A Reflective Sharing On The Practice Of Being More
Posted by Ani Devlia on Sep 7, 2015
So in the spirit of service in sharing, I share a little story from the weekend. :)
As I left my class at college on Saturday evening, for some reason I found myself walking towards the river - in the opposite direction of the tube station towards my journey home. I just felt like taking a long walk. In a way I felt surprised I felt that way because the weather was overcast and windy, plus I was feeling a little tired and knew I had visitors later that evening at home. I hesitated for a few seconds to think if I should go for a walk or head straight home. It didn't take long before I shrugged my shoulders and followed my hunch to walk the 20 minute walk along the river to Blackfriars Bridge where I could catch my train home. I tried to walk mindfully. It was hard not to think about the day's lectures which had been on the heavy subject of Pain, Crisis and failure. As I walked, I passed the spot where Audrey and I had stopped to take photos when she had visited London earlier this year. We had carried out the Random Acts of Kindness flashmob not too far from where I was. This thought led to another thought about taking a photo of the beautiful riverside and sending it to Audrey to say she was in my heart at that time. No, I decided. I'd remain mindful and present... this was my intention and I would not detract. :) I continued walking like this for about 10 minutes, with full awareness of each step; of the hardness of the pavement as it hit my sole of each foot; of the sounds of the water as it splashed against the banks; the heavy chugging of the passing boats. I noticed the wind on the wafer's surface, how it made the flow on the movement erratic. I saw a seagull swoop and take rest on the railing. This side of the river walkway is always busy with tourists and especially being the last Saturday evening of school holidays that day, it was humming with tourists, children and parents.
Then, as I looked ahead I noticed there was a congestion where people had slowed down or had stopped. Coming closer, what I saw made me BEAM from ear to ear and I think I almost ran up to what was clearly a flashmob of people giving FREE HUGS!! It felt like I had arrived home again. :) After exchanging many hearty hugs, over and over again until my arms ached and my jaws ached from smiling, I eventually got talking to a couple of the people and learned they were a part of a meet up group consisting of about 50 people who had joined in the activity that day. We exchanged stories... I shared about our "Audreyology" flashmob on the tube escalators and at the Southbank Centre in April. There was such a buzz when they learned how other people were spreading love in this way. One person went and called a few of the other huggers so they could hear the story. Of course, I reached deep in my bag for Smile cards, of which I had only 3. I explained what they were and they were received with so much wonder! One person, Holly, shared how she was paying forward love by offering a couch for couch surfers, something she had been very grateful to have received herself when traveling abroad last year, without which she said it would have been impossible to have travelled for one year. Holly and some of the others shared email addresses as they were also keen to be involved with future Random Acts of Kindness flash mobs... which I'm now so inspired to hold again. :) As I left the crowd of huggers, not before receiving more goodbye hugs, I felt a new spring in my step and more joy in my heart from feeling the connected-ness that had just been experienced. So glad I followed that hunch. :)