What if you knew that pure kindness was your natural state. How would you make your decisions?
How would you talk to yourself?
What if you didn’t need to prove your worth or earn your happiness if you could quiet the questioning, the obsessing, and the controlling because you saw the good – inside and out?
What would you do with your time? Where would you invest your energy? And how would you feel?
Kindness, Pure Kindness
A few nights ago, I had a dream that’s kept me asking these questions. It was the kind of epic dream that makes you reevaluate everything. It’s the kind you want to live in. Most of the details disappeared before I woke, but the feeling remained. I’m sharing it with you in case these feelings and these wishes resonate.
This is it, in the flashes I remember:
A future me sits in the glider I rocked all three of my children in, surrounded by loved ones, and watching my life on the biggest screen I’ve ever seen. We celebrate the feeling of love and pure joy. Nothing else matters at that moment. Someone squeezes my hand as a strong, beautiful woman comes on screen. I’ve never seen myself like that before.
I was filled with a deep sense of peace as I saw that everything makes perfect sense, and I mean everything. The questions, the fears, the waiting, the surprise victories, the people who held my hand, and those who left and never looked back. All of it. And I finally got it, all is well.
In that moment, I had such a profound sensation of knowing who I am that I’ve never experienced in my waking life. There wasn’t a hint of doubt or fear. Not a trace of the usual judgments or worries that I carry in me, stitched to my heart.
It felt like I saw the truth of my whole being in that moment, and that truth was simply this: pure kindness.
I’ve tried to step back into that feeling every night since then. How I wish I could bottle up it up and sprinkle it over the world. If I could, I would wrap it with the reddest, shiniest bow and place it on every doorstep. I would swaddle every hurting child in the love and peace I felt and fill their hungry bellies with it. It was that profound.
Before the dream, I was exhausted, overworked by my day-in and day-out mental gymnastics and our evening ritual of binge-watching the news over dinner. My heart was heavy and aching from the weight of my worries, and I felt guilty for being so self-absorbed when so many people in this world are suffering.
I felt small and so very tired. And then, the dream.
Since that night, life feels different. I feel different, lighter, illuminated by the spark of pure kindness.
I’ve practiced presence, appreciated more, and risked letting my worries be for just a moment. (Turns out, the worrying wasn’t helping anything.)
With each small choice I’ve made to root myself in kindness rather than the old belief that there’s so much at stake and each time I’ve given myself the freedom to exist as more than a reflection of other people’s expectations, I’ve caught a glimpse of that knowing again. It’s a little wink from that strong, beautiful woman that says, it’s okay. Be free.
7 Ways to Return to Your Natural State of Pure Kindness
I’m learning that kindness is soul medicine. It’s a tonic for the heart, a salve for our sanity.
And I think I finally get it. If you want to be kinder, gentler, if you want to appreciate where you are while you get to where you want to be, if you want to forgive more, slow down, surrender, and if you want to find more peace inside and out, become deeply rooted in pure kindness.
If you’d like, pair your breath with a mantra or intention.
Breathing in, I remember that my natural state is free, clear, and loving.
Breathing out, I send my wish for all beings to be free, clear and loved.
Wholeness is my harbor.
Goodness is my compass.
My breath is my vessel.
2. Indulge your senses.
Smell a rose, light a candle, pet the cat. Sit on the porch one evening and look at the stars. Listen as far out as you can. Find a fountain or shade tree and sit there long enough to feel at one with kindness again.
3. Nourish your faithful body.
Feed it healthy food, beautiful music, and plenty of sunlight. Stretch its aching muscles, place your hands over its steadfast heart, and listen as it guides you through the flow between activity and rest.
4. Gather your people.
Gather the people you long to see when your heart is weary and your thoughts are frayed. Tell the stories that let you laugh and cry and fall into laughter again.
5. Delight in acts of human kindness, service, and creativity.
Lose yourself in awe of the human spirit. Visit an art museum. Read an inspiring memoir. Find the helpers and healers and everyday heroes. Listen for those saying, I’m here and I get it.
6. Appreciate anything and everything you possibly can.
Know what you like and look for it everywhere you are. Wear your favorite color. Treat today like a special occasion. Fill your heart with gratitude for absolutely everything that adds value to the world. Gratitude for nature’s beauty, for art, for cleansing rain, for the people who open themselves to love, for the transformation after pain, and the soothing passage of time. Be amazed by the part of you that refuses to give up.
7. Be deliberately optimistic, come what may.
Learn about how those who came before you pulled through and resolve to be the change calling out to you now. Look for light in the darkness, possibility in disappointment, courage in fear, and relief in pain. Trust in the process of growth and healing. And above all, believe in kindness.
These are the days we’ll look back on one day. I know we don’t know what the future holds and that today, things might look scary and complicated. That it’s exhausting to pick at a puzzle with missing pieces. I know. Still, we can choose, now, to keep our hearts focused on the sweetness we’ve seen, remember the moments of peace we’ve felt, and move toward the tomorrow we believe is possible.
May you and I and all beings be the champions of kindness and do the work that lets the light in.