There’s a gif floating around social media these days that says “Sprinkle kindness like confetti.” For some reason, whenever I see that quote I picture a fairy showering kindness all over – an image that always makes me chuckle. In my next life, I want to come back as a Kindness Fairy. Who’s with me?!
Until then and during these crazy times it’s more important than ever to be kind – to ourselves and to others – to be frank though sometimes it feels like kindness is really hard. One of my yogis said to me recently “I feel like I can be kind again after yoga class.” This struck me as such an awesome and brave statement. It’s hard for many of us to even admit to being unkind on occasion, never mind proactively finding means to help us get back to being kind.
Responding with kindness takes practice and it can become a habit just like everything else we do. Like any habit though it takes mindfulness, a willingness to change, and repetition in order to get that kindness confetti to stick. I’ve been experimenting with responding with kindness and I realized that it positively impacts me as much as the people I’m sprinkling. I’m more at peace, I’m happier and I have less stress when I come from a place of kindness.
Here are some things I do to help cultivate kindness:
- Take a deep breath and then respond, rather than immediately reacting
- Practice yoga to clear my mind and manage my stress response
- Be mindful of the energy I bring into a space, positive energy is contagious
- Remember that everyone is doing the best they can and we each operate from our own level of consciousness
- Smile often, especially if the person I’m looking at is frowning (As an aside, I make a point to smile at people when I’m at the grocery store. It is amazing how differently people respond after they’ve received a smile, win for me and for them.)
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a practice that allows you to respond more kindly? How is your life different when you lead with kindness?