All posts filed under: kindness

Redefine Success and Create a Happier Life

When Arianna Huffington collapsed from exhaustion in 2007, she was forced to take a long hard look at her life and redefine what success meant to her. With her health so visibly deteriorating, the classic notions of success as money and power, were irrelevant. If she wasn’t alive, both would cease to matter. In her book THRIVE, we are introduced to a third metric of success. A metric that consists of four equal pillars. The pillars represent Wellbeing, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving and they make up the four chapters of her excellent book. An impassioned read, Arianna encourages us to look within ourselves and build a more meaningful and fulfilling life, aligned with our values. Touching on the importance of sleep and meditation to nourish our minds and bodies. We are also introduced to the power of giving back to our local communities and the joys of delighting in wonder. Something we rarely give ourselves the time to do. “Disconnecting from our technology to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential for wisdom.” Arianna Huffington Each page is filled with wisdom and insight, and I would …

6 Steps to Reconnect

Connection with other people is fundamental to our happiness and wellbeing. Yet with the rise of digital technology and online social networking sites, you would think the opposite was true. The lack of face-to-face connection is having devastating effects on society, with social isolation and the loneliness epidemic reaching all time highs. On par with early death through cause of smoking and obesity. We can certainly reverse this negative impact and through very simple means increase our connectivity levels. Here are a few simple steps to get you started – CALL AN OLD FRIEND It’s automatic to text a friend or write a quick email between meetings at work, but there’s nothing quite like hearing someones voice when you actually take the time to pick up the phone and call them PAY SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT A stranger on the street, your boss or the local chemist. Whoever your path might cross with, make a point to give at least one compliment each and every day. You’ll be amazed at the positive impact a little kindness and small  connection (even with a complete …

Poetry Friday

And a man said, “Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.” And he answered, saying: Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well you should. The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking on my path.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For …

Happy Earth Day!

April 22 marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, started by Gaylord Nelson in 1970 in which 20 Million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, with more than a billion people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities participating and celebrating simultaneously around the globe. Growing out of the very first Earth Day, the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 50,000 partners in 192 countries. Their mission is to ‘broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.’ This is your chance to be a part of the largest environmental service campaign in the world! Visit EDN’s website and sign the climate change petition, join the campaign to protect the Asian elephant or partake in A Billion Acts of Green. Whatever you do, make sure you do your bit to help sustain our beautiful planet!

The Tale of Two Wolves

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life… 

”A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. 
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. 

”One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

 “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. 

”This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” 

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win Grandfather?”

 The old chief simply replied, 
”The one you feed.”

Poetry Friday

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Make decisions through Love

Loving ourselves is the first and most important step towards personal development and growth. Spending time with and by ourselves, observing and understanding the landscape of our hearts and minds isn’t egotistical or self-centred, but instead a very selfless act of love and kindness. Because by knowing and working on ourselves – exploring our strengths and weaknesses, dealing with and letting go of past sufferings and future expectations, nurturing and feeding our minds and souls with self-love and compassion – we can become our best possible selves. Better equipped to love and thrive and therefore benefitting everyone we come into contact with. 8 Steps to Self-Love – Choose Grateful. Be grateful for who you are and what makes you unique. Start each day focusing on the good stuff, don’t automatically reach for your phone but instead take a moment to feel gratitude. Practice Contemplation. Whether through meditation, prayer or simply gazing at the stars in wonder. Learn to be quiet and let your soul speak. Be Honest. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, there’s little hope …

Respond don’t React

Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz liberation, so it seems apt that today’s post is about Viktor Frankl’s best-selling classic Man’s Search for Meaning. The extraordinary memoir of a psychotherapist who survived life in a Nazi concentration camp. The story is based on his experiences in camp where he laboured, starved and was subjected to horrific abuse, whilst his pregnant wife, brother and parents all perished. It is a profound book on the strength of the human spirit in the face of despair. There are two areas that really stand out for me in this book. The first is Frankl’s argument that we cannot avoid suffering, that life is suffering, but what is important is our perception of it and how we choose to react to it. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl  How we perceive something gives it its meaning and whilst we …

new year. new book. new perspective.

The Road Less Travelled is a ‘classic work on relationships, spiritual growth and life’s meaning’. Written by best-selling author M. Scott Peck, it draws heavily on his experience as a psychiatrist and is a compelling book full of wisdom and tips to a happier, healthier and more meaningful life. It’s one of the few books I’ve carried around that gained a great deal of attention. Sat in coffee shops, on the bus, waiting for a friend in a restaurant, endless people noticed I was reading it and felt compelled to comment; “Great book”, “That’ll stay with you forever”, “Wonderful read” and I completely understand why. It is a life-changing book and one I will no doubt revisit again and again. Topics covered include – Discipline and the art of delaying gratification, giving up comforts in the present for future gain. Love as a choice not a feeling, extending one’s self for the purpose of nurturing another’s spiritual growth. Finding Grace within ourselves, evolving our conscious minds and making the unconscious, conscious. It’s a thought-provoking journey that took me …

25 reasons it’s better to give than receive

During this over-indulgent, opulent time of year it’s important we take stock and remind ourselves that Christmas isn’t all about the parties and presents, but the season of good will and peace to all men! So if you were ever in doubt, the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar is here to prove that giving is far more satisfying than receiving. Subscribe to their mailing list and receive 25 daily acts of kindness sent straight to your inbox. A different challenge is set each day – phone an old friend, leave a kind note, give to the needy – in the hope that we can re-educate ourselves and really feel the positive difference going out of our way to be more giving can make. Sign up now and see how many random acts of kindness you can carry out this Christmas. Sign up here.