Tag Archives: Kindness

Intent of the Day: Sharing the Warmth

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What exactly makes you feel at home? And what does home feel like? As tough as it can be going out your door, there’s something special about having a place or being a person that radiates kindness and warmth. Sharing that warmth means interacting with people who don’t have to be afraid or ashamed and we are committed to creating that environment. Our intent today is to share a little warmth.

Need help warming it up? We’ve got 3 things to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: A Little Extra Kind

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Holidays can be tough. Post-holidays can get harder.
The likelihood that you will bump into (or be) someone extra sensitive, overly anxious or unnecessarily upset is at an all-time high and our first reaction might be to match their emotional level. You feel justified in lashing out or shutting down, but is that really the best way to navigate this situation? Perhaps what everyone needs is a little extra dose of grace and kindness and where better to get those ingredients than you? Today our intent is to be a little extra kind.

You too? here are some ways and some reasons: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Speak Kindly

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Today in the US polling places are filled with people who are going to make history with their votes. We’ve been inundated for months with opinions of every person with a computer, phone or video camera. Who should win this election? What are the issues that matter most? Which issues are being underrepresented? Everyone has an opinion and sadly, it seems like it has brought out the worst in so many. It happens when people feel violated. It happens when people feel unseen and unheard. It happens when people are scared. Regardless of what happens, the sun will still come up in the morning. The hands on the clock will move forward. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor. So today our intent is to speak kindly.

You too? Here are some things to help:

Think twice.
Not every thought we have needs to be spoken out loud. We know that may be hard to believe. But words, like the feathers of the proverbial pillow, have a hard time being gathered back up and replaced once they’ve been set free. Before rushing to say everything that pops into your mind, make sure you’ve heard clearly and correctly. Consider whether your opinion helps or hurts the situation at hand in this very moment. Not sharing something doesn’t make you less right. Sharing something doesn’t mean you are right at all. Today, choose to think twice before speaking.
Think of the bad day.
There are roughly 7.5 billion people on this planet right now. That is 7.5 billion people with 7.5 different upbringings, different day jobs, different routes they traveled to work today, different hours of sleep they got the night before. Before being harsh or seeing someone as a speed bump in your day, consider the possibility that this my be the worst day of their life. Imagine what you would want from a friend, family member or even a stranger on the worst day of your life. There is significant power in being able to empathize and maybe kind words are the unexpected solution to a bad situation. (We love this commencement speech by David Foster Wallace where he encourages us to see the people who frustrate us as complete humans with experiences we don’t fully understand, instead of roadblocks or hindrances.)
Think of what you’re making.
The words we speak are making something. They are building things up or tearing things down. They are strengthening and affirming or they are weakening and destroying. Some things in our lives need to be torn down and some need to be built up so, you decide your intents and the future you are trying to create. If it’s a world that’s a little more peaceful, a little kinder, a little softer, then do you part in your tiny corner of this earth to create that. Create that by choosing kindness when you speak. Choose it by letting your words matter every time they come out of your mouth. Because those words have weight and they give life to things that you may never fully grasp. Words of encouragement have encouraged the underdogs of our world to achieve amazing things. Words of discouragement have torn down many a brave and hopeful human. What are you making?

World Kindness Day: Words on Bring Kind

Today might be Friday the 13th but don’t be afraid. It is also World Kindness Day!
It requires no dollar amount. It requires no prep time. It only requires that you notice where you are and who is around you. There is kindness in connecting and in putting action to your words and feelings so we gathered words on kindness from voices of wisdom in history. What is kindness to you?

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Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
-Lao Tzu

Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.
-Khalil Gibran

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
-Dalai Lama

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina
or softened the fiber of a free people.
A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wherever there is a human being,
there is an opportunity for a kindness.
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca

You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small,
is ever wasted.
-Aesop

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
-Confucius

Would You Commit a Random Act of Kindness If It Took 1 Minute & Could Save 8 Lives?

organ-donor.3803807700-300x212In the happiness world, there’s a lot of talk about “committing random acts of kindness.”

