kindness with a punch…

February 6, 2011

you a- PEEL to me!

I love making inanimate objects talk. Like pretending the wet towel on the floor is begging you to be picked up, my kids are almost at the point of rolling their eyes but they still laugh. Creative kindness in your home is always the best place to start weaving your kindness life.

  

i heart dirty clothes! (on the hamper) ::you are freaking awesome! (on a very dirty mirror)

I was way excited to discover this conversation bubble punch at the discount store today. All I could think about the whole ride home was what funny things a banana could say.

so hung up on YOU! (on the coat rack):: can you give me a lift? (on the toilet seat)

How is it that the simple ideas always end up to be my favorite? …my labels and super punch may be following me into the city tomorrow.

i love your lego heart! (on a lego creation):: sweet dreams! (on her bed)

 

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It was the biggest lesson of the year for this girl. You’ll probably laugh but it was a total ephiphany to me. Kindness isn’t just something we do, it’s a way of life. It’s more than missions, strangers, and “trying”…when we practice it, it has the power to take over and find it’s way into every part of us, even the places we are guarding. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know where to start, what do you do?

Here are a few ideas of ways you can invite kindness into your everyday life. Some of these thing you might already do and others may feel like a stretch, either way, take what serves you and please add your ideas in the comment section.

1. Talk to a stranger. Oh, the stranger stories I could tell you! Stepping out of ourselves and engaging someone we don’t know often allows kindness to unfold, sometimes the simple act of listening is kindness itself. It may be someone you even see everyday, a neighbor, the checkout girl, an elderly man, someone waiting in the bank teller line. Offer to hold a door, or a pen, a skip in line, or a simple, “How’s your day going?” are good icebreakers.

2. Figure out which side you need to start on. To fully understand and experience kindness, you need to figure out which side you need to be on, giving or receiving, both are equally as important. If you tend to be a giver, it might be time to try on saying yes when someone offers to help, or no to the latest commitment put before you. You “givers” know what I’m talking about, opportunities are around every corner. Receiving can be difficult for this kind of soul but really important to widen your scope of kindness.
If you are often on the receiving end, now is great moment to be intentional in your kindness growth. Start with something simple like offer to do the dishes, or leave someone you care about a treat for them to find. Pick something every day to do, big or small, just be conscious about it and let the kindness high come.

3. Play, play, play. Some of the best kindness is rooted in play. When we stand in a place of joy, we unlock our desire to extend it and share with all around. When was the last time you played tag, sang super loud in your car, had a pillow/tickle fight, rode in a go-kart, went ridiculously high on a swing, danced in your living room? If you can’t remember, bump this right to the top of your kindness priority list. This is particularly important with kids, play is a way directly into the hearts of children. If you want to be kind to a kid, play together. The sillier the better.

4. Make an acts of kindness list or jar. Often times, we are sitting in kindness and have absolutely no idea. Becoming aware of the kindness already happening invites even more and is habit forming. The kids in my son’s preschool class were having a particularly hard year being kind and respectful to each other when the teachers decided to keep an acts of kindness list. The kids were agents looking for kindness already happening and would report for the acts to be added to the list. The room started to fill with lists, it might have been the loveliest thing I have ever seen. Create a list on your fridge or write the acts on strips of paper and put in a jar to be read each week. You’ll be amazed by what happens.

5. Return to nature. Nothing rearranges my soul than picking a fresh berry, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, being in a field, low to the ground or in a forest of bushes melts me on multiple levels. The only thing better is when I get to be the delivery girl after and share nature’s goodness. A close second is hiking with my kids to our favorite part of the river, watching them play for hours while I piddle in the water calf deep. Fresh air, green things, the sun on your face and breeze at your back is the universe’s kindness to us. When we are connected to our senses in a deep, old way, we return to the most basic kindness. We are then inspired to care for both the earth and each other.

…to be cont.