How to Give and Receive Kindness

How to Give and Receive Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Aesop

In the last few posts, we have explored what kindness is and its power and benefits on you and the world.  In this post we will explore ways to integrate the practice of giving and receiving kindness into your life.

Kindness begins with yourself.

Be kind to yourself when you take a misstep. Notice if you judge yourself for making mistakes or not doing something according to a preconceived notion of how it should look.  As you become more aware of that, practice letting the judgment go.  Find something to appreciate about yourself instead.  Take some time each day for yourself.  Something that you enjoy or feels nurturing.  

Begin with compassion, then with kindness.

Recognize that we all have challenges before making a an assumption or judgment about another person or situation.  Sometimes an act of kindness is simply holding back our criticism and/or trying to see things from the other persons perception.  I love the quote “Never judge someone unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.”  Understand that everyone is doing the best they can.  Look for something that you can compliment in others.  

Be of service to others.

Do at least one kind act for someone close to you, an acquaintance or stranger or yourself every day. It can be as simple as bringing a coworker a cup of coffee or giving a stranger a smile.

Choose to be kind even when others are not.

Being kind is a choice you have every day.  It can be difficult being kind when the another person is not being kind.  Yet, being unkind back can often lead to ongoing conflict.  Saying or doing something kind can reverse a situation.  

Give for the sake of giving.

Don’t expect anything in return. When you give kindness expecting thanks or some form of credit, it is self-serving and some form of making the recipient feel indebted. The rewards are better when we are kind without expecting any payback.

I heard a story about a little boy from a family who had very little money. He really wanted fishing lures but had no money to buy them. This anonymous person bought a handful of fishing lures and a package of gummy worms and left them in the family mailbox along with a note saying they were free. The boy was thrilled, and the anonymous person was filled with happiness at seeing the boys joy. Now that is kindness!

Practice being kind more often.

Like everything, we become kinder the more we do it. Random acts of kindness get easier. Do one small, kind thing each day for someone and pay attention to the impact you make. Notice the impact of kindness on the other person.  And notice how it makes you feel.  Being kind is its own reward.  It will make you feel lighter, kinder and notice more opportunities to be kind.

Kindness is contagious.

Be the one who shows kindness every day and others will begin to do the same. Be the boss, leader, coworker, family member or neighbor who people follow your actions in kindness.  When you are kind to someone, it make them feel good.  They will naturally spread that.

Kindness lasts.

When you do an act of kindness for someone or it’s done for you, it is remembered. Maybe you were shy in college and you had a staff member compliment you on your looks. Do you still remember the unexpected kindness? How do you want to be remembered?

I remember as a child visiting my aunts.  I was impressed with the kindness they showed me.  I don’t remember the details, but I do remember the feeling that I had around them. 

In Summary: 

Studies have shown that when we do kind things it makes us happier and increases our self-love and respect. Doing some act of kindness daily can put you in a better mood more often. Go ahead and do some random small act of kindness today!

Awareness Practice:  

This week, observe the role of kindness in your life.  Contemplate ways that you can include the practice of kindness on an ongoing basis.  Which of the above suggestions appeal to you?  How might you incorporate them into your life. 

 

May kindness fill your heart,

Bindu

Character Traits of Kindness

Character Traits of Kindness

“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for empathy, your hands for helping others, your mind for truth, and your heart for compassionate love.”

– David Scott

Kindness is not only about what you do but how you do it.

It can accompany every type of action from praise to criticism. When an action comes from a place of empathy, you experience kindness.

Kindness comes in many forms. It’s about honesty, empathy, forgiveness, trust, patience, compassion and humility.

Honesty:

Honesty doesn’t always mean you are being kind. You can be honest and kind at the same time though. When you need to be honest, but it feels like a criticism, you should find a way to deliver it with kindness, say with a soft voice, a hand on someone’s shoulder or the way you word your response.

