Tag Archives: family

Kindness is Everything

Day 141: Kindness is Everything

“Kindness, I discovered, is everything in life.” -Isaac Bashevis Singer

There is nothing more to add. I too have discovered that kindness is everything in life.

Jennifer

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jin Neoh

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Love, Friendship & Kindness

Day 124: Love, Friendship & Kindness

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life has a way of reminding us what is most important. Sometimes it reminds us in the worst possible way. We all know that our family and friends are the most important part of life. They quite simply make life worth living and are the very source of joy and laughter in this sometimes harsh life. I feel blessed that I have created a life that is full of love, friendship, and kindness, even if I could not see it and feel it before, I suspect it has always been there. The difference now, through this journey to find, create, and live in kindness, is that I’m choosing to see it everyday and in everyone, including myself, my loved ones, and even strangers.

Today, hug your friends and family a little longer than usual, call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, and tell all the special people in your life how much they mean to you!

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jenny Erickson

Kind Caregiving

Day 122: Kind Caregiving

“Sometimes we need someone to simply be there, not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but just to let us feel we are supported and cared about.” – Unknown

When tragedy strikes we are never really prepared. As a friend or caregiver it is hard to know what to do and what to say to our loved one that is struggling. Our instincts might urge us to want to fix and make better, but most of the time that is impossible. Sometimes the only thing we can offer is our loving support. The loving support might be a shoulder to lean on, it might be listening, it might be bringing food or leaving your phone on all night in case the friend needs someone to speak to when they cannot sleep. Just being willing and available to the people that are facing their worst nightmare is enough. As I told my son today as he visited his friend in the hospital, just be yourself and know that we are here to love and listen. Beyond that, we cannot change what is happening, nor can we fix it.

We always have the opportunity to give love and kindness, whether through a challenging day or just a regular day. Take a little extra time to be kind to yourself, to your loved ones, to the strangers you encounter today, and to the lovely planet we call home. We are all Kind. We all embody kindness and love and we all want kindness and love…so give what you desire and you will be sure to get it back.

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Ricardo Simoes

Kind Costco, Kind Everywhere

Day 80: Kind Costco, Kind Everywhere

“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” – Samuel Johnson

I usually dread trips to Costco, it is crowded, people are pushy, sometimes rude, and it is ugly and cold inside. Not a place I want to spend part of a beautiful day at. Why do I go then? To save money and get the items the family is used to. Usually I keep my head down and try to get in and out as fast as possible. Today, however, I chose to make it as pleasurable as I could. I made it a point to look at every person I encountered. I attempted to make eye contact, smile, and even say hello to each person that actually met my eyes. There was no huge miracle, but rather a shift inside of me. I actually felt happy while shopping and left feeling even better than when I arrived.

As I am trying to create kindness and live in the present moment, I am beginning to understand that I am the only one that truly can make myself feel happy, sad, miserable, stressed, or full of joy, no matter where I am or whom I with. I am reading and studying Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dali Lama. Their teachings are all very similar and essentially explain that in any given moment, we choose how to be in that moment. In the past I have understood their teachings on an intellectual level, but now with my kindness project as well as practicing presence, I am understanding on a much deeper level. I’m learning to practice being in and embracing whatever that present moment is, including Costco!

Kindness to Self, Kindness to Others, Kindness to Strangers: 

 

By choosing to be kind and have a kind heart before I entered a place that usually leaves me feeling anxious, stressed and unhappy, I completely flipped my experience. I chose kindness and I received joy and happiness.

Kindness does begin with me and then trickles down to those around me.

 

Kindness to Our Planet:

 

After my joyous trip to Costco, my husband and I rounded up the kiddos and enjoyed a cold, yet sunny and beautiful morning at the local Farmer’s Market, where we all enjoyed tasting the local produce and speaking with the farmers as well as friends and neighbors we ran into.

Yes, I prefer spending my time at the Farmer’s Market, however, learning to enjoy and be at peace with the present moment, wherever I am, is priceless.

Namaste,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind William Stadler

Kind Appreciation

Day 79: Kind Appreciation

“Wherever you go, whoever you meet, and whatever you do, give love and appreciation, because that is your true nature. How do you know it is your true nature? You feel so good when you are giving it!” – Rhonda Bryne

Showing our gratitude and thanks is vital to maintaining and growing healthy relationships. Without appreciation, that is shown and felt, resentment tends to set in. We must learn to appreciate all of the wonderful, difficult, and brave things we do on a daily basis. If we can start by appreciating ourselves, then gratitude and thanks will flow out to others in our lives.

