Category Archives: Self Kindness

Loving Kindness

Day 136: Loving Kindness

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde

Happy Easter! Whether you celebrate the day or not, it coincides with Spring and other religious holidays which all have a common thread, and that is new beginnings. How does the subject of new beginnings relate to loving oneself? Think of Spring for a moment and what is actually taking place. Spring is a time of expansion, growth, beauty, novelty, and bravery. If you picture a flower or any plant during spring, it is opening to the sun and warmth and at the same time beneath the surface it is growing stronger roots. Opening up and growing takes a great amount of trust and bravery and that is where I find the connection between new beginnings and loving oneself. In order to make any changes in oneself, and to start a new journey, takes a great amount of self-love and self-trust. We alone are the only one inside of ourselves, so we might as well learn to be totally, madly in love with who and what are. Be brave, be bold, but most of all be self-loving.

With Kindness,

Jennifer

 Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Hervé de Brabandère

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Kindly Try Something New

Day 135: Kindly Try Something New:

“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you never done.”

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t be afraid of change, because it is leading you to a new beginning.” – Joyce Meyers

When you try something for the first time such as a new sport, cooking a new recipe, starting a new job or taking up a new hobby, do you encourage yourself to try and keep at it, or do you expect to already be an expert and belittle yourself if you fall short of your imagined high standards and expectations? If you fall in to the latter group it might be time to learn how to kindly treat yourself when you try something new. Learn to laugh at yourself and find humor in your mistakes. Remember life can be fun and doesn’t have to be so serious. It is also important to encourage yourself just as you would a young child. When we experiment and dare to try something new, it is not only brave, but the exact thing that makes life fun and interesting.

Remember to encourage yourself, and nurture your new beginnings through kind self talk and lots of humor.

With Kindness,

Jennifer

 Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Luiz Baltar

Emoting Kindness

Day 130: Emoting Kindness

“Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.” – Pema Chodron

Some days and weeks are tougher and more difficult than most. It is these days that we must lean on others as well as tell ourselves that we are doing the best that we can. I have a tendency to think I must have all the answers and I must have them quickly and efficiently, but that does not and has not served me well. There are going to be plenty of challenging occasions that come along in life and we can either hold onto the belief that we must know all the answers and do it alone or we can know that there are people to love and support us and lean on.

Whether you currently find yourself as the one that needs support or you are the one that is able to provide support, having compassion and understanding will lead to love and kindness for both. Love with all your heart. Show yourself compassion everyday. Honor yourself everyday for where you are in your journey. Approve, love, and accept yourself as you are, right in this very moment. Life is too precious and too short to not love yourself through and through.

With Love and Kindness,

Jennifer

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Daniel West

From Kindness to Happiness

Day 114: From Kindness to Happiness

“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.” – Buddha

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.” – Ralph Marston

 

This post is dedicated to a dear friend who actually chuckled when I asked him if he was happy. I asked him why he found the question funny. I don’t think I ever got a straight answer from him. I suspect that he is not happy and does not know how to be happy. I certainly can relate and understand, because I used to believe that happiness was unachievable and a made up concept that only happened in romantic comedies and fairy tales.

So…Is happiness possible? I believe it is. As the above quotes mention, it really comes down to choice.

At any given moment, we have a choice. We can choose happiness in the moment. We can choose to be happy, just as we can choose to be miserable. Happiness is possible if that’s what we want. I know some of you might be thinking, of course I want to be happy, but I never seem to be. Or maybe I have moments, but just moments and not a state of happiness. My answer to that is this: life is really just a string of moments. If we choose to be happy in the moment, eventually those moments will string together and we will have had a lifetime of happiness. At least that is what I’m choosing to believe.

Of course, many of us may not have been taught how to choose happiness, how to be happy or even know where to start. Perhaps we grew up in a family that was full of angst, fear, anger, and a general feeling of unhappiness. If that was your childhood, that is unfortunate, but we can learn now. We can do anything we put our minds and energy to. It is a pure waste of time and life to limit ourselves. Find books, a mentor, a therapist, or seek out a person who seems to have figured out how to have happiness and learn from them. We get one life. We each hold the power within to create our own happiness. By looking within and finding the things that make each of us uniquely happy, is a start.

My path to happiness began with the choice to seek out kindness, to pray for it, ask for it, find it, create it, and eventually live it. At first it was difficult because I was battling 30+ years of thoughts and beliefs that had molded me into a person that looked for and saw the things that were going wrong. I now know that it is impossible to find happiness when full of worry, fear, and living for others. I am still a work in progress, however, each day that I choose to be kind and loving towards myself, it becomes easier to be kind to others and to every person I encounter. Kindness is becoming a way of life and in turn has created a path to happiness for me.