Forgiveness:

When you forgive others and yourself, you are freeing yourself from blame and condemnation. It allows you to be happy. Forgiveness is a form of kindness as it lets you accept others as they are. “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace”

Trust:

Trust is different from honesty. When you show kindness to others, it builds their trust in you. There are many ways to do this; keep your word, ask what they need, then help them get it.  

Empathy:

Kindness requires empathy. It means putting yourself in another’s position and feelings. Empathy allows you to understand and be sensitive to what others are feeling. It is important to building positive relationships and for good communication.  

Patience: 

Patience is needed when being kind. Patience makes us take the time to get our thoughts and actions in order before we react.  A kind act is often given with patience. “A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.” 

Compassion:

This is when we feel for another’s problems and take action to help. Compassion is an action of kindness. It is a guide for kindness.

Humility:

Being humble means you do things out of the kindness of your heart, not expecting anything in return.  This is a true act of kindness.

In Summary:

Kindness has all these character traits in it. Being honest, building trust, being humble, compassionate and empathetic all work together to perform true acts of kindness.  Kindness flows from an intention to be in harmony with yourself and others.  Kindness looks for a win/win solution to challenges and differences.  Kindness values connection over being right.  Kindness creates inner peace and outer harmony.

 

Contemplation for this week:

This week, consider the character traits of kindness.  Look at the ones that you are strong in and the ones that are more difficult for you.   Become more aware of how the characteritics that you are strong in flow through you and what that creates in your life.  Pick one characteristic that you are weak in that you would like to strengthen.  Contemplate on how you can strengthen this characteristic.  

Above all, have fun with this.  Enjoying getting to know yourself better. 

 

Wishing you much kindness this week,

Bindu

How to Be More Kind

How to Be More Kind

How to be More Kind

“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

Kindness is a simple act.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or resources unless you want it to. The smallest acts of kindness often go the longest way to changing lives. You can cultivate more kindness in your life in many ways.

Here are some examples:

  1. When you believe in someone, tell them and show them your support. This support may be just what they need to drive them to achieve things greater things.
  2. Think about your words before you speak. If what you’re thinking isn’t kind, stop what you’re doing. Think about how to better phrase what you’re thinking or perhaps don’t say it at all. Remember to be kind in how you deal with the person.
  3. When you receive kindness spread it around. Continue to spread the kindness by paying it forward.
  4. Everyone faces challenges even if they don’t outwardly show it. Don’t discriminate on who you are kind to.
  5. Be an example. Be a role model to others by always being kind.
  6. It doesn’t matter if it’s a close relationship or a stranger, it’s important to be mindful of how you treat others. Be considerate of everyone.
  7. Practice having good intentions. Try to have good intentions when you say something nice. Don’t expect something in return.
  8. Reach out when others don’t.
  9. If showing kindness is hard for you, try to remember how you felt when someone was kind to you.
  10. Be kind every day. Holding the door for someone while giving them a genuine smile is an easy way to brighten someone’s day.
  11. Create a kindness calendar. Add some type of kindness you can do to each day. For example, take a cup of coffee to your coworker, help your elderly neighbor with their groceries, thank the mail carrier with a card, give your umbrella to a mom and her kids waiting for the bus in the rain, share your lunch with a homeless person or any other act of kindness.

There are many ways you can be kind.

Some acts of kindness take only a few moments, such as a smile or quick complement.  Some acts of kindness take more time and/or effort on your part.  Don’t dismiss the impact of those that only take a few moments.  They are often the most powerful.

If you are stumped for ideas, here are a few to get you started.

