Category Archives: Kindness

Week 23 – Be The Observer

“What does this even mean?” you may ask. It’s a good question and I thought I knew the answer. After all I had studied about it and listened to lectures and audios on the topic for the last six months. I really thought I had this one nailed.

To me it meant we need to take a step back mentally and observe our life, interactions, reactions, circumstances, etc…as if from a bird’s eye view. The intention is to be better informed, add perspective, insight and discernment to our lives. As a result we’re able to make better decisions, improve our reactions, be kinder, more generous, more patient and more thoughtful. Sounds great, yes?

All of the things above are accurate and I was comfortable that I completely understood the concept, and then it happened…my eight year old blurted out something that struck me like a bolt of lightning as eight year olds are want to do…Out of the mouths of babes, right?

She didn’t even know that she made such a huge point. She said, when we watch something it’s better if we can also hear it. I thought, “Wow! How True! Why can’t I be the observer with all my senses?” In truth we might not be able to observe with all five  senses at the same time but why not observe with all that apply in a given situation. Why just watch what’s going on? Why not see it, touch it, taste it, smell it and hear it as the situation dictates? Won’t we better informed as a result?

If being the observer is the amazing tool I believe to be, won’t it be all the more impactful if I go all in? Of course the answer is a resounding YES! Using all our senses to observe life makes complete sense to me – thanks to an eight year old code named KYB. Mahalo!

This experience is also a great example of being the observer – taking that step back and observing your life even as you live it.. Being the observer put me in the position to become a better observer. How cool is that? And that’s the beauty of it. It all builds on itself if you let it and the sky’s the limit!

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 19 – Appearances are Deceptive

Are appearances really deceptive? Aren’t appearances in the eye of the beholder? If you think about it our perspective can be fairly limited. Isn’t that why “man” thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth? Turns out we were wrong, Huh? What else could we be wrong about?

THE CATHEDRAL 020815

Don’t we use the same limited perspective in our daily lives. We have mountains where there used to be bodies of water and rivers that change course even though we think of all these things as being solid, long-established landmarks. Throughout time cities and civilizations disappear, earthquakes, floods tornadoes, etc… change our landscape. Maybe they’re not as permanent as we assume.

What would happen if we open up our horizons and consider the hugeness, the grandeur, and state of flux of our surroundings, of our world,  our galaxy, our universe? Would we still behave the same?

When I think of the first time I recall someone asking me what I want in life I just remember saying “More!” I wasn’t sure what I wanted at all. I just knew I wanted more. Like most of us I was convinced happiness would coming from having more – more money, more free time, more possessions, more vacations, more friends, more cars, etc… I don’t know where I learned that but I don’t think I was alone.  Obviously “more” isn’t the key to happiness but even if it were, once we get the “more” we thought would make us happy, then we move the goal posts. All the while chasing even more and then more than that. How’s that working out? Hmmm…

It’s taken me a while but I’ve decided to look inside in my search for happiness. It turns out it’s been there all along and it’s full of gratitude, thankfulness, strength, kindness, imagination, love, power and harmony. An..oh yeah, everything else is temporary, deceptive, disappointing and elusive.

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, harmonious and happy

Week 16 – Kindnesses in Kind

It’s Kindness week!

Kindness

Shouldn’t every week be kindness week? That’s how a young lady working in the drive through window at Tim Horton’s responded after I told her it’s Kindness week. I laughed but she was right of course. Every week SHOULD be Kindness week so why isn’t it? Every day we’re surrounded by family, friends, co-workers and others we see on a regular basis. Is a little kindness too much to ask? Seems like we have plenty of opportunities. Even if we miss most of them we could still perform some act of kindness several times a day.

I consider myself a pretty considerate, patient and kind person but I wondered what people would say if I asked. I thought about that a while and decided not to ask. People are to kind to say no, right? Instead I decided to ramp up my observer mode and watch their reactions as I made special efforts to be helpful and kind. What a hoot! I think I actually surprised some people like store clerks and those in the drive-thru who got free food courtesy of my gift card. Others like my youngest daughters took it more in stride. They liked when daddy made their bed every day.

It all worked so well I wonder why we don’t do this all the time? I don’t recall one negative reaction. Usually people were a little surprised and always pleased that another human being took a couple seconds to be kind for no particular reason. I admit I enjoyed it too. It’s really fun and more than a little heartwarming to brightening someone else’s day.

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Is it really so difficult? No. Physically demanding? No. Emotionally dangerous? No.  It just requires us to give up our naval-gazing a bit, to change our focus from ourselves to those around us. Once we look up and notice the world around us things get pretty amazing. There are people in the other cars stuck in traffic. I wonder what would happen if I let one of them change lanes in front of me…The sunset still looks amazing from my car. And we had a great talk about that on the way home from school. In fact sneaking in a little more daddy time is a kindness for me. Who says I shouldn’t be kind to myself? In fact that’s a key part of the recipe. Be kind to yourself!

Wow, this kindness stuff is pretty good mojo. Already in this post I’ve said I laughed, What a hoot!, I enjoyed it, It’s really fun, and …things get pretty amazing. It feels good and I’m sure it’s good for my blood pressure.

Why don’t I just keep doing it after Kindness week? Shouldn’t every week be kindness week?