Choose Happiness Because You Can!

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Gregor2802

Unconditional Kindness

Day 96: Unconditional Kindness

“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others, but ourselves as well.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Like unconditional love, unconditional kindness requires one to love with no exceptions. Is this really even possible? It seems like most relationships are built on conditions and expectations. Most parents, I like to believe, start out loving their children with unconditional love, but I think somewhere along the journey start to have expectations and conditions. How is it possible to have an abundance of love and kindness that never seems to run out or have any limits? I think the answer is two part. Detachment with love and kindness as well as self love. Those two qualities together will create unconditional love and kindness.

My beautiful sister recently gifted the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay to me. I read the entire book in 5 days. She said it would change my life and it just may have. Although, it might be too soon to say. All joking aside, it has definitely affected me. Somehow, her messages just seem to click and make sense for me, or maybe it is exactly what I need to read and understand at this point in my life. I am not sure, but either way, I encourage you to consider it and give it a try, and maybe it will change your life.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back. What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.

If we choose to think in terms of unconditional kindness and love, then we can create it and live it. I have only been trying the recommended affirmations for a few days, but I have felt a tremendous shift in my understanding of love and kindness. I have known for quite sometime that I must truly love myself first before others, I just never had the understanding, knowledge or tools to do so. (Or at least, ones that made perfect sense.)

Feel free to let me know the people, books and tools that have helped you on your journey to self love and unconditional kindliness. I’d love to hear about it!

With Unconditional Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jocilyn Pope

Beautiful Kindness

Day 95: Beautiful Kindness

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” – Francis Bacon

Is it possible to find beauty in everything we do? Can we find the beauty in all people, all beings, all things and all situations? Absolutely! However, we must first find the beauty within. We need to fall in love with ourselves, approve of every part of ourselves; perceived flaws, mistakes, regrets and every fiber of our being and history. In order to do this, we have to change the way we see ourselves and be full of never-ending forgiveness. We are human, imperfect, but loving, kind, incredible and magnificent. We are beauty. We are beautiful and imperfectly perfect beings.

Today, try to find the beauty inside of you. Try to view yourself as a small baby that has just been born. If you are a parent, this visualization will be easy. Remember how every part of your baby is perfection: the skin, the eyes, the toes and fingers. Try to think of yourself as this perfect child, happy, warm, cared for and loved. Carry yourself out into the world knowing that you are taken care of, loved, and cherished. Believe and know that there is and endless supply of love, kindness, and beauty from within. If you can feel this remember it, and practice it, then beauty will be found everywhere and with every person.

Be kind, find the beauty, and love openly and freely.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Michael Goins

Kind Approval

Day 92: Kind Approval

“Be kind to yourself. Begin to love and approve of yourself. That’s what you need in order to express yourself at your highest potential.” – Louise Hay

Being kind, having personal approval and love are all things that I am striving for. Yes, I can say to someone that I love myself, approve of all that I am and doing, and that I am always kind to myself. Ah, but I would not being telling the truth. There are a few things that tend to get in the way. That damn critic in my head that berates me and tells me all sorts of unkind messages. There is also that ever present guy called fear that likes to tell me I can’t. I suspect that I am not the only one who struggles with the critic and the fear. So, how do we quiet these voices, turn them off or release them from our thought patterns? I think the first step is acknowledging the voices, the second step is sitting with the voices and understanding where they come from. The third step is realizing that they are just thoughts and thoughts can be changed and replaced with different thoughts and patterns. The fourth step is practicing the new thoughts with patience and kindness.

Can you imagine a world where everyone loved themselves fully, flaws, broken pieces, mistakes and all? Maybe self approval and self love are achieved or realized through forgiveness and understanding. If we can quiet those voices and forgive ourselves fully for our perceived flaws then love and approval will come naturally.  At least that’s what I’m hoping and striving for. I’ll let you know how it works out, or you can keep reading. 🙂

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Torli Roberts

Kind Acts of Love

Day 91: Kind Acts of Love

“The great acts of love are done buy those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.” – Victor Hugo

Great love and kindness go hand in hand. I believe just as kindness must begin within, so must love. Love must come from within ourselves before it can truly be given or received. We can hope and want love from someone or something else, but if we cannot create that inner self love and truly believe that we are loving and lovable, we will search for it until the day we die. My journey to find, create, and live kindness has brought me to a place where I must look within myself for the kindness and love that I feel my life has been lacking. I habitually look out for acceptance, love, validation and kindness, instead of realizing that all of the kindness I want to see in the world is in my hands. As Gandhi so poignantly stated: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That is where I am, on day 91 of 365 days of kindness. I know that love and kindness are ultimately the same thing and that in order to have love and kindness in my life, I must wholeheartedly love myself. And from that love, kindness will pour out of me and I will see, experience and live loving kindness.