  • Let someone in front of you at the grocery store because they have fewer items.
  • Smile at someone who really needs it. Maybe you see a struggling mom trying to shop with her three kids. Give her an encouraging smile.
  • Talk with a friend who is having problems. Lending a ear may be all they need.
  • Buy food for a homeless person the next time you go for fast food or a restaurant.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Help a coworker on a project even if you have a full schedule.
  • Let someone in your lane in a traffic jam.
  • Donate old clothes to someone in need.
  • Call your grandparents or parents instead of waiting for them to call.
  • Say please, thank you and your welcome.
  • Compliment someone on their hair, outfit or something else.
  • Offer your seat on the bus or train.
  • Bake something for a neighbor, older relative or nursing home and visit with them.
  • Text someone good morning or good night.
  • Plan to meet with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Wash someone’s car for free.
  • Have a sick neighbor? Mow their yard or shovel their snow. Take out their trash. See if they need you to pick anything up for them – medication, groceries, etc.
  • Stop and help someone broke down on the road. Or see if they have help coming.
  • Plan a surprise party for a friend’s birthday.
  • Wish someone a good day.
  • Leave a nice note on someone’s car or in their mailbox.
  • Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Help a stranger in some way.
  • Actively listen when someone is talking to you.
  • Give an unexpected gift to someone.
  • Thank someone for something specific they’ve done for you
  • Make a donation to charity.
  • Volunteer your time.
  • Share a memory with a child or friend.

Be discrete when carrying out acts of kindness.

When carrying out your act of kindness, be sure to not intrude or embarrass the receiver. Discretion is key. Give your smile or gift then move on, unless the receiver wants to talk. Some acts of kindness can be carried out anonymously as well.

Above all else, carry out your acts of kindness because you genuinely want to make yourself and others feel good. Not because you expect something in return.

Contemplation for this week:

1.  This week, create and intention to carry out one act of kindness per day.  More if you would like.

2.  At the end of each day, notice if you remembered or not.  Be kind to yourself if you forgot.  That can be your act of kindness for the day.  Reinforce your intention.

3.  If you did remember to carry out an act of kindness, take a moment to remember how it felt and how the other person responded.

4.  Pat yourself on the back for each act of kindness your carried out.

5.  Continue this practice indefinately.

 

May kindness fill your heart with love and compassion for yourself and others. 

Bindu

10 Steps to Enhance Your Expression

10 Steps to Enhance Your Expression

 Enhance Your Expression 

The Beyond Fibromyalgia program is a comprehensive system of healing and balancing all aspects of who we are, including our body, emotions, mind, expression, spirit and energy all built on enduring core principles.  I call this the art of Integrative Wholeness™

In this article, we are going to explore ways to enhance our Expression as part of the whole and thereby enhance our enjoyment of life and provide our gifts to the world.

These ­10 steps will enable you to enhance your expression to achieve the optimal fulfillment in life.

  1. Own your power.
  2. Know yourself
  3. Create your vision and personal mission statement
  4. Effectively manage your life.
  5. Conscious Creation.
  6. Creating successful relationships (work, family, friends)
  7. Communicate from the Heart
  8. Express your life purpose.
  9. Share your abundance with others
  10. Serve Humanity

 

1.  Own your power.

We are the creator of our own experience.  On some level of our being, we have created everything that we are experiencing.  As the creator, we can also choose to create something different.  We are not a victim to our past, to our karma, to our family upbringing, to our ancestry, or to our genes.

We live in a society where we are inundated with information and dogma; from our family, religious organizations, governments, television, books, and the list goes on.  We are told what we need to do to be successful, to be loved, to be accepted by society.  If we aren’t, then we are bad, wrong, or unacceptable.

What if our future were a clean slate?  What if we could write our own script, make our own standards, chose the life we would like to live.  What if we could live the life of our dreams?  I believe that we can do exactly that.  I believe that our dreams are planted in our consciousness by our soul.  They are there to guide us.  It is only our limited thinking and energetic patterns that get in the way.  We can reclaim our power and create the life we were destined to live.

2.  Know yourself

The first step to owning your power is to get to know yourself.  Who and what is the authentic you buried under your belief systems, emotional patterns and physical imbalances?  What makes your heart sing, gives you energy and excites your creativity?  What lowers your energy, blocks your creativity and dampens your spirit.  What fills you with a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment?  What are your dreams, desires and goals?  What does your heart say yes to?  What values bring you to a sense of coming home within yourself?  What brings you true joy?

