The underestimated, and underreported acts which keep us making sense of the rollacoaster.
I have been struck in the past month by a few wonderfully simple, and yet deeply profound actions which have reconnected me to the reality of the beautiful underbelly we tend to forget.
Whilst the political merry-go-round seems far from stable, it can feel like motion sickness is an unavoidable reality. However, I have had my feet reconnected to the fertile soil of generosity, altruism and bravery which has been an inspiring catalyst to reframe what we are capable of. Here are just a few examples that have lightened the load recently. I hope that they inspire recognition of the bits of human magic that have floated your way recently, and help encourage you to waft your own wands around. (This is not meant to sound rude, is it just me?)
1) Getting less than 9 hours notice for a self tape could feel like an stressful, disrespectful and self sabotaging attempt to land a job. (For non actors, self tapes are process where by an actor is sent text to learn for an audition, but rather than going in to a room to meet people at a later date, actors learn the lines, set up a space with good lighting, a neutral background and get someone to film and read with them from behind the camera. The actor then edits the footage and emails it to their agent, who sends it to the casting director). However, if I put my Challenge Anneka hard hat on, they can be an empowering, exhilarating and creative spot of paprika to spice up what would have been a slightly more predictable use of my time. This particular instance left me feeling a little dishevelled at first glance, as my biggest challenge would be getting someone to come and film with me at such short notice. However, within 4 hours, after resorting to smoke signals on Facebook, I had someone lined up. Now, this legend of a human being had only met me twice before, and the last time was over a year ago. Gerard Cooke is based in Bristol and happened to be in London that day for a casting. He saw my post and contacted me to say he could get a later train home, was happy to hang around for 2 hours in town so I could learn the lines, then walk over to my flat, film with me for an hour, before heading out into the dark and arctic January chills to schlep all the way home to Bristol. And all for a cup of tea and too many thank yous.
2) Giving blood, (and platelets). I am always amazed by the, constantly fully-booked-in-advance, sessions where lovely humans disclose intimate details about what their bodies have been up to, then lie back to a vaguely unpleasant experience, in order to help strangers they will never meet, for free. This is what being a global citizen is about, this is altruism, this is what thousands and thousands of people do every year. No such thing as society Maggie, really? If you want to join in, you can find your local spots here. P.S. There is free food! (And stickers, but I think they may be intended for children, but if they would make you happy too I am sure you are welcome to them as well, everyone is very nice and grateful for your presence!) Also, your are in and out within an hour. (You can see why I chose Anneka for the pic on this blog).
3) After hunting unsuccessfully online (sometimes that does still happen), I resorted to another Facebook call out, this time for recommendations as to where to get a light to fit in my Butsudan, (best likened to what a wardrobe is to Narnia). A stranger saw my message and I was instantly put in touch with Michael, who makes the most beautiful Butsudans. He said he had exactly what I was after and posted it to me but would not accept any money.
Some of the other acts that have made me inner 'wow', (I list them in order to acknowledge that it can be the simple gestures that really do accumulate to make life veer on to the 'wonderful experience' side of the scale). We are all capable of them and all receive them, sometimes without realising:
Thank you to the friend who misread a Facebook (I am not on commission, promise) post and called to see if I was ok.
Thank you to the friend who knew I was looking for more income and offered me a day covering his show and paid me in advance, then would not take the money back when I wasn't needed in the end.
Thank you to the flatmates who managed to successfully unblock the kitchen sink, which meant I didn't have to face calling the landlady.
Thank you to the friend who gave me all the contact details for companies they like working with, resulting in me getting an interview this morning.
Thank you to the friend who sent me a lot of training material that is no longer available to buy online, and answered all my questions via Skype and multiple emails.
Thank you to the most amazing Kundalini yoga teacher who gifted me a free class for helping her source retreat spaces in Ibiza.
Thank you to the friend in Ibiza who took the time to research and send me all the information to pass on to the Kundalini yoga teacher.
Thank you to the photographer who rescheduled his diary so I could still volunteer on my designated day, when I had double booked my shoot with him.
Thank you to the man who stopped me in the street when I dropped my much needed winter cycling glove.
Thank you to the wonderful woman I just met who offered to translate some messages to me, she insisted on paying the full price for her ticket to the my Cacao Ceremony even though I offered it to her half price as compensation.
And many more....
Kindness to yourself:
It can be a challenge to give to others if you can't give to yourself. If giving to yourself and giving to others are two wheels on a cart, you may find your life going round in circles if one of them has fallen off. (Ropey paraphrase of a Buddhist metaphor).
If your 'you' wheel is looking a little tired and flat, I can offer some powerful 'me time' this February in the form of a sacred Cacao ceremony. It will be an afternoon to nurture yourself, connect with your inner brilliance and deepen into abundant self love. Drawing upon the Buddhist practice of Human Revolution, an understanding that there is value in all aspects of ourselves, even the parts we reject, we will be working with the divine and healing energy of ceremonial Cacao. This sacred medicine will allow us to journey deeper into the awareness of own potential, drawing together all aspects of ourselves to our unified heart centre, falling in love with ourselves, then taking that vibration out into the world: creating the change by our very being.
If you are free 2-5pm on Sunday 17th of February, please message me on here and I will send you all the details. A wonderful way to surf the Valentines wave.
Other ideas for self love this month are taking yourself on a date. Put it in your diary and don't let anything get in the way, wear clothes you love and make it as fun and nurturing as you can; be it the cinema, a yoga class, meal in your favourite restaurant with your phone off and a great book, a gallery, a massage or a wild swim (some people love it even in February).
Please let me know of what ways you find to nurture yourself this month, and what acts of kindness are peppering your days...