"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness." ~Seneca
Part One - Kindness to Others
Remember that saying from the days of VHS tapes, Be Kind, Rewind? I often find myself needing to "rewind and be kind." For many of us, it can become habit to fall back on anger or fear when faced with a challenging or uncomfortable situation. My mission today is to take a step back and turn to kindness instead. Being kind to others - from loved ones to strangers - cultivates happiness for everyone.
A tool that has helped me practice kindness over the years is the Buddhist loving kindness meditation. It can be done anywhere, anytime and is an easy way to rewind and reset your attitude. I follow these simple directions from Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali:
Still your mind and focus on your breath. Begin with focusing your thoughts on self-love. Think of a recent act of kindness, or imagine your inner Buddha nature. Next send loving kindness to someone you love, such as a child, family member or friend. Then, send loving kindness to a neutral person, someone you have neither positive or negative feelings (like the clerk at the grocery). Follow this by sending loving kindness to someone you find difficult to get along with. Finally, send loving kindness to all beings in the world.