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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

thought for the week: be kind

When I think of the people that I am drawn to, I realize that they all have one thing in common: they are kind. Kind people have a glow. Dogs like them. Children are drawn to them. Good things seem to happen to them.

When you decide to be kind to yourself, to other people, to animals, your world can't help but become a wonderful place to exist in. I'm not suggesting that by being kind you will suddenly find yourself in a beachfront cottage with a seven figure bank account but rather, the riches come in the shape of a life that is surrounded by good people who are drawn to you like a bee to honeysuckle on a June morning.

Being kind means letting someone merge in front of you in traffic. It means dropping a note in the mail to someone just to say "Hi. I was thinking of you!" Being kind means staying off your phone and being present when you're with your partner, your kids or your friends. It means dropping off dog toys/food/new fluffy towels at your local no-kill pet shelter.  Being kind means picking up after yourself so no one else has to. It means loving someone when they make it a challenge. It means forgiving yourself and moving forward.

I believe that you can cultivate kindness, even if you grew up in a less than kind environment. It's a choice. I keep this in mind every day with our eighteen month-old daughter, Waverly. When I want to rush her along when she is slow because has discovered something that has captured her attention, I think "Taylor, stop. You have time. Let her discover the way the snow sounds under her feet  as she stomps along the path." Every morning when she wakes up, we cuddle and I tell her all the wonderful things that she is. The very first thing I tell her is that she is loved. I say "Waverly, Mama and Papa love you  more than sunshine, more than the ocean and the waves and all the wonderful things in this beautiful world. We love you!" The second thing I tell her is this "You are kind. You and I and daddy love all people and animals!" (Then it varies after this. We tell her she is compassionate and resilient and smart and brave. . ." but most of all she is loved and she is kind.

This week, focus on being kind to others and to yourself. That's really where happy starts. Just be kind.



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