Posts

Have you ever been this kind?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st, KindI’m curious, how kind are you?  Do you show kindness to others?  Family? Friends?  How about strangers?

I’m someone who tries to be as kind to others as I can be…and I’m someone who believes that the more kindness that a person puts out in the world, the more kindness that comes back.

…and while I was in the states a few weeks ago, I had a situation where I was in desperate need of some kindness…

How kind is the average person?

These days I think that people get a bit of a bad rap.  If you had to say how kind the average person is…what would your response be?  Do you think there are more people who show kindness out there than people who aren’t?  I’m not sure that people realise how many people there are who do….

But then someone comes along who shows how kind a stranger can be…

So today I want to share with you my experience…of a moment when I needed a kindness shown to me more than ever…and how it showed up in the most unexpected way…watch the video now to see more…

This is exactly the reason that I try to show kindness wherever I go…and the reason I encourage others to to….and here it is the card where I got to pay this kindness back…

Paying a kind act back, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Could you be this kind?

So take a moment this week to ask yourself…could you show this sort of kindness to others in your life?  To family, to friends, even to complete strangers…and how would you feel as a result?  How much would it enrich YOUR life from being that kind?

…and if you enjoyed the story then please take a moment share it to inspire others to share kindness with others too, and see how kind you can inspire them to be!

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the anonymous kind Mum…

Anonymous Kind MumToday’s Fabulous Friday Female is short, sweet and simple….and in being so, is probably one of the most real and powerful that I’ve shared.

There is a beautiful website called “I am a Kind Stranger” that was created by a lovely couple called Sarah and Greg and inspired by their project “American Bear”.

American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers is an adventure road trip film that follows playful couple Sarah and Greg as they travel the country relying on strangers for a home each night (You can check out the trailer for the movie here).

The film is still being completed, but while it is they want to spread some kindness…so they created “I am a Kind Stranger” for people to share little stories of kindness, ideas, suggestions for how to spread even more kindness in the world…and it’s a great place to go to get a little lift and have your faith in the genuine goodness of the human spirit revitalised.

Well, one day a short while ago, I came across this entry on the website:

My Mum

One of the lads in our complex got cancer, a very long time ago, and now his mum has breast cancer. I can’t even begin to imagine how this must feel to the family, the second person with cancer in the family. My mum brought them some dinner, because they don’t have the time to cook it. She didn’t even know them; I reckon that she decided to bring her food as well as her support. The 50 bill on the counter was gone and I haven’t seen it. My parents were planning on going on a 20th anniversary date and we had been pinching pennies to help pay for the date, but I think my mum gave it to this other family.

So I would like to ask for you to join me today in honouring, acknowledging and celebrating this anonymous woman and her simple, selfless act of kindness that touched the heart of another….I hope she inspires you to do the same.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

Are you a human being or a human doing?

Free HugsHow many times have you met someone new and one of the first things you’ve asked them is ‘so what do you do?’

How many times a day do you say to yourself “Oh I must remember to do _______”

How many things to you have on your ‘to do’ list?

It’s so important to remember that we are human beings not human doings!

Is what we do important?  Of course it is.

I learned a long time ago that I can do almost anything I want if I really put my mind to it.  (I’m still working on teleporting to save travel time…I’ll keep you posted… 😉 )

But what you are doing isn’t as important as who you are being.

You see, who you are being radiates out of you, whether you broadcast it or not.   People can feel it from you, they can see it in you, they just know.

I had a really great experience a couple of years ago that really woke me up to this fact.

If you know me, you know that I’m a hugger.

I love hugs.

I’ll hug pretty much anyone….friends, family, strangers, old or young, male or female…I’m an equal opportunity hugger.

When I meet people for the first time a lot of people (especially here in the UK) will put out their hand for me to shake.  If it’s appropriate for the situation (and I get the sense from them that they will be open to it) my response is always “I don’t do handshakes, I do hugs”…and give them a big hug.

I’m known in several places around the world for being the perpetuator of the ‘squishy hug’ – a hug where you completely envelope the other person, and the two of you just melt or ‘squish’ into each other.

I even had a couple of T-shirts custom made with the words “Free Hugs” printed on the front, so that I could wear them out and about and have an excuse to hug anyone along the way.

It’s official.

My name is Claire, and I’m a hugaholic.

(Waits for the response…“Hi Claire”…)

So hugging is my thing.

A couple of years ago I was in a salsa club in London just standing on my own, watching the dancers spinning and twirling around the dancefloor.  I was off in my own little world when I noticed a young woman I didn’t know and had never seen before walking towards me.

When she stopped in front of me, she looked me in the eye and simply said, “Can I have a hug please?”

Although I was a little surprised by the direct request, I didn’t hesitate for a second.  “Of course you can!” I said, and gave her a huge hug.

She thanked me, and disappeared from the club.

When she left, I looked down and was surprised when I realised that I wasn’t wearing one of my “Free Hugs” T-shirts.

