Increase your enjoyment of living
By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
February 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- Recently, I read about February 14-20 being the “Random Acts of Kindness” Week. Most of us have heard this phrase, but where did it come from and what does it really mean?
Wikipedia says “A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual. The phrase may have been coined by Anne Herbert, who claims to have written "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, random acts of kindness are encouraged by various communities.” Centuries ago, Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Just stop and think for a bit.
What could happen if we did perform some random kindnesses during this week? If you live with others, you might bring this idea to their attention and see what develops. If you have children, you could let them see you doing these kindnesses, and label them so this idea sinks in. What about this idea? At the dinner table let everyone share their acts in order to inspire each other. It’s been my observation that children are joyful when thinking and doing acts of kindness. May we each find our own inside child in order to enjoy this delightful feeling? Got it: I resolve to invite people to share their random acts around the dinner table.
What does it feel like when someone is kind to you? Some people are suspicious and look for a catch. Others are oblivious and do not even notice. Still others are shocked. Many, however, will feel heart warmth of connection with the giver, whether known to them or a stranger. OK: I resolve to do at least one kindness each day during Kindness Week.
Imagine, just for the Kindness week, your entire world focusing on kindness. You might wake up in the morning as you go through your morning routine you are kind to yourself. Your mindtalk might go like this, “gosh, it was a good sleep I had, I see it in my face, and say, doesn’t that teeth brushing give me a great smile that I’ll use all day? Oh, this outfit looks good on me, that color flatters my face”. It is important to be kind to ourselves. Ok: I WILL treat my own self with kindness each day of Kindness Week.
When we live with others, we often fall into mindless routines. Interrupting these routines with random acts can touch the innermost heart of your family and jumpstart their day with a feeling of being loved. Many are the ways we can be kind. We can bring someone coffee or tea in bed. We can offer to help with a chore. We can hug someone extra long. We can actively listen when words are spoken and take the time to feed back those words so the speaker feels heard. We can make a special breakfast. Open a car door. Initiate a weekend family fun idea, like a picnic up in the mountains. Gotcha: I will make a list of family kindness ideas and do as many as I can each day.
A huge challenge for me is being a kind driver. Why ought I to let people in whom have not waited in the traffic line behind for their turn? Why do I need to let the pedestrian get safely across before I turn the corner? Why would I give up a perfect parking space just because someone else is signaling also? Why can I not go fast when I am late, even if I have to cut someone off. Well, usually I drive better than that but sometimes my mind is on automatic. Right: I will resolve to be a kind driver the week of February 14-20.
Although our earth is not human, it is a living entity. With all the centuries of abuse it has endured, what kind things will address the reversal of destruction? Could I join a cleanup campaign? Excellent: I will work at saving our earth.
If you have a kindness idea, be bold and broadcast it through TELL THE WORLD! You might even win something for your idea!
I wonder what could be possible if I resolve to act with kindness each day of the year and it was contagious? World peace?
The Purple Mountain Sage welcomes questions from readers! Write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Purple Mountain Sage is Sharon Courmousis, co-owner of Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre wilderness preserve and campground in Boulevard, CA, which is also home to Sacred Rocks Artists’ Colony. She leads people on personal journeys that transform their lives. Sharon can be reached by calling: 619-766-4480. Visit the Sacred Rocks Reserve website at: www.sacredrocksreserve.com.