This week, there was a special day. 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. I also love the idea of seemingly random things actually being more connected. 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 my redundancies. Like the cancer. Like so many other adversities that may be making you re-evaluate your life and yourself.
As Proust said:
“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Have a great rest of your week.
Parts of this blog are excerpts from my book ‘Reset! A Blueprint for a Better Life’ – click here to purchase your copy or why not pay it forward and buy one for a friend?