Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daily Intention – Kindness

Part three in a ten part series - By Cindy Graham

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
--Mother Teresa

It might seem odd to read an article on how to be more kind….but pause and ask yourself if you could be better at it. We all want to believe that we are genuinely proficient at this important subject, but if we are honest we will admit that we are good at this…..sometimes – when it’s convenient. There, I said it – and now that the truth has been revealed, let’s explore how setting a simple daily intention can help us become a more kind and genuine human being.

The bracelet in the picture says it all; Kindness begins with me. You are in control of how you act, what you think, what you say and do…so kindness is something you can represent. You have a choice when engaging with people…you can choose to be kind or you can choose not to be. Most of the time, we are all so busy (rushing around) that we aren’t even conscious of whether or not we are being kind.

For the sake of simplifying, here are some other words to describe kind; caring, sympathetic, nice, gentle, thoughtful, compassionate, humane, and considerate. WOW – kindness is a whole lot of good!

For a moment think about how it feels when someone is kind to you. When someone does something nice for me, it makes me remember that I want to be like that to other people! It’s been scientifically proven that when another human being witnesses a random act of kindness, their health, well being and mood is greatly improved. Think about how you feel when you come out of a movie regarding the goodness of humanity….and how much you want that feeling to stay with you. It’s because we really want to live in a world where we are all kind and good to each other…and it all starts with you.

There is a Greek proverb that states: “kindness begets kindness” which is also similar to “as you sow, so shall you reap." These sayings have been around since the start of man…and with good reason – they are rock solid truth! When you put kindness into everything you do, say and touch, it will come back to you 20 fold! Ready to give it a try….just one day is all it should take to get hooked on kindness!

Begin each morning with a 5 minute meditation on your daily intention of kindness. Sit quietly and envision yourself being kind, compassionate, gentle, caring and considerate with all people you come in contact with. Think of some things you can do to help others at work, think of places you can perform some random acts of kindness, picture yourself smiling throughout the day – passing the goodness from person to person – creating a ripple effect.

Once you’ve set your intention, you’ll need to perform self checks throughout the day so that you stay on track and don’t get distracted. It’s human nature to lose focus and become sidetracked in the busy lifestyle we live in today. This is why most people fail at keeping commitments – the distractions are everywhere in this overly modern, high tech, noisy society.

Should you find that you need some help staying focused on your daily intention, consider the meaning to pause® bracelet to provide regular, gentle reminders. The bracelet gently and privately vibrates every 90 minutes with a friendly nudge to be mindful of your daily intention of kindness. This simple and inexpensive bracelet holds the key to keeping you focused on your intention – all day long. The bracelet was created to help people pause and connect to something meaningful….and what’s more meaningful than kindness?

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared
for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”     -Dalai Lama

When we are kind, caring people, we feel good about our own life and we are contributing to the well-being of everyone around us! Living with the daily intention of kindness is good for you, good for your family, good for your community and good for our world!

LIVE WITH INTENTION – Kindness begins with YOU!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A gift from the storm...

Here's the gift from the storm!  If you take the time to PAUSE and reflect on how something so beautiful can come from such dark, cloudy, rainy really gives you a reason to smile.  A rainbow arches over a large piece of land and gives everyone underneath it and around it the opportunity to rejoice! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Not So Big Life.....

A Timing Device to Bring You to Presence

by Sarah on 3.23.2010, 4:51 pm

A couple of weeks ago we received an email from two women who've invented a new timing device, called meaning to pause that I thought might be useful to those of you who are implementing some of the strategies for coming to presence that I describe in The Not So Big Life. The device is an attractive bracelet that vibrates once every ninety minutes, bringing you to awareness of the moment.

You may recall in the Your Turn exercise on p. 143 I suggest the following:

Quote:  Every fifteen minutes, take ten seconds to pause and notice what is happening in your body and your mind.

