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We did it! 2020 is behind us and with it some valuable lessons to take forward into 2021. I believe firmly that the kindness we instill within ourselves allow us to be better to each other. So let’s take a look at some ways that we can move into this new year with “BE KIND” set as an intention by starting with ourselves.
First things first. It is very easy to fall into the “grass is always greener” mentality! And the first step to getting away from that is acknowledging what we have. If we are always looking to our neighbors with a little green monster in the background, it is very easy to get down on ourselves.
In the Virgin Islands in 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the already fragile infrastructure and ravaged the homes of thousands of people. We were without power for 76 days following the storms and it was very easy to dwell in what we had lost. So, I set an intention daily to recognize a relationship or a simple pleasure that I DID have and to say it out loud. Sometimes via social media. Imagine if we flooded the Facebook with gratitude! What a movement that would be.
The simple act of recognizing something that you already have that makes you happy will fill your cup over time.
By self-care, I do not mean start a crash diet or exercise like crazy or quit all of your nasty habits all at once! The beginnings of these intentions are in being gentle with yourself and taking baby steps towards an overall healthier life. It is truly amazing what something as simple as cleaning out a closet can do for your well-being.
Start a list for the month with one small task that you will enjoy the outcome of for each day. Begin to incorporate more whole foods that you enjoy slowly into your diet. If the sun is shining, take a walk in it and soak up some Vitamin D. Setting an intention of kindness begins with being kind to yourself first and foremost.
Caring for Others
Random acts of kindness are my absolute favorite things! They make the doer and the recipient feel amazing. Have you ever gone to pay for your coffee and realized that someone else had already picked up the tab? Received an unexpected trinket in the mail from someone you haven’t seen for a long time?
Set an intention for carrying out one small random act of kindness each week. Maybe it is something as simple as paying for the person behind you in the drive thru line. Or calling up an elderly friend who doesn’t get much social interaction. And pat yourself on the back once you have completed that task. You made someone smile today!
There are so many charities in the world that create a caring space and support for people. And the majority of them are understaffed, in dire need of volunteers with expertise and vastly underfunded. What makes you tick? Is it feeding the children? Helping rescue animals? Supporting health care infrastructure in third world countries? Assisting with relief in disaster zones? Maybe you are passionate about protecting the environment?
In the non-profit world, there is literally ALWAYS a need for support. And whether it’s your time or your money that you choose to give, that gift will help others and, in turn, help you feel good!
If you don’t already have an organization in mind and aren’t sure where to start looking, check out Global Giving. They are an amazing crowd funding organization that fund a ton of projects around the world. Search by area or by project theme. Giving makes the world go round!
Inspiration for spreading kindness is all around us. We just need to know where to look. So, if you are looking for some ways to get your intentions motivated, check out some of these amazing projects:
More Good Today– This one is near and dear to my heart. Mary is a good friend and I have watched her journey passionately since its beginings. She has traveled to every state in the country in her late mother’s Subaru, searching for random acts of kindness and is currently writing a book about her experiences.
Some Good News – If you are a fan of “The Office” this is a all good inspiring page to follow. John Krasinski (AKA Jim Halpert) created this page in the early days of the pandemic in order to flood the airways with “Some Good News” in a time when everything seemed a little bleak.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation– The mission of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is to make kindness the norm in our schools, workplaces, homes & communities. All of their resources and inspirations are free!
I hope that all of you are settling into the new year with the best of intentions for a brighter 365 days ahead. Remember, be kind to yourself first. And then scatter it everywhere 🙂