The Importance of Kindness

A few thoughts about giving care to the energy you send out into the world around you

I have come to consider kindness crucial to living well and happily. Much as we have come to see time as sacred and to be cherished, your energy is also limited and, therefore, sacred. Your energy and the energy of those around you has an enormous impact on your sense of well-being and your ability to do your best work. 

Calm and acceptance are just as contagious as negativity and stress. If you are calm and smiling, it will rub off to those around you. It also makes you feel better, in the process.

The emotions you emanate are a choice. They are built up over many, many small choices and small actions until they become a habit. They become your energy – and the energy you create is often the energy that you attract back to yourself.

Practice truly seeing and listening to those around you. Try to hear the meaning behind what they are saying. Try to see what their motivations, frustrations, and goals are and respond in a way that is kind and supportive toward them. If you are busy and don’t have time for a conversation, practice at least slowing down long enough to meet their eye, give a smile, or say something kind.

Being kind does not make you less strong. Being non-judgemental and kind toward others does not make you naive or a pushover. I do believe that, generally, people are essentially good and do things with the best of intentions. I try to meet others where they are at in their journey and encourage them as best I can.

If you haven’t anything nice to say… Even if you can see room for improvement, you know what? They are probably well aware of it, too. They have done the best they can at this stage and that deserves to be celebrated and supported. Learning is hard and requires bravery and many failures. It requires being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. A thoughtless comment can block many wonderful things mid-step.

Enjoy their differences and eccentricities. Certainly, if there is something you personally don’t like in their style, that’s also something that you don’t need say. We are each different with different tastes, try to see their joy in whatever it is and enjoy that. Happiness is a good thing to have around. So is people living engaged and activated lives.

You have the power to be a force for good and support in someone’s life. Use it well. Just as the energy you have is to be cared for, so is that which you put onto others. Remember that you have enormous influence on those around you. You can make or break their day.

Practicing kindness increases your energy. There are many ways you can increase your energy-levels: eating well, sleeping, reducing or eliminating destructive habits, limiting concern for things outside your area of control… and spreading kindness. Positive interactions with others give you a boost of energy, a smile, a bounce to your step.

It gives you more energy for your creative work. I have found that increasing kindness towards others and myself has not only made me happier and more accepting, it has improved the quality of my life and my work. It allows me to put my energies fully into my creative pursuits instead of draining them to gossip, judgement, envy, or criticism. Imagine how much we could all thrive if we were able to redirect our energies toward things that bring us deep joy and satisfaction. 

Finally, if you find yourself responding negatively to someone, perhaps pause for a moment and ask yourself why.

If you notice a personal behaviour or response that you don’t like, be gentle with yourself. Noticing is the first step to bringing about change. Over time, you can shift it or use affirmations to adjust your default responses. If you’re not sure why it’s happening, consider giving journaling a try

The importance of kindness applies to how you treat yourself and the things you say to yourself, too. If you need some permission and encouragement for yourself, you can sign up for my monthly letter.

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