February 13, 2011

Do you really have to be cruel to be kind?

The only religion is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.
Albert Schweitzer

ARC’s Life Manifesto

Stay Present

Practice Patience

Cultivate Gratitude

Maintain Flexibility

Be Kind and Gentle

Remain Humble & Open Minded

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive

And above all else

Love Deeply

What does it mean to be kind? Let’s start again with the dictionary:

having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior; “kind to sick patients”; “a kind master”; “kind words showing understanding and sympathy”; “thanked her for her kind letter”

kindness – the quality of being warmhearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic

I wrote this manifesto to include the qualities I find most admirable in others. I strive to live up to this list, admittedly I am still striving. I consider myself nice, but not always kind. Honest, forthright, oh yes, these things I am, but this honesty can often come across unkind, harsh.  When I think of kindness I envision that person whose softness of character makes people feel warm and fuzzy no matter what.   I know sometimes bluntness is necessary to help us move past comfort and sameness…I know sometimes we need bricks dropped on our heads in order to get the message. Myself, I am getting more and more aware and sensitive to the messages I need to hear and I’m realizing that less and less do I need the harsh cold slap of reality to get me going…so I’m feeling less need to be tha hammer in people’s blind spots…Personally, I would like to be the gentle nudge, the slow steady reminder that washes over people…but it’s a process

I am refining the process; I see glimpses of her, that person I am becoming. She appears most often in yoga classes; kind, encouraging, positive, guiding, leading….outside of that roll? Well, she is starting to emerge more and more.

But considering my own husband told me just last week that I was mean…I suppose I have some work to do (he didn’t appreciate the anti-meat campaign video with graphic scenes of pig death while eating his pulled pork…I guess it was kind of mean?) But that has been how I have rolled for a long time…you want to know what I think? I probably already told you — and thatin your face tough girl is a persona I identify with so it’s a slow but steady progress to a kinder, more palatable me.

Can I find that balance of satya (truth) and kindness…does truth have to be harsh?  Have you found it?

Asana (yoga pose) of the week:

Shoulderstand  – Sarvangasana

Massage out the throat and thyroid, we learn to speak the truth from a place in our heart.

Wellness Tip of the Week:

Be kind to yourself.  If we start our kindness practice within, it can grow.  When we love and cherish ourselves enough to speak kindly to ourselves that spills out onto those around us.  Notice how your day changes, your health even, if you start your day looking in the morning and telling yourself that you are beautiful, loveable and important?


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