Add a sprinkling of kindness to your day

img_0624Virtue.

The generosity of our words.

The  motivation behind our actions.

The reliability of our standards.

The integrity of our character.

The quality of our work.

These affirmations of personality are born, cultivated and accomplished with kindness.

Through kindness. With kindness. Experiencing kindness.

Where in your life can you add a little more kindness?

At home?

At work?

Your actions?

Your perceptions?

Your encounters with others?

Your thoughts about yourself?

We can all benefit from a little more kindness in our everyday lives.

Where will you start? Let me know below.

💋 xoxo

 

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The Kindness Challenge Concludes

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Who knew that setting your intention every morning to look for the kindness in each day would have such an impact?

So, seven weeks ago I started The Kindness Challenge  created by Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life. 

Each week we were given a prompt (self kindness, find kindness, kind energy, be kind, ending the day with kindness, inspired by kindness and secret kindness) that you could choose to blog about, however you wished.

Any challenge I participate in excites me as it gives me an excuse to really stretch my creativity bone. I particularly enjoyed adding inspirational quotes to my photographs and creating mantras to use each morning to set my intention for the coming day.

I was surprised at how much this really worked – it was like priming your brain to really notice the kindness that was gong on all around you.

And believe me it was going on!

As well as witnessing kind acts, I created a few of my own (anonymously and intentionally) as I bought gifts, gave extra attention and ‘good gossiped’ about people to others.

I also rekindled my love of art journaling and this really helped me to focus on how I was going to integrate kindness into my everyday.

And finally I made a real effort at ending my day with gratitude – listing three things I was grateful for that day.

These little additions to my day were not difficult, costly nor time consuming. They were merely little ways to intentionally be kinder – to others and myself.

I would like to thank Niki for starting this revolution – and I do see it as a revolution, because let’s face it we all have days where we feel there needs to be a shift in society’s thinking.

So as this challenge ends, I’d like to ask a question:

Can you make time for kindness?

I’m sure we can all think of ways we can increase the amount of kindness going on in our busy lives.

I’m sure we can all find a moment to pause and speak to someone who needs to hear kind words.

I’m sure we can all find one way to be kinder to ourselves.

As for week seven’s challenge – secret kindness, I can’t write about it…it’s a secret!

But I’ll leave you with a reminder of my favourite quotes from this challenge and I hope you feel inspired.

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Do you practise gratitude?

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Week 5 of The Kindness Challenge is all about being grateful.

It’s so easy to wish, want and wonder about a different life. But it’s a fine line between being envious; wishing you had someone else’s life and aspiring to better your own life through hard work and learning.

You can have ambitions whilst accepting and finding enjoyment in where you are right now.

Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful.

After the death of my younger brother, I found it difficult to be thankful or find pleasure in anything. I spent a large portion of my time asking “Why me?” I felt that life was unfair, and was consumed with wishing things were different. I was in a very negative spin.

Understandably.

Every situation – even difficult ones have opportunity for learning, even if we cannot see it at the time. It’s the proverbial every cloud has a silver lining – difficult as that may be to acknowledge.

I survived the difficult times and am now stronger.

I am able to relate to people who are going through tough times because I have been there and have empathy and understanding.

I am clearer on what’s important in my life and therefore live more authenticly.

That is because I am grateful.

I understand that all it takes is a telephone call to change your life. All we have for certain is this moment. When you understand this – you become grateful for the little things.

I post weekly about the little things that make me smile – they’re small moments in the mundane that make me smile and I acknowledge them with a photograph.

That’s the important bit – don’t let the magical moments pass you by.

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Make a note of them, journal or photograph or simply list them in your diary at the end of every day.

The more you notice, the more little miracles you will find.

Don’t know where to start? Before you go to sleep think of three things that went well today or before you jump out of bed in the morning, spend a couple of minutes jotting down who or what you were thankful for yesterday.

Interested in finding out more about The Kindness Challenge? Hop on over to The Richness of a Simple Life – you can join at any time.

 

Kindness is always fashionable

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Week 4 of the kindness challenge was all about being kind.

The prompt this week was about incorporating kind actions into your everyday so that they become habits that develop into a lifestyle. Small things that we can do to enhance someone’s experience – hold open a door; say please and thankyou; helping neighbours; making eye contact and just spending time with people.

Niki’s Tip: Kindness doesn’t need to be reserved for special occasions, tallied or capped. You can’t spread too much kindness! The more you practice, the more it becomes apart of your lifestyle and the less you need to think about being kind- you just are.

This week I was out and about a lot. So I decided I was going to compliment, say thanks and wish people a great day wherever I went.

And so I did.

Every blog, coffee shop, restaurant and people I came into contact with this week got an extra cheery compliment and a ‘Thankyou, have a great day’.

It’s funny how quickly it became second nature. I couldn’t leave anywhere (including blog posts) without saying something kind. And why shouldn’t you let people know if they’ve touched, inspired, changed or bettered your day in some way? We often think compliments but don’t always share them out loud.

You won’t believe how many smiles I put on people’s faces. People love it when they receive a genuine compliment, especially when you share it with someone else also.

What small actions can you incorporate into your everyday that will improve someone else’s day?

Spread the word people, let’s start a revolution – a kindness revolution.

 

Kindness Week 3: Kind Energy

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Picking at least one of the Week 3 exercises, seemed slightly more of a challenge this week as I worked hard to keep my energy kind and positive, although tired and exhausted.

This tip from Niki was really helpful: It will take practice, don’t be hard on yourself. When you find yourself correcting your thoughts and actions, do so gently. Acknowledge the room for growth and make a note to do better the next time you are presented with an opportunity to act or react with kindness.

💛Think kind thoughts so that kind actions will follow
💛Accept and release thoughts that aren’t kind and replace them with kind thoughts
💛Use everyday opportunities to practice acting out of kindness
💛React with kindness especially when it’s hard to
💛Be more kind to those you live with
💛Be more kind to those you work with
💛Be more kind to those around you
💛Be kind in thoughts, actions, and words
💛Remember kindness comes in many forms: courteousness, generosity, thoughtfulness,      sympathy, empathy.

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After practicing some of the exercises, I noticed that sometimes I have a tendency to judge people; when they’re not doing their job; finishing what they say they will or simply being late or unprepared for a meeting.

Rather than feeling irritated or impatient, I decided I would think compassionate and kind thoughts.

Maybe they have a lot going on in their life right now?

Maybe they’re coping with something I’m unaware of?

Maybe they’re just having a bad day?

I found myself feeling more compassionate, having empathy, not sighing in annoyance and generally trying to think the best of people.

I also ‘good’ gossiped on 2 occasions when I felt someone had gone out of their way to do something kind for someone else.

Many people whisper behind closed doors, but how many whisper in a way that secretly elevates someone else?

How is your energy? Could it do with a little kindness injection?

Always remember, kindness starts with yourself.

Need some inspiration on how to be a little kindness to yourself? Check out this post on how we speak to ourselves or this one if you need a little boost.