Kindness Multiplied

January 27, 2010

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. ~Amelia Earhart

When my father died in 1967, his company newsletter said that he would be remembered for his kindness and his sense of humor. I would be very proud to be remembered for such important qualities. I love this quote from Amelia Earhart, because it reminds us how interdependent we really are, how a simple kindness reverberates, ripples outward, and often comes back to us.

What was the last kindness you received? Did you pay it forward?


Goals Are Not Intentions

November 21, 2009

In choosing to live with right intention…you are connecting to your own sense of kindness and innate dignity. Standing on this ground of intention, you are then able to participate as you choose in life’s contests, until you outgrow them. ~Phillip Moffitt

Today, this Yoga Journal article, “The Heart’s Intention”, was exactly what I needed. Moffitt draws the distinction between goals, which are oriented toward a future outcome, and intention, which is “a path or practice that is focused on how you are ‘being’ in the present moment.”

Moffitt says “You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.” Intention, unlike goals, results in integrity, unity, self-respect and peace of mind.

We clearly need goals to help us be effective and move forward in our endeavors. But Moffitt reminds us that goals are inadequate for measuring our success in life. Staying attuned to our heart’s intention (not that of the rational mind) is what Moffitt calls coming home to ourselves.

Of course, we can never do this perfectly. But Moffitt assures us that “each time you start over by reconnecting to your intention, you are taking one more step toward finding your own authenticity and freedom.”

And so the theme is practice, not perfection, again.


Love and Kindness

April 12, 2009

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~Aesop

The important thing is not to think much, but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love. ~St. Teresa of Avila

Today we visit my mother-in-law in the nursing home. She will know who we are, but she won’t remember we’ve been there. Still, she loves the hot tea Sam brings her and enjoys the attention while we’re there. So it is important to go.

Today, I want to focus on the kindness, the connection, the beauty of this sunny Easter day, and not the aging and end-of-life ruminations that usually take me over when we visit. I want to be mindful of each moment for what it is, and leave the thinking out of the experience. This is difficult for someone who has spent her entire life relying on “figuring things out” with her brain in order to survive and thrive.

I am grateful for growing into more love, less thought. I am grateful for another day in which to practice mindfulness, kindness, love. Namaste.


Kindness

October 19, 2008

Is there a greater miracle than to see through another’s eyes, even for an instant? ~Thoreau

Read the wonderful poem, “Kindness,” by Naomi Shihab Nye.

Compassion and kindness, I believe, spring from a greater understanding of others. I am struggling this week to feel compassionate and kind toward those whose values, so different from my own, are leading them into actions that seem to me to be producing bad karma. I want to suspend that judgment and open to understanding. I want to create spaciousness in my heart, to breathe in their suffering and breathe out peace and light.

I am blessed beyond measure. I cannot help but smile and give thanks. May I remember that all beings want to be happy and free from suffering. May I learn and practice the “tender gravity of kindness.”


Shared Prosperity

October 15, 2008

As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions. Our riches will leave us sick; there will be bitterness in our laughter; and our wine will burn our mouth. Only that good profits, which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

In one of the richest countries in the world, it is shameful that so many Americans live in poverty. The Census Bureau reported 37.3 million (7.6 million families) below the poverty level in 2007, and 45.7 million without health insurance, including 8.1 million uninsured children. What can we do? The Economic Policy Institute has A Plan to Revive the American Economy.

The Plan points to a generation of mistaken economic policies, resulting in these statistics: “Since 1973, income for the top one-tenth of 1% of families has grown by 350%. The top 1% of families now takes 23% of the nation’s income, the highest share since just before the Great Depression. Today, top corporate executives earn 275 times as much as the average worker, compared with only 27 times in 1973.”

Take a look at the Plan, the overview of EPI’s Agenda for Shared Prosperity, and/or this video introduction:

Then think about what you can do.