One of my favourite quotations is from The Dalai Lama.
"My religion is simple, my religion is kindness"
A beautiful and profound phrase that has the ability to soothe the soul and allows us to pause and reflect in our lives and in our businesses.
This past week was a challenging one. Both in my business and in my personal life. With so many demands from others, commitments, and hopeful expectations dashed, I was searching for a port in the storm. Just a few kind words, a genuine smile, something that would help to bring me a small semblance of peace.
When it didn't come I recognized that I needed to change my thought patterns.
My expectations of both others and of myself had to be altered.
I decided that I would start with myself. For most of my adult life, each day I would wake up with the resolve to be kind to everyone around me. The problem was, I forgot to start with kindness to a very important person, myself.
So last week I decided to listen to what my inner guide said I needed, say what I needed to say to others and allow myself the opportunity to just be me. I allowed myself to,
To be kind to myself.
So what happened? Well the people that were not nice to me, were still not nice. Funny how that works! I didn't take it personally and kept moving forward.
I allowed the thought of disappointment to enter my mind but then I allowed it to leave quickly, without judgment. The same strategy I have taught thousands of people to do through meditation.
After a few very challenging days when I felt the world was caving in, someone was just kind to me. It was that simple. It happened randomly, without judgment or expectation. They asked if there was anything they could do for me.
The kindness offered alone was enough.
It was enough to keep me positive. It was enough to keep me hopeful. It was enough to recognize that for every encounter or experience that might dampen your spirit, there is a random act of kindness that will come your way to soothe your soul.
I'm sure they never even realized the impact that it had on me. Their kindness, was just part of who they were, and what they were made of.
At Holiday time we participate in a forced sense of kindness, a sort of expected kindness to all around us. Sometimes forcing us to think about being kind is almost like practicing it. It becomes a habit. So why can't we practice all the time?
When we encourage the practice in our children it manifests in spreading that joy even further.
My son plays hockey, and the other night played an incredible game. When asked if he should receive the award for the games best player he declined and asked it be given to someone else who he believed was equally deserving.
A child's kindness without expected reward is one we can all learn from.
When the strategy of kindness comes naturally, it is powerful. The feeling of making someone else happy, being nice, acting with good intentions manifests in everything we do and everything we touch. It brings us joy in our personal life and success in our business ventures.
What if we practice kindness intentionally, on a daily basis, without any expectations?
Can we change our lives? Our businesses? The world?
This past Sunday I taught a Yoga Nidra class at a space I own called The Clarity Centre. I wanted to share this beautiful practice with others who may have felt that they needed some kindness in their lives.
Yoga Nidra is like and hour of feeling like you are being hugged.
An hour dedicated to being kind to yourself. I didn't expect more then two people. The class ended up being full. It seems that everyone is searching for a moment of kindess. So...
Is Kindness The New Black?
We are often moving at a pace that doesn't allow up to stop and think about our actions, or words, or decisions.
The beauty of practicing kindness is that it gives us an opportunity to pause and not only allow us to wash joy and goodwill on others, but allows us to acknowledge our ability to change our circumstance at will.
Today, Remember: Do What You Learn:
Are you interested in exploring Buddhism or Yoga Nidra?
Check out the Clarity Centre's Event Page