I’m at the cottage, sitting outside, as I write this week’s blog. The air is still, the sun is shining, birds are chirping and I can hear the neighbour chopping wood in the distance.
Yesterday was Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend. My father-in-law and I spent most of the day kayaking on the lake enjoying calm, peaceful moments while the rest of the family was getting Thanksgiving dinner ready.
The week leading up to Thanksgiving weekend was emotionally taxing on most of us. The news about Edmonton, terror in Vegas, our Florida friends trying to recover from hurricane Irma and a constant reminder that more and more refugees are fighting for their lives as they make attempts to flee from their homeland to find a better life.
The combination of all of these news headlines really does make you have to ask yourself, “What is this world coming to?”
It can be quite depressing. At what point to we decide to keep listening to stay informed or stop listening to preserve our own mental health?
I think now, more than ever, it’s important to realize our own responsibility in all of this. I would suggest that the most important thing we can do is practice “Random Acts of Kindness”.
But maybe it’s not that simple. We might need to do some ground work first.
Let’s start by thinking about of all the times we get irritated by other people! The person who cuts us off on our way to work, the kid who won’t stop screaming in the grocery store, the employee at the drive thru who that forgets the cream in our coffee. It takes hard work to stay positive. Many of us fall into a pattern of feeling irritated and annoyed as we navigate through our day.
What about the days we walk around feeling miserable? We dream about the life we want, we say, “I’ll be happy when . . .” then we go on talking about all of the things that would make us feel happy if only we could afford them. Talk about a self-deprecating attitude! Why are we getting up every morning only to feel defeated by the expectations we put on ourselves? It is imperative that we start by being kind to ourselves.
I believe that making changes in life is healthy. Rolling up your sleeves to do the work can be the most exciting part. The best place to start is always with YOU! Are you practicing gratitude? Are you writing down all of the things in your life that you are grateful to have? The things you’ve worked for? The people you surround yourself with?
Here is a tough one. Have you asked your ego to take a back seat? Do you take things that people say personally or do you listen and take note of what you think is important? Have you decided to work at being positive, understanding that it is also work? Have you made the commitment to stick with it instead of getting sucked into negativity?
All of these little shifts in attitude are not easy. We are human after all. We naturally learn from our mistakes that is, which can be one of the greatest gifts of all.
What I’m saying is, I think when we have the right amount of self-awareness, coupled with a warm heart and compassion for our fellow man, we have the power to make small changes in the world.
Every time we allow someone in front of us on the highway, take a sick friend a bowl of soup, send someone a personal note letting them know that they are important or buy a coffee for a stranger, we are spreading kindness.
When we spread kindness it means we believe in mankind, we reinforce that we are all in this together, we restore faith in those who may have lost it along the way, we show our fellow man that there is always a different way of seeing the world, a different way to live and that joyfulness is available to all of us.
I challenge you to practice one act of kindness every single day.
You are powerful. Just your smile can influence someone else in a positive way.
Last week I was very grateful to my friend Rosemary who posted this incredible interview with Lady Gaga. Take a listen HERE.
Rosemary said it best when she wrote “The focus of “relentlessly kind” is very appealing and might just be what humanity needs . . .”