Greet yourself each day with care and a friendly hello. A kind smile does wonders even when it comes from yourself.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Shaurya Sagar
How do you start your days?
Who are the first people you see when you wake up and head out the door? Perhaps you are a mom or dad with a baby who wakes you early for a feeding.
Maybe it’s your spouse or significant other using the facilities or hogging the early morning covers.
Perhaps it’s a neighbor you see, out for an early morning walk with their dog.
Before everyone else, consider the person looking back at you in the mirror as you wash your face and shine those pearly whites. What type of greeting do you offer yourself as your day begins?
How would an extra moment of kindness and a friendly smile from and toward yourself be a wonderful way to begin your day?
“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
Image from Unsplash by Ditto Bowl
How have you been trying to stay warm this winter? Cranking up the thermostat, breaking out the thermal underwear, and adding another log on the fire are common ways to keep the goose bumps at bay.
But external strategies don’t keep us warm on the inside. Winter can be a lonely time for many and seasonal affective disorders from the reduced sunlight seems to be more prominent than ever.
Words and acts of kindness always warm our hearts. How are you keeping the kindness fires burning beyond the recent holiday season? With the appropriate people, perhaps a bit of cuddling under a cozy blanket can keep things toasty as well.
“When you see somebody taking a photo of their friends, offer to take the shot for them so that they can be in the picture.”
—David Perell, writer, podcaster, and writing instructor
Image from Unsplash by Cristina Zaragoza
With the availability of better and better smart phones, I have been seeing far fewer actual cameras.
The days of family portraits seem like a thing of the past. Except for weddings and other significant celebrations, our cell phones do a pretty good job.
To be included in photos with our friends many folks lean on a selfie strategy. Even with very long arms and those awkward selfie sticks, the results can often fall short.
How would offering to take a photo for others or asking for some assistance yourself create even better memories with family and friends over the holidays and in the coming year?
Try a little tenderness. Direct kindness to yourself and others throughout the day. We all need it!
Image from Unsplash by Mei-Ling Mirow
When I hear the word tenderness my initial thoughts go to meat. I remember as a child my mom shaking a canister of Adolph’s meat tenderizer over various cuts of meat, especially those that required a bit more molar action.
These days I think about babies and young children and how we adults act around them and their innocent natures. Noticing our efforts at baby talk and delicate handling, these precious little ones get the lion share of our tenderness and kind attention.
Where and with whom could you offer a little more tenderness? How can you be even kinder and more generous with your softer side?
Every little bit helps.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Lina Trochez
What small deed will you perform today to improve someone’s life?
Performing small acts of kindness and generosity is our birthright. Small gestures — even if they go unnoticed — move mountains as they contribute to the people and communities we care about.
Going small and going big are both ways of going.
What small deed can and will you perform today to improve someone’s life?
What would making this a daily habit bring to you and your world?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
—Aesop — Ancient Greek storyteller
Image from Unsplash by Mei-Ling Mirow
The grand gesture, the multi million-dollar donation, and the heroic act always get a lot of attention. The idea of going big or going home seems to be woven into our society. If something isn’t big enough and loud enough it almost always goes unnoticed.
Over the past year, many of us have given more attention to our inner work, and listening closely to the often-quiet whispers of our faith and values. These lower decibel messages are beginning to loom much larger in our days due to their resonant truths and influences on living a more meaningful life.
We are all capable of kindnesses of all sizes. What would happen if we didn’t wait or hesitate, thinking our intended efforts were not big enough?
Where would putting in your two cents of kindness today make the biggest difference? Imagine the compounding impact if everyone made these small generous deposits daily.
“It is hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”
—Sally Kempton, master of meditation and yoga philosophy
Image from Unsplash by Ioana Casapu
This morning started off with a loving kindness meditation. I was instructed to direct positive, affirming words toward myself, those close to me, and others in my extended communities.
From time to time, we all can be hard on ourselves when that old, familiar inner critic attacks. For some reason, it seems easier to defend and fight the external enemies we can see in our personal and professional worlds.
How can and will you exercise your own loving kindness muscle and direct its positive energy inward to live a happier and more fulfilling life?
“Before you speak, ask if what you’re about to say is kind, necessary, true, and better than silence.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self Meditation
Image from DLKT Kids
Filters can be very helpful things.
Consider water filters over the centuries. They have improved the sanitation of our towns and cities. They have helped us all live longer, healthier lives by removing all types of bacteria and other substances.
These days, our airways are filled with toxins through various forms of communications and include our daily conversations. It’s actually a form of communication pollution, which can also make us sick.
What would be the benefit in your personal or professional worlds if, beyond silence, we all filtered out all the unkind and unnecessary statements before they left our lips?
What would be possible if all people took this coaching?
“As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.”
—Caroline Kennedy, American author, attorney, and diplomat
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Feeney
In ancient times, and even into the 1800s, the tallest buildings almost anywhere in the world were usually churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other spiritual centers.
In his book, The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell explains that making these buildings the tallest pointed to the society’s priorities and core values, which included fundamental human decency and kindness.
Today, the tallest buildings across the world are almost always business buildings, demonstrating the economic priorities of wealth and material achievement.
What does leading a prosperous life mean to you? How would infusing even more kindness and decency benefit you and your personal and professional communities?