Sunday, July 29, 2018

Yes We Can

The world of today, especially in the U.S., is one of turmoil and stress. There seems to be more and more examples of hate, cruelty, and meanness. People are overloaded with anxiety and fearfulness, stress. And as we mentioned in the last post, stress can wear away our feelings of kindness.

This seems to be what is happening now. The more stress, the less kindness, and folks succomb to being more unkind. People who never showed that kind of response in the past are shocking us with their meanness. Our "capacity for love and belonging can erode if you don't exercise kindness." *

We must become Kindness Warriors. Begin by practicing intentional kindness. Look for ways to be kind to others and to yourself. Exercise the gift you have been given to be kind. That is how we heal the world.

Even if we can't solve all the world's unkindness, the meanness, we have the power of kindnesss. The act of caring in the face of powerlessness to change the whole world is what matters. The act of caring, the intention follwed by action is powerful.

A compassionate mind is a warrior's mind. To understand our self-nature, as well as the self-nature of humanity, we should focus on what has beauty and dignity among humankind. Doing so will rid you of a fearful mind and change it into a spiritual warrior's mind.                                           Chogyam Trungpa, tibetan Buddhist teacher.

*The Kindness Cure, How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart & Your World, by Tara Cousineau, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, Inc.2018


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind

Kindness is a way of caring. It is love in action, no matter how small. "Kindheartedness is the embodiment of your feelings of warmth and generosity toward other and the world at large...", according to Tara Cousineau, PHD. in the kindness cure, How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart & Your World.

If the world ever needed healing it is now. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the needs of others and begin to believe we can do nothing to heal the world. But the key to the cure is kindness. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, has power to heal. The more kindness out in the world the healthier our world will be.

However, stress erodes kindness and we forget to use it as a gift that gives back. And it is contageous! An act of kindness to someone who is overwhelmed by a problem can make a world of difference. When deep in a problem we can easily believe there is no where out and no one who cares. But then someone treats them with kindness and the burden become a little lighter automatically.

Be kind. We don't know what others are dealing with or how to solve their problems. But our kindness helps them have hope and gives you a sense of purpose for your own life. You feel a bit more empowered to deal with your problems.

So, be kind. Watch for opportunities to practice "kindfulness". They are everywhere! Spread it around.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Courage for Today

What does it mean to have courage for today? We live in chaotic times and face many difficult challenges, personal, political, and world conflicts. We are often overwhelmed by uncertainty, confused by rapid changes. How do we take care of ourselves and those we love?

It takes courage, many kinds of courage. How do you define courage for your life? Below are persepctives on what courage means.

Never give up!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Life Is Fragile and Beautiful

How do you feel? How do you answer that question? Do you answer with a generic "fine." Or can you name the emotion. Are you aware of how that emotion shapes your daily life?

Burried emotion can create havoc if you aren't aware of them and aren't finding healthy ways to express them.

We are in a challenging world these days, more challening than usual. How are you feeling? Check out this TED Talk:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wisdom of a Seventeen-year-old

Sam Berns is wise beyond his years. 

His ability to present his ideas is excellent.

AND his philosphy can make each of us, and the world, better. Listen up:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Who Cares Anyway?

Recently I was shocked when a friend who is a Trump supporter tell me that they don't care what happens in other countries, therefore we shouldn't help refugees fleeing violence in Central and South America. I never dreamed that anyone I knew didn't really care about anyone else.

They said we should close the borders and not help people who aren't American because there are people in our country who need help. And in the conversation they were unable to believe that there is enough resources in our country to help both, that it is the system that is broken that keeps people here in need. They took no responsibility for changing any of that.

I truly don't understand that thinking, that paranoia and selfishness. We are responsible for fixing what is not working. We are responsible for electing people who will work for the middle and lower classes of people rather than for the richest 1% . So is this getting too political for this blog? It isn't about political parties, it is about people and fixing a system to provide support to those who really need it.This is about our responsiblity to vote.

What do you care about? Vote to make it happen. Vote your future!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Don't Let Anyone Take That Away!

