Tag Archives: truth

The Kind Truth

Day 145: The Kind Truth

I’m torn between being completely transparent and keeping up a front. The truth is, I love writing this blog. I set out to write a post every day for 365 days, starting on World Kindness Day back on November 13th, as a way to record my discovery, practice and creation of kindness in my life. Over the last several months a lot has changed in my life. I have made tremendous progress on my journey to find, create, and live in kindness.  I have also gone from having a few hours a day to write, while balancing raising the kids and teaching yoga to working full time as an email marketer. I have been trying to squeeze the writing in after an 8-9 hour day plus 2 hours of commuting and all the other things that go along with raising a family, such as helping with homework, sports carpools, dinner, shopping and the list goes on and on. Here I am writing at 10pm at night, when I should be sleeping because I have to be up at 5 to be in the office for a 7:30 meeting. God, it sounds like I am complaining. I’m not, I actually love my new job, love my family, love writing, but really miss swimming, going to the gym, hanging out with the kids. I guess my point in sharing this, is that it is honest and it is where I am. It also is a way to prepare myself and perhaps give myself the permission to let go of my daily blog writing. I would hate for one of the things I love to become something I dread or resent, but there are some nights, i’d just rather go to sleep. I am human, I am not a supermom or a superwoman, but I do strive to be a kind one. Kindwoman, that is who I am and right now the kindest thing I can do is to at least give myself the permission to let go if need be.

To be continued…

With Kindness,

Jennifer

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

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A Table of Kindness

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,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Space Cadett

Resting Kindly

Day 113: Resting Kindly

“Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves. ” – Leon Brown

Happy Friday and Happy Kindness to All! It has been an extremely long two weeks for me and I am utterly exhausted. I wish kindness, self-love, and compassion to all! Tonight, sleep is calling me, so the kindest thing I can do for me and those around me, is to rest. It is raining and the perfect weather for vegging out.

Listening to our needs and fulling them, not only validates our truths, but creates self-love that can then be expressed and shared as love with those around us. If we can always listen to our needs, we will be the best version of ourselves.

With Kindness,

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Mark Anthony

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 Found

Day 88: Kindness Found

“That is my prayer to God everyday: Remove the veils so I may see what is really happening here and not be intoxicated by my stories and my fears.” – Elizabeth Lesser

We all tell stories. Perhaps we even prepare our stories in anticipation of a certain meeting, interaction or person. We also all have fear in us, for some it is well hidden or dealt with in a productive way, for others it keeps them stuck. Regardless, if we were to drop our stories and share our fears, we might be surprised at the common threads we all share. We probably all have similar fears, insecurities and struggles. If we were able to be vulnerable and share our feelings rather than our story, new connections would surely form and from there, joy and happiness would flow, at least that has been my experience.

I am currently taking a yoga/group therapy/empowerment class at a wonderful yoga studio called Bloom Retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area. The class is called The Practice. It is a class that is part yoga, part group therapy and part showing up and embracing who and where we are in this moment. We are encouraged to drop our stories and share how we really feel. It is a place where we get to show up and let go of our roles and our stories, while embracing our fears and receiving love and support from like minded women.

Through this experience, I have found that we do in fact all share similar fears, wishes, and ambitions. We share a common thread of wanting more out of life, wanting to show up in our own skin and know that it is good enough. We all want to love and be loved. We all want to be understood and seen. We want to be able to show up as we are: happy, sad, excited, scared, or insecure. I have also learned that by being vulnerable community, respect and connections are created.

We are all of the same cloth, the same breath, the same earth, the same universe. We are all connected. We are all kind.

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Nicholas Kmoch

Kindly Asked to Listen

Day 87: Kindly Asked to Listen

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” – Bryant H. McGill

A few years ago my Mother-in-Law gave me a packet of Spiritual Seeds that I poured into a mug that says happy on it. The spiritual seeds have daily intentions and inspirational messages on them. My daughter often comes upstairs to my office and picks one from the mug. Today, she picked the one that says: “Today I choose to listen more intently.” The other side of the card says, “To be present and fully conscious in the now moment requires good listening skills. Give the gift of your full attention when others speak.” She immediately said, “Mom, this one was meant for you!”

She is completely correct. I am not the best at giving her my full and undivided attention. I have that awful disease called multitasking, or at least the illusion of it. I may be able to get many things done at the same time, but at the expense of my daughter and myself. I am missing out on the gift of loving exchange with my daughter. I am also missing out on being present. And if I really think about it, I am missing out on a whole plethora of things: connection, mutual respect, love, joy and the peace that comes with being present.

Kindness to Self:

I think listening to ourselves is the most precious gift we can receive from ourselves. Listening to our inner messages and living our lives from the truth within will bring a bounty of gifts.

Kindness to Others:

Listen. Listen. Listen. Just think of all the wonderful moments, connection, and loving kindness that comes from the simple act of listening. Listening really is one of the kindest things we can do for others.

