Kindness is one of the most beautiful human qualities you have. It is delicate, respectful, considerate, attentive, gentle and nurturing in its expression. Yet it can be elusive in your treatment of yourself, your interaction with others, how you treat and approach animals and objects and in what you receive from others.
Life, impacting situations, work, children, your emotional and physical health can dominate your processing and take your attention and focus and awareness away from you feeling, being or receiving kindness. In fact it can reach a point where it can be so limited in its expression it can be non existent. So when you do express kindness, or experience kindness from others, it can be perceived as a random act of kindness.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
So, why is kindness a random act?
The word ‘random’ implies that kindness is only expressed occasionally. If you take a look at your life and the world around you, this may have some truth to it. Then add to that, kindness is expressed in ‘acts’ which infers they are only deliberate moments of behavior. This may well be true or sort of true in your life as well.
Yet kindness is a quality that is at the core of you. It is naturally who you are. And if you were your true self rather than your conditioned self, then kindness would be your state of being. You would express it in everything you do. Kindness would be your norm rather than occasional acts that are so noticeable because they are not regular, so they stand out.
Kindness in its purity is not about acts and expressions of it, it is a quality at the essence of you, a part of your true self. You see children naturally express kindness in their touch, their look, their time, their tone and the energy they share with you, until something happens that conditions them and their kindness becomes selective and even unnatural.
Thus the onset of random acts of kindness .
This was what happened to you too.
Kindness is the process of taking time to give focus and attention to something and valuing it in a gentle manner. With self-kindness the focus and attention is on you.
You don’t need to learn how to be kind, you are kind. What is important to learn, is to cease judging and rejecting your kindness. For you to make it safe for you to feel and be connected to the kindness that is already within you. Then for you to grow your trust and comfort with sharing and expressing your kindness with yourself and with everyone and everything in your world.
Self-kindness is the place to start your conscious re-connection to the kindness within you. And for you to grow your ability to be consciously kind to yourself, so that the process becomes natural to you again.
Through self-awareness your self-kindness will grow. Through self-kindness your self-awareness and self-understanding will grow. Through self-understanding, your understanding of others will grow. You have the potential to bring kindness back to who you are, to the people in your life and your world.
The key areas for you to express kindness towards yourself are:
- Mental kindness
- Emotional kindness
- Physical kindness
- Physiological kindness
- Energy kindness
- Sensory kindness
So to support you to reconnect to your self-kindness and develop your self-awareness and self-understanding I have provided key self-kindness approaches in each of these areas of your processing.
Your mental process is experienced through your thoughts, words, pictures, memories and beliefs. It is your self-talk that verbalizes your mental process and is the voice of your conditioned self. The objective of your self-talk is to protect you from experiencing situations like the hurtful ones you have gone through in the past. The approach it will take with you is to talk you out of things that may be right for you and talk you into things that may not be right for you. It will repeat the judgemental words that others have expressed to you and reinforce the expectations as to how and what you are to do, based on what others and society believe is acceptable, not acceptable, right and wrong for you.
The voice of your conditioned self came to be because you took on board others beliefs and opinions of yourself and you learnt to mistrust and disconnect from your true and natural self and the voice of your soul – your knowing.
To support the release of your self-talk, so your knowing can be heard again, it requires acceptance and kindness towards your conditioned self, to heal the years of rejection.
Your knowing is gentle, truthful and always does right by you. So when you are connected to and hear this voice, kindness will always be a part of you.
Approaches to being mentally kind to yourself:
- Your self-talk has been your protector for many years. It was your coping mechanism that got you through life. As you have grown your awareness of yourself and as you are trusting yourself more your need to protect yourself diminishes. So does the need for your self-talk. Thank and value your self-talk for helping you get through what you have to where you are now.
- Be aware of not telling your self-talk to be quiet or to shut up, or that it is wrong, rather listen to it and talk to it. Share with your self-talk that you understand that is how you have viewed things and felt up to now, but now things are different and this is how you see things now. Help your self-talk to let go of the beliefs it has had, and to see things differently.
- Say to your self-talk when it expects something not so nice to happen, “this is what we have experienced in the past and now we deserve and choose to have new experiences”.
- When you hear yourself calling yourself judgmental names, pause and apologize to yourself and state the facts of what happened or didn’t happen and learn from it, rather than judging yourself.
