What I Mean by Personal Kindness

Kindness, like most things, is better when it’s personal.

You can and should be kind to strangers but you need to be kind to the people in your life you have a personal relationship with like your friends and family. Since I started focusing on personal kindnesses I’ve been noticing just how kind my friends and family really are. When trying to remember something I’ve done during the week to be kind to someone else, I see so easily how a friend’s kindness effected me during the week. I have some amazing friends who never stop showing me kindness. Hopefully I am just as kind back to them. Supporting them when they’re having a bad day or making a good day great.

I tend not to use the phrase random acts of kindness. It’s because I think these things shouldn’t just be random; kindness should be constant and consistent. There’s nothing wrong with being reliably kind. That’s what I’m thinking about and aiming for, nothing wrong with random acts of kindness, any kindness is good but that’s not my focus.

Personal also means what’s best for me. Buying the person behind me coffee might not bring me much joy but asking about someone’s weekend does. Personalize it to what works best for you and fits your personality. Find the ways that being kind light you up.

How do you personalize kindness?

Weekly Check-In

It’s too hot here in Southern California. That paired with the blood donation I gave – double red blood cells – which was new for me, this week has been about taking it easy and drinking lots of water.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line
  • 2 hours Double Red Blood Cell donation

Charitable Giving

  • $1 to Cancer Research. Again I was buying my winning lottery tickets and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate… I didn’t feel like Karmically saying no was a good idea. I got to fill out one of those little things they stick on the wall with your name on it.

Personal Kindnesses

  • A co-worker has sent around a couple of emails about stray kittens and dogs that need homes. My home is currently maxed out with my sweet puppy (only 1 animal per person is my rule, no need to be outnumbered) but I responded with hopefully a helpful resource. They said their friends couldn’t take them to a shelter because they’d likely get put down. I passed along the information of the no-kill shelter in the area. Hopefully they’ll find a nice home.

Self Care

  • I went to the doctor to get a checkup. I need a doctor’s approval to run in my half marathon in September so that was the main reason for the visit but I always like to keep up on those things if I can. What really stuck me as lovely was going through the questions about my life and medical history and getting to answer positively to each one – “Yes, I’m healthy”. Good health is not something to take for granted and it was nice to be reminded of how good I have it.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

10 Ways to Add Kindness to Every Day

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I was thinking about what kinds of things I could do simply and easily on a daily basis to be kinder. I came up with this list. I tried to make sure that this list involved things that don’t require money or preparation. The big theme is that kindness comes from things as simple as acknowledging others, being present, and being positive.

  • Open doors for other people.
    • The simple act of opening a door for the person behind you is an easy way to acknowledge the person.

 

  • Say Thank You.
    • Say Thank You as often as you can.

 

  • Make eye contact
    • Making eye contact while you’re talking to someone or even just passing by lets the person know you see them and acknowledge them.

 

  • Share space.
    • This is especially important when you’re walking in a group, please share the sidewalk. Make room for others. If you’re standing in a circle at a party leave a little space for others to join in. Keep your body language open and inviting.

 

  • Say compliments out loud.
    • I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at someone and thought how nice their hair looks or how much I like his or her outfit… and then just walk away. Say those things out loud. Everyone likes receiving compliments.

 

  • Meditate.
    • Being calm and taking time for you is a great way to create a kind atmosphere.

 

  • Tell a joke.
    • Laughter is the best medicine. Share a joke, do what you can to make someone else smile.

 

  • Put your phone down.
    • We’re all hooked on our technology but whenever you can, put it down. Pay attention to whoever or whatever is in front of you. Key times for this are around the dinner table or while driving.

 

  • Ask someone what he or she needs.
    • People are good at hiding their troubles. Ask them sincerely if you can do anything to help.

 

  • Don’t talk negatively about yourself.
    • Talking negatively about yourself makes everyone feel bad. Saying you look fat in your outfit isn’t kind to you or those around you who have to hear it.

 

What would you add as number 11?

Weekly Check-In

 

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I certainly am exhausted. Out of print, out of words. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and all the hurting hearts out there.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • Some percentage of $1.29 – I purchased the new JLo and Lin-Manuel Miranda Song “Love Makes The World Go Round” and all proceeds from each sale of the track featured on this page will be donated to Hispanic Federation for the Somos Orlando Fund. You can buy it on iTunes here. I really enjoy the song, it’s wonderful on my runs.

Personal Kindnesses

  • There was a work event that was only for full employees. I grabbed a Popsicle for my co-worker in the office who is a contract employee. It was easy enough for me to share some of the fun.

Self Care

  • Okay so I’m currently on an exercise kick! Just 9 weeks until my half marathon and just 25 weeks until marathon weekend. My friends have sucked me in to running another one. I think in 2017 I’m going to try the Goofy Challenge which is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. It’s a huge challenge so I’m starting now building strength and endurance so I can keep my record of running injury-free. Also running/strength training is great distraction and therapy right now.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

Saunders on Kindness

Back in the summer of 2013 I came across a graduation speech by one of my favorite authors. Even though I’d graduated many years ago, I always like listening to my favorite authors. Especially when they’re tasked with talking to people at such an interesting moment in their life; a time of transition and hope and panic. George Saunders has written some of my favorite short stories so when he was tasked with giving the convocation speech at Syracuse University I was ready to listen. That speech has stuck with me ever since.

