Monthly Archives: February 2016

Traveling Kindness

Day 109: Traveling Kindness

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” -Dalai Lama

 

It’s a whole new life, this life of practicing kindness.

I was traveling today and I had so many opportunities to practice simple acts of kindness and it was fabulous and inspiring! My lovely friend took me to the airport after we dropped her kids to school. We arrived to LAX fairly quickly. I arrived a few hours before my flight and was hoping to get on the 8:45 flight instead of my 10:40 flight. The problem was that it was already 8:25. Luckily, the 8:45 was delayed until 9:25. Perfect! I got through security swiftly, found the appropriate gate, walked up and nicely asked the agent if I could fly stand by. She explained that the list was already filled with 15 people. I asked if I should bother adding my name. She said yes. I thanked her, sat down and told myself that I was going to get on that flight, and within 20 minutes I was called up and given a boarding pass. I gave her a big smile, enthusiastically thanked her, and told her that she made my day!! She looked up in surprise, and gave me the biggest and most genuine smile back! I think I made her day too!

I continued to greet and thank every airline employee I saw. They all individually stopped what they were doing, looked up and returned warm smiles. The ticket agent, paused, looked up, met my eyes, greeted me by name and told me to have a beautiful day! I found an open seat, room for my bag, and everyone was so pleasant and nice. Eventually a young man, traveling to tour Northern California universities asked to sit in the middle seat next to me. He was so polite, sweet and open to converse. We shared, had a lovely conversation about passion, books, where we grew up and much more. When it was time to part ways, he wished me luck and I did the same. Later in the airport, we ran into each other and he introduced himself. We had forgotten to exchange names! We wished each other well and both left feeling joyful.

I practiced kindness, smiling, greeting, positive thinking and positive affirmations. My day of travel was beautiful, made me feel joyous and so happy! I lived in the moment and in the flow of life knowing that the kindness I practiced was reflected back to me tenfold.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Interact Images

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Give Kindness, Get Kindness

Day 108: Give Kindness, Get Kindness

“What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.” – Oprah Winfrey

You want kindness, give kindness.

You want love, give love.

You want attention, give attention.

You want patience, be patient.

You want understanding, give understanding.

You want truth, be truthful.

You want forgiveness, forgive yourself and others.

You want compassion, give compassion.

You want abundance, give abundantly.

You want to be happy, choose to be happy.

You want joy, live joyously.

Give out whatever you desire and be confident that it will return. Believe that you deserve kindness, love, attention, gentleness, abundance, compassion, and joy. What you believe, think and give will be created.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Manthy Maragoudaki

Forgive and Create Kindness

Day 107: Forgive and Create Kindness

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant McGill

Forgiveness is a difficult subject. Resentment and forgiveness cannot coexist. Love and resentment cannot coexist either. Can we truly love someone if there is past hurt, resentment, and anger? Can we learn to forgive, release and let go so that love and kindness can exist? 

The thing about resentment, is that the only person being hurt, is the one holding onto the the resentment. There is that saying that goes something like “holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” A little morbid, but gets the point across. So how can we forgive and let go? As always, I think forgiveness, must begin with the self. We must look within and rather than berate ourselves for being foolish, or what ever the negative feeling, we must forgive ourselves, be gentle, understanding, and soothing. Remind ourselves that we make mistake, humans make mistakes, and that all is well. That life is good, that we are good, whole and loved, and we are taken care of. Once we can forgive ourselves, the resentment starts to loosen. We can then move onto to the person we are upset with. We can begin to say something to the effect of: “I now forgive the person that hurt me, I release all resentment and anger. I love myself and I love you. I forgive myself and I forgive you.” This opens us up to healing, kindness, and love.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Mira Pavlakovic

True Friend, True Kindness

Day 106: True Friend, True Kindness

“A true friend knows your weakness but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. – William Arthur Ward

Keep your friends close, show them your vulnerabilities and let them shower you with kindness when you most need it and then return it. Friends are the magic in this world.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Ingrid Muller

 

Smile Kindly

Day 105: Smile Kindly

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” – William Ward

On day 105 of 365 days of kindness, practicing smiling at everyone you encounter, including yourself. Try making a game out of it. See how many people return your smile and how many ignore you. Either way, practice smiling all day and see if it affects how your day goes. Notice if you feel happier at the end of the day. Spread joy, spread kindness and spread love all with a smile.

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind cp pidd

Kind Encounters

Day 104: Kind Encounters

“Spread love everywhere you go, let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa

I made it my mission to be extra kind to everyone today, especially the most unpleasant people. The people that were having a bad day, or a bad moment, or in one case swearing and throwing her arms up at the people on the train platform. I wanted to see if I could pull the kindness out of people by being extra gentle, engaging, and patient. I was able to engage with two different people that were both in a very unhappy place when I encountered them. The first was a computer repair person. He was very grumpy and short with me. I just kept smiling and saying thank you and communicating how much I appreciated what he was doing. By the time he was done with the computer, he was smiling and apologizing for being short with me. I continued to smile and engage him in a conversation that ended with both of us happy and the better for having spent time with each other.