Your emotions are expressed in your physiological and mental processes. Emotions surface when they are triggered by a situation that you experience which is similar to ones you have experienced in the past. In these situations you were emotionally impacted, and you suppressed your emotions and when they are triggered they surface again. Your emotions need your healing.
The mere fact you suppressed your emotions is evidence of how you learnt to be unkind to your emotions. You were conditioned to treat them this way through others non-acceptance and judgements of the emotions you have shown. And as a consequence you rejected your emotions.
To heal your emotions, it requires you to accept, love and to be kind to them.
Approaches to being emotionally kind to yourself:
- When tears surface in your eyes, allow them to flow naturally so that they are expressed and released in the physical process. If you wipe your tears and your nose, be gentle in your approach and consciously honor and respect the process of you expressing your pain and sadness. Thank your tears for the release and healing they are providing.
- When you feel sadness, grief or hurt, give yourself permission to feel these emotions. Take the time (at the appropriate time) to snuggle up in bed or on the couch with a soft pillow and blanket, so you can be with what you are feeling. Nurture your sadness with gentleness and with soft objects, like the blanket, encouraging yourself to feel and express what you are experiencing, rather than rejecting your emotions.
- If you feel anger, then make it ok to go outside or somewhere on your own to voice out loud what you are feeling and thinking to release it. And if you still have energy to use up attached to the anger, then doing something physical can work out the energy. You could hit a pillow or throw soft things, something that is not breakable that wont hurt you or others. Even kicking a soft cardboard box can help. This will help you to release the words and the energy attached to the anger.
Physical kindness is often the area of kindness people focus on the most. It is the process you can act on by having massages, candlelit baths and even going for a walk. These are approaches that are important if they are what is right for you in being kind to yourself. They can vary as well.
Swimming laps in a swimming pool is one of my favs. I focus on feeling every muscle having an opportunity to be supported in the water as I gently stretch and move them. This is a very kind and nurturing process physically, for me.
You will know what you are drawn to and that is right for you.
Do consider though, there are many daily activities you perform, where the approach you take with yourself, you could be gentler and kinder to yourself. It requires awareness, focus and attention.
Approaches to being physically kind to yourself:
- Upon having a shower or bath, consciously take time to very gently and slowly give attention to each part of your body. Towel dry and then moisturize your body. Whilst you are doing both of these actions, thank each part of your body for what they have done to help you to be where you are today. Without your physical body you would not be here.
- When you notice you are starting to hold tension in a part of your body, take your focus to that part and consciously apologize for impacting it. Focus on slowly relaxing the muscles, letting go the tension and being gentle within and with you.
- If you notice yourself going somewhere or doing something in a hurry where you find yourself pushing yourself physically, pause, take a breath and breathe out to release what you have been holding. Focus on slowing your body movements down so that they are flowing rather than forced and pressured. This will allow the flow of your physical energy to come back to a more natural state.
- When you are lying down, consciously move through every part of your body, relaxing it. Start from your feet, moving through the entirety of your body up to the crown of your head.
Physiological processing is your bodies response to emotions and other physical processes. Physiological responses are where the body expresses the impact of your emotional and physical processes, through changes in temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and pressure such as heavy or light. As well as tightness, sweating, itchiness and change in skin color.
This type of processing can be so absorbing and overwhelming, that you can react to what you are experiencing by making it wrong through scratching an itch, trying to hide your sweating or judging it and even exaggerating your breathing. Finding ways of being kind to yourself when you experience these processes, will help them to dissolve more effectively and quickly and be less impacting on you.
Approaches to being physiologically kind to yourself:
- When you feel anxiety in the form of butterflies, take your focus to where you are experiencing this. Gently ask this part of yourself “what am I scared of?” then gently wipe the energy away from this part of your body whilst saying to this part of you “we are ok and we will be ok, and I release my fear”. Visualize the butterflies as beautiful beings that are flying around because something has disturbed them. Then visualize and see them beginning to gently settle and become still as you breathe in and out as they find the comfort and safety from your attention and support.
