be kind, be kind, be kind

I’m reading this book “Discovering Your Spiritual Resources” by Eknath Easwaran. It’s fantastic. My goal is to finish it by this week, if not next week. Anyways, there’s this one line that really caught my attention.

“‘Be kind, be kind, be kind.’ That is the prescription for holiness issued by a wise medieval mystic. Half its wisdom lies in its insistence on being kind over and over; for to make kindness the mind’s natural response even in the unconscious requires years of practice.”

The part that got me was how being kind is the prescription for holiness. Being kind definitely makes you a better person (in my opinion) than someone who is mean. And I can’t think of any spiritual leader, person, messenger, prophet, what have you as being not kind. I think it’s safe to say that kindness is a good quality, a desirable quality, a spiritual quality. Interesting. I wonder how many acts of kindness I am really demonstrating on a day to day basis.

But more importantly, I began to think back to a conversation I had several weeks ago, where I was reminded of a statement I heard back in September, “You have to be kind to yourself first.” You have to be kind to yourself first. Really thinking about that, I realize I am not kind to myself at all. And if the old saying goes “do unto others as you would do yourself”, then sure as heck I am not being kind to others. “Be the change you wish to see” says Gandhi. Well, I guess I need to start being kind to myself.

I stress out all the time. I don’t always eat as healthy as I should. I overwork myself. I worry a lot. And the worst thing of them all, I blame myself for my failures, despite my hard effort and persistence. I am not kind to myself.

I have a lot of work to do. And it starts with focusing on the positive attributes…the good things I have going on for myself. I need to stop dwelling on the things that didn’t work out the way I expected them to, and start focusing on all the good things I’ve accomplished (which includes the hard work I put into situations that I wouldn’t necessarily categorize as a “success”). I need to be kind to myself.

Growing up, I struggled with self-esteem issues and self-confidence a lot of times. I think that is one of the best ways to be kind to yourself is having confidence in yourself that you can conquer anything that comes your way.

Take a look at this Ted Talk from Ryerson University on self-confidence. It’s only like 13 minutes, so it won’t take up any of your time!

How are you going to be kind to yourself? I think I’m going to start documenting these moments on my goals board (remember?). And as I document personal kind moments, I’m going to track my acts of kindness to others. There has to be some positive correlation. Try for yourself and see what happens. 

 

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