You’ll need a timer with a repeat function to alert you to the fifteen-minute intervals. There are all sorts of watches and vibrating clocks available in the marketplace these days; a number of them are featured on the Not So Big Life website. (Click here, and scroll down to the Timing Devices topic toward the end of the page). You can even use an egg timer in a pinch, though if you are around others much of the day, it might drive them crazy in short order, so the silent variety of reminder is preferable.

Although this exercise sounds simple, its effects can be profound because it will bring you into the moment over and over again.

This new "meaning to pause" device is a perfect tool for this Your Turn exercise. Although it is programmed to go off every 90 minutes, in some ways this may be an improvement over the more frequent cycle I recommend in the exercise. I've been using my new meaning to pause bracelet for two days now and I find that I'm much less likely to tune it out (and forget to pause) because it is infrequent enough that one is much less likely to ignore it.

(If you've used the 15 minute exercise, you may know that a new conditioned pattern develops very quickly and you can easily start to tune out the reminder to pause. It really teaches you how quickly you can be conditioned, and simply tune out distractions! Quite an eye opener.)

In any case, I thought you might find this a useful supplement to your own Not So Big Life. If you do get one of these bracelets, or a different device, let me know what you discover as you use it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Charming Testimonial for Married Couples Pausing...

When I got the Meaning to Pause bracelet, the first thing I tried was to use the pause to think about my wife, Kristin. At the time, I was out of town and Kristin didn't have a bracelet yet. Sometimes this was a phone call or a text message, sometimes it was just me thinking, "I miss you honey." This was relationship-gold!

She really liked the support when working long hours, and it wasn't difficult to do. It's comforting to know when your partner is thinking about you. Sometimes this makes for mushy, cutesy, moments, but that is balanced by all the times you pause for a new reason, in a new way.

The pause bracelet will not listen to your excuses, it will gently nudge you to think, or act. Inevitably, I end up pausing in thanks, or in silent reflection, or maybe I suddenly remember that I need to stop at the store. There are a lot of fun ways to use it, so I queue up new ideas for my next pause.

My favorite pauses often occur when Kristin and I are together. We sync them and pause together throughout the day. When we're together, it's an excuse to glance at each other and smile. When we're apart, it makes us feel connected - like we've spent more time together that day than we actually did.

Since we both work long hours on opposite shifts, it helps us feel like we're still on the same planet. We find ourselves reflecting on the important things that are often swept under the rug. When a family member is ill, or a baby is being born, pauses tend to focus on these events. For us, it's a great way to maintain our sanity, and it helps us get the most out of life.

Ken & Kristin

Thursday, January 14, 2010

PAUSING....Finding Time For YOU!

Within each of us there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or "you time." Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily "you time." Though some people will inevitably look upon "you time" as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.

Recognizing the importance of "you time" is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of "you time," give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.

Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. "You time" prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as "you time" can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your wellbeing because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.

Friday, January 8, 2010

PAUSE to rest and improve your health...

Strong work ethic? You can still justify taking a break. In fact, we NEED to take breaks -- regularly and frequently. Why? WE WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY WHEN WE DON'T WORK SO MUCH. Rest periods break our work routines. They help SHIFT OUR THINKING from its habitual, stuck patterns. They create the SPACE FOR ENERGY AND CREATIVITY to flow. They give us TIME FOR REFLECTION, so we can step back and look at what's happening in our lives with greater detachment. We become more sensitive and aware. And finally, we are stronger when we BALANCE DOING with BEING. All work and no rest throws our life out of balance and endangers our health. Our bodies and minds need sufficient rest for recuperation. This is critically important with the level of stress in our lives these days. "The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."-- Sidney J. Harris

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WONDERFUL RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS: (from a meaning to pause customer)

Today, on my way home from driving my daughter to school, I saw a homeless man walking with his dog. My pause had just gone off. I turned around and went to Starbucks and got him a hot chocolate and muffin. It was cold and drizzling. I just can’t imagine walking in his shoes. I gave him the hot chocolate and a treat for his dog and a Starbucks gift card. He was so nice and he was so appreciative! Not drunk or drugged out at all. Just plain homeless and in need of kindness...