Random Acts of Kindness Week

chi garden

In case you didn’t know, it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week. So, in the spirit of Bernadette Russell’s ‘The Little Book of Kindness’, and Eden Communities, I’ve made a little chi garden for my very worthy and unsuspecting yoga teacher, Anna, at EmPower Yoga – Birmingham, who has just completed her Yoga Therapy and Anxiety course, with The Minded Institute. I am forever grateful that she arrived at my gym and in my life, to give me the benefit of her practice. I hope it makes you happy and you enjoy your mojito-scented tea light. Well done, that lady! Namaste 


It’s #timetotalkday2018

Time To Talk

When you don’t get enough sleep it’s easy to let your thoughts run away with you and start focusing on the things that you thought you’d resolved and would otherwise have managed to let go of. Instead, you begin searching for something deep within yourself that doesn’t live there any more, rather than accepting that it’s gone. For some, it’s a bit like when you know you’ve left your cashback in the self checkout, but continue to open your wallet, hoping to retrieve it. For others, it’s an overwhelming sense of despair that you thought you’d learned to live with, but returns, threatening your peace of mind and ability to function at any level.

Know that this emotion is common to many, even if the reason is unique, and that your affliction, physical or mental, is a valid cause for disappointment and a part of living with the sense of loss associated with grief of any kind. You can’t change what happened, but you can change the way that you respond to it and leave room in your heart for everyone and everything that comes your way. While reminding yourself of your vulnerability, also reflect on the strength that it took to recover from that experience, and the beautiful soul that’s been preserved as a result of your growth. You’ve come a long way, my friend; don’t turn back. We’ve got this!



Help make homelessness history, one kind act at a time


Let’s tackle homelessness, one kind act at a time!

There have been shocking statistics about homelessness in the news, recently, with local councils estimating that more than 4,751 people a night sleep rough on England ‘s streets as of Autumn 2017. That’s up 169% since records began in 2010, and rising.

The reasons why someone finds themselves in this no-man’s-land are as diverse as those existing in this perpetual Groundhog Day. Devoid of interaction or purpose, their voices are muted and their lives hang in limbo, swept aside like spent leaves on an Autumn day.

In the words of Ben, from London, “Every day I wake up is just another day closer to death. “If I didn’t wake up, tomorrow, sometimes I’d think it’d be a blessing, then I wouldn’t have to do another 24 hours of this.” How, in 21st-century Britain, can we allow words like this to form in the mouths of our citizens?

The longer that someone is homeless, the bigger the impact on both their physical and mental health and the further removed from society they become, reducing their chances of reintegrating with and contributing to the community that created their predicament.

In the spirit of Bernadette Russell’s ‘The Little Book of Kindness’, I want to create a ripple effect of Kindness Scouts who, rather than turning a blind eye on their daily commute, stop and engage with those sleeping rough, from a position of safety and compassion.

Perhaps you can forgo your daily coffee fix on your way to or from work, slow your pace and extend a warm hand on a cold day. You might not have a ‘responsibility’ to that person, but you do have the power to give them hope, a meal, and a kind word or two.

How would you feel if you were identified as a ‘problem’, if your life amassed to nothing except for the tattered clothes that you were wearing, and the doorways you slept in were the same ones that closed in your face on a freezing night?

Be a part of the solution. Be a Kindness Scout and let’s help make homelessness history, one kind act at a time.

Tag your kind acts using the hashtag #KindnessScout

Thank you! Darren X

Statistics source: ITV News – 25 January 2018

Making Mindful Moments


How are you starting off the new year?

I’m candle gazing and listening to Sigur Rós, while trying to empty my mind of anything that I didn’t complete, last year, and committing to being more present and productive, this year. It’s time to clear out my mind’s clutter and be honest about how I’m feeling, every day. My mindfulness journal starts here…

Happy New Year!


Looking back on where 2017 took me and wondering what will fill the pages of 2018. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that life moves too fast and nothing is guaranteed. Your well-being, and everything that preserves it, should be your biggest priority, not an afterthought. It’s important to stop once in a while, however uncomfortable the path, to appreciate the present moment and notice how you’re responding to it.

Invest time in people who deserve your respect, and because of the difference that you can make to their lives or the community they belong to. Your neighbours ARE your community; show them kindness and be their reason to do the same. Look after yourself, first, because there is only one you, and your life is valuable to many.

And remember, there’s no insurance payout to compensate for a life, and no refunds on bad choices. Ask yourself this: “If my time was currency, would it be money well spent and did those bad choices lead me to better ones?” Respond with kindness, then reset your intentions to suit the response.

Wishing you a mindful and happy new year. Darren X

A win for World Kindness Day


I have just found out that I am one of the winners of the Eden Communities #KindnessCompetition, winning a copy of Bernadette Russell’s ‘The Little Book of Kindness’, for the work that I do in my community. I dedicate this win to all those involved with Leasowes Walled Garden and Halesowen Bloom, who inspire me to be a better person, with their tireless dedication to a cause.

Special thanks, also, to Halesowen Abbey Trust, Glynis Powell at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Caroline Hutton at Martineau Gardens, and Nick Booth at Podnosh Ltd, who have given me the tools and the belief to bring about change, personally and in my community.

You are all stars!

‘Moonlight Garden’ wins ‘Best Indoor Feature’ Award at Gardeners’ World Live.


I’ve just found out that our recent collaboration with the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live, has resulted in the prestigious ‘Best Indoor Feature’ Award. Congratulations to our friends, at BCT!

The show organisers have made the announcement across social media, featuring the stand and our garden’s display, with ‘Leasowes Walled Garden’ clearly visible; a great bit of national exposure for BCT and our restoration project.

GWL_Award Screen grab

I’m very proud of all of the volunteers who have inspired such recognition and who work tirelessly to improve our community, both inside and outside of the walled garden, for Halesowen Abbey Trust. We have many people to thank for this, not least Joe and Andreia, for offering us space on their stand.

Andreia’s straw bale sofa was a masterstroke, and the kind donations of flowers, from stands exhibiting nearby, as well as those provided by ourselves and our sponsors, Brookfield Nurseries, went down a storm. With Joe’s expert guidance we can do more to encourage and promote bats.

GWL Award_Twitter

This just goes to show that if you do what you love, with passion, and surround yourself with good people, who care, you can make a huge difference to your community and positively contribute to the wonderful Wild About Gardens conservation effort. Go, team LWG and BCT!