written word is definitely your forte and the reader’s blessing…you are so eloquent and genuine and I applaud any focus that increases your opportunities to focus on any of the myriad ways that you are an exceptional human being…flaws and all (I add that to say that I understand how it can be easy to worry that people have elevated us to a status that we cannot hope to live up to)…it’s like people thinking I never swear, am always positive, caring and sweet…those things tend to be true, but certainly are not exclusively me ๐Ÿ™‚ We all have work to do, and kindness (directed internally and externally) is such a beautiful and appreciated necessity…..you are so very kind–as kind as you are talented…and that is really saying something!!! Thank you for being so wonderful…thank you for working so hard in all the ways you do….we are all better off for your efforts ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You, Truly, are too generous…I felt this one was riddled with unmindful trauma at a woeful piece of political decision making here…it kept bubbling up threatening to go off task. If it remained mostly focussed then all is well. I am now perusing the tales around The Room That Swallows People….returning some balance to the writing as it were.

      Thank you for your kind words my friend ๐Ÿ™ƒ

      • Hi, Niki….it looks wonderful and I am really excited about an additional way to connect and share in the good…thank you for your efforts…you rock ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I’m glad that you like it! I hope to get people really engaged, connected and build a sense of community that focuses on the goodness around us. Thank you for your kind words <3

      • I have and liked it….in fact didn’t I comment on it….amnesia brain working again ๐Ÿ™ƒ

        • Doh…jumped into a conversation you were having with good friend Truly…sorry…ignore my last comment ๐Ÿ‘ป

          • Apologise not…I’ve got all out of synch with replies recently ๐Ÿ˜

            • It happens to me too because when you reply from the notifications it’s easy to get mixed up ๐Ÿ™

    • Thank you my blogging amigo. It has indeed been quite a journey and reflecting on it was quite a challenge in itself after a very turbulent week in the UK. Really appreciate your positive comment ๐Ÿ™ƒ

  9. To answer your second question, the simple one would be ‘yes’. The more elaborate one would be ‘yes, please’. As you’ve mentioned in the post, mindfulness is not something to be practised once in a blue moon and I’m sure it would remind a lot of people or enlighten them about it if there are more posts on it.

    • Thank you Nandini, a most generous way of saying yes ๐Ÿ˜Š I think you are quite right too. It’s an ongoing journey, and very easy to lapse back into old established ways of thinking. enjoy your Sunday ๐Ÿ˜Š

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