I was craving kindness today.

I think there are themes to our lives.

My mum told me that if you are in touch with your body well enough, your cravings tell you what you really need right now. Not the cravings for chocolate and maggi, she’d remind me, if you get your body used to the good healthy diet, it will truly crave the healthier things you need.

I tried this once. I don’t know about weight loss, but I remember my skin glowed at the end of it. And my body craved a lot of fruits – bursts of nutrients that scatter through your body, like the tickles of a child’s fingers – the kind of good that’s subtle in its presence.

I think it is the same with our lives and our mental and emotional and spiritual healths. I think our bodies and deeper parts of our minds know what we need, and we crave that. Cravings we lose touch with when we get too wrapped up in our calendars.

I have been craving kindness. I didn’t know that.

More than anything, she’s awfully kind, a friend, A, said a few days ago as she introduced me to someone for work. A strange trait to point out in the middle of a professional meeting perhaps. But K (the third person in the room) and I smiled. That’s an important characteristic to spell out in introductions, she chimed.

Despite all the long list of incredible ideas that meeting gave me, this one, for some reason, stayed. If I were being introduced to someone, I aspired, this is how I would like to be introduced.

I met this “kind” person a few days later. I don’t know what left me warm at the end of the meeting – the great conversation we had, the kindness she exuded or the fact that I was suddenly more aware of it because it had been pointed out?

Suddenly I started to see kind everywhere. In the meetings I’ve had these past few days, with people at varying degrees of high on my “admired” list, I am beginning to see how “kind” has perhaps been such an essential measure towards the admiration.

I told this to another friend, who had just introduced me to someone else with a note of he is very, very kind. We then spoke about a bunch of things before we circled back to the kindness I was suddenly so aware of. He called it humilityThat too, I said, suddenly feeling the need to justify, but kindness feels like it’s so much more than that. Empathy? Compassion? Generosity? All that, but not quite. I didn’t have any more ways to describe this qualitative difference in words; I might bode fairly well with words, but my brain thinks in the form of images: pictures. and smells. and sounds. and feel. and kindness, had its own catalogue entries in my senses. And I didn’t know how to curate that to explain.

I met the “very, very kind” person today. I was perhaps looking too hard for it.

I saw that kindness today. There’s a way that kindness touches you that makes something in your body relax. You know that feeling you get when you are meditating, and you can feel your body release tensions as you pay attention to it – something like that. Attention, like kindness, is in short supply lately. I wonder if there’s a connection.

I think I finally know what the term “kind eyes” means: it is the way eyes expand and pupils dilate because someone is interested in what you are saying, because they are taking in and considering it gently and patiently, not just without judgment, but with a sense of calm curiosity with an open heart, a light that shines from that opening.

And as I walked away, carrying this lightness and becoming aware of it at the same time, I started to think of this theme around me that had shaped up over the past few weeks: I was craving kindness, my source of it within myself slowly leaking away as I piled my jenga of unfinished things higher and higher, waiting for it to fall.

Oh.

I didn’t know where to find the kindness to replenish my supply from.

The type-A me poked her head out as I thought that – she had never gotten along too well with the me that liked to think about things; the two of them have a classic product vs. process struggle with their values. So, I took my book out and scribbled, letting the both of them speak. And now that they are done unloading all that pent-up-unkindness, they are slightly more accommodating of each other.

I then showed them the images I had collected from last few weeks: above all, we are kind, I reminded them. Gave them a product and process to work on.  A prescription for a diet of fruits, in some ways.

Jayati Doshi
4th Oct, 2017. 5.12pm

 

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