Many new Facebook groups have sprung up and two of my favourites are Project Kindness and What Do You See From Your Window? #StayAtHome
The first one speaks for itself really. It was set up to share thoughts and acts of kindness to help people navigate these difficult times with more positivity and hope. The latter is to share your views. Many are breathtaking and I’ve shared views of the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside where I’m in lockdown, complete with an array of animals including lambs.
One woman posted a photo of a brick wall saying that the other views were depressing her as this was all she had to look out on. There was an outpouring of love, support, words of encouragement and kindness and over a thousand people sent her messages in a few days. It really touched me and I’m sure it lifted the lady in question up too.
Recently it was ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ and I posted the graphic below on social media to mark it. I first discovered Random Acts of Kindness in the early 1990s when I was attending Tony Robbin’s ‘Unleash the Power Within’ course. At the time social media was in its infancy so we purchased packs of cards that had an angel on the front and then some suggestions for blessing others with random kind acts. Suggestions included paying a toll on a motorway for the next driver (this was in America!). Paying for the groceries of the next person in a store. Leaving money for 10 coffees for the next people to come into a coffee shop and many more similar suggestions.
I love the idea of being kind and paying it forward. In these times of challenge there have been so many heart-warming stories of just that. In fact, in the news today it is reported that only 9% of Britons want life to return to “normal” after the coronavirus outbreak is over, a survey suggests.
People have noticed significant changes during the lockdown, including cleaner air, more wildlife and stronger communities. More than half (54%) of the 4,343 people who took part in the YouGov poll hope they will make some changes in their own lives and for the country as a whole to learn from the crisis. And 42% of participants said they value food and other essentials more since the pandemic, with 38% cooking from scratch more.
The survey also found that 61% of people are spending less money and 51% noticed cleaner air outdoors, while 27% think there is more wildlife. Two-fifths said there is a stronger sense of community in their area since the outbreak began and 39% say they are catching up with friends and family more.
So, the true values of connection, time for each other, enjoying nature and taking time to cook and just slow down seem to have come to the fore. My biggest fear is that we forget these valuable lessons too quickly. My biggest hope is that we don’t and that we see the synchronicity and connection in our lives and to the world around us.
I remember reading Oedipus for A-level and the Ancient Greeks saw every act and everyone as ultimately connected. They described it as taking a piece of cloth, screwing it up into a ball, pushing a sharp blade through the ball and then opening the cloth again. It will be pricked with holes all over. All seeming random and not in a pattern yet truly all connected through that one blade and one cut.
I find that I can keep all of this seemingly random synchronicity in mind by visualising a ‘Compassion Compass’. Life may seem random, and sometimes our best efforts to plot a course to happiness or fulfilment may get set back or even thwarted, but if you trust that your life is guided by a greater force, in this case, your ‘Compassion Compass’, then it stops being scary.
A few things led me to establish the ‘Compassion Compass’. Compassion is one of the highest values of all, so my vision is of a compass where the set point is firmly in the direction of compassion.
In the early 2000s, one of my marketing consultancy clients was True North and I loved the imagery of the True North: the place we all ultimately want to chart our way to. There are many deep and spiritual meanings to the directions of North, South, East and West. Celtic symbolism holds that the East equals air, communication, new beginnings, new growth; South equals fire, energy, passion, creativity; West equals water, emotion, psyche, movement; and North equals earth, home, security and fertility.
With the Compassion Compass the set point is always to be kind to yourself. Start the random acts of kindness with you.
All the strength that you need to save you is within you. The trick is to tap into it, hone it, head towards it, and if the road gets bumpy or you lose your way, trust in your ‘Compassion Compass’ that maybe things that don’t look so good at present are actually there for a good or greater reason. Like the three redundancies I faced in my earlier working life. Like the cancer I came through 15 years ago. Like so many other adversities that inspired me to write my book Reset! A Blueprint for a Better Life and led me to changing career in my 50s to become a therapist and coach. That then led to being an author, a columnist, a broadcaster, a speaker and more as I speak about my life and how kindness and balance remain at its core.
As Proust said: “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Rosalyn Palmer is an Emotional Wellbeing Expert with a private practice in Newark (and Worldwide reach via Zoom) as an Advanced Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapist (ARTT), Clinical Hypnotherapist and award-winning coach.
She co-hosts the Radio Newark show Girls Around Town, and has a monthly newspaper column in The Newark Advertiser focusing on wellbeing issues on both. As a bestselling author of the award-winning self-help book ‘Reset! A Blueprint for a Better Life’ she makes emotional wellbeing accessible to all. Rosalyn is now also a co-author of Amazon No.1 bestselling self-help books ‘Ignite Your Life for Women’ and ‘Ignite Your Female Leadership’.
A member of the National Council of Psychotherapists; General Hypnotherapy Register & Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.
Formerly the MD/Founder of award-winning PR agency RPPR, Head of Marketing for an international charity and with an enviable CV from leading London agencies in the 80s and 90s, Rosalyn has grown from many challenging life experiences. These include cancer, financial loss, loss of identity, depression, redundancy and divorce. She has moved from a top-level business and corporate life to now supporting women and men who are facing burnout and overwhelm and other challenges of modern life. All of this colours and tempers her writing, broadcasting and speaking and makes her a highly empathetic therapist and coach.