As we point ourselves in the direction of the new year, our custom is to examine our flaws and shortcomings. Turning a harsh and critical eye on our bodies, minds and behaviors, we generate a comprehensive list and resolve to change in the coming months.
What if the starting point of our resolutions was a heart of kindness? What if we offered ourselves affirmations,Instead of criticisms?:
- I know that I would enjoy being more generous with my time.
- I know that I would benefit from being more mindful about nutrition.
- I know that my relationships would benefit if I were less reactive.
- I know that I would feel better if I incorporated exercise into my schedule.
As Pema Chodron,a wonderful contemporary Buddhist teacher, tells us in her book “Start Where You Are”, 1994, When we are self-critical it is like doing violence to ourselves. Beginning from a place of kindness and compassion allows us to set a course for growth and change without the damage done by harsh criticism.
The power of kindness was demonstrated in a recent study at an elementary school in England, reported by the BBC. The study found that the 9 to 11 year olds, who performed three acts of kindness each week of the study, were rated as significantly more popular companions by their peers, than their counterparts who did an unrelated activity.
Pointing ourselves in the direction of kindness is the key to the lock of our humanity, our creativity and our joy; enabling us to be present for others and ourselves.
Wishing you all a new year filled with kindness, compassion and joy!
May this information benefit you, those you love, and all sentient beings, everywhere.
Mind Body Intelligencetm is a trademark of Ellen M. Adelman PhD and the Sage Healing Institute.
For more information visit www.sagehealinginstitute.com.
©All rights reserved Ellen M. Adelman PhD 1/2/2013.