Kindness to Strangers:

Being open to hear the messages from a different group of people with understanding is quite simply a gift of peace and kindness. Let us all be willing to listen to people with an open heart, ready to embrace all others, especially those that are strange or different.

Kindness to Our Planet:

Go outside, close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Your breath, the birds, the breeze? Doing this will surely bring you into the present moment, which is where we are.

Jennifer Palazzo

If you are interested, you can check out the seed packets at SpiritualSeeds.Org.

Love Yourself to Kindness

Day 84: Love Yourself to Kindness

“I have an everyday religion that works for me: love yourself and everything else falls into place.” Lucille Ball

What a beautiful religion! If only we all practiced that same religion. What an amazing, loving, and kind world we would live in. So, how does one practice this religion of self love if one was not taught how or if one has forgotten? I wish I had a simple answer. My experience has taught me that it takes practice, discipline and awareness. It also requires honesty, acceptance, and an abundance of compassion. That’s quite the tall order!

We must practice everyday asking ourselves what is is that makes us happy. Once we have found the things that make us happy, it takes discipline to keep giving ourselves those things. It also requires awareness of when we stray from our happiness.  I think the other side of the coin is being honest about the things, people and situations that do not align with our happiness and our ability to practice loving ourselves. Lastly, loving ourselves requires compassion consistently and constantly.

Fall in love with yourself and everything about you. By learning to love yourself, you will truly be able to love all others. What could be more kind than that?

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com and The Very Kind Ryan Gageler

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

Truth With Kindness

Day 38: Truth With Kindness

“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Smith

I am not sure why it is so difficult to speak the truth, to say what we want and need to say. To simply say the truth. I think it is because as children we receive so many conflicting messages and we witness and experience half truths.

As a young girl, I have very distinctive memories of being told that I was tactless every time I spoke the truth. Being a child can be very confusing. On the one hand I was being told from my teachers, religious leaders and parents, to always tell the truth and never to lie. However, when I looked around, I saw most adults not telling the truth or telling half truths. I also remember being told that it was not always kind to tell the truth, so in that case lie, but do not lie because lying is bad. This was crazy making and so confusing.

How can we speak our truth, tell the truth, live in truth and still be kind? I have to believe that speaking the truth really does set one free and is ultimately the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. It may not always be received well or feel kind to others. However, if we cannot speak and live our personal truths, how can we live a life of happiness, joy, peace, love and kindness?

  1. Kindness to Self:

    Once we can accept, feel and speak our truth, we will be able to love ourselves unconditionally. And by living and speaking our truth we will then create the truth that our hearts and souls deserve.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Speaking our truth certainly has the ability to hurt others, however the alternative is telling a lie which will hurt everyone involved. I am certain there is an art to speaking our minds and truths with kindness. I believe it begins with honoring the truth over anything else. It is not easy, it can feel awkward and embarrassing to speak our mind. However, if we establish our relationships based on truth from the beginning, we will not have to work so hard at lying, manipulating, creating half truths, avoiding and then trying to repair them later.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    Speaking our minds with strangers may not being something we give much thought to, however, it can be as simple as understanding that what we put out to the world is we get back.  It is about having the awareness to slow down, make eye contact and speak kindly to the unfamiliar people we come into contact with each day. If we speak and live our truth from within and with those people that we love, we will be able to spread truth, love and kindness.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    Facing the truth and living in reality, is not always preferred, especially when our world and society offer so much convenience and distraction. Learn to seek out the truth. Our planet is currently in distress. What can we do to ensure that we have a clean food supply, clean water supply and clean air supply?

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/yournewven

Becoming Kind

Day 21: Becoming Kind

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

If the above quote is true, what happens when our mind works in a negative pattern? What becomes of us as adults, when as children we did not have adults who modeled unconditional love, understanding, acceptance, truth and encouragement? How does one create a mind that thinks positively? How do we change the negative self-talk and turn it into a loving, understanding, gentle and nurturing voice that loves unconditionally? I think it begins with awareness and observance of our thoughts and patterns. Taking the time to check in and find out what triggered the negative thought pattern and self-talk is a start. 

  1. Kindness to Self:

    We are the only ones that can make the change, nothing on the outside of us will make up for what we think and how we feel on the inside. Becoming kind will only happen when we are first kind to ourselves and that starts inside. Patterns can be changed with dedication, courage and lots of unconditional love.

  2. Kindness to Others:

    Becoming kind in our thought patterns will inevitably and organically lead to being kind in our actions and interactions with people. We will naturally become kind to those around us; our children, spouse, friends, co-workers and community.

  3. Kindness to Strangers:

    I wholeheartedly believe that becoming kind is a domino effect. Being kind inside ourselves, in our thoughts and self-talk will lead us to become kind to those around us and even to those people we do not know or understand. When love and kindness come from within, it will then shine out and touch everyone we come in contact with.

  4. Kindness to Our Planet:

    “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” – Unknown

Jennifer Palazzo

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/Sebastian Danon