Kindness with a Twist of Sinatra (Do-Be-Do-Be-Do)
Kindness isn't just something you DO. It's also a way to BE. It is a mindset, as well as a daily practice. It is a way of walking through life, creating opportunities to connect, empower and love, both others and ourselves. Think of it like Sinatra's lyrics: Do-be-do-be-do....
I love daily practices.
They are self-empowerment tools. They are commitments to ourselves, mini-rituals for which we show up every day, without fail and without grumbling. We do them, not because we always feel like it (we don’t); but because they’re integral to who we are, and to who we are becoming. They are secrets to our well-being and success.
Maybe you’re already a meditator or a runner or a green smoothie drinker. I invite you to consider another daily practice: Kindness.
Many of the most empowered people I know use kindness not only as a daily practice, but as a compass. It's a place to live from. It's a way to BE.
Kindness practitioners show up from a place of generosity, love and connection. From this place, they take action - they DO.
They are gracious with their talent. They offer ideas, connections and encouragement. They create opportunities to help others to shine; to comment and share a great post; to send a book or a powerful quote; to say, 'Hey, I'm thinking of you.' They bring a gift. They call out the genius in others. They give constructive feedback. They administer hugs and tea and truth.
And somehow these people still find time to be successful. Funny, that.
Practicing kindness means being alive and awake to possibility. What do you see when you read this? OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE
Opportunity is nowhere.
Opportunity is now here.
Operating from a kindness centre means looking at life as a big opportunity-fest. Adjust how you see. Kindness is an act of creation that can happen now - today.
There are small ways to do great things right now. Not when there's a lottery win, and you can open a children's wing in a hospital (but when that time comes, go for it!). Waiting is a stall tactic.
Kindness is no lesser for the magnitude in which it's administered.
So if you're wondering how to do something now, however small, start practicing "being" from a place of kindness.
How does "being" from your kindness centre feel? Abundant? Connected? Tranquil? Jazzed?
What could that look like as an act?
I invite you to use kindness as a lens to look at your daily routine. Truffle out ways to practice. Make it a game. Get your curiosity and playfulness on.
Here are twenty five ideas I've tried to get you thinking. But please don't be limited by these:
- Buy a coffee shop voucher for a homeless person
- Listen deeply in your next conversation (without drifting off to your to-do list)
- Smile more (try supermarket queues, the school gate, receptionists, the person selling The Big Issue)
- Call instead of emailing
- Send a handwritten thank you note (super classy)
- Bring a gift
- Bake for someone (just because)
- Take a bag of non-perishables to your local shelter (that could include an animal shelter)
- Offer to babysit
- Got a fab gift? Send a pic of you wearing/enjoying it to the giver
- Add a loving-kindness component to your meditation practice (also called metta meditation)
- Give up your Tube seat
- Hold space when someone's talking, without trying to 'fix' their problem
- Compliment someone on how well behaved their child is
- Fill the ice cube tray. Replace the loo roll
- Let someone merge in traffic
- Ask: 'How can I support you?' in a conversation with a loved-one
- Write someone a letter about how they've positively influenced you
- Encourage someone who's learning a new skill
- Organise a Love Day for a child, partner or friend - ask what they would love to do, and do it together. Take pictures. Focus on celebrating them
- Relay an overheard compliment
- Talk to someone at work who you've never spoken to before
- Be patient with the new cashier, the learner driver causing queues, the child learning violin
- Give someone a hug
- Cut someone some slack (including yourself)
The daily practice of kindness means administering kindness to yourself too. Because we all know we can't give, if our own tank is empty. This means being kinder to yourself, as well as doing things that sustain your health, abundance and sanity. Think of the old oxygen mask analogy.
Practicing kindness is a habit - the more you practice, the more toned your kindness muscle becomes. Your gym is daily life. The being and the doing reinforce each other, and the reward is that warm, fuzzy feeling of connectedness and purpose. Not to mention it's fun. Remember fun?
Kindness isn't conditional - do something and secretly expect that it'll come boomeranging back. It often happens that way anyway. But the getting back is really in the giving.
So how will you do-be-do-be-do? Lets start a Mexican wave of kindness ideas! Over to you - drop your top kindness tip into the comments box for us to try.
Like this? Yippee! Stop by my blog here to play with some more best-self ideas.
And speaking of giving....Check this:
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