Practice of Kindness – Reflection #1

1 – Do Something Kind For Yourself

The concept of this first theme is summed up simply by the directions you are given on an airplane to put on your own air mask before helping those next to you. Why? Because to be able to do anything well you need to first take care of yourself.

This is easy for some people and hard for others. It can also be confusing. In reflecting on your own experience and in moving forward, consider ways you can take care of yourself that allow you to be in the best position to fulfill your unique potential. What things do you do that fill you with joy, that literally inspire you (fill you with spirit)? With these three themes I want to encourage you to pay special attention to what brings you joy in completing them.

But what about the idea of self-indulgence? Indeed, in our culture we seem to have made synonymous the prioritizing of ourselves with self-indulgence, selfishness and even arrogance. I think in our hearts we know the difference. As you consider and complete each of the next two themes, spend some time considering this difference.

Be aware that I’m using the words “act” and “action” in the broadest sense. You may find that for you the best way to fulfill a theme is in a metaphorical way rather than a literal way. For me, an action can be a shift in your awareness or attitude. Paying attention to your internal processes and aligning with your own inner knowledge isn’t indulgent, although I acknowledge that it sometimes may look that way to others. The key is being honest with yourself.

Next Step: Theme #2.