Echoes of Kindness

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Words carry much weight. Which is why it is so important for us to THINK before we speak.

T – is it TRUE?
H – is it HELPFUL?
I – is it INSPIRING?
N – is it NECESSARY?
K – is it KIND?

As Mother Teresa reminds us, when we chose words of kindness, ‘there echoes are truly endless.’ I experienced the power of kind words today when I received a bundle of handwritten letters from my kindergarten students filled with messages of love and appreciation, along with a beautiful heart shaped paperweight. I have spent the last six weeks teaching them mindfulness and yoga. Their gift to me was unexpected, yet my heart swelled with love and appreciation for the time they’d taken to share their words of kindness.

One of my favourite quotes by the Dalai Lama is:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Today, before you think, speak or act – ask yourself, “Is this kind?” Remember that your words have the power to hurt or to heal, to condemn or to inspire. Choose wisely.

In love & light,
Hayley xx

Gentle Strength

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I believe it takes a strong person to be gentle. There is a benign strength that exists in the tenderhearted.

I am forever grateful to have been blessed with a compassionate father figure. However brief our time together was, the lessons and blessings remain infinitely eternal. He was known as our gentle giant. All six foot two inches of him was benevolent and kind. Despite living with epilepsy, and four feisty females, he never once wavered from love and compassion. Dad’s inner strength has remained a guiding light for right action in my own life. I don’t always get it right, but I certainly do try.

Where and when can we practice gentleness in our own lives? One of my favourite quotes by the Dalai Lama states:

‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’

It takes strength and courage to choose kindness; to be humble when faced with adversity; to consider the needs of others when our own are not being met, and to be vulnerable when our hearts are on the line. But when we are guided by the part of us that is honest, good-natured and true, we remind others that it is safe to do the same.

Today, find the strength to be gentle. May our thoughts be forgiving and merciful, may our words inspire and uplift, and may our actions show compassion and empathy in all circumstances – towards others as well as ourselves. Because ‘nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength.’

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Writing 101, Day 5: Hook ’em with a quote
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Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Dalai Lama

One thing I strive for each day, is to be kind. I don’t always get it right, but I do endeavor to be compassionate in my interactions with others; humans and animals alike. It isn’t always easy, especially when dealing with agitated or angry people. However, taking a deep breath before reacting, and ensuring that my response is honest, true and kind, helps to diffuse the situation and keep the peace most of the time. Should I falter and react from a place of ego, such as when I am tired, under pressure, or just generally feeling intolerant, then I will always seize the next opportunity to offer a heartfelt apology and to make things right again. Thankfully, forgiveness is also an act of kindness and one we should never take for granted!

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A simple act of kindness can leave impressions that last a lifetime, but the same can be said for unkind behavior; whether that’s yelling at the dog for getting under our feet, or snapping impatiently at a curious child who has asked too many questions, or ignoring a loved one’s efforts to tidy the house; all of these things can deeply affect those around us. Being kind is not as easy as it first sounds and I like to think that most people do not wish to intentionally hurt others, that the majority of the time we do so when we are unconscious of our words and actions. In these situations, Dalai Lama’s quote can remind us that it is always possible to be kind, even when we feel tired and stressed and agitated. That kindness is something we can all strive for, with a little patience and effort each day.

At the school I work in, we have three school rules:
Speak kindly to others;
Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself (eg. never lash out at anyone); and
Follow instructions first time.

Whilst all three are important in keeping our pupils safe, the first two endeavor to teach our children from a very young age the importance of being kind to others. If we can nurture kindness in children, then we can also adopt the principles of compassion in our own lives and therefore, lead by example.

How can you be kinder in your interactions with others? How has kindness impacted your life?

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