Practising Kindness

Good morning!

It’s almost October, which means its almost time to hand in all my practice assessment documents and my final essay.  Woop, woop!

Towards the end of the summer (which seems to have returned all of a sudden), Laura and I were chatting on twitter about doing a detox in October.  It seemed like a good excuse to ease back on the sugar and break some unhealthy food habits.  Immediately a load of ideas sprung to mind.  I’ve done a cleanse before with Gena, which was really great and highlighted a number of issues to me as well as resetting my subconscious food routines.  Since Laura and I were chatting, the detox (hate that word so I’m just going to use cleanse), has been on my mind.  And, instead of doing a food-based cleanse in October, I’m going to do a thoughts/mind-based cleanse.  Why?

I don’t know about you guys, but so I often I find myself trying to have a perfect diet, trying to fill my days with foods that are on my ultimate health list.  Know what I mean?  Sometimes I’m pursuing the perfect diet for my IBS, sometimes I’m pursuing the perfect diet for my mind (the one that causes the least guilt and stress), and sometimes I’m pursuing other peoples ideas of the perfect diet (e.g. all-natural, sugar-free etc).  This is rarely a conscious pursuit but it’s been highlighted to me over the last week or so.

When I’m giving healthy living and healthy eating advice to friends and family, I recommend them making realistic and sometimes only small, incremental changes to their diet or lifestyle one at time, and always with an attitude of kindness and forgiveness towards themselves.  Yet, I never do this to myself.  There have been days when I’ve woken up and said to myself, “right, today I am going to eat only the healthiest of foods with no junk whatsoever” only to end my day having failed and feeling disappointed with myself.  This sets up an awful cyle which just leaves me feeling drained, and slowly chips away at my self-esteem.

And, y’know what.  I don’t think there is such a thing as The Perfect Diet, per se (there may be a personally ideal diet).  The same for the perfect exercise regime, the perfect healthy lifestyle.  So why do we pursue these things?  Nutritional Science is still very much in its infancy and there’s a lot we have yet to learn about food and how it interacts with body and mind and effects health.  I’m not saying there isn’t value to this.  For example, what we’ve learnt about saturated fats has been undeniable dynamic in the prevention and management of heart disease.  What I’m trying to get at, in a long-winded way, is that we should evaluate the standards we put on ourselves, in all areas of life including diet.  Are they fair and reasonable?  Do they come from a place of self-love and self-confidence or from a place of insecurity and placing one’s esteem in things we feel able to control and to manipulate our bodies in a way that we see fit.  All of which may be regardless of the necessity and realism of these pursuits.

Therefore, for October, be it for a week in October or for the whole month, I’m going to be Practising Kindness.  This will involve letting go of perfectionist ideals, being mindful, and being kind to myself.  For some of you, this may include cleansing your diet as well (this was helpful for me when I did Gena’s cleanse).  The lovely Laura is hosting a cleanse in October so her’s may be one to follow in conjunction with practising kindness.

The main principle behind this cleanse is to practice kindness towards yourself primarily every day.  Practically, this could mean journalling/writing daily reflections, doing something you enjoy without any pressure of expection (such as reading that book you’ve been desperate to pick up for ages), practising yoga, meditation, reading inspirational quotes, practising Operational Beautiful.  This may also mean easing up on your dietary expectations and instead trying to eat intuitively, and with love.

Throughout October, the focus of my blog will be less on food and more on Practising Kindness.  I’ll obvo still feature food because it is my love and passion.  Thus the cleanse for me will mean that instead of trying to control food, and use it as an emotional/psychological crutch, I am going to embrace my love of it and stop putting restrictions on myself.  However, this will also mean cutting back on the sugary stuff because it leaves me feeling jittery.

So, who fancies Practising Kindess with me for the month October?  The hope is that this self-kindness will become more routine and part of our daily living beyond October.  For you fellow bloggers, this could mean posting about how you are going to practically love yourself more, or posting stories that inspire you, or anything else you think comes under the remit of Practising Kindness.  Maybe you had an awesome yoga session or walk in the countryside where you had a few realisations that helped you in some way.

I’ll also be featuring guest posts so if you’d like to write a guest post about what practising kindess means to you then I’d love to hear from you.  Email me at welshgirleats@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Hope all that makes sense!

Right, onto foodie stuff.  Things have been stupidly busy and I’ve only just managed to find my camera.  On finding it, the only pictures I’ve remembered to take are completely random…

Even though this isn’t food from one day, it’s a pretty good example of what I may eat in one day (minus the copious amounts of chocolate that I regularly consume!).

What do you think about Practising Kindness in October?  Any suggestions?  What will you be doing/do you do to practice kindness towards yourself?

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11 thoughts on “Practising Kindness

  1. Great blog, only I’m not sure I can practice kindness a WHOLE month (just kidding!). I do believe in incremental changes, yes.

  2. Oh, Sarah. You are such a brilliant, loving, thoughtful, inspiring woman! I adore this post and I am wholeheartedly head over heels with this idea. What a beautiful notion! The world would be a much better place, and we would all be so much happier, if we would go on cleanses like this regularly. Thank you for being you!!!

  3. It makes perfect sense! I’m starting right now! Good for you – and thanks for sharing, it’s an important reminder, that I appreciate :-)

  4. Great post, I will definitely be practising kindness this October! I have yet another wordy post lined up about how I feel I’ve turned a corner with regards to my snacking issues and my weight management and practising kindness to myself is a big part of that. I’m even trying to see this cleanse as kindness to my body by making sure I don’t restrict the amount of food I eat, I’m also filling it with some of my favourite foods too so make sure that it is thoroughly enjoyable!

  5. Love this post! I think practicing kindness is so important especially in this day and age when we are all rushing around and forget to listen to our bodies most of the time. I cannot wait to do my cleanse later this month. it will be on my bodies terms though as I now know what it can handle and what it can’t.

  6. Thank you for such a fabulous thoughtful post! I think it’s so important to be kind to yourself, especially when it comes to building a better body image. It’s so easy to be kind to everyone around you and then beat yourself up unnecessarily. I would love to do a guest post – I will get my thinking cap on and e-mail you over the weekend or early next week.

  7. What a lovely idea! I’ll have to think of ways I can Practice Kindness this month! I guess one thing I can do it enjoy my birthday week away in London next week without feeling guilty about the inevitable cake and ice cream and wiiine!

  8. This is awesome Sarah! Welshies unite and be kind! I want to try and be a bit kinder to my body and just oblige when it says ‘give me rest’ and also try not to judge others choices subconciously and compare them to my own.

  9. I hear you. This is just what I needed to read today.
    I know now that this is going to be a HUGE task for me but I’ll do it with you :) I think in the spirit of the en devour I may have to not aim for perfection but rather a positive way to deal with any negative thoughts that arise. The idea of stopping them completely seems too impossible! but stopping them in their tracks and countering them then focusing on a positive sounds do-able. I think I will try to meditate daily too.
    Diet wise I will be focusing on eating foods that don’t hurt me (physically or mentally).
    Your timing could not be more perfect. THANK YOU!

  10. I really cannot say just how much I love this post!
    What a lovely lovely goal to have :-)
    I’ve already written my goals for the month but I think everyone should try to join in with this goal every month!
    I would love to join in with you and I will try to think of a post to write for you!
    Thank you for really inspiring me this morning :-)

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