Thursday, October 20, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 20.

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than Kindness?" ~ Rousseau

We get so busy, so caught up in schedules and wants and perceived needs. And we get selfish. We grow mean spirited and greedy and become parsimonious. We forget how to be kind.

We forget how to be kind to ourselves, and especially others. Then we wonder why we aren't happier. It is because we have forgotten the wonderfully simple truth as brought to us by Rousseau. The greatest wisdom is kindness.

So let it all go, and see what (and who?) stays. See what is really important to you. I just suggested to a friend that they go outside in the quiet of the early morning and experience the wonder of the birth of a new day. Connect to the sacred as you know it, and put into action by word and deed the simple truth that the greatest wisdom is kindness, to ourselves and to others. If you continue to compete with yourself to have more and store up early treasures you in the end will neither the winner or loser be.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 19.

I chose the pictures/memes/illustrations for this 'project' before I even wrote Day 1. Totally at random, so as I upload each one I am surprised. A sort of lagniappe to me. A bit of a challenge as well, because my thoughts and circumstances may not be in a good place to delve into my psyche about a particular aspect of self-improvement on any given day.

This illustration for Day 19 is one of my favorites. The artwork is whimsical, and the truism hits home.

Make of yourself a light

Make of yourself a light, because only you know how deep and pervasive your darkness may be. 
Make of yourself a light, if you want others your true self to see.
Make of yourself a light, and take care in what you say.
Make of yourself a light, in all ways possible every day.

If you are in a dark room and light a small candle, like a tealight or a small 4 inch taper, the pool of light is brighter at the source and dissipates as it diffuses into the darkness. At the outermost edges, you may only be able to discern forms in the shadows but at least you know where objects are located and possible dangers lurk as you navigate the space. Now, if you place a second - third - fourth candle around the room you can illuminate the entire space.  If you group them all on the same surface, there is brighter light still at the center but perhaps the perimeter is still draped in shadows and unknowns. However, if you spread the candles out, the entire room benefits and the strength of the illumination from each adds weight and purpose to the others. 

So my goal is to be kind. To myself, for myself. To my kith and ken, grouped close about me in my little version of reality. To strangers and sojourners I meet, that kindness and love of humankind can spread and strengthen the weight and common purpose we as a (human)race share.

Make a light of yourself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 18.

This is for all of the beautiful souls who are so gracious and kind to me without fail. Those who listen to me when I need an ear, those who read my words, those who are gracious in their words and deeds with not expectation of reward or recognition.

You propel me forward to be a kinder version of myself, I honestly think we can make a difference in this world - you and I together. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 17.

Never dwell on the negative ...

There is a person in my life that is a professional "Debbie Downer". You know the type, hyper critical, always anticipating dire outcomes, untrusting of overtures of kindness. Over time this person's face has developed a sour, hawkish expression that can be very off-putting to others - especially in casual social interactions. 

I think that our physical appearance reflects our inner attitudes. Frown lines, perpetual furrowed brow, laugh creases around the eyes, stooped shoulders, 'pep in the step', head thrown back and looking intently at surroundings. All of these are non-verbal communications that are received and processed before we even open our mouths. 

I want people to anticipate a conversation or encounter with me, not groan inwardly or studiously avoid making eye contact. So it is my responsibility to have an appearance that is warm, welcoming, kind. 

One way to do this is to look at (and for) the good, and not dwell on the negative. A good way to go forth in a pleasant mood is to make your morning a time of happy news. Leave the wars and pestilence for a brief respite of calm and humor and affirmations. That way the most recent information roiling about in your mind will be more apt to leave a hint of a smile on your lips instead of a glowering frown. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 16.

This meme reminds me of the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart. 

Live a life that matters. Live a life of love.

I imagine it would be difficult to be consistently kind to yourself, and to others, if you were not coming from a perspective of love. Love of self, love of friends and family, love of strangers, love of humankind. 

The impetus for being kind is birthed in the spirit. Kindness comes from a place of compassion, of understanding, of patience. Kindness results when we imagine what it must be like, would be like, to be in a place of need and we respond with kindness because we know that is the balm that would (and does) sooth our battered spirit in that same circumstance. 

Kindness is both selfish and selfless.

Kindness is the conscious act of building toward that end of life where we can say, I did OK. Easing of burdens for self and others is seldom costly except in time and effort. And, oh, the incalculable rewards that result! 

Live a life of love.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 15.

Some days I feel like I am the one giving a ride, some days I feel like I am the one hitching a ride. And some days I feel like I am standing still.

I am a blunt person, and tend to just blurt out my opinion and I know it can be hurtful to others. I have tried, through the years, to train myself to use less harsh words. 

I still think it is kinder to be truthful, and if asked my opinion I will be as honest as I can. What I am working on is using less hurtful words, and not being judgemental. 

In the end, whether I am hitching a ride, giving one, or standing still, we are all on this journey together. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

31 days to a kinder me. Day 14.

Be kind. 

Not always as easy as it sounds, but not necessarily as hard as we - nay, I - make it to be. 

Be kind. 

I know when there is an edge of harshness to my tone, a bite to my words. And I know how to soften my tone. I just need to do it.

Be kind.

If there is something I think someone should have done for me, well, there you go. I need to take the opportunity to do it for someone else. My desire for kindness is not unique to me.

Be kind.

Patience. A precious and rare virtue. I can be patient, if I choose. Mindfulness is a practice I have been delving into over the past couple of years. Mindfulness is being in full appreciation of the moment and truly experiencing my surroundings. Not just hearing what someone is saying but listening to them. Patience. Allowing time for life to unfold not rushing rudely ahead. 

Be kind.

Choosing my words with care, and my actions as well.

Be kind.

I really need to learn to 
be kind.