Often, our true essence gets lost in all the conditioning that we have accepted.  We forget who we are.  We forget our dreams.  We believe our goals are unattainable and we have given up on them.  We don’t even know what brings us true joy.  We look for satisfaction outside of ourselves.

As we work through the previous sections on the physical, emotional and mental reclaiming, we begin to through off the old snake skin and our true essence begins to shine through.   We feel more alive and excited about life.  Contentment, peace and a natural flow replaces stress and tension. 

3.  Create your vision and personal mission statement

When we are connected with our authentic self our dreams and desires realign with our original soul imbued blue print.  It is from this place that we can document our core values, our vision for ourselves and our personal mission statement.  This becomes the guiding light in our life, our lighthouse on the distant shore, which keeps us coming back again and again to what is truly important to us.

Without our core values, vision and mission statement, we attempt to place our security or sense of wellbeing in things outside of us such as family, religion, work/career, or substances.  The problem with this is that many things in these external arenas are outside of our control or influence.  We then live with a need to control the things external to us to maintain our sense of safety.  As that isn’t possible, be live in constant fear or endeavor to control the uncontrollable.

Once we have identified our core values, vision and mission statement, they become our safety and security.  We intuitively know that as long as we make our choices and decisions with them at the center, whatever happens, we know where to come back to.

4.  Effectively manage your life.

Now that you are the creator of your life, know yourself, and have identified your personal core values, vision and mission statement, these become the center from which you manage your life.  With these in mind, you have a foundation from which to make decisions in your life.  If part of your vision is to have a healthy and balanced body, your meal planning, scheduling and finances would include time and money for buying shopping and cooking healthy foods.   Scheduling your time, managing your finances and what you expend your energy on will be guided by your map.  Important also is to consistently check in with your inner compass which we will discuss more in the article on Energy.

Without your map, it can be difficult to make decision and direct your time, money and energy into the external things, people and situations that will create the greatest satisfaction, joy and fulfillment in your life.  You might be working very hard to reach a goal, but once you get there, you are still left filling unfulfilled and dissatisfied.  You are left like a life boat floating on a very large ocean without knowing what direction to go and at the mercy of the currents, weather and such.  Your decision may be directed by others or trying to navigate the latest drama or crisis in your life.

With your personal map you can easily manage your life with inner confidence and true power. 

5.  The Art of Conscious Creation.

We are now ready to consciously create our vision.  As in step one, we have acknowledged (or at least open to) the idea that we are the creators of our life.   Keeping our vision and map in our minds, we can now focus on consciously creating our future.

We are creating all the time.  By looking at our life, we can easily see what we are creating.  Most of our creation is unconscious.  That is why it is difficult for us to “own” our creation.  But until we own our current creation and take responsibility for it, we will be blocked from creating our vision.

Creating our vision is the most powerful when all of our dimensions are balanced an in alignment with each other.  We are balanced and health on the physical level, our emotions are stable and manageable, our mind is focused and clear, we are connected with our spiritual dimensions. 

6.  Creating successful relationships (work, family, friends)

We are the center of our life.  However, we don’t live in a void and relationships give us the opportunity to express our unique self, contribute our unique gifts to a co-creative project or endeavor and derive pleasure from the company and companionship of others.  A successful relationship is that which empowers all parties, celebrates each person’s individuality and uniqueness, and creates a synergy that is more than the sum of the parts.

Often in our relationships, we are looking for someone to fill a weakness within our self or an emptiness that we sense.  As this is mostly unconscious, we see the other person as the blame for not getting our needs met.  This type of relationship will usually be the source of conflict as no one can fulfill another person.  That has to come from within.

Successful relationships don’t just happen; they are created with awareness, integrity and skill.  Once in place they offer expansion and growth for all parties.

7.  Communicate from the Heart

An important component in creating healthy relationships and enhancing our expression is communication.  Communication can either create separation and conflict or connection and synergy.   When we communicate from a place of wholeness within ourselves, we are grounded in our authentic self and at the same time open to the ideas and suggestions of others.  We listen from an open empathic place.  We hear and take in others fully and completely.  We are able to speak our truth fully without hesitation.  We communicate in a way that opens and uplifts ourselves and others.  We work with others in a way that win/win outcomes are possible.

