Kind Kindred : Jennifer Lee

Hi Lovelies, I hope this post finds you smiling, thank you for being here! Today Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching joins our tribe telling us how kindness was shown to her recently & how simple it can be to give but how sometimes it’s not easy to open yourself up to receive it. So True. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jennifer, beautiful! Peace to all of you, skies full, xox – Amanda

photo by Jennifer Lee

What lost luggage taught me about kindness

On a recent trip I was reminded how much small, simple acts of kindness can have such a huge positive impact. I flew into Ottowa, Canada to give a talk and, as luck would have it, my checked-in luggage didn’t make it with me.

The airport and the airline gave me the most annoying run-around all weekend. Fortunately, my hosts were the kindest, most generous people whose caring gestures helped make everything okay.

Upon arriving at our venue, Katherine, one of the event team members, immediately asked, “What do you need? Is there anything I can get you?” I replied tentatively, “I guess a toothbrush and toothpaste.” And magically within minutes she raced back with supplies in hand.

A lovely woman I just met in the lobby said, “I heard you need a jacket. Here you can wear this,” as she generously handed me her warm, puffy vest. She let me borrow it all weekend!

On the way to dinner Alyssa, the event organizer, and Katherine drove me to the local mall so I could stock up on socks and underwear at Sears and toiletries at the drug store. I felt so self-conscious with them waiting for me as I rushed through the store gathering replacement items as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to take up too much time. I didn’t want to be a burden. They, of course, were ultra patient, super helpful, and, above all else, kind. They made sure I had everything I needed.

I noticed how challenging it was for me to just lean into their help and fully accept their kindness. My default is to say, “I’m fine.” I’m used to powering through on my own or making do with what I have (a.k.a. being a martyr – sound familiar to you?). Their continued kindness brought a much-needed sense of ease and comfort throughout the rest of my luggage-less stay.

In the end my bags made it to me right as I was checking out of the hotel. Besides teaching me that I really must do a carry-on(!), the silver lining in this suitcase saga was getting to experience the power of kindness.

I was reminded that kindness comes in small, everyday packages:

  • A smile
  • A warm, sincere, “How are you?” or “What do you need?”
  • Just having someone sit by your side to let you know that everything is going to be okay.

And that as a receiver of kindness, all you have to do is simply let the kindness in and show your gratitude.

What’s one simple way you can show kindness to someone today? And how can you open yourself up to receiving more kindness?

Coach, author, and artist Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching and the Right-Brain Business Plan empowers professional and entrepreneurial women to live life in full color. Her book The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success comes out in February 2011. She loves yoga, taking naps, reading, snapping Hipstamtic prints with her iPhone, painting up a storm, and spending time with her husband and their adorable beagle-mix. Follow her on twitter and catch a glimpse into her creative life at her Life Unfolds blog.


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