When you wake up every morning, what is your first feeling of the day? Many people feel so completely overwhelmed with their lives that they carry that disconnected from self-feeling into their daily world; interacting with people in ways that reinforces how challenging life is in every moment. No calm or peace from within.
From those of us who live and work in the yoga world, we have a unique opportunity. One can’t help but notice when someone has “discovered” the powerful life-transforming aspects of yoga. Kindness and compassion for self is usually what shows up first. Learning yoga is all about letting go of what you think you should be doing versus discovering how you “feel” when you are doing it. This kindness for self on the mat usually translates to life off the mat being a bit more kinder and gentler too.
Over the course of history, much has been written about kindness. \Wikipedia sums it up nicely by stating: “Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.”
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the “most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse.”
Have you ever been driving in your own metal and mental cocoon and while in traffic looked over to the driver next to you, equally stuck? What is your first instinct when the person you’re staring at meets your eyes with theirs? Do you embarrassingly look away? Do you ever hold the stare with them?
Do you ever just smile a knowing smile as to say, “Hey, I’m in the same boat as you, at least we’re not alone in it. I’m right here with you as you are there with me, in this moment.” I’ve done this many times and in a glimmer of a moment I feel so deeply connected to something more…not just myself. It’s quite beautiful when the other person can smile back at you. Not everyone can do this because they are so locked into their own pain or sadness or ignorance to the opportunity and knowledge that we can exchange energy to help each other along.
To multiply the energy of kindness is to then be able to offer even more to those around you. It’s really quite a beautiful concept and so simple to initiate.
Kindness: appreciation and caring for one another. Indeed, one word, in thought or intent, changes lives. Collectively, it can transform the world.
Wouldn’t you rather be a part of the solution that sets a trajectory of healing around our planet, rather than perpetuate the ills of disconnectedness, selfishness and greed? Ultimately, it’s a binary choice. You’re either part of the solution or the problem. Neutrality isn’t an option, as it means doing nothing to positively impact our world when we each have it in us to do so. To bring peace to our planet by practicing acts of daily kindness is doing something. We have an opportunity to change humanity forever.
I came across a beautiful website, Waves of Kindness. They have a global initiative to spread kindness across the planet. Their declaration is so powerful and specific. We all need to be ambassadors of this movement to heal our relationship with ourselves, with others and ultimately to learn and model for others how to govern life on this beautiful planet, our home. I signed up and I am committed to continuing the walk of loving humanity, regardless of anyone’s disposition. Poor or wealthy. Free or bound. Inspired or depleted.Loved or hated.
The excerpts below are from the Waves of Kindness website. They articulated what needs to be shared very well, so I included them in their entirety:
“Peace is realized when we live our lives in Kindness, thus, being in accord or in alignment with our Truth, which is Pure Love.”
“Kindness is the reliable ‘compass’ that distinguishes Pure Love from ‘perception of love.’ Love of power, contradicts the very essence of Pure Love. Kindness is the defining difference between love of power and the Power of Love.”
“When we live and apply the principles of Love, Kindness and Understanding in our relationships, may it be for our intimate relationships, families, friends, neighbors, business and trade, national and international relationships, local and global environment…even when we differ in opinions and/or beliefs ~ WE CAN ‘experience’ (bring into reality / realize) a more Peaceful, Abundant and Joyful World.”
What can you do? Because you know, once you understand your desire and set your intention, you must move into doing in order to positively grow your life.
For Be Kind to Humankind Week (last week of August ) the Be Kind to Humankind site gives you daily action suggestions to fully engage in the week and its intention.
- Sacrifice Our Wants For Others Needs Sunday: Show them that you care
- Motorist Consideration Monday: Drive Courteously
- Touch-A-Heart Tuesday: Spread kindness, one heart at a time
- Willing-To-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday: Offer a helping hand
- Thoughtful Thursday: Treat others well
- Forgive Your Foe Friday: Come together
- Speak Kind Words Saturday: Say something nice
It is possible to initiate waves of kindness over the entire planet. Think about what happens when you toss a rock into a small lake…ripples actually make it to the other side. The bigger the lake, the bigger stones you need. So what positive actions can you take during this week of Being Kind to Humankind? If we individually and collectively set the intention to breed a planetary culture of kindness, we can impact a massive ripple effect that ensures life on planet Earth to be more joyful for all who call themselves Humankind. By being more intentional about your actions this week, maybe, just maybe, you too will feel the impact by experiencing a more joyfully connected life!
[Photo by Kate Ter Haar — CC BY]
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