Day 143: A Table of Kindness
I received a wonderful compliment from the mother of one of my yoga students. She shared with me how her daughter loved that it wasn’t just a yoga class, but more, that it was a place where she could share and “talk about stuff.” The mother also shared that whatever we spoke about in class, later turned into a family discussion at the dinner table.
(At the beginning of every class, I gather my students in a circle and we share. Each student receives a turn while everyone else gives their full attention. Sometimes I have a preset theme or subject and other times I simply check in and asked how they are each feeling.)
The compliment got me thinking about two things. One, that I could do the same thing every night at my dinner table with my family, and two, how amazing it is that a circle of sharing at a yoga class could then influence and affect an entire family. It is rare, especially as we get older, that there is a place to go and check in to share our feelings. Perhaps all families, all classes, and all work environments should start the day with circle time or end the day at a table where kind listening and sharing take place in a loving and supportive way.
Start your own table or circle of kindness. Try doing it every morning to start the day or at the end of the day around the dinner table. You might just be surprised at what comes out of your children. And if you do not have children, try it with your partner or roommates.
With Love and Kindness,
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Space Cadett
Day 142: Kind Karma
“The love we give away is the only love we keep.” Elbert Hubbard
In other words, we get what we give. Whatever energy, kindness, quality and time we give, we will receive in return. I have a hunch that this applies to the thoughts we think as well. If we have a head full of negative thoughts, how can we be fully present in our kindness? I have to admit, I still catch a negative thought here or there, but rather than berate myself for falling back into old patterns, I simply think a positive thought. Most of the time that works, unless of course it is a deeper pattern, and in that case I give myself time to explore the thought and the space and time to heal.
By having kind thoughts, we will create kind beliefs about ourselves and others. Kind beliefs will soon shape our world and a kindness will shine out and touch those around us. That is Kind Karma.
With Love and Kindness,
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Frisee Max
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.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jin Neoh
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.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Luiz Baltar
Day 134: Kindness in a Cuddle
“Cuddling literally kills depression, relieves anxiety and strengthens the immune system.” – Unknown
I have no idea if that quote is based on scientific studies and data or just made up, but I do not really care, it completely makes sense to me. Who doesn’t feel better, more loved, recharged and content after a good cuddling session? We all need the same things in life and we certainly need to feel good and loved in order to be kind and spread that kind feeling to others.
Lucky for me that my children still like to watch a movie and cuddle or read a book and cuddle, because after a very long week of work and life, that is exactly what I needed. Whether we cuddle with our children, spouse, friend, parent or beloved animal, harness that love and turn it inward so that you can feel love and turn that into kindness for yourself and all others.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Joe Batluck
Day 125: Look Up for Kindness
“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot
A few days ago while taking this amazing yoga class, the teacher gave us an assignment for the week. It was quite simple: Look up. That is it. What she meant, and of course explained to the class, is that she wanted us to look up, look around and notice all the beauty and gifts that our world has to offer. She asked us to put our screens away, look up, and take in all of life. Take in the people, the weather, our surroundings, the sounds we hear, and the many things we see. She asked us to be open to receiving the world.
It is amazing what is out there if we just look up and engage. I have been practicing this sort of engagement since I started this blog, but it was a nice reminder to look up. I usually play the smile game to see how many people I can get to smile back at me, but today, I tried to simply look up without trying to change or affect anyone else. In others words I observed and took in my surroundings and I noticed some pretty cool buildings with interesting architecture, some beautiful flowers blooming, and how incredible the sky looked this afternoon. I also made myself look up on the commuter train this morning rather than read or listen to music with my head down. I found myself intrigued by the many different types of people and wondered whether they were happy, rushed, sad, tired, excited, or any of the other possibilities. I also noticed how 90 percent of the train riders were looking down. I wonder what it would be like if 90 percent looked up.
Look up, make eye contact, and be open to receive people and the world at large. You never know what good might come to you.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Babak Azad
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!
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Jenny Erickson
Day 121: Kindness Through a Storm
“Love is a shelter in a raging storm.” – Warren Barfield
I’m so angry and sad today. My heart is broken. My heart breaks for my dear friend who received the worst news imaginable today. I have experienced similar pain and tragedy and I want so badly to scoop her up in my arms and keep her from the pain I know she is experiencing and will continue to experience.
I find myself in a familiar place. Asking why. Why is pain and tragedy necessary? Why do we have to experience loss, disease, trauma? There really is no logical answer. I’ve been told that we need to experience the difficulties that life brings in order to experience joy. But there is no solace in that explanation. It just completely sucks! Horrible things happen all the time, everyday, to many people. All we can do is to love a little deeper, to find more joy and to live life to the fullest, because there are no guarantees. There is just this thing called life and sometimes it is cruel and painful and we have to weather the storm and hope to come out the other side.
Please hug the ones you love, tell them how much they mean to you and always be kind to every being, we all need it! We all need love, compassion, understanding and kindness.
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Chelsee Tysoe
Day 120: Kind Inspiration
“Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world no matter what you think you look like.” – Unknown
“It only takes one act of kindness to make a difference in the world.” – Lori Taylor
“Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting…don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.” – Unknown
“We uplift the world through kindness, through creativity, through light, through love.” – Laura Jaworski
Find inspiration wherever you can find it and remember to spread kindness always!
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Brianne549