Kindness to Self:

The amount of appreciation we give ourselves directly correlates with how much we are able to give to others.

Think of all of the things that you do on a daily basis, do you appreciate yourself? Do you tell yourself? Try giving yourself appreciation by acknowledging all of the things you do and you might just see a shift in your life.

Kindness to Others:

Communicating our appreciation, gratitude and thanks to the people in our lives is not only a gift to them, but a gift to ourselves. It really does feel good to appreciate and communicate that appreciation through words, hugs, a smile, a thank you card, a phone call or even a text.

Reach out and tell the people that matter to you, just how much you appreciate them, and not just for the things they do, but simply for who they are and how they bring joy and meaning to your life.

Kindness to Strangers:

There are endless opportunities to appreciate all the wonderful things that people do for us and for everyone. We can appreciate those people that serve us, that smile at us, that let us go ahead of them in line or in traffic. We can appreciate the men and women that stand out in the heat, cold or rain to fix our broken roads. We can even learn to appreciate the people that we don’t care for.

Slow down and try appreciating everyone you see today, even for the smallest things, and you will definitely feel good.

Kindness to Our Planet:

Go outside this very minute and look out. Whatever you see, feel or smell, try being grateful and appreciative for being alive and getting to witness the glory of life. Oh, and don’t forget to thank the trees for providing the oxygen that we breathe.

Have a beautiful day filled with appreciation, love, and kindness!

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind dims psichos

Feeling Kind of Special

Day 78: Feeling Kind of Special

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” -William Shakespeare

I am spending the evening with my true love, my daughter. I did fall in love with her the moment I saw her face. In fact, the first two weeks of her life, I fought the urge to sleep, just so I could lie awake and watch her, afraid to miss anything. Eventually, reality set in and I realized that I actually needed sleep in order to function as a person and a mother.

Spend some extra special time with the person you love, whether that is yourself, a loved one, an animal, or maybe even a place, such as your garden or your favorite place in nature. Go out and share some loving kindness and create a special moment.

With Kindness,

Jennifer

 

Kind Kids

Day 76: Kind Kids

“When you compliment your children, praise them for inner qualities such as kindness, honesty and perseverance so they will strive to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.” – Tony Schutta

On Wednesday afternoons I teach yoga to school age children. I begin each class with a community circle. The community circle is a time to share and connect through a subject or theme that I present to the class. Today, I asked them to share about what makes them strong on the inside and what makes them strong on the outside. They immediately started flexing their biceps, but once they refocused, I received some very interesting and thoughtful answers from the children. Many of them said their bravery made them strong on the inside. One particular boy shared that he receives his inner strength from a sense of freedom that his ancestors fought for. Another boy shared that his inner strength comes from his sister reassuring him when he is frightened. Most of the children said their outer strength comes from the love they receive from their family.

It is so beautiful and moving to see how innocent and wise these children are. It reminded me of how children have an innate ability to see things, experience life, and understand things in a simple yet profound way without the heaviness that most adults carry with them.  What I continue to learn from working with young children, is that in many ways they are wiser and much more in alignment with the true meanings of life. I think what derails most of us from that innocence and wisdom, is the tendency to look outside of ourselves for answers as well as our tendency to praise achievements that we can see rather than the ones that we feel and experience. Meaning, we praise our children and others for being the “best,” winning at a sport, achieving good grades, having a beautiful house or awesome job. However, we do not spend enough time praising the inner qualities and achievements that contribute to kindness towards ourselves, others, strangers, and the world at large. Somewhere along the journey, most sweet, loving and kind children become busy, stressed, unhappy, and unkind adults. How can we as individuals and as a culture and society keep the innate kindness and wisdom we are born with and grow it?

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Filip George

Kind Meetings

Day 73: Kind Meetings

“With every person who crosses your path, make it your intention to leave them better than you found them.” – Chris Michaels & Edward Viljoen

I love the above quote and I aspire to and intend to learn how to leave every person I meet better than I found them. It may seem effortless to be kind and give to others when we like them or they are pleasant, but what about the unpleasant moments and people that cross our paths? Can we intentionally, with great purpose and adequate practice, leave those people better than we found them? If we are present and willing to accept the moment, the person, or situation as it is, being kind to those people and situations that are unpleasant, will become effortless and perhaps even rewarding. It is the challenging situations and people that will be our most profound and deeply felt lessons and teachers.

