“Kindness”, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, is a big topic when it comes to eating disorders. Kind acts come in all shapes and sizes and often for those in recovery, nurturing kindness is a journey itself. You may go so far as to say that you cannot recover from this illness without kindness.
Today, we had originally planned to write a blog post on how resilience and acceptance plays a role in being kind to ourselves, however, I struggled to put pen to paper. Investigating this, I feel it is because the act of being kind to ourselves is so personal, and our stories all so unique, it’s almost impossible to put this into words. Kindness is an adjective; an attribute of something, but it is also something that we feel and something that is best learnt by feeling it, so that we can then reproduce it.
So, I decided to go with feeling.
Instead of forcing something onto the page, I took ten minutes to meditate (an act of kindness, if you will) to get in touch with feelings of kindness within myself. During the meditation, and reflecting on my space within the universe with my dog at my feet, I couldn’t help but notice how recent events associated with lockdown and coronavirus had left me feeling so small. Which makes sense – there are much bigger things happening at the moment, and to conquer them we must all fall in line and be resilient towards the process and accepting of our role within it. I noticed how – at least to me – it’s hard, right now, to find and feel our place within the world…and feel our impact.
Without taking myself away from my laptop for ten minutes, I wouldn’t have uncovered this tiny ball of tension (or “unsettled-ness”) within me. Inspired by the recent words of our Yoga and Body Awareness Therapist, Pippa, on an Instagram Live session, I was the “investigator of my own body-mind system, the place I call home, and started to discover what’s really going on in the container of my body to get a hold of where kindness is present and where it is not.”
My discovery led me to realise that I need to be kind to this part of me that feels “small” in the face of the pandemic and the wider chaos within society. To keep nurturing my resilience and allowing myself to turn inward and respond with love and patience to this part of myself that needs a little bit more kindness right now.
Admitting we need more kindness is an act of courage and strength, and a demonstration of the trust we have towards ourselves that we can hold this difficult feeling but respond accordingly to it. Kindness doesn’t always have to involve big actions or gestures (“doing” things), it may just be taking a few moments to check in and notice what’s happening for ourselves.
I hope you can take a few moments today to check in, and find that place that needs a little more kindness right now.