Last year I participated in Niki Meadow’s Kindness Challenge offered on her website The Richness of a Simple Life. It was an easy to manage once-a-week post in response to a weekly prompt from Niki.
I gained valuable insight into how acts of kindness initiate subtle changes in those people at the giving AND receiving ends.
Like any project we undertake, it requires a commitment of time and creative energy. Whether it’s a home improvement task or starting a new exercise regimen, it means sacrificing time away from something else in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Now that I’ve grown older I value my time more than ever and avoid doing things that don’t enrich my life both spiritually and intellectually. I’ve come to realize that we often do things out of habit or allow other people to dictate how we spend our time.
In an effort to be more mindful, I pay attention to what my needs and wants are. I’ve learned that they’re not static; that they change from moment to moment and it’s important to consider this when making choices.
I also learned that nurturing the self is equally as important as nurturing those we love. Kindness, like charity, begins at home and returns greater benefits for everyone.
I found the Kindness Challenge to be both spiritually and intellectually inspiring. It made me think about:
- the many ways to define kindness
- the many ways to show kindness
- how an act of kindness makes me feel
- how an act of kindness can change a given situation
However, like everything else in life, if we don’t use it we lose it! Our “kindness muscle” needs regular exercise to stay strong and perform reliably.
The challenge of being mindful and living intentionally is the conscious aspect or always being aware. This can be tough in the fast-paced world we live in today.
With so many distractions it’s easy to lose sight of our priorities. Or we shuffle them around to accommodate too many insignificant activities that don’t truly enhance our lives.
Our external selves rush through the day trying to get everything done, often at the expense of our internal wellness. Meditation and yoga help us slow down and hone our willpower skills, including:
- Stress management
- Impulse control
The Kindness Challenge is another way to live intentionally. By contemplating and writing about ourselves and how we view/express kindness, we learn and grow.
Through acts of conscious benevolence, we can effect positive changes in our relationships with others.
If you’d like to Raise the Tide then sign up for the Kindness Challenge today. The first prompt comes out May 7th!