If we are not grounded in our authenticity and our core values, we may become fixated on the idea that in order to be right, others must be wrong.  From that place, we guard and become defensive and endeavor to convince others that we are right and they are wrong.  If those we are attempting to communicate with are coming from the same place, we generally reach an impasse.  Neither person is truly hearing the other.  Each person is convinced that the other must change before harmony can come between them.  A win/win solution is not achievable.

Communication is at the heart of success in all endeavors with others.

8.  Express your life purpose.

Each of us is here with a purpose to fulfill.  That purpose may be as simple as being a wonderful mother to her children and a wife to her husband.  It may be as complex as being a world famous figure.  Perhaps you are a simple person, leading a very normal looking life and enjoy spending time connecting with nature.  The important thing in understanding and expressing your life purpose is that is resonates with you inside and brings you fulfillment and joy.  The physical manifestation of that is as diverse as the leave on the trees and as unique as each individual snowflake.  You are the only one who can live your purpose.  Without your voice, the orchestra of life is missing a note or a melody that would only enhance the beauty of the whole.

Sometimes, we forget our purpose and focus instead on making money or fulfilling another person’s expectations.   When we do this, our heart aches and our soul calls out to us to bring us back to our path.

Following the steps in the Integrative Wholeness program brings you back to yourself, to your true vision and to your soul purpose.  It gives you the awareness, inner strength and tools to express your unique self in the world and make the world a better place for all to enjoy.

9.  Share your abundance with others

As we follow the path of Integrative Wholeness, our awareness of the abundance that we are and that surrounds us naturally grows and expands.  That is the nature of abundance.  We will naturally share our abundance with the world, just as a flower naturally shares its beauty with others through its visual beauty and delightful aroma.   As we share our abundance with others, it naturally increases and unfolds exponentially.  Our light becomes brighter with each passing day.

Sharing our abundance with others is a natural byproduct of Integrative Wholeness.  It is not something that we do; it is something that we are.  It is our Beingness that we share through our gifts to the world.

10.  Serve humanity.

Serving humanity is the natural outcome of the previous steps.  We are grounded and centered within our authentic self, we are connected with our soul self, we are operating from our heart space.  We are filled with such abundance that it flows over into others through our beingness, our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our feelings.  We lift up the rest of the world with our expression and make the planet a better place to live for all.

The external expression of our service is once again unique to each individual and guided by the heart and soul.  Each individual expression complements and enhances the whole. 

In Summary:

Enhancing our expression is a journey not an event.  For me, this is a road-map of where I want to go and who I want to become.  I am still on the journey myself, but this acts as a light house beacon that guides my choices and helps me to reset my course if I am drifting away from my highest good. 

My hope is that it will instill in you what is possible.  Years ago, when I was in the worst part of my experience with fibromyalgia, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible.  Yet, at the same time, I had an inner desire to express my self and create my life in a bigger, better and more satisfying way than I was experiencing then.  I am on my way.  I hope you will join me. 

It inspires me.  I hope it will inspire you too.  

Bindu  

Happy Ending!

Happy Ending!

Do you believe that it is possible to recover from fibromyalgia?  

Are you willing to be open to the possibility that you can reclaim your health?  

Are you open to the possibility that for that to occur you will be changed . . . for the better?

Are you open to the possibility that you can have a life that is better than you ever imagined?  

Are you willing to hold this as a possibility, even though you may have doubts?  

Courage

Courage

Each day of living with fibromyalgia builds my courage.

Each moment I embrace myself with love builds my courage.  

I am blessed. 

“Every situation is an opportunity for growth and development.

Everything that happens supports my learning process

and brings me back to my Real Self.  

The challenges I face are always in line with my ability to meet them.

Challenge strengthens my faith in myself and God.”

                                                                                       Nogah Lord