We've just celebrated the holiday for our nation's independence from England. It is about freedom. And as Americans we have always believed the freedoms we enjoy will be there forever. But I'm afriad that currently some of those freedoms are being withdrawn.

Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to hear/see when that is happening. Then fight for your freedom.

Fight for our constitution, for it embodies those promised freedoms.

Do what you can: vote, support candidates that support those freedoms, encourage everyone you know to get out and vote. We must exercise that freedom or we may loose it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

It's Your Turn

We talked about the importance of kindness. We have talked about how kindness can change your life and heal the world. We've listed some ways to create kindness. And now it is up to YOU. It is up to each of us to be kind, to live kindness.

And it is something anyone can do. It isn't always easy, but it is FREE.

So it is your turn now to tell us how we can be kind. Share some of the ways you have behaved out of kindness and how that affected you.

Share ideas of acts of kindness to help others get started.

Most important of all, be kind.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

You Can Heal the World

What you do and say has the power to heal or harm. We each have the power to heal the part of the world we are in with kindness. And other people follow your example, spreading healing beyond yourself. So, to heal the world, be Kind.

Continuing to look at ways to be kind in the world we return to the book We Can Be Kind, Healing Our World One Kindness at a Time, by David Friedman. We are surrounded the unkindness, in a world that seems to have forgotten how to care for each other. It is up to us as individuals to make a difference, right where we are. No government or organization can do it without each of us taking responsibility for our own part of the world. So let's be kind.

  1. When someone wants to pick a fight with you, just refuse to fight and see what happens. Usually people who want to fight are really afraid of being attacked or of losing something. When you don't fight and instead seek to find what they are afraid of losing, you can move to problem solving instead of fighting. Be kind.
  2. When you encounter a service person who is being nasty, respond with kindness and see what happens. He or she is a person just like you and may be very frustrated or afraid or worried that they are going to be attacked. They may be all prepared to deal with a nasty customer. So be kind. Stay calm and focused. Lower the negative energy. Empathize.
  3. If you are having a problem with someone, find out what they want to make it right. Then be kind and do everything you can to make it right. That is the true act of kindness.
  4. In an upsetting situation, look for ways to be empathic. Let the other person know you understand their frustration, or whatever, and sympathise. You might be the only person who brings a positive attitude to them!
  5. Are you having a fight with someone? Stop and ask, "What are we fighting for? We're both nice people. There must be a way to work this out." That act of kindness could bring peace to the moment, and beyond.
  6. When you deal with someone who has opposing views, don't attack or treat them unkindly no matter how they treat you. Show them kindness and respect their right to their own opinion. Don't feed the fire. Good advice in these conflictual times.
  7. Have you ever witnessed abuse of a child or animal and wondered what you should do? Unless it would obviously put you in danger, step in to stop it, or at least report it. The saying "See something, say something" works here. Often, just interrupting the behavior will stop the abuse or extreme unkindness.
  8. How do you deal with other people's prejudice? First you need to be aware of your own prejudices and work to confront them. Beyond that, when you see prejudic behavior or hear prejudice remarks about a partiular group of people, SAY SOMETHING..Let them know it is noticed and is unkind. Speak kindly, not meanly. And don't get into an argument about it.
  9. Being physically affectionate is a wonderful way to show kindness. A kind touch can mean so much, especially in this age of digital separation. Always be aware of how the other person feels about touch. Remember that so many have been physically abused that an unwanted touch can be unkind. So if you aren't sure, ask. Be kind.
  10. When dealing with a problem that is too big for you to solve, ask yourself "What one thing might I do to express my viewpoint and create a condition where kindness can prevail. 
  11. If we want to make a difference in the world we must practice what we preach. Of course express you belief. But to make a difference we must behave in a way that shows you not only talk the talk, but you also walk the walk. 
Being kind is not always easy. But if we want to make a positive difference in the world, if we want to make a kinder world, then we must make the effort to practice kindness. If you are going to commit to making the world more kind, do it! Read David Friedman's book.

Take on the task of intentional kindness. It will help others to be kind as well.

It all begins with each of us.

Be kind.