 Kindness to Self:

Can we leave ourselves better than we currently find ourselves? Absolutely! By giving others what we desire and want, we will certainly receive the bounty of kind giving.

Kindness to Others and Strangers:

Have the intention this week, or even just this day, to leave every person you meet better than you found them. Notice what happens, notice any changes in your self, in your day or even the people around you. If you come across a challenging or unpleasant person or situation, check in and become very aware of the present moment. This way it is unlikely that you will react, instead you will be able smile and offer assistance.  In doing this, we will leave the person better than we found them.

Kindness to Our Planet:

Always leave a place better than you found it. Let us all go out of our way to educate the children around us to clean up and be responsible for their garbage, so that the next generation will leave this planet better than it currently is. Local schools, parks and communities often organize beautification and clean up days. Check in with your local community to see how you can help.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Piotr Pastusiak

Kind Blessings

Day 67: Kind Blessings

How are you blessed right now in this very moment? Can you find the blessings within as well as the blessings on the outside? It is easy to look and see what you have or do not have, to compare to others and feel better than or less than, but can you look a little deeper? Can you find the blessings in places that seem uncomfortable or perhaps painful? Can you look and see the blessing or the lesson in the moment?

We are surrounded by wonderful things and people and simultaneously we are surrounded by pain and destructive people. Can we find the blessings in all situations by finding the blessing within? Let’s count our blessings today and take stock of all the wonderful things this day has to offer.

Kindness to Self:

Today, I feel blessed for my health, my breath, my strong body that carries me through my day. I feel blessed that it has rained and turned the surrounding landscape green. I feel blessed that I have a beautiful view of a green mountain from my deck, my very wet deck, where I can walk out onto and feel the cool water under my feet and raise my arms to the sky and practice sun salutations. I am blessed today because my daughter crawled in bed and snuggled as she relayed the details of her sleepover from the previous night. I am blessed.

Kindness to Others:

Can we turn our blessings into a source of loving kindness and give that love and kindness to the people that we are near as well as those far away? The simple answer is yes, through our practice of self kindness, in whatever form, will turn into kindness for others.

Kindness to Strangers:

This is just another extension of our inner blessings, our inner kindness, our inner love, once it is felt from the inside out, kindness will be easily passed and given to all beings.

Kindness to Our Planet:

We are so blessed to live on this planet, however, we are in a collective process of killing it, whether we want to see it or not, it is happening. We must continue to conserve and look for new ways of doing things. Yes, count our blessings, but also protect what we have and fight the companies that are destroying our planet, our water and our food. Fight Monsanto. Educate your self on how Monsanto influences our food supply and legislature on GMO labeling. OrganicConsumers.Org

Jennifer Palazzo

 

Visions of Kindness

Day 60: Visions of Kindness

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey

Yesterday a friend mentioned that he went to a Vision Board Class. I asked if he would mind sharing the finished product. He was kind enough to send me a picture of his board and it was so beautiful that it inspired me to want to create my own. I usually just write a list of goals on paper or keep a list in my head, but the amazing thing about a vision board is that the goals come alive through the use of pictures, quotes, poems and special items. It also serves as a colorful reminder of the goals and intentions we created at the beginning of the year. Display it somewhere that you will see it everyday. Make it a point to look at it each morning and update and edit throughout the year as needed.

Kindness to Self:

Create your own vision board. Get a pin board, canvas, cardboard or get creative and use anything that you can pin or glue your visions to. You will also need glue, tacks, magazines, pictures and any other items that you want to attach to your vision board. You may also want to write out your list of goals on paper so that you are focused and can find pictures, quotes and items that reflect your goals.

Kindness to Others:

Invite others to join in the fun. Throw a vision board party with friends or make it a family event. Either way, have fun, be creative and create your vision for the new year.

Kindness to Strangers:

How can we invite strangers into our vision? Perhaps we can include some kind of goal on our board that invites something new into our life. A new activity where we will be exposed to new people, a new relationship or maybe include volunteering for a particular organization. This year I will be including the name of a women’s shelter that I want to start volunteering at with my 12 year old daughter. It will be a chance to bond and a wonderful learning experience for both of us.

Kindness to Our Planet:

Think about whether you can also incorporate helping the planet onto your vision board? Maybe you want to spend more time in nature, maybe you want to plant a garden or maybe you want to volunteer for an conservation organization.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Sheila Edgar