His message was simple – Be kind. But of course like with all great simple things, it’s not really that simple. Being kind is hard. It’s easier to stay silent. It’s easier to worry about yourself. It’s easier to go along with the group. But if we want to lead lives without regrets, lead thoughtful and wonderful lives, we have to try to be kind whenever possible, as much as possible.

Saunders really says it so well. You can read his full speech by clicking on the quote below or watch the video which is an animated snippet of the speech.

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. ….

“But kindness it turns out, is hard.”

~George Saunders

 

 

 

Weekly Check-In

It’s been a very devastating week. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and all the hurting hearts out there. #BlackLivesMatter

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • $0 – Update on the donation when I bought the lottery ticket a week or two ago… I won! I won a couple dollars. But I’m still a winner. Lottery karma for the win!

Personal Kindnesses

  • This week I posted a lot of pictures on social media. Pictures of me being thankful, pictures of my crafts, pictures of my dog – happy pictures. It may not be much but hopefully it cuts through a little bit of the sadness and angry out there.

Self Care

  • I’ve been spending most of my time daydreaming about future vacations and planning for future races. I’m thinking of doing another marathon or three.
  • I received a gift this week in the mail. I love getting mail and unexpected gifts are even better.
  • I also spent some time finishing some DIY projects I’d started eons ago.

 

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

Being Kind

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We’re already halfway through the year and it feels like it’s flying. I suppose it always does. This next quarter I’m planning on focusing on Personal Kindness. When I created the four facets I thought that this one would be one of the simpler ones. Just be nice to people; seems pretty straight forward and I think I’m a pretty nice person. But having to think every week about what I’ve done to choose to be kind has proved tricky. What it has done is help me recognize how important it is when someone expresses kindness to me.

 

Succeeding or not, attempting to be kind and being aware of it is a great step in the right direction.

 

I’m excited to dive into this topic this quarter. Do you have any personal kindness or random act of kindness questions or tips?

Weekly Check-In

It seems like time is just flying by. I’m taking a big test tomorrow to get a professional certification and all my spare time has been going to study for it.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line – It’s been 1 year since I got accepted as a counselor and began this crazy amazing journey.

Charitable Giving

  • $1 – Children’s Hospital – I buy lottery tickets every week – because I love to daydream about what I’d do and as much as I love being a broke philanthropist… wouldn’t it be fun to be a rich philanthropist! I went in to the local gas station to buy my $4 worth of tickets. The clerk asked if I was sure I didn’t want to put the whole $5 bill to the lottery, when I hesitated he suggested I donate it to Children’s Hospital. Now that to me sounded perfect. It’s a dollar that I won’t notice but will help and the good deed can only help increase the chances of a lottery win!

Personal Kindnesses

  • A co-worker of mine asked me for some career/life advice and I think was a helpful confidant. It sounds like she has some excitement in her near future and I hope I was able to push some worries aside so she can see and enjoy that.

Self Care

  • I choose my next knitting project that will be a gift. I have months to finish it but it’s something fun and exciting to focus on. Although there’s been a crazy heatwave so knitting might not be the best project right this second.
  • Exercise is a go-to self care strategy for me. I went to YouTube and chose a lower body pilates workout. Before the video got started the instructor was talking about being body positive and she said “Don’t worry if your thighs touch, you’re that much closer to being a mermaid!”. Haha it was so fun! I’m a mermaid! Work out because you love your body not because you hate it.

How did you do this week? Share in the comments!

Weekly Check-In

It’s almost mid-June… I can’t believe it’s summer and the year is getting close to halfway over!

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • $0

Personal Kindnesses

  • I really have to say the Beatles got it right – I get by with a little help from my friends (well the first part of that song). I’m not sure what I did to be kind this week but I am sure that my friends are always demonstrating kindness to me.

Self Care

  • I started a two week daily yoga challenge. Starting your day (or squeezing a few minutes in anywhere) makes such a difference. I took some time in my practice to set an intention for each day. Having something to focus on and ground you throughout the day makes such a difference. I should do yoga everyday all year long but 2 weeks is a good start.

How did you do this week? Share in the comments!

Weekly Check-In

A bit of a hectic week but with some good surprises.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 1 hour Stop Hunger Now – My company had a volunteering event that had a Stop Hunger Now activity. We packaged 10,000 meals. I highly recommend this as a team building activity. You get to wear hair nets! haha.
  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • $0

Personal Kindnesses

  • We all get busy and it’s easy to be a flake. It’s easy to put off plans or change your mind. I did my very best this week to make sure I kept commitments to friends or were clear with them that I just couldn’t make it.

Self Care

  • With the three day weekend I got to fit in some extra time with friends. I also took my dog to a coffee shop. She’s a rescue and after 3 years she’s finally mellowed enough (and been rehabbed enough) that I can take her to a coffee shop and sit outside and enjoy myself.

How did you do this week? Share in the comments!