- When you feel the heat in your body beginning to increase, as a result of the emotions you may be feeling. Connect to a water source that you feel drawn to. Visualize the blue water, gently flowing from this water source into your belly button and filling every part of your body. Feel and see the water gently and soothingly cool you. Once you have completed this, visualize yourself disconnecting the water from outside of your belly button and close over the opening, so it does not drain out.
- Upon you experiencing itchiness of the skin, rather than scratching the skin directly – take your hand and from a distance of five to ten centimeters to the skin, using your hand pretend you are itching your skin. Do this gently, smoothly and deliberately. You are helping your system to believe you are scratching when you actually are not. Rather you are nurturing the itch through giving it the right attention. Upon the itch being relieved place your hand over the itchy area of your skin and imagine gentle nurturing energy coming out of your hand into your skin to heal it.
You have two types of energy – life-force energy and your physical energy.
Your physical energy is influenced by the amount of physical activity, exercise and sleep you get, as well as your diet and your stage of life. These are areas where you potentially already are taking practical steps to be kinder to yourself.
The focus here is on your life-force energy. This is the natural flow of energy you experience throughout your being. Your emotions, thoughts and intentions influence your life force energy. Your life-force energy can be trapped, stuck and blocked, especially when you suppress any emotional or mental pain. Suppressing aspects of yourself is you not being kind to yourself. When you identify blocks in your energy, you can take gentle approaches to work with being kind to yourself to unblock the energy.
Approaches to being energy kind to yourself:
- When you feel vulnerability about a situation, you can feel your external energy field closing in on you. Breathe, and focus on relaxing inside yourself and then say to yourself, “I choose to have my energy remain open and receptive”. Then visualize the light within you, shining out of you and it gently helping your energy field to expand and open up again.
- If you experience your body having a brick wall of energy in front of it which prevents you from moving forward, this can indicate you are feeling some level of uselessness or powerlessness. Gently step forward physically and go for a walk to help dissolve and transform the brick wall energy into fluid flowing energy that supports your movement forward again.
- If you feel a constriction in your throat and neck when you start feeling emotion, then you may be suppressing what you are feeling and the energy is caught here. Take your hand and gently run it upwards over your neck and out along your chin, whilst consciously saying to your emotion, “I give you permission to be expressed”. The physical movement helps the energy move.
The focus of your sensory process is on your interaction with the outside world through your senses. What you see, hear, smell, taste, touch as well as what you pick up off others in energy, emotions and intentions.
You can easily be impacted by what you are experiencing externally and you may want to reject and suppress these processes. You can feel others energy and it can leave you feeling drained or heavy. You can hear things that impact you emotionally and physically. In rejecting what you are naturally experiencing, you are being unkind and hard on yourself.
You can gently and kindly move and release the impacts on you from these processes.
Approaches to being sensory kind to yourself:
- You may find yourself in situations where you feel the energy from another person being directed at you. It could be neediness energy which can feel like they are trying to grasp at you. Or hard energy where the person is blocking you out. They can even throw energy at you when they feel frustrated or angry. Visualize a Plexiglas wall in front of you. This will prevent the energy from touching you, whilst you can still interact with the person.
- When you smell something that is not pleasant to your nose, it is important that you still keep breathing so that your energy continues to flow naturally. You can keep your mouth closed, but be conscious of doing so gently and your jaw not being tight in reaction to the odor. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, as they will tense up when you smell an odor. Focus on breathing through your nose. As you breathe in through your nose, be aware of the molecules entering your nose and the smell neutralizing. Then as you breathe out, feel the smell and molecules being released from your nose.
- If you find yourself in a situation where you are receptive to the energy of a person who is feeling emotion and it is impacting you, identify where you are feeling it on your body. It could be your hands, arms, face and even your stomach. Go to the bathroom (if possible) and run water over your hands (not too much) and wipe down the impacted parts of your body with your wet hands to cleanse and release the energy you were feeling. Then wash your hands with soap and dry them off to complete the process. Be aware of doing this gently and not out of the rejection of the other person, rather valuing and looking after yourself.
There are many subtle and yet important steps you can take to be consciously kind to yourself. The more you grow your awareness of being kind and gentle with yourself, the more you will experience self-kindness and the more this will become natural to you. The more you will express who you truly are – your true self.
Never underestimate the expressions of kindness with yourself, because the more kind you are with yourself, the more kind you are with others, the more kindness there will be in your world and the world.