Welcome to February. Winter is in full bloom. As the snow falls outside my window, I am reminded of the theme or topic for this month–kindness. Kindness, like snow, can cover over A LOT of ugliness and rough edges. My yard and the surrounding hills never look more lovely than when covered in a blanket of snow.
This month we are going to unpack the power of kindness and how it can help us to create a more HOPE-full life.
Kindness is a timeless classic. It never goes out of style. It crosses all boundaries of humanity: age, sex, skin color, family history, income bracket, hair styles. It reaches past the way we dress, the food we eat, the sports team we like, and even the presidential candidate we vote for.
Kindness is impartial in its effect on peoples lives.
The giver and receiver are both beneficiaries of the benefits.
Kindness lowers our blood pressure, helps us lose weight, age slower, acquire more money and be generally healthier for longer. Okay that last sentence is fiction but if it were true we would be motivated to practice kindness. We would be overwhelmed with kindness. We would never have to pump our own gas again, load our own groceries, buy ourselves a cup of coffee, fight to be heard, watch our own backs, protect our hearts,… The power of kindness is profound for the receiver and the giver.
WARNING: There will not always be thanks, or music from heaven when we initiate acts of kindness. We may be scorned or rebuffed or there may be no reaction at all but that is part of the coolness of kindness. It is the silent ninja of virtues–like how sugar dissolves into whatever it’s put into. We can’t see it but it changes the chemistry of its receiver and sweetens whatever it touches.
We have talked a lot about hope and the importance of cultivating and crafting it (I encourage you to look back at previous posts and read at your leisure). Learning to be intentional in our journey towards a more a HOPE-full life is our focus this year and kindness is a powerful tool to cultivating and crafting hope.
Hope is tough and can grow in the most unlikely of places but it needs a crack or bit of softness in which to put down roots. Kindness creates that place.
Life is hard.
We can become hard.
We all get wounded, weary and war against bitterness.
Hope is the medicine for this hardness and weariness.
Kindness is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
Kindness leads to compassion, communion, and caring for ourselves and others. It helps to keep us sweet–like sugar.
Whether you need to be kind to yourself or reach out to those around you, kindness is simple and sweet but the difference it makes can be profound
A little bit of sugar is like a little bit of kindness–it sweetens what it touches.
Our craft/visual aid this month is two-fold:
- Set out a sugar bowl or sugar packet holder. Use sugar, cubes, or packets of your favorite sweetener. When we see the sugar bowl or packet we are reminded that kindness is like sugar and sweetens whatever/wherever it lands.
Look at the local dollar store to find
a pretty glass bowl or
colorful plastic bowl or
small basket or
some other container.
in your cupboard
and take one out that you have yet to use or
visit your local thrift store for something unique.
Be creative and make one
using polymer clay or
an old baking soda box to cover (for packets) or
how about an old basket that just needs a little update.
2. Take a packet or your favorite sweetener and
put it in your wallet/purse
set one on your desk
by the phone
on your night stand.
It serves as a visual reminder to practice kindness.
Until next time,
Heidi Mull, practicing my super-secret-ninja-skills of kindness, creating space for hope to grow.