In my mind, I continue to hear a phrase from one of the “kindness” videos I’ve watched. To paraphrase it – “Kindness, when done correctly, creates a circle. The circle starts with you.” I also remember a phrase from another kindness video. Someone pays for a homeless man’s coffee and shares the phrase – “I know the feeling of being nothing.”
How can the circle of kindness start with you if you feel less than kindly about yourself?
Here are some clues that you need to increase the level of kindness with which you treat yourself.
- You always put the needs of others before your own.
- You sabotage your goals either consciously or subconsciously.
- You bully, belittle, or are mean to yourself.
- You find it challenging to practice self-acknowledgment.
- You’re always looking for what is wrong with you or what is missing.
- The voice of others overrides your own voice.
What may cause us to be less than kind to ourselves?
- Meanness in our family of origin may lead to being mean to others or ourselves.
- Bullying in school may lead to self-doubt and low self-esteem.
- Comparison to others can cause us to feel less than.
- Hearing disempowering statements such as “can’t you do anything right?” can build our inner critic.
Transformational work is a powerful antidote to discover the clues, shift the patterns, and create new pathways of being.
I was recently on a call where people shared ways to practice self-care. The ideas ranged from daily practices such as tapping, gratitude, and Aura-Soma to activities people love, such as meandering through a garden, eating healthy food, and talking to friends, among others. I had shared some “kindness practices” in a blog a couple of years ago – Being Kind- Start by Being Kind to Yourself. There are still others in this blog – Into the Divide: How to Be Kind to Yourself.
If kindness can create a circle that starts with you, what would be your starting point? Consider some general areas of focus:
- Physical health and well-being
- Managing your emotions and mental health
- Approaches for learning and growth
- Relationships and boundaries
- Managing your energy
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