The second incident was on the the train platform. I accidently bumped into a woman, and I quickly apologized. She very angrily said: “Go on, go ahead of me, everyone else is, everyone else is pushing me today, why not you too.” (She also said some words I cannot repeat.) I just smiled. To my surprise she sat next to me and continued to demonstrate her anger. I apologized once again and tried to engage her in friendly conversation. She wasn’t having it. After a few minutes, I tried again, this time she was a little more open, and answered a few of my questions about where she worked in the city, where she commuted from and what she did for work. She went into a very long story about work and how unhappy she was. I remained attentive and listened. After a while, she softened even more and she ended up telling me about her deceased husband, who had passed over 20 years ago. She told me about how they were best friends, challenged each other, and how deep their love was. In the span of 30 minutes, she went from being very angry and upset, to smiling and wishing me the most pleasant rest of my day.

These were two very simple interactions that left me feeling happy, joyful and inspired.

Spread a little kindness!

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Luca Cinacchio

Kindness is Free

Day 103: Kindness is Free 

“You can always give something, even if it is only kindness.” – Ann Frank

How do you feel when you are approached and asked for money by a homeless person? How do you feel and react to the homeless you may see on street corners holding signs that ask for money? What about the young mothers that ask for money on the commuter trains, wile pushing their baby in a stroller? Do you simply avoid them, look away, occupy yourself, do you feel uncomfortable, annoyed, guilty? Do you engage in some way or give money?

I often feel a sense of shame and guilt when approached and I have the tendency to ignore, avoid or occupy myself so that I do not have to make eye contact. Every once in a while I will give money and smile, but for the most part I avoid. I suppose I could give a dollar to every homeless person I encountered, but I’d soon run out of dollars. Instead, I think about the quote from Ann Frank. Kindness is always available to give and doesn’t cost anything. In fact, being kind and showing kindness provides abundance for both the giver and the one that receives.

As an act of kindness and a new approach to a homeless person, I am willing to come to a place of compassion and smile. No longer will I feel bad that they are where they are and I am where I am. I will feel a sense of gratitude for my life and simply smile and show kindness.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jose Rivera

 

Incredible Kindness

Day 102: Incredible Kindness 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

 Today I met a beautiful woman named Gail. She came to see me for a massage. We ended up talking through parts of the session and she shared with me the most beautiful and kind act she practices everyday. Which is loving kindness for all! She shared a story about a couple she met at an airport. I will try to relay the story…This was like any other large airport, it was cold, fast, and filled with indifferent and unpleasant people. The couple was there to pick up their deceased son. Gail said it made her stop and think about all the people in the airport and how everyone was bustling along, indifferent, as this poor couple was in midst of the worst day of their lives.

Ever since that day, Gail goes out of her way to be kind, but not only for herself but kind on the behalf of others. For example, if she witnesses a customer being rude to a clerk, she apologizes to the clerk on their behalf. She explains to the clerk, that the rude customer must be carrying some horrible burden that they do not know how to process and they have unfortunately taken out on them. The amazing thing is that Gail can see through the rudeness and see the pain. She does not excuse the bad behavior, but understands where it comes from.

The couple at the airport who were receiving their deceased son, were not being rude, but she observed the cold indifference of others towards the couple. She saw the big picture and wished that the world could be softer and kinder, for you never know what others are going through. The miracle is that she saw the whole picture, both sides. She didn’t find fault, instead compassion for all parties, the grieving couple, the cold, unkind strangers in the airport, the rude person in the store. She had compassion, understanding and loving kindness for all.

She inspired me and touched me deeply with her story. 

With Love and Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Warisara Niemwongse

 

 

Kindness Lifts

Day 101: Kindness Lifts

“Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person.” – Plato

I just love this quote, it succinctly expresses my idea of kindness and why I write this blog. Kindness in the way we think, act, believe and carry ourselves. Kindness in the way we speak. Kindness in our facial expressions, the tone of our voices, the look in our eyes. Kindness in the way we touch others and greet others. Kindness in our smile. With that much kindness, pouring out and exuding from within, how could we not lift another and touch their soul?

Remind yourself that you are perfect, that you accept and love yourself no matter what and always. Do this constantly through self talk or affirmations and before long, you will be in love with yourself and have so much gentle kindness within that it will then flow to all other people in your life.

 With Love and Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Dean Smith

Kind Thoughts

Day 100: Kind Thoughts

“Kind souls think kind thoughts, do kind acts and say kind words.” – Anthony Douglas Williams

Today is the 100th day of 365 Days of Kindness for me. I have attempted to be kind, have not always been successful, however, I can feel the scales are leaning towards the creation of a kind soul. I have discovered along this journey that no matter how much I wanted kindness to come to me from out there, kindness had to come from me, from within. That is what I practice everyday.

On this 100th day of kindness, try thinking and saying 100 kind thoughts about yourself, others and any one you come in contact with today. If your immediate thought is not kind, just take a moment, throw out the negative thought, and replace it with one of kindness. It really works. Today, when I got a little frustrated in the Wholefoods parking lot, I decided to send my love to all the people in the the lot. It only took a moment to change my thought, but it changed my soul, softened it, and allowed for me to have a wonderful shopping experience. We are just talking about thoughts here, and thoughts can be changed so very easily! Notice the thoughts in your head and when they are unkind, especially to yourself, stop, change the thought, and change your soul.

With an abundance of kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Yarkin Mishin