In Kind Minds Episode 3 we’re going to see how kindness is our natural state as we continue with cultivating more presence. The reality is: To be human is to be kind. We are wired to care. This capacity has been honed from one generation to the next—knitting our nervous systems for connection.
When I wrote The Kindness Cure I had plenty of material from my own life, but particularly from watching my daughters engage in their small world, which was mostly in backyards and sports fields. This episode begins with a short vignette because it still so apt. The situations could be different now, like the global pandemic or national wildfires, but loss and suffering are inevitable.
The practice for today is called: Rekindling Kindness
The process begins by simply thinking about what kindness means to you. Consider your own thoughts, feelings, images, and aspirations. If you can, take out a journal, if not, make some mental notes.
Call to mind at least three instances when you experienced kindness. These could be moments when your kindness instinct caused you to override hesitation and show care or concern for the well-being of others.
They could include times when you were on the receiving end of a kindness or when you witnessed someone else putting love into action. You could even include stories of kindness that you heard about that have stuck with you.
Having a journal might be helpful, too. Here are some prompts to help get you started:
- I remember when I helped…
- I was reminded about human kindness when…
- I’ll never forget when so-and-so was kind to me…
- When I think about kind people in the world, the list includes…
- When I think about when I had to get out of my comfort zone to be kind, I remember the time…
By noticing your instinct toward kindness and compassion, you can begin to kindle it—or rekindle it. It can be like a campfire: you start with the smallest of sticks and blow gently on the flames. Then the logs catch in an outpouring of warmth and light. So recognize kindness when you see it. Notice that, like my daughter Josie, many of us are warriors without even knowing it.
Kindness is my natural state. What do I need to feel safe and supported? How do I show up in my daily life? What do I notice about my own humanity?
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