Posted in happiness, kindness, Life

Kindness

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of social media posts on being kind. I have contributed some as well. It’s a refreshing change that’s filling up my newsfeeds.

The definition of kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. It’s so easy to be kind yet not everyone is kind. I can’t help but wonder why that is.

Is unkindness a product of nurturing, the influence of life experiences or hiding behind a keyboard bullying? I unfortunately can’t answer this question.

I truly believe there are more kind people in the world than the unkind ones. I’ve witnessed firsthand many acts of kindness and I believe I’m a kind person.

It’s not within me to be intentionally unkind to someone. That doesn’t mean I don’t get irritated because I do. We all do. I suppose it’s how we deal with people even when we’re irritable or irritated by something or someone that matters.

Even on the worst of days I try to be kind or keep my mouth shut. There are things in my life that could make me unkind, but I choose kindness instead.

If we disagree we can do so with kindness and respect. I’m not going to be a mean girl no matter our differences.

I grew up around kind people, was taught to be kind and to this day I surround myself with the kind hearted. Perhaps that’s the key; to keep the kind people close and try and be kind even when someone else is not.

That doesn’t mean I don’t stand up for myself or let people treat me unkindly. You can be kind and still possess the ability to kick butt when need be.

There is so much unkindness in the world that it overwhelms me some days. I just throw up my hands and ask why. Then I’ll see or read about an act of kindness and my faith is restored.

The world needs more kindness and more people to speak out on kindness. I’ll do my part and encourage others to do the same.

What a wonderful world it would be if it were filled with only kindness. That’s a world I want to live in.

Diane

Posted in Life

Agreements

The first day I walked into therapy I was a hot mess! I felt gloomy, unhappy and in great agony and despair.  Depression and anxiety will do that to a weary soul.  And I was one tired and weary soul.

On that first day, my therapist asked, “If you spill milk what do you do?”  My answer, “I clean it up.”  “Yes,” she continued, but what do you say to yourself when you’re cleaning it up?”  It only took a second to share my self-talk; “Look at this mess you’ve made.  You’re so clumsy.  You can’t do anything right!”  That was an eye-opener for me, as I didn’t consciously realize how negatively I felt about myself.

As our session continued, my therapist shared a book with me and recommended I read it at least three times stating “it changed her life.”  The book was small and titled The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. 

At that point in my life, I was open to doing anything and everything to feel better, so I went home and ordered the book from Amazon.

When it arrived, I began reading and couldn’t stop.  It felt as if the book were written just for me.  I finished it in no time and read it again and again.

The Four Agreements is a wisdom book based on the beliefs and teachings of the Toltec people of southern Mexico.  The Toltec were “scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones,”  the book explains. 

Don Miguel Ruiz’s writing is exceptional and reader friendly.  In The Four Agreements, he writes about the Toltec traditions and beliefs and sets forth four teachings…a way of life for those who practice…meant to bring about happiness, peace and love in one’s life.  While the four teachings sound simple, they require a lot of work.

The four agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word: Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t take anything personally: Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t make assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always do your best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

(Text from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom ©1997 Miguel Angel Ruiz, MD.  Published by Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc.)

After reading this powerful little book, I began to practice the four agreements, even posting them on my refrigerator door as a reminder.  I am by no means a master of these teachings, but I do my best (#4) every day to remember them and put them into action.  I can tell you honestly and sincerely this book has changed my life for the better.

If you’re struggling with negative self-talk, worried about everyone liking you or get upset when you assume without asking questions or just want a good read,  I highly recommend you get a copy of The Four Agreements

 Diane

Posted in friends, grace, happiness, Life, self care, strength

Blank Pages

The blank page taunts me. The cursor on the page blinks incessantly as I try to reach deep inside and pull out words to write.

Sometimes the words pour out. Other times not so much. Those are the times I stare at a blank page and feel like I have nothing to say.

I actually have a lot to say. However, some of what I have to say is not ready to share in such a public forum. It’s a long, painful story with no end in sight. So for now that page will stay blank.

What I can write about today is having grace; the exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor disposition to benefit or serve another.

Each of us possess the ability to have grace. Unfortunately, not everyone practices it and many show it by posting on social media.

Everyday I come across a post, a tweet or Instagram story by or about unkind people. Racism, homophobia and just downright meanness are common themes in my newsfeeds and in the media. It’s very disheartening.

Despite the negativity and unkindness, I still believe the world has more people who love, are kind and willing to help others than not.

These are the people I want to (and do) surround myself with. The people I’m drawn to. The ones who lift me up, who inspire, who challenge me in a kind and loving way.

We can choose to disagree on a topic or belief and still remain in grace doing so. I will calmly listen to you with an open mind. In doing so we may discover things on which we can agree. Wouldn’t that be great?!

I choose and try everyday to stand in grace with everyone I know and meet. Myself included.

Diane

Posted in friends, Life, self care

Make Me Laugh

A few days ago, I was speaking with a friend who was going through a rough time. She cried a bit as we talked then she asked me to make her laugh.

“I bought a new pair of running shoes,” I said to which she responded with lots of laughter. She knows my lack of love for exercise and I knew she would laugh at the thought of me running.

My new running shoes are due to my friend Stephanie who is on the move, quite literally (walking, running, swimming, yoga), and is encouraging others to do the same.

There was a time when I walked and ran every day around a gorgeous lake. Once we moved from the lake I stopped walking as the view wasn’t the same and if you miss one day you’re almost destined to miss two then three, etc. At least that’s how it went for me.

Since Stephanie started moving and posts her daily progress and inspiring quotes on Facebook, my feet have started itching to move too. Hence the new shoes.

As I write this I’m waiting on the shoe’s delivery, which is expected any day. When they do arrive, my plan is to start walking. My husband agreed to walk with me.

The shoes may sit in the box a few days while I get my mindset right off my lazy butt. I know this about myself and own it. However, my intention is to start walking again and even running once I build up my strength.

I have Stephanie to thank for encouraging me to get out and move and new shoes for giving me something to make my friend laugh.

Diane

P.S. – My shoes arrived. They sat in the box after a “try-on” for two days. Stephanie came by Wednesday to take me walking. We walked a mile! Yay, me!!