Monthly Archives: December 2015

Kind Traditions

Day 49: Kind Traditions

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

How do you celebrate the new year and say goodbye to the one that is ending? Do you party until the sun comes up? Do you gather with friends and family to eat, drink and be merry? Do you set and discuss goals for the new year? However you celebrate, take a moment to honor the past year, the good and the bad, and another moment to invite all of the things you wish for the new year.

To honor 2015 and to ring in 2016, my family and I will be having a fire ceremony. We are all going to write down what we want to leave behind and then burn the lists in the fire. We are also going to write down our goals and desires and invite those things into the new year.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    With this new year, give yourself something you have always wanted. Sign up for a dance class, learn to paint, take those piano lessons you always wanted, plan the vacation you’ve dreamed about and start whatever you have always desired. Begin each day as if it is January 1, and before you know it, you will be signing, playing the piano and may find yourself in China, Italy or Antarctica!

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Start a new tradition or regular get together with family, friends or a friend you don’t see quite enough. Create the life you have always wanted.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Begin a kind tradition that incorporates a new attitude towards people outside of your circle. Maybe that is performing random acts of kindness, volunteering at a homeless shelter, smiling at everyone you see or deciding to treat everyone, especially people in the service industry, with the same attention and respect you give your best friend.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    What new and kind tradition can you commit to this new year? Get creative. Can you commit to 365 days of not using any plastic or only using reusable containers? Can you change out the lawn for wood chips?

    January 1st is the perfect excuse to commit to and challenge yourself to a new tradition, a new routine, and new way of living. A life that is kind in all ways.

Happy New Year’s Eve. Be safe and have fun! See you in the New Year.

Jennifer Palazzo

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Open to Kindness

Day 48: Open to Kindness

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

What a simple and beautiful quote. Being open is not always easy. We go about our day and get set in our ways and routines. We become closed off to the new, to the different, to others that are strange, different or unknown. What if we chose to be open to kindness, open to interaction, open to the unknown. What changes could occur, what difference could we make?

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Being open, gentle, loving and kind to our inner-self is a great undertaking if we are used to being hard, impatient and mean. It takes great skill to become aware of our inner voice and learn to correct it. Be open to self love and kindness and from there we will be able to be open with others.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Be open to more love, deeper connections and an abundance of kindness with the people you love and know.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Opening our hearts and our minds to those people we initially dislike, judge, misunderstand or disregard can create a massive shift in our daily lives. I recently spent an entire day making eye contact and smiling at every person I saw or encountered. It was a day filled with happiness and delight. Sometimes, the simplest gesture is an act of kindness.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Open up to different conservation causes and learn what is possible. Actor Mark Ruffalo is against fracking. Learn more about fracking and Mark’s involvement at  Mark Ruffalo’s Facebook Page and Food & Water Watch.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/MeaghanBee

Kindly Change a Habit

Day 47: Kindly Change a Habit

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

As we approach the new year, we begin to reflect on the past year and evaluate the positive and the negative experiences. We celebrate our victories and accomplishments and we begin to think about what changes we want to create in the new year. Maybe there is something that we have always wanted to do, but never have. Or maybe there are habits, patterns, and relationships that do not serve us.

Is there something you have always wanted or desired, but it seemed too big, too difficult or daunting? Change will come by creating daily habits that will turn into patterns and eventually something bigger. This blog does exactly that for me. I wanted and desired kindness so much that I created a blog, and dedicated myself to writing a post every day for a year. Just think of the endless possibilities and changes that you can make by creating a habit and focusing all of your energy to.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Today let’s choose to change a habit that no longer serves us. If we are willing to look within and own, we all know which habits create negative outcomes and patterns in our lives. Instead of focusing on stopping the negative pattern, think of a new way of doing. Change perspective slightly and focus on a habit that will create positive patterns and outcomes.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Be adventurous and try doing something with a loved one that is new or different. If you always bring your wife red roses, try bringing her yellow flowers, or better yet, make a date and bring her to a local botanical garden. Having habits, especially with friends and family, create security and dependability, but it can also cause boredom. Get creative and create new habits with the people that you love.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Try a new activity, something that you have always wanted to do, but can’t find a friend to join you. Sign up for that dance class, writer’s retreat or cooking class and meet new people and possibly create a friendship with a stranger.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Change one small bad habit regarding the conservation of our planet and over the next year, as the days add up, that one small change will equate to something much bigger.

