Kindness is an Inside Job

It is no secret that since we were young our parents or caretakers taught us to be kind to others. In kindergarten we were taught sharing is caring, right? We know that being kind and thoughtful towards our friends, family and even strangers is what makes us good human beings. But what happens when we feel slightly dried up inside? Do you ever feel like your tank is running on empty and you just have no more to give anymore? If so, you just might want to keep reading.

I am a giver and anyone that knows me well understands this. Just the other day I was at Trader Joe’s grocery store packing my bags and the clerk, Jen asked me where I got my guitar string bracelets. As she pointed to the stack of thin metal strings on my arm I slid a few off and said, “here, have them, please”. Jen immediately refused to take as if she was embarrassed for even mentioning it but I insisted she take them. With her blue eyes and sweet smile she bashfully whispered, “thank you, this means so much to me”. Like I said, I am a giver, it is part of what makes me who I am and I feel good when I give back. As of late I have felt the way you do when you get to the bottom of your favorite box of cereal only to find a few crumbs left. I have felt this way before but never to this degree so I began to search within myself for answers and this is what I have come to….

It is easy for me to look outside myself for love, appreciation and even kindness but in the end this is what drains me and I am left feeling exhausted. With this feeling overwhelming my heart to the point it could no longer take the weight, I went on a walk and  what came to me was looking outside of myself for anything is only going to cause pain. Filling myself up each and every day with kindness and love is where it begins. So, with that said, I would like to share with you a few ways in which we can all fill up our kindness tank and let it flow forth into our every day life.

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Recognizing your Beauty

Every morning when we wake up and look in the mirror we see ourselves looking back at us. What we see in the mirror is the shell which protects the true beauty that rests within our being. As you look at yourself, point out something that is beautiful to you. I am not talking about what society and culture say is beautiful, what do you feel is beautiful about you? It could be everything or it could be the way your hair falls to the side of your cheek. It could be the depth of green your eyes are revealing. Perhaps you like your nose, if so, point it out to yourself. It is easy for us to recognize what we don’t like but practice seeing the good. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. This is not vain; this is self-love in the purest form. Honoring our body is part of filling up our inner “tank”  we begin the day with fullness.  When we recognize the beauty within ourselves we naturally see it in others. Beauty is an inside job.

Five minutes of Freedom 

Giving yourself time throughout the day to just be alone is possibly the most difficult and rewarding if you have children or elderly parents you care for. If you work in an office with a nice boss you will find he or she will gladly let you take five minutes to go sit in the sun to let the warmth wash over you and just be with You. I step away from the computer for five minutes at least four times a day to go and sit with my face to the sky, sun or no sun. Just taking a moment to let my eyes rest and my heart sing I am practicing kindness to my self. I am not a machine and even with constant deadlines on my calendar I know for me, time-outs are what make me feel a sense of fullness. I am able to be more productive during my day when I feel fulfilled. Freedom is an inside job.

A Good Walk 

Just like a five-minute break from the desk, a walk can also do wonders for our “tank”. The senses are amazing when we bring awareness to them, don’t you agree? When I walk my dogs I am also taking myself for a walk. I watch Coolwhip look up at the sky and follow a bird with his incredible big black eyes. I find myself watching the bird with him and instantly I am out of my analytical mind. Popcorn sifs every bush in sight and I also lean towards a beautiful flower and smell it. After a while I don’t even find myself in my mind, I am in a natural state of just being. Nature has a wonderful way of allowing us all to slow down and notice what beauty it holds. After a walk I am left feeling replenished, how about you? There was a time when I would go on a walk and all I could think of was my anxiety and thankfully, it has passed. Today, just focusing my awareness on something beautiful in nature allows me to witness the beauty within myself. Cities also have a lot of beauty, just walk down Bond Street {or any street for that matter} and watch all the people getting their photo taken by a stranger, they are living and loving the moment. Notice the pigeon snacking on a cracker a passerby has thrown it. This is love. See the love. Feel the love.

As we all begin to make the effort to take time for ourselves to contemplate the beauty in life we can be assured we will be more fulfilled. We all know the feeling that rushes over us when someone does something so profoundly kind to us that we are almost speechless? I love to do this for people and I also love to do it for myself.

Remember, kindness is an inside job.

 

I wish that we all see the beauty within us today,

Jocelyn x

As always, I hope this post speaks to you and if you know of someone it may help please do share it.

 

 

Photo by Cass Bird