It’s oh so easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and forget what our motivation is for the decisions that we make.   Are our decisions based on what we value the most?    In this mad world, we feel compelled to know more, to do more and to be more.   With the pressures of having to keep up with the constant and rapid changes going on in the world, it’s no wonder really!  Have we all just become so caught up in the rat race that we have forgotten one simple attitude……to be kind?

With World Kindness day here, we are given the opportunity to reflect honestly, on the three aspects of kindness; the kindness we offer others, the kindness that we adopt as an attitude towards ourselves and the kindness that has  generously been given by those around us.

We begin this journey of kindness right now.

How do we bring kindness into our lives to give to others?  We can start really small…a kind word, a smile, a positive thought all have the potential to make a massive difference to someone’s life.   Think back to when you had a really bad day.  Something may have happened that completely changed your state of mind.  Maybe it was something external that you had no control over.  Perhaps you made a mistake or reacted badly to someone.  Maybe you felt sad for something that had happened to someone that you care about.  Whatever it was, reflect on what brought you out of this state of mind.   More likely than not, it involved the glorious antidote, kindness.

Today, while you are standing in line waiting for whatever it is that you are waiting for…smile at someone, ask them how there day is.  When you go home to your family or you catch up with your friend or even start talking to a stranger, give them 100% of your attention.  Really listen to what they are saying.   This acknowledgement and being able to listen is an amazing act of kindness and it’s something that we all as human beings crave.

Next time you are beating yourself up over a mistake that you have made or how you could have done things differently, remember to be kind to yourself.  We certainly have to take responsibility for our own actions and aim to ‘keep our side of the street clean’ but once we have made our amends we don’t need to hang on to our attachment to what happened.  We certainly don’t need to keep ‘feeding’ the story as this only creates more suffering to ourselves and begins to affect those around us.   I recently read that we have 66,000 thoughts a day and that 95% of these thoughts were the same as yesterdays.   These statistics provide us with a choice; we can go on repeating the same old stories in our heads or we can invite mindfulness in and start to ‘wake up’!  We can choose the thoughts we feed today.

Bearing this in mind, we must also remember how great it feels to give or do something that benefits another being.  So many of us seem to struggle when the act of giving is reversed but it is the beauty of accepting a gift from another (whatever that may be) that allows us to experience that joy too.  Giving and receiving is a cycle, two parts to a whole.  If you are like most of us and struggle with accepting from others, try focusing on the meaning of Lakshmi Gayatri mantra below.
Lakshmi Gayatri
Om Mahalakshmyai vidmahe
Mahashviya i Dhimahi
Tannah Shvih Prachodayat

Om, May we understand the great power of abundance
May we focus on that sacred power of prosperity, beauty and giving
May that radiant power inspire and motivate us

Written by Erika Newberry
Erika teaches Hatha Yoga at Kundalini House  Mondays 7:15pm

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