“To change your life, change your habits.” – Unknown

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/KristaJohanson

Thoughts of Kindness

Day 46: Thoughts of Kindness

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson

Thinking kind thoughts is just the beginning. From thoughts we create patterns, words, actions and interactions. If we take the time, we can check within and begin to listen and observe our thoughts. Once we have become aware of our thought patterns, over time and with practice, we can begin to catch the negative patterns before they have developed. Through observation, awareness, and gentle reminders, we can change the way we think and our thoughts can become kind.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Whether driving in traffic, meditating, doing the dishes, working or laying in bed, we can begin to observe our thoughts and eventually change them into what we want. We are what we think, so let’s be sure our thoughts are what we want to be.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Thoughts eventually become our words, actions and interactions. If we find ourselves having negative thoughts about another person, maybe it is time to reevaluate the relationship and make sure it is one that we want, that serves us and that we enjoy. Even if we can keep the unkind thoughts to ourselves, others will most definitely feel the unkind thoughts.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Thoughts are very powerful and can emote an energy of openness or an energy that is closed off. Having kind thoughts about strangers and being open to the world will create and spread love and kindness.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Think kind thoughts and then do kind actions towards the health of our planet everyday.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/irfanbrkovic

Letting Kindness Unfold

Day 45: Letting Kindness Unfold

“Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen…trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best.” – Mandy Hale

Do you ever have one of those days that just does not go the way that you had planned? A day that you had specific plans for, and for whatever reason, it kept changing in unexpected ways. When that happens, do you fight it? Or do you let the current of the day take you where it wants to go?

I had a day like that today. I was planning to wake up, go to the gym, write my daily post, have lunch, and then take the family skating. That is not how the day unfolded. The day turned and twisted in unexpected and unplanned ways. Some of the twists and turns were nice, like an unplanned play date for my daughter and a walk with my girl friend, but some of the day was not so fun, and was filled with disappointments, miscommunication and hurt feelings. However as the day unfolded, and tears were shed, and feelings were shared, and new connections were made; kindness was created.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Can you go with the flow and surrender? Can you trust that your higher power will give you exactly what you need?

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Can you let others be how they need to be, share what the need to share, do what they need to do?

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Can you see the good in all people and not judge others? Can you be open to new people and situations?

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Can you keep the health of the planet in the forefront of your mind?

I ask myself how does letting go, surrendering and allowing the day to unfold as it wanted to, relate to kindness? It relates to kindness, because by simply surrendering to the unexpected day, kindness was found, created and experienced by me and my family.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/GregoryPawelczuk

 

Kindly Trust Yourself

Day 44: Kindly Trust Yourself

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock

On any given subject, there seems to be a constant barrage of information telling us what to do, how to do it, how to think, how to look, what to say and how to behave. We can look up information on any subject and receive buckets of advice and information, but before we can put our trust in others and information outside of us, we must first learn to trust ourselves. How does one build inner trust, especially when we are human and we make mistakes? It is a combination of awareness, truth, intuition, and letting go. We must be aware of our truth, listen to our intuition and let go of any illusion of control. Sounds a bit like a tight-rope performance; requiring a great amount of balance, but as we quiet the noise, we can begin to listen and trust that inner voice to guide us where we are meant to go.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Kindly trust that you know more than you think you know, that you have the answers within you and if you find yourself stuck, then meditate, pray, ask your higher power for help or ask a trusted friend.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Trusting others is like giving a gift or a part of yourself. There is an inherent risk that we may be betrayed, but if our trust is honored, then we will receive the gift of connection, friendship and companionship. If we are betrayed or let down, then we are given the opportunity to learn. With time and practice, we will know who we can trust and who we cannot.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    We put our trust in strangers everyday in many ways. We trust that most people are safe and that we can go about our day knowing that we are all looking for the same things out of life: to love, to be loved, to understand and to be understood. Truth and love.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Whether we realize it or not, we put our trust in our planet everyday. We trust that the sun will rise, the seasons will change, the earth will turn and life will continue in a predictable and safe way. We trust that the sun will warm the earth and provide food. We trust that we will have enough water from the clouds to drink, bathe and grow our crops. But what if we lived somewhere where clean water was not available? Please take a moment and check out: Pure Water for the World.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/Meditation

Merry Kindness

Day 43: Merry Kindness

Merry Christmas and my very best wishes to you and your family for the coming year. May your day, week, year and life be merry and filled with love and kindness to yourself, to your loved ones, to the new people you will meet and to our beloved planet.

