Kindness (Day 1: #CrowdsourcingBook Tour)

I thought as I wrote about my #crowdsourcingbook tour, I’d be keeping a diary simply of the day’s events as I worked my way from San Diego to Los Angeles to San Francisco, Napa and Oakland. But already something else is taking shape so I’m just going to go with it.

Today, I was struck by the kindness of others. It all started when I had lunch with a woman I’ve known for years, mostly through online networks. I actually don’t think we’ve ever met in person or at least not sat down before to chat. I was struck with how energetic, enthusiastic and creative she was. And how kind. She generously offered to help me with a project, and together we brainstormed another. I felt lucky to have had the chance to spend some time with her.

Later, I ran into Lisa Stone, one of the founders of BlogHer, at the elevators of the conference hotel. As always, she was incredibly gracious and engaged in our conversation as we rode the elevator. I am always so impressed with how accessible the BlogHer founders are and how generous with their time and attention. Lisa, Jory des Jardin and Elisa Camahort, to me, are the epitomy of powerful, influential successful women who are also kind.

I don’t know why I’d think they’d be otherwise, although I have met many women who have achieved a wide range of degrees of success who are not so nice. And I know how much pressure there can be with the myriad of demands on one’s time and attention. Yet every time I see the BlogHer women, I am struck by their warmth and their attention to the moment, to the person in front of them. They are incredibly kind.

Finally, I went to get my hair done for my book party (will post about the party tomorrow after I get some sleep). I showed up at the salon, and they told me that I was an hour late for my appointment. It was probably my fault – I’m really bad with clocks and calendars. I was so stunned and upset that my best laid plans were screwed up. The guy behind the reception desk was starting to protest in that “well, there isn’t anything we can do” way, but then he paused and went to the back room. He returned with the hair stylist who I had apparently “stood up.”

I was bracing myself for some admonishment for my tardiness or for a snide “Sorry, we just can’t fit you in.” But instead, she looked at me kindly and said “Let’s see what we can do. I’m not sure if I can take care of you the entire time, but let’s just go back and see what we can do.”

No scolding, no refusals. Just the kindest approach that melted away my stress.

“Just breathe, just breathe,” she said gently, and even apologized for not being able to spend more time washing my hair. I was just grateful for being able to get properly prepared for my first book tour appearance. A silly thing, I know, but at the moment it felt important. It felt even more important to be treated so kindly.

Her name is Kelly, by the way, and the salon is called Tonic.

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Kindness. It doesn’t take much (or maybe it does for some). A kind word. A kind smile. Making time, giving attention, offering help. I hope I was kind today to those around me to put those good vibes out into the cosmos.

Have you been kind today? Who has been kind to you lately?

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