pluscardenimage credit: http://wikimapia.org

(this is a photo of the Abbey where I did my mini retreat)

So it’s Week 22 – and I’ll leave you to figure out how to sum it up once you’ve read what follows…

May I again appreciate my dear ‘Good Deed friend’, Rosie, the inspiration for all these posts. Do go and see what she’s been up to this week.

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com

For other Good Deeds posts I’ve written, including the original, please check out:

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/good-deed-weeks/

Sunday 13th October

Went for an early morning walk to gather fresh air for me, and kindling for the fire:-) Went to my Mum’s Creperie/Juice Bar to relieve a friend who had been covering for Mum over the weekend while Mum’s away. I drove said friend home and returned to continue the shift with my Mum’s friend and business partner.

AND good deed(s) received:

An abundance of fallen twigs from the generous trees. A wonderful and inspiring ‘in the car’ conversation about ‘service’ with the friend who had been working in the Creperie…which seeded the poem I shared here on Monday.

Monday 14th October

I’m going to introduce the concept of ‘Good Deeds of Omission’ – for today, one of my Good Deeds was NOT to point out something a colleague had done in the group discovery games session we were leading that had pi**ed me off. Truth was it had bothered me, but had not negatively affected the experience for the group. I let my frustration go during the tea break, without saying a word, and the second half of the games was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had in such sessions. Sometimes to say (or do) nothing is the most loving thing I can do.

AND good deed(s) received:

Some very warm and appreciative hugs, words and smiles from those who had participated in the games, and from the two group leaders, who shared how much they had valued our session.

Tuesday 15th October

Offered to be taught a little yoga by one of my students, though I was a bit self conscious and stiff, because she is a yoga teacher and we needed to figure out what new vocabulary she needed in order to be able to teach yoga in English. Sent a text to my mother to ask for my sister’s phone number as I had tried to call my brother there (it was his birthday) and I wasn’t getting through – I had an old number! When I didn’t hear from her I texted my brother instead and vowed to call the next day.

AND good deed(s) received:

Received warm appreciation from a friend I clean for occasionally, as well as his kind concern about my cold ‘only in socks’ feet – he insisted on my wearing some of his slippers. Mum texted me back with the number and some suggestions from my sister – websites full of resources for teaching children English, but it was too late to call then.

Wednesday 16th October

Called my brother, who was in Germany staying with my sister and her family to celebrate his birthday. I was a day late, but he didn’t mind! Spent a couple of hours preparing an engaging English lesson, based on Harry Potter, for the young German boys I teach who are totally Potter Crazy!

AND good deed(s) received:

It was my sister who initially picked up my call, and she immediately offered to call me back, as she was aware of the potential expense of calling Germany. A colleague in the care team I’m part of agreed to take over my evening shift – hooray!

Thursday 17th October

I offered to baby sit for a friend next Monday. Sent out some blog love and published a post before leaving home for three days, giving my computer a retreat of its own in my bedroom. Told a friend I met before leaving that I would take her current concerns and troubles to the retreat with me to invite grace in. Another Good Deed of Omission – I managed to control, and not disperse, the strong initial disappointment and frustration I felt when I found that those sharing the retreat house with me had no intention of spending much time in silence!

AND good deed(s) received:

I felt very blessed to meet a new blogging friend in the hours before I left, who offered me some very wise words to take with me for contemplation. If you want some inspiration and wisdom, check out wheninnewplaces.com. I was very warmly welcomed when I arrived at the women’s retreat house, and shown around and settled in by a woman who’s been coming there twice a year for about 13 years!

Friday 18th October

I consciously chose, as I had promised and as had been requested, to spend all three meal times with the others in the house, and not in silence alone in my room. Took myself out for two long walks because, generally speaking, trees, fields and pheasants don’t talk to me. Spent several hours alone in my room, and did some exploratory writing around the notion of Peace, and came up with an insight into the nature of ‘mistakes’ (which I will share here in poem form tomorrow).

AND good deed(s) received:

One woman who had finished eating took my dishes and washed them for me, while I continued an interesting conversation I’d been drawn into….about favourite films! I received some excellent recommendations; Cinema Paradiso, The Choir, Jean de Florette to name a few:-) Looking forward to watching those. Brambles gifted me abundant blackberries on a long walk through the beautiful surrounding countryside, staining my hands purple with juice…

Saturday 19th October

While others were at the Abbey attending daily mass, I decided to find my own way of ‘praying’ and went on a mop hunt to give my love to the kitchen floor, after which the rest of the kitchen began asking why I didn’t love it as much as the floor, so I gave all of it my attention. There’s something about having done some ‘inner cleaning’ that always makes me want to help the outside reflect that too. So…later I helped one of the other women de-dust an overworked hoover and fit a new bag. When the official service for Mass in the Abbey was over, I went there to be alone in that sacred space and inwardly bless a wedding that was taking part in our community that day, and also to send some love to my sister.

AND good deed(s) received:

I received a lot of appreciation from the woman with whom I cleaned the hoover. When I decided to attend Compline, the final service of the day in the Abbey, two other women heading that way shared their torch light with me, as it was pitch black. ‘You don’t have a torch? Well, what were you planning to do?’

‘Trust.’

Wishing you all a wonderful week dear friends:-)