This club was one that I used to go to regularly, and I knew most of the people there.  I’d never seen this girl before, and I never saw her again.

I was surrounded by people at the time, but for some reason I was the person that this girl approached for a hug.

Someone else might have turned her down, or looked at her in a strange way…but she walked straight up to someone who would be only too happy to give her hug!

You see, who you are being radiates out whether you broadcast it or not.  It doesn’t matter if you’re actually ‘doing it’ right there and then, if it’s who you are being on the inside…people can feel it.

So the question is, who are you being?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Thank you to the stranger on the train…

TearsYesterday was not a good day for me.

In fact, being honest, it was really awful.

It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say something like that…but in this case there’s no other way to put it!

I got some news which was very upsetting, and which caught me completely by surprise.

If you want to know the full story, you can find it in today’s newsletter (You can sign up here if you haven’t yet: http://feminine1st.com/free-gift/)

I was in London at a meeting when it happened, and so on my journey home it all started to sink in…and the next thing I know I’m sitting on a South Eastern train with tears streaming down my face.

It was one of those “once the flood gates are open” moments.

Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

I was very aware of the fact that I was on a public train, surrounded by people, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling very upset, and at that moment I needed to let it out.

The guy with the drinks trolley went past and very kindly handed me a couple of napkins as he went.

But then something interesting happened.

A guy who was sat a little further up the train walked up to me and said “I’m really sorry, I’m not trying to hit on you, but I can’t just sit there and watch you cry….would you like to split a beer? Or I could just sit here and talk random rubbish at you for the rest of your journey?”

Now, a few years ago, if this had happened my instinctive response would be to say “It’s OK, I’m fine”.

Not yesterday.

I looked up at him and said “You know what, that would be really great”.

So he sat down and we started chatting.

Not the stuff of great conversations that will go down in history, just random chat to pass the time.

It was just what I needed…a little random kindness from a stranger.

What was really interesting is that had the situation been reversed and I’d seen someone crying on the train, I’d have done exactly what he did.

When I told him this and said how grateful I was for the random stranger who came and talked random stuff at me to pass the journey…he simply replied, “Ah, but it wasn’t random”.

It was really reassuring to know that what you put out in the world, does come back…sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes randomly…but often when it’s most needed.

I’ve mentioned the concept of paying it forward on here a few times, and my last post about it was on remembering to receive it forward as well.

Well, yesterday I got the chance…and it felt good to receive.

So thank you to the stranger on the train who helped me to dry my tears and made me smile.

The next time you see someone who you think could use cheering up, don’t be afraid to say hello…it doesn’t cost anything and it might just make all the difference to someone’s day.

…and the next time someone offers you a kindness at a time when you really need it…allow yourself to receive it. It might not take away the sadness or whatever it is that you’re feeling…but it certainly does help.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

give a little gift

Give a little gift…

give a little giftWith Christmas fast approaching, thoughts of shopping, wrapping and presents are never far from mind. There’s a frantic scramble in the last few weeks (or in some cases the last few days!) to check the presents which need to be purchased off the list and find something which fits the bill for each person.

But what about giving a different kind of gift this year? Not for a family member, or for a friend…to a stranger.

Not something which meets the right criteria of cost and size….something which shows a kindness and compassion for someone else…whoever they may be.

It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive, it could simply be paying the toll for whoever happens to be lucky enough to be in the car behind you and telling the toll booth attendant to wish them a Merry Christmas from a friend.

It could be visiting an elderly stranger in a home who has no family to visit them and just have a simple conversation with them. Ask them what their favourite memory is, when do they remember laughing more than ever, what was their best Christmas and why?

For me, it will be donating to and helping out at the London Basket Brigade.

It’s an initiative inspired by Tony Robbins…the idea is that we collect donations to put together food hampers for families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a Christmas dinner. Then on the 23rd we go around London delivering the hampers and telling them they are just “from a friend” and that when they are in the position to do so, to do it for someone else in the future.

It’s a wonderful initiative and they are done all over the country and all over the world. If you’re interested in supporting our team in London all the details are here: http://yesgroup.org.uk/ and if you are somewhere else in the world, just Google “basket brigade” and your location and it will bring up your local groups.

I can’t wait to see the faces of the people whose Christmases we will be making a little more special through the kindness of others. Knowing that I will be part of the team helping to give them a little bit of Christmas that they otherwise wouldn’t have is a wonderful feeling.

Being open and giving is a core part of our femininity…and the boost it will give to your internal fuzzy feeling meter is immeasurable!

So give a little unexpected gift this Christmas…and remember to stay fabulous!

Claire x

~EDIT~

I love synchronicity! Having posted this blog this morning, I then went onto Facebook and saw this video…which so eloquently demonstrates what I’m talking about here…so I thought you might like to see it too:

Here is the link if videos don’t play in your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc8ZbVcdHpg

Much love and festive hugs x