As I wrote about in Happier at Home, I’m a bigger fan of non-random acts of kindness — but there is one random act of kindness that I absolutely believe in.

If you support organ donation, please speak up about it.

Take a moment to sign the donor registry. That way, everyone can easily know your wishes, should the need arise.

Also, let your family and friends know that you’d want to be an organ donor.  Post a message on Facebook or Twitter, send out a blast email, talk about it over dinner. If and when they had to make a decision on your behalf,  in a time of grief and shock, it would be a tremendous comfort to them to know what you would want. To make it easy to find what you wrote, add the hashtag #organdonor.

This issue is particularly close to my heart. For decades, my husband had hepatitis C, which attacks the liver (he got hep C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation when he was eight years old). Well, it turns out the liver is a very, very important organ to have.  A liver transplant was definitely a possibility for him, so I became very interested in this issue of organ donation.

By a miracle of modern science, my husband is now cured. Yes, CURED. Tears well up in my eyes, even just typing those words.  (If you want to read more about one of the happiest days of my life, go here.) Continue reading

Terrorism, Fear and the Movies

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This week the whole world grieved at the unfathomable murder of 140 students and teachers in Pakistan at the hands of terrorists. A little closer to home for many of us, theaters pulled “The Interview”, a satirical film from Seth Rogen and James Franco about a news team sent in to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un, after hackers not only hacked Sony’s computer system but released threats to harm movie theaters and movie goers attending the film upon it’s opening this Christmas holiday.

There are a lot of ways to feel unsafe at the moment and people everywhere are speaking up about it. It seems that wherever there are those seeking to live in freedom, there will be others seeking to take it away. On a small scale, this our hope for you this holiday season: Continue reading

Finding ‘True Refuge’ in the Face of Loss and Ego

true refugeKim, Seoku Jong, the reporter for the Kyungyang Shinmun, one of Korea’s major daily newspapers, recently interviewed me about my book True Refuge, which is now available in Korean. Since most of my readers won’t be able to read the article in Korean, I wanted to share the interview with you hear.

KSJ: How are you doing? Please tell us what interests you most these days.

TB: My mother, who lives with us, recently went into home hospice care. What interests me is that when we face the truth of mortality—that these lives can pass like a dream, that we will each lose those who are dear—what most matters is love. At the end of our lives, the question that will be central is, “Did I love well?” It’s clear that the more we remember to live this moment, here and now, in a loving, awake way, the more our lives will be truly aligned with our values and our heart.

I’m deeply saddened to be losing my mom – she is a wonderful being, filled with generosity, humor, and kindness. She meditates, as do my siblings, and by being together in the present moment, by loving without holding back, this time of sorrow is also a time of great beauty. This experience is, to me, possible throughout our lives. If we can remember what most matters to us, our lives will be vibrant, creative, loving, and beautiful.

KSJ: The world is full of suffering and it doesn’t seem to end. No one is free from suffering. Your book introduces to readers the moving stories of people who managed to heal themselves despite their wounds, and to a number of meditation methods that can be applied for the liberation from suffering. If you can briefly summarize the essence of True Refuge, what it would be?

TB:While the pain and loss that is part of life will continue, we each have the capacity to free ourselves from the suffering of feeling threatened, separate, or deficient. This becomes possible when we can see past our story of egoic self and contact the deeper truth and fullness of who we really are. The essence of each of us is loving presence – an awareness that is pure, wakeful, and boundless. This is our True Refuge. Those who have healed themselves with meditation have learned to pay attention in a way that has carried them home to loving presence, our true nature.

A key part of finding this True Refuge of loving presence is bringing a kind and mindful attention to all the expressions of our egoic self. We don’t find True Refuge by eliminating the ego; we come home when, like the ocean, we embrace all the waves that arise from our Being. In a very real way, this means embracing the aggression and defensiveness, the insecurities and hurts. What we don’t love controls us. Yet, as we enfold more and more of our experience in acceptance and love, we realize the freedom and vastness of our awakened heart.

KSJ: What is false refuge, and how is it different from True Refuge? And why is it so important to have True Refuge?