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of Robin Thomas

Kindly Spend Your Time

Day 42: Kindly Spend Your Time

“This time, like all times is a very good one, if but we know what to do with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

They say time is a gift and to use it wisely. How will you spend your time today? For many in the world it is Christmas Eve, a special day to be with family, friends and loved ones. For others it is a just another day. Either way, you are in charge of how you spend your time. Will it be used to connect with yourself, others or maybe even volunteering? How ever and with whomever you spend your time, ensure it is time spent kindly. Our time, whether spent with ourselves, loved ones, strangers or in nature, is precious and will be lost forever once spent, make sure every minute is exactly how you want it.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Everyday, spend at least a little time doing something just for you. Feed your soul, give yourself what you want and need. Learn to always be kind and gentle with yourself. Use your valuable time to work on a special project or personal goal.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Spending time with loved ones, family and friends should be full of love, fun and kindness. This moment, today, right now, can be what our best memories are made from. Spend time with the ones you love, be kind and love every moment.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Every year, my Grandmother invited a stranger from the church to our Christmas Eve dinner. It was always someone that for reason did not have family to celebrate with. What a wonderful and kind thing to do. Volunteering is a ganerous way to spend your time and give loving kindness to a cause that you love or to those people less fortunate.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Go outside and take a walk with your family, your house guests or a friend. Walking with others is a perfect time to connect, share, explore and love in kindness.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/QuimBerenguer

Patience is Kind

Day 41: Patience is Kind

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David G. Allen

As I was waiting in the very long line at Whole Foods Market today, a lovely old lady looked at me and said, “patience is a virtue.” From there a conversation began. We discussed our respective holiday plans and spent what could have been a frustrating 15 minute wait having a very nice conversation. She made my day! She was kind, witty and interesting.

Patience is a virtue, but is certainly not always easy when we get caught up in ourselves. When we can slow down and remember that we are all trying to move through this world, patience won’t be so difficult, and maybe an uncomfortable or frustrating situation can be turned into an opportunity for human kindness and connection.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Being patient with myself is sometimes more difficult than being patient with others. When I am hard on myself and notice the negative self-talk slipping in, it is time to slow down, look within and be gentle as I remind myself that I am not perfect, but perfectly in progression. I came across this funny quote that sums it up: “I am currently under construction…thank you for your patience.” 

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Maybe this is in fact more difficult?! My children come to mind and how much they test my patience on a regular basis. Practicing patience with others, especially loved ones, can be challenging because those are the people that we can become lazy and complacent with. Again, it is about slowing down and having awareness and acceptance or it is as simple as changing perspective.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Developing patience out in the world is most definitely a virtue. When I think of the days that I am in a hurry and lacking patience, thoughts of agitation, stress, and a tight body come to mind. My lack of patience affects me, not the other person. Of course I have taken my lack of patience out on the poor store clerk or the person not allowing me to merge, but in the end, I am the one that feels the negative affects. When I think of the days that I have an abundance of patience, those are the days that are filled with happiness, delight and joy in all of my interactions.  Patience is kindness for everyone.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    These last several years we have had a drought in California, and even though we are finally getting some rain, we are extremely far from relief. Yes, we must be patient, but we must also be persistent in our conservation and in our understanding of when, how and by whom a majority of the water is being used. To learn more about water conservation and corporate misuse of water in California please visit: FoodandWaterWatch.org

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/TomPickering

Connecting With Kindness

Day 40: Connecting With Kindness

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they can give and receive without judgement. ” – Brené Brown

We all desire to be seen, heard and valued. We all want to share our true selves without judgment. Why then, is it so rare to find this type of connection?  To connect with kindness means that we first see, hear, value and give ourselves what we need without judgment. From there, we can give that type of loving connection to those people around us.

  1. Kindness to Self:

    To be seen, heard and valued must begin with ourselves. We must find a way to connect with ourselves, so that our true being can radiate and shine through. Find the ways that help you connect with your inner-self; pray, meditate, hike, cook, paint, sing, write. Whatever it is, make sure you connect with yourself daily.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    To connect with another human being is essential to our well-being. We all deserve love from others. Where you put your love, you put your life, so choose wisely and love those around you that lift you up and cheer you on. Love with kindness and it will be returned.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Connection to strangers is something we can do every day to enhance the lives around us. To connect is human. Be sure to connect with kindness in all your interactions, and kindness will spread from that person to the next person and so on.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Taking the time to connect with nature is vital to our soul and to our planet. The more we are tuned into the rhythms of the planet, the more aligned we will be in our health and hearts. Try to connect with the natural rhythm of the seasons by eating fruits and vegetables that are available locally. It also reduces our carbon foot print tremendously.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/JohanVanDenBerg