Kindness – what an unexpected word to hear these days. It’s like that old pair of ripped blue jeans, hidden away in the depths of the crawlspace waiting to resurface once the next generation deems them fashionable. Or the once-familiar sound of a grandmother’s native language, now replaced by the halting abbreviations of text messages. Nevertheless, all things pure have a way of resurfacing. Of stubbornly finding their way back into people’s hearts; encouraging a small but resilient voice of healing and compassion.
For those of us endeavouring to create an eco-conscious, healthy lifestyle, we are learning that every simple action has immense power and that inner kindness is crucial. We are realizing that the decision to fuel our bodies with wholesome food and clean our skin with natural products comes from a place of love and respect, not of vanity or competition. But how do we inspire kindness and love for ourselves amidst a relentless internal critic, loudly materialistic neighbours, and a constant reminder of our planet’s uncertain future?
My journey toward creating a life of kindness has taught me that getting back to basics is key. For me, this means literally slowing down long enough to smell the roses. To breathe in the sweet aroma, to permit the exceptional beauty to seep into my soul. It means cherishing the perfect, varied pitches of a child’s laughter or an elder’s fractured tales of long ago. Ultimately, it means unequivocally recognizing how these moments reveal the pathway back to that love I felt for myself as a small child.
To inspire kindness within one must look within. We need to pay attention and ask ourselves the most basic of questions. How can I show myself true love and respect? How do I reconnect with my inner child and wisdom? What moments trigger a spontaneous smile or feeling of pure joy? What am I doing when my heart skips a beat or I feel the immense aliveness of creativity? Where are those moments when I’m so totally engrossed in what I’m doing that I lose track of time?
Once our awareness grows, a natural ability to be kind toward ourselves will follow. The grip on our negative self-talk will loosen, the harsh words will have less meaning. We will find moments in the day to breathe deeply, to go outside and sit amongst the trees and birds. We will notice how our body feels after eating that innocent bag of chips and maybe opt for a locally grown salad at our next meal. We will take time for that warm bubble bath and recommit to our morning stretches because we will know the peace and happiness that come from showing kindness within.
As rays of sunshine spread from the sun’s centre, this love for ourselves will naturally ripple out and inspire kindness toward others and our environment. From this vantage point, there will be no pre-emptive requirement to obtain something in return for our kindness. No compulsory tax slip, no mass recognition in the paper. Our kindness will be genuine and effortless; we will want to stop and say, “Hi, how are you doing today?” and we will wait to hear the reply. We will think twice about using plastic bags for our grocery shopping because we will care about this sacred planet that sustains us. We will take the time to help our children with homework and to tell those precious souls in our life that we love them. From here, the possibilities are endless.
To support you on your journey toward inspiring kindness this holiday season, I present below a few ideas. My wish is that these will ignite your intuitive desire to love all beings and encourage a quiet movement toward global kindness.
I hope that you feel loved and are inspired to give love this holiday season, and always.
Written by: Zoë Tomichich
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From Kisameet Glacial Clay to ancestral storytelling, the Heiltsuk people have much to offer those of us who have lost our connection to land and place. Reconnect with the interdependency of life through the wisdom and knowledge of this resilient community.