THANK YOU NIKI AT The Richness of a Simple Life FOR HOSTING THIS CHALLENGE.
There were various prompts this week to help the participants exercise their kindness muscles. The prompt I chose was to listen closely to other people.
I wrote last week that truly listening to another person was a bit of a problem for me. I found myself doing all the things that make you a less than compassionate listener:
- I wanted to solve the problem.
- I was mentally preparing my response.
- I just plain zoned out on what the person was telling me.
Then to my horror, I caught myself looking over the shoulder of the person who was speaking to me in order to check out who else was in the room. YIKES!
Well, the Challenge has helped me identify a problem and I practiced listening this week with as much attention as my poor distracted mind would allow.
I can’t say that I didn’t fall into old behavior but I count this week as a win. I listened with more care and at least was aware when I started to drift off. I also found that this listening was not just a blessing and kindness to the speaker but also became a blessing for me. I found that I retained more of what was said and in certain circumstances made less mistakes due to memory loss.
Happy listening everyone,
This week the Kindness Challenge was to observe evidence of kindness all around you. It is amazing what this challenge did to add joy to my life.
The week started with reading the story of a teacher who wants to teach in the U.K. and puts out a call for help and within weeks has all the information she needs is provided by fellow bloggers.
It continued with me wanting to buy flowers for one of our employees who was retiring. When I purchased the flowers there was not a box to transport the flowers. The cashier searched and found box and placed the flowers in the box. Kindness #1. But when I saw the flowers in the box I was dismayed. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get them out without injuring the arrangement. Kindness #2. Instead of being frustrated with me the cashier proceeded to find an exacto knife and fix the box so that I could easily retrieve the flowers without damage.
Later in the week I was treated to a story about a lovely set of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The grandparents speak limited in English and the story was about how everyone in the neighborhood aids them with this task. It goes on to touchingly tell the lovely things the grandparents do for the neighbors to thank them for their kindness.
I finished the week last night by attending a splendid retirement dinner for my friend, Peggy. My family has been the recipient of endless gifts of kindness from Peggy for the last fourteen years that she has cared for our son. I always knew in my heart that Peggy was not only kind to Andrew but kind to all people who she has come to know.
Last night confirmed that fact as one person after the other took the microphone to tell their story about kindness received by them that were performed by Peggy.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose”. This week I smelled roses wherever I went.
Wishing you a week filled with kindness,
I am participating in Niki’s, The Richness of a Simple Life, seven week Kindness Challenge. What follow is Niki’s reflection to follow for week one:
Kindness Challenge: Week 1 Focus- Self kindness
MAY 9, 2016 ~ NIKI
Attention all 2016 Kindness Challenge Participants!
“Have you ever heard of the saying that “you have to love yourself before others can love you“? You have to love and accept yourself for who you are before you can expect for someone else to do so. Part of loving yourself is being kind to yourself.
Do you ever find yourself being nicer to others than you are to yourself? Do you think things that if said out loud would make you cringe? Are you too hard on yourself? Too critical? Are your expectations too high? This week the focus is on being kind and gentle with yourself so that you can extend that kindness towards others. How can you treat others the way you want to be treated if you don’t treat yourself that way?”
When I signed on for this challenge I didn’t expect it to start out this way. I signed on because I had become so saddened by the meanness of the rhetoric I was hearing all around me from every forum imaginable. But kindness to myself? Surely I had reached an age of maturity when I didn’t beat myself up over shortcoming anymore?
Well, this week taught me I could throw that smug observation out the window. I have had to face an uncomfortable fact about myself this week. This fact totally shocked me. It has rocked my whole idea of who I am and what I am capable of dealing with in my life. My initial reaction to this news was denial. But there didn’t seem to be any way to keep denying the situation so I moved on to a very, very reluctant acceptance. My next instinct was to beat myself up. I started down that road and then remembered the advise from this challenge.
If someone else told me this story, I would be kind to them. I would support them. I would tell them their expectations for taking care of everyone’s problems and not ending up with a problem of your own was unrealistic.
So, I decided to be a friend to myself.
So thank you NiKi for this challenge. It is funny how the teacher comes when the student is ready.