Acts of Kindness from your Armchair, my wonderful new book is out Nov 24th 2017 from Amazon, Wordery and many other online stores. But you can find out more about it NOW by visiting my Goodreads Book page. There you can see others’ reviews, watch gorgeous promotional videos, and find out more about me, Anita Neilson, and how I came to write Acts of Kindness from your Armchair. Here’s a taster extract:
“Acts of Kindness from your Armchair is an exploration of how the housebound and infirm can live a spiritual life and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the world through acts of kindness and compassion to ourselves, to others, to the natural world and to the environment. The readers’ focus is gradually re-framed from inward-looking to outward acting, echoed in a growing realisation that we are all reflections of God and each other and therein lies our power.
Why focus on acts of kindness from your armchair? Ill-health during the past few years has meant that I am mostly house-bound. As a Fibromyalgia and M.E. sufferer, I am uniquely placed to write about kindness and compassion from the point of view of those who, for health or other reasons, have to spend the majority of their time at home. A secondary school teacher, until illness hit in 2009, my journey back to health – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – has been long but rewarding (and is still ongoing). Through this time of transition, when moments of social isolation left me feeling unable to contribute, I often asked myself the question: “How can I do acts of kindness from home, from my armchair?” And thus the book was begun.
Interweaving knowledge and techniques from ‘traditional’ therapies (such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), physiotherapy and mindfulness) with ‘alternative and additional’ therapies (such as Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT), Reiki, yoga, nutrition and meditation) its overall aim is a desire to share the spiritual knowledge and practical skills gained to date with others.
Acts of Kindness from your Armchair is not aimed solely at Fibromyalgia and M.E. sufferers. Those are merely my personal circumstances. It is written from the unique standpoint of the ‘housebound’, those of us who for whatever reason (ill health, disability, carers, retirees, parents caring for children, those working from home, among others) find ourselves at home for the best part of the week but wish to make a difference to others’ lives through acts of love and kindness.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
For those with less than perfect health, be that physical, emotional or mental, making a meaningful contribution to society may seem an unattainable goal. Disabilities and mental health issues have in recent years become more main stream, discussed more openly in public. Much greater billing on television, and other media, of events such as the Paralympics and Invictus Games (for wounded servicemen and women around the world) contribute to this normalising and are encouraging signs to a fairer, more inclusive society.
Acts of Kindness from your Armchair contributes to this journey. Large-scale, visible acts of kindness are the ‘big picture’ if you like. Our acts of kindness are the threads that knit the whole tapestry of the world together: the power within all of us regardless of health-, physical- or financial limitations. No apologies should be made for the perceived “smallness” of our acts, for each of us has a role to play on earth and all are of equal merit. So, perhaps your ‘Armchair’ is a wheelchair, your bed or the chair in your study. You are always connected to the world around you and this book shows you how.
Anyone who wants to begin or continue their journey to self-realisation through spiritual development will find joy in the pages of this book. It is divided into four sections: Kindness to the Self, Kindness to Others, Kindness to the Animal Kingdom and Kindness to the Environment. I have not been paid to recommend any websites or products. I simply include the ones which have worked for me personally. There is a wealth of choice out there for you to explore and find what resonates with you.
Writing Acts of Kindness from your Armchair has been a voyage of discovery for me. With hindsight comes recognition that illness was a blessing, allowing me to objectively analyse the person I was; giving me space to discover this new person I have become; and finally blessing me with a faith in the future. I have discovered that as I heal myself through kindness and compassion this helps me to become a kinder person to others – warmer, more compassionate, a better listener, more understanding – facilitating the spread of love that grows in my heart day by day out to others. There is no greater joy than that. I hope you enjoy your own journey.”