How to Cultivate Kindness
by John Stamoulos - Master Breathwork Trainer
These days, the global scale of need is overwhelming. A Reuters article reports that an unprecedented 60 million+ refugees and displaced persons exist in the world today. The media often features stories of ordinary people extending a helping hand to refugees.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia For example, we have been shown footage of the many heartfelt humanitarian rescues of Syrian refugees that have taken place on the Greek island of Lesbos. We have been treated to the sight of young Syrian children taken from the boats, wrapped in warm blankets and hugged and held close by complete strangers. We have seen border guards offer water to those who seek asylum in their country.
And, in a most perfect moment of love and regard for others, it has recently been reported that Syrian refugees themselves in both Europe and America are now showing their gratitude for the kindness they have received by feeding the homeless in their adoptive cities.
These kinds of moments can also inspire us to bring the concept of kindness closer to home – to our immediate world, to our life, and most vitally, to our self.
When we hear about selfless acts of giving and support at this time of the year, we are often moved to bhakti tears of deep compassion and joy that awaken in us our own capacity for unconditional love.
- Someone in a grocery line pays for the purchases of someone ahead of them;
- Someone buys a homeless person a warm meal or provides a coat;
- Someone helps fulfill the wishes of a terminally ill child;
- Someone fixes another’s car for free or leaves a huge tip for a server at a restaurant;
- Veterans, and single mothers in dire straights are given new homes;
- Someone offers a safe haven for a refugee family.
Cultivate Kindness in Your Life
The way you think is the way you behave. It follows then, if you make a habit of being kind to yourself that your behavior towards others becomes kind.
Here are a few ways to begin the process of bringing more love into your life:
- Learn the language of kindness. Be aware of small chances to open your heart to others (something as simple as a smile counts!).
- Let go of the past. Forgive yourself and quiet self-blame and guilt. You are perfect exactly as you are and have been.
- Soften your judgment, anger and criticism of self and others.
- Acknowledge the Divine in yourself and others.
- Listen deeply and respect yours and others’ feelings and perspective.
- Stalk your inner self-talk and thoughts. Root out your own unkindness towards yourself. Set yourself free from emotional terrorism.
Breathe in Divinity…Breathe out Kindness and Love
- Let your breath be the source of release for the judgments and lack of awareness. Breathwork blasts through the barriers that cloud your ability to soften into love.
- Let your breath guide you to the state of pure love that you truly are.
- Let your breath remind you that it is always safe to be kind and that seeing life with a kind eye changes your experience.
When we choicefully engage in acts of kindness and make them part of our spiritual practice, it can lift the heaviest burden and has the potential to create a powerful and more hopeful perspective in both the giver and the receiver.
What 3 things can you do today to love yourself? Others?
Write them down and commit to doing them.
Being kind is a godly act that raises our vibration to the power of love. Kindness can neutralize fear and suspicion and can interrupt the pervasive cycle of pain, struggle and suffering that we see every day in the world.
Breathe in – Discover Love and Compassion Within You;
Breathe Out – Bathe the World in Love
Words matter. As much as we may tell children that it’s only sticks or stones that have power, the truth is that words are brimming with it. It’s why we love listening to stories so much. It’s the reason that companies pay millions to advertisers to craft the perfect copy. It’s why the word squelch makes us shudder but the sound of ‘I love you’ makes us tingle. Yes, words matter. (...)