I’m excited to share the first episode of Kind Minds, brief tips on how to grow a kind mind and cultivate an open heart. It’s a weekly dose of “kindfulness.” In this episode, Love in Action, I share my “Why?”
I want to give a little bit of a backstory to the Kind Minds series. What I’ve learned in my several decades of work, is that we all need to evolve our brains and open our hearts, be more compassionate and caring, to learn to recruit our own physiology and unique energy patterns that seek balance, and recruit our imagination to be on our side.
In these ways, we can offset the tendencies: to “compare and despair”, or fall into “analysis paralysis,” and to cling to unhelpful patterns, especially an unintentional focus on what’s wrong rather than on what’s right.
We can’t help the way our brains are designed by nature, but can have some influence over what we pay attention to, and thereby shape our inner algorithms for optimal wellbeing.
Kindness is like a channel or wavelength that connects us. So perhaps you can agree that kindness is love in action — and guess what? You are a messenger.
Kindness is not weak, it is strong.
It can be soft, and it can be tough. It’s neither feminine, nor masculine: it is human. Often, kindness requires bravery. Just think about our world… the bad news, the suffering, the heartache. Pain is hard to tolerate. It can be so easy to give in or give up, to ignore it, or numb yourself.
Courage is required.
Falling Under a SPEL
Let me remind you that we are physically human and stuck in a body with an ancient blueprint. We can’t help our automatic reactions to stress or pain. You may be caught under what I call a SPEL, which is my acronym for Self-Protective Empathy Lethargy. A SPEL is a trance of overwhelm, or distraction, or empathy overload. In this podcast series, we will begin to offset falling under a SPEL.
There is an elixir of 6 ingredients that can ignite, or rekindle, kindness—and break a SPEL.
And you can remember this recipe with another acronym PEPPIE—like a vital energy force. It stands for:
Presence, Emotion Regulation, Perspective, Purpose, Integration, and Effort
We are going to practice getting PEPPIE (see infographic), and over time I’m going to guide you through a bunch of tips, skills and stories, some based in science and some based on my experience as a therapist and meditation teacher.
Here’s the hack for really getting grounded, which means getting out of your head: You can cultivate presence by learning to feel your body in physical space and by tuning into moment-by-moment experiences with curiosity and wonder.
- Right now simply feel your feet on the ground… the soles of your feet.
- If you are in a place where you can stand or walk, try to rock back and forth on your feet, feeling them press in the ground, sending energy into the earth, and letting it absorb any unwanted tension or stress.
- If you are sitting or laying down, simply sense your feet.
This practice of centering and grounding your body, even when life feels hurried, is like discovering a golden egg in a fairy tale—a vital source of wellbeing. Usually we are too busy chasing our to-do list that we miss out on our own lives and the world around us.
Slow down. Get grounded for a few minutes every day.
Interested in The Little Deck of Kindfulness? Order while supplies last (in continental US for shipping).