Choose Kind

September 15, 2014 at 4:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“When given the choice between being right, or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

This coming Sunday, the 21st of September, is the United Nations International Day of Peace. I have written about this day in previous years, especially about Jeremy Gilley and the inspiring Peace One Day story. Peace is one of those big words that can be used a lot, with the potential being that individuals and groups become overwhelmed, disempowered or frustrated when they think about all the tragedy, suffering and violence that is shown nightly on the news. So how then can we grow our awareness and appreciation of peace and make it real and alive in our own daily thoughts, words and actions without falling into judgement or waiting on someone else or the world to change?

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

We can choose to foster peace in ourselves and allow it to ripple out from within. Just like all parts of our lives this is a journey and not a destination. I believe a great anchor to keep coming back to on this journey is the quote I have used at the beginning of this post, “When given the choice between being right, or being kind, choose kind” – Dr. Wayne Dyer. This word choice comes up a lot in our posts, we are so lucky that we always have the opportunity to choose within our individual and shared journeys of potential.

“The quickest way to experiencing the peace inside, is to learn to recognize when I am not at peace.” – Jim McDonald

Bringing it back to ourselves is a great place to start. How do we talk to ourselves, is it in the way that we would talk to a good friend or family member? Are we consistently justifying or excusing ourselves from certain thoughts, words or actions because of the context of a given situation, while judging and mistreating others because their particular or perceived thoughts, words or actions in a given situation must be because of character? Is being right and righteous in interactions with self, others or the world around us fostering a deepening of connection in our lives, creating more time, energy, space and interactions for the things that we love? What other questions come up for you when you consider bringing peace and choosing kindness back to begin with you?

“There is no way to peace, peace is the way.” – A.J. Muste

Kindness is not being weak, submissive or insincere. Kindness is, just like the quote above about peace, the way. Kindness is, just like Dr. Brené Brown writes, appreciating and daring to live courageously from a place that we are whole, imperfect and enough. Kindness is an acknowledgement that our daily thoughts, words and actions matter, that we are all capable of making a difference in our own and others lives, and we are all in this together, with opportunities to learn from and choose differently within each new interaction. Kindness is a willingness and openness to honesty, connection, ideas, making mistakes, saying sorry, asking for help or more information. Kindness is creating the time and space to keep growing and stretching within our journeys of potential. Kindness comes from a place of love, understanding that fear may always be there but it doesn’t have to be the the driver for our thoughts, words and actions.

I love the messages contained in the quote below. Although it comes from a book by Joan Halifax called ‘Being with the Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death’, I feel it has so much to teach us about being while we are living.

“All too often our socalled strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open, representing choiceless compassion. The place in your body where these two meet — strong back and soft front — is the brave, tender ground in which to root our caring deeply…” – Joan Halifax

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