The kindest thing we can do for ourselves, others, strangers, the world and our planet, is to love ourselves.  

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/Jesper Markward Olsen

Kindness Through Vulnerability

Day 81: Kindness Through Vulnerability

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strengths.” – Sigmund Freud

I love how simple yet profound the above quote is. Being vulnerable requires courage, honesty, trust and a great deal of self love. Most of us, I would dare say, have at least two personas. We have the one that we take out into the world and then we have the one we show our loved ones, assuming we have supportive relationships and the knowledge to show our authentic selves. We also, tend to fall into roles that we have either chosen or were chosen for us: girl, boy, woman, man, mother, father, husband, wife, teacher, student, boss, employee…you get the picture. What would happen if we showed everyone our true authentic self, our soul? And why do we feel that we cannot show up just as we are? Is it the expectations and pressure our society and culture places on us? Is it that many of us did not grow up in a family or culture that allowed for true self expression? How can we learn to be vulnerable in order for our true strengths and authentic self to come forth?

Being vulnerable is scary and takes a great amount of courage and self love. There are those lucky few that truly shine as individuals and make no apologies for who they are, but I wonder if they feel that confident and self-loving on the inside. I’d like to believe that they do. I do not believe that there is a great mystery to being true and authentic, just a willingness to show up and be ourselves. Maybe we have all been playing roles for so long we don’t really even know our true selves. I think that is a wonderful place to be. Yes, it is a vulnerable place to be, but think of the amazing treasure that awaits: you, me, us; our true and authentic self.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind John Karun

Feeding Our Souls With Kindness

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic,” and not only did I find it magnificently inspiring, I found it to be exactly what I needed to hear. The book is about living a creative life in whatever capacity aligns with you, whether that is singing, painting, writing, collecting or even figure skating. Big Magic is all about finding and then feeding that creativity, and through that process, hopefully discovering the buried treasures that reside deep within all of us.

As I was reading the book, I kept hearing the same message out in the world. And that message was saying, “feed your soul.” I heard it in different ways and from different sources. I heard “feed yourself what you need” at a women’s entrepreneurial meeting and then at a yoga class I heard the teacher speak about how women tend to put others first and if we could just feed ourselves what we need, how magical our world could be. I love how the universe conspires in sending us messages if we are willing to tune in and receive them.

I tuned in and I heard: FEED YOUR SOUL!

The next obvious question is what does that mean to me? How can I feed my soul? Can I feed my soul and still honor my obligations, work, children and spouse. And if I feed my soul, how will this make me a kinder person?

Feeding my soul is not simply about doing what makes me happy, it’s deeper than that, it is what I am meant to be doing, it is what I have to do, it is what aligns with me. Feeding my soul comes down to two simple things: writing and water. Let me explain. I need to write like I need oxygen, and I need to swim and be in water like I need food. I may not be the best writer, well, I’m not, but I just have to write. I must write, whether people enjoy it, judge, ignore it; it does not matter, I must write. Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” gave me permission to go head first with all I have, to simply put it out there with no fear, and yet, no guarantee. That is perfectly acceptable to me. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert!

Now to the water. I must swim, because again, it is necessary. I do not know why it is necessary, but I dare not question it. I try to understand it, but not question it. Swimming is like a moving meditation, a place where my thoughts can roam free with no attachment where my body feels correct, like a beautiful sea creature at home in the water. It is meditation, it is healing, it is freedom and it is where I must be a few times per week. It makes me happy and it feeds my soul. I suppose that is the point of this post. A part of me is a little embarrassed to share the two things that feed my soul and spirit, because it feels vulnerable, but then I think what if we all fed our souls, our spirit, our passion with no fear and no apologies. If we all fed our souls just think of the kind world we could live in.

What feeds your soul, your passion, your creativity, your happiness? Whatever it is, just do it. Feed your soul and your spirit will soar.

What could be more kind than to give yourself exactly what you need? 

Jennifer Palazzo