I have been learning a lot about kindness recently. I like to think I am kind. However, what I am beginning to realise is that I am kind usually when its easy or convenient. I find it easy to be kind to Nature as this is my strongest Value. I am mostly kind to those I know and love. Although I do think there are times when I am not as kind to those closest to me as I should be. Also, I feel like I can show kindness to individuals easier than to groups of people.
At present I’m in the middle of huge project, a steep learning curve. This is a chance to reinvent myself and truly change my career direction. If I get this right, a dream from my dream tin will come true. The personal stakes are high. Kindness towards myself has been essential. But it turns out this is where I really fall apart in the kindness department.
My inner voice has been so critical, so judgemental. I wouldn’t talk to anyone like I’ve been talking to myself.
So I have had to stop and take a pause. Then get really introspective. I needed something visual to help me put kindness in some sort of perspective. This is what I came up with:
It seems to me that kindness to myself establishes a strong core. If this kindness is sincere then kindness outward to kin, community, humanity and nature will be more authentic. Well, it is worth a try… but it certainly is a journey.
Getting prepared for Advent has been an appropriate time to spend on this sort of reflection. And funnily enough coincides with the arrival of #DoGoodDecember and a Kindness Calendar for the month of December from Action for Happiness.
I know I have mentioned this before, but I really have found the resources from Action for Happiness invaluable this year!
So we wind down this strange year and I set time aside from my project to focus on my Christmas rituals and traditions. One of my rituals is reflecting on the year just been and dreaming of the one to come.
I want to encourage anyone reading this of just how fallible we are when it comes to it. Fallible, and that is okay. Kindness, just like any other growth path, is something we have to choose anew every day. Thankfully, it is a grace-full universe.
The words of John O’Donohue continue to be a great comfort to me. This blessing in particular.
Whatever your beliefs or circumstances, I wish you space to reflect with gratitude and dream with hope. Happy Advent 🕯