Being human is challenging. We’re aware of the dangers we face—rejection, failure, disease, loss, death—and our habit is to try to control whatever we can. A false refuge is a control strategy that might give temporary relief, but in the long run does not serve us. For example, we might overeat to soothe our anxiety or to feel some gratification, but we then feel ashamed or gain unhealthy weight. We might work very hard to prove ourselves worthy, but become overly busy and neglect our loved ones. We might brag or exaggerate to get others approval, but inwardly feel like a fake. All these false refuges actually take us farther from the experience of being at home with ourselves, secure in the essential goodness of who we are.

To be continued…

 

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photo by: DarkAura

Kindness – It Does Your Body Good

Helping the homelessI remember being told to be kind as a kid, primarily as it related to how I treated any of my five siblings. I was thinking about this again this week while watching how little kindness there seems to be in the news. Between political battles of ideology, fighting for land, arguing over resources and fighting over egos, we have forgotten how to be kind. “Be kind for everyone you meet is fight a hard battle,” is a quote attributed to Plato. Regardless who said it, its message rings true now more then ever. What would it take for us to be more intentionally kind? And, how would our world change we did?

To me, the word Namaste says it all – “may the divine in me acknowledge the divine in you.” May whatever is great in me focus on seeing the greatness in you – even if I don’t know you. And if I did, I would be kinder. If I did, I would be more generous, more loving and more forgiving. I would see the greatness in you, trying to express your inner divinity. “We must find out for ourself that inside us is a god or goddess in embryo that wants to be born so we can express our divinity,” says Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Here is an exercise I regularly use for myself and as a challenge I share with my audiences. The next time you are on the highway and someone cuts you off, or you are in line and someone steps ahead of you, how will you make a point of seeing their greatness and their divinity instead of feeling offended? How will you see them as related to you, part of you and part of a greater plan? It isn’t easy because we have been trained to focus on ourselves more than on others. We feel violated, slighted or insulted. But it doesn’t have to be this way – our reaction to this is our choice. As we can choose to be unkind, we could also choose to be kind.

Changing a habit takes intention. To change a habit of focusing first on us takes the intention of wanting it to be different and committing to make the change. The starting point is awareness. We have to be able to see when we are kind and not kind. We have to be present enough to see ourselves in action – to notice our triggers and be aware of our responses. Only then will we be able to stop the “go-to” reaction of selfishness and retaliation, and instead see that we have a choice. That choice could include kindness. In the example of the car cutting you off on the highway, it could mean not blaring the horn and passing a gesture, but instead slowing down, letting the other car in and be entirely unaffected by the event. This is a choice.

The most amazing thing about being kind, is the greatest benefit is not for the other person; it is actually for you. The more unkind we are, the more damage we inflict on ourselves. I was coaching a client this week who is getting ready to leave an employer for some unfair and unprofessional things the employer did. This employee has the ability to “stick it” to his employer; be upset, carry a grudge and bad-mouth his employer. Or, he can realize that in a win-win termination solution, the employee can choose to not be at the effect of the situation, but actually choose to show up kinder, more aware and more committed to greatness. He can choose a mutually beneficial response that treats both sides kindly and professionally. He took the higher ground. His mood, health and spirit were left intact from the event. Kindness, it does a body good.

In what ways can you be more intentionally kind today, this week and this month? Feel the effects of it. See the effects of it. Though kindness does a body good, it also can do a planet good. Choose kindness.

Love Your Community: Intent.com Valentines

Kindness in words creates confidence.
-Lao Tzu

Do you remember your first love note?
In elementary school, you unfolded the wide-ruled paper and it said something about how you were so pretty or you were the funniest or the best basketball player or you had the coolest birthday party. Really, to hear any of those things as an adult might not be so bad either! The truth is becoming an adult means we have access to so many more words and choose to use them less and less.

So we at Intent bring you some of our favorite words to help you say the things you’ve been meaning to say on Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine4

Valentine5

Download and share or create your own.
Kind words create confidence, so don’t let your words stay locked up inside!

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