The road to inner peace is paved with kindness. Pure, loving, sweet kindness. That’s good news because we can all travel this road since kindness is something we are all born with.
You knew that, didn’t you?
You are born with kindness.
You don’t have to learn kindness here on earth, you bring it to earth with you. It is a part of your soul, your nature, and your true self.
Kindness is who you are at your happiest and most balanced place, but you have to take care not to lose who you are in the often fast-paced comparison-frenzy world that we live in.
You have to take care not to unlearn your greatest ability – to be kind to yourself and to others.
Or worse, to eventually trade kindness for tendencies that leave you empty and unhappy such as greed, impatience, ungratefulness or self-righteousness.
It sounds so obvious not to do such a terrible thing when you see it spelled out like that, but we are human beings and it turns out that logic or sensibility are not always our chosen course of action.
So we get derailed, distracted and divide our attention. We forget the simplicity of life. We forget even how to stay happy, the simplest thing of all. Surely, it’s not unthinkable to forget our true self now and again and to lose our loving kindness.
Have you been lost or derailed from the path of kindness?
Here’s my confession so you don’t feel alone: Yes I most certainly have, way more than once!
I lose my center, I lose my grounding and sometimes, I fall down (actually both in literal and in figurative sense!).
Seriously, I forget how simple it is to be in a constant state of happiness and joy, and I have to remind myself how to return home over and over and over again.
Home. Where the heart is and where kindness resides in abundance.
At your core, you seek inner peace because that is your nature, and no matter how far removed you may get from it during your journey of life, you will always long for it because that is where your true self resides: With inner peace.
When you lose your way, find it back through small acts of kindness.
If you want to be kind, just be. If you want to show an act of kindness to a friend or a strange, just do. Don’t overthink it, analyze it, and kill the very spirit of it. Don’t plan it, anticipate it and second guess it.
Don’t reduce your acts of kindness later by making light of them.
Getting comfortable with kindness takes some practice, if you are not used to it. I grew up in an extremely kind family and warm culture. Kindness runs in my blood if I am at all related to my maternal grandmother. I am very comfortable with kindness, I just get in a hurry and forget to do more of it.
What about you? If you feel awkward about being kind, if you’ve had little practice in it in your life, and if nobody has been a role model or an example for you to follow, it is okay. You are allowed to feel weird or awkward about it, but here’s the message to remember:
FACT: Kindness is in your nature. Kindness is who you are. Kindness is what you were meant to give and receive.
So believe this to be true (because it is) and then take tiny steps to incorporate small acts of kindness into your life. This will transform you over time.
Here are 30 small acts of kindness that you can start showing someone – including yourself – tomorrow. Some take you about a second or two to do, most may not even require an exchange of words, and all of them are within your lovely capable reach:
10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for Yourself:
1. Look in the mirror in the morning and say: “I love you! Yes, you, I love you!”
2. Stop the next negative thought in your head and say the opposite out loud.
3. Tell yourself you are doing your best and you are oh so proud of yourself.
4. Do the one thing you said you’d do for yourself: Take the bath! Buy the shoes! Go to yoga! You deserve it.
5. Turn the voice of guilt into love. You’ll learn the lesson all the same.
6. Do the weight loss with compassion. You are beautiful and important, no matter how much you weigh.
7. Accept the last mistake and get on with it. You’re all the wiser for it.
8. Treat yourself and don’t apologize for it. Whatever the treat may be.
9. Remind yourself that you are magnificent and special.
10. Think only the best thoughts about yourself.
10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for a Friend or Family:
1. Listen to their story with utter interest and compassion.
2. Text and tell them you are thinking about them.
3. Offer to help them with something before they ask.
4. Give away one of your favorite books with a personal note.
5. Send them a thank-you note (or email!). Choose your own reason.
6. Encourage them to do something they want to do but are scared.
7. Drop your defenses and take any criticism with a kind smile.
8. Ask about what matters to them and show sincere interest in learning.
9. Be a pillar of support when they need help.
10. Give without expecting in return or giving reasons.
10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for a Stranger:
1. Share your smile. Make eye contact and share your smile with the next person you see.
2. Say hello with a smile to the next person you buy something from.
3. Donate a book to your local library. If you have more, give more.
4. Tell the delivery person, the postal service rep or the trash service guys that you appreciate what they do.
5. Thank the next army officer you cross paths with.
6. Compliment an over-worked checkout person next time you shop.
7. Tell the produce manager at your store that they do a great job.
8. Tip the barista or the server more than the usual amount.
9. Support and thank a street musician with some change.
10. Let the driver in a hurry to go past you with a smile.
Your turn: Care to share a small act of kindness that has made someone smile, including yourself? Tell me about it in the comments.