It costs nothing. It takes no more of your time. It’s just about the simplest thing you can do to send wonderful energy out into the world. It’s amazing the difference it makes, in small and big ways. A few years ago, it was popular to practice random acts of kindness. But we forget. We got lazy.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Let the car that want to pull out in front of you go ahead.
- When someone actually allows your car to go ahead of them, acknowledge the gesture.
- Offer your seat.
- Write a thank you note for no reason.
- Give someone a hug.
- Smile at a stranger.
- Never roll your eyes. Never.
- When someone wants to tell you about their dream, really listen.
- Pay someone a compliment. Mean it.
- If you use an app at the coffee shop counter, leave a tip.
- Express empathy.
- Say your sorry.
- Tell a friend how grateful you are to have them.
- Drop a dollar or a quarter in a parking lot.
- Put change in someone’s expired meter.
- Let someone else control the TV remote.
- Accept yourself for the wonderful being that you are.
- Make your own list. Post one item in the comments.
What did you do today to be kind to yourself and others?
I’ve been told that recovery from chemotherapy and radiation can take a year or more. That’s not easy for someone like me to hear. I want my hair and nails to grow back now. I want my body to lose the weight now. I want the feeling to return to my hands and feet. Now. I want to learn how to eat right and exercise NOW. (I’m starting to sound a little like Jack Bauer on the tv show “24”.)
I have to continually remind myself to take baby steps. I understand that I’m not going to be struck “healed.” It’s going to take time. If I truly want to move forward, I can do it little-by-little.
I can’t do anything to make my hair and nails grow faster but I can take biotin. I can’t lose weight all at once, but I can pass on that piece of apple pie (sometimes.) I can take a walk today, and go to one exercise class a week. It’s a start. I can’t get anywhere if I don’t make a start.
For some reason, it was easier for me to understand this principle of moving slowly in a good, orderly direction (g.o.d.) when it came to building a spiritual practice. At first, it was impossible for me to sit quietly for two minutes. There was no question that this was a skill I did not have. I knew that finding peace, or having any sort of spiritual experience was going to be a long journey.
It’s called a spiritual practice for a reason. I needed to take small steps. What worked for me was working with a spiritual practitioner (Reiki, shamanic or meditation coach.) Like most long trips, it was easier and more fun than going it alone. When I did it, it felt like a GIANT step, but looking back at how far I’ve come, it was, indeed, a baby one.
There are a lot of baby steps you can try to begin a spiritual journey. Here are a few:
- Take a deep breathe in. Breath out. That’s it. Try it again – this time more slowly. When you’re ready, try it again. Maybe tomorrow.
- Turn off your phone. Not just before bed, but some other time during the day. Remember what it feels like to not be interrupted.
- Pray. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or the prayer you learned when you were seven. Just say, “Please help me today” in the morning, and “Thank you” at night. Watch what happens.
- Journal. Yup, you must have at least three blank ones hiding somewhere. Open one. Write, “Hello, me.” See what comes next. Try again tomorrow.
- Say “Grace” before you eat. No really, just that one word. It’s a baby step.
- Look yourself in the mirror. Ahhh…no, really. Take look. It’s ok. Say hi. Tell yourself, you’ll be back.
Try to do one of these. Maybe try another one, another day. Remember, we’re taking baby steps.
In November of 2014, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. It was the beginning of a roller coaster ride that included physical struggles, emotional angst, the rekindling of old relationships, the building of stronger bonds with family, friends and new acquaintances. It also included 12 months of biologic infusions, 6 months of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation. In the process, I lost feeling in my hands and feet; my tear ducts scarred shut requiring stents; I lost my hair and nails – and those were just the “not-to-disgusting” side effects. I started writing a blog called The Last Cancer Blog
. It was a way for me to work out, in words, what was going on in my head, and many people were kind enough to “play along” as I struggled to find grace and gratitude during a time when I’d much prefer to cry and whine. I promised myself that once I made it through treatment, I would come out of it a kinder, gentler version of myself and committed to continuing my own healing and to helping others.
I’ve always been a bit of a spiritual seeker, or what my mother might call a “nut job”. I started throwing tarot in college, began meditating in my thirties, studied the Law of Attraction and the works of Esther Hicks (Abraham), dabbled in astrology and fell in love with the Enneagram. I sought out Eastern therapies, and the counsel of shamanic healers and intuitives for three decades. I attended workshops by Wayne Dyer, Eckert Tolle and a certified course on Jon-Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness. My bookshelf is a library of wonders from Thomas Merton, the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Bill Wilson, Marianna Williamson, Gary Zukav, Bernie Siegel, Brian Weiss, Carolyn Myss and others. I learned EFT, yoga (it’s a practice!), and above all else, never underestimated the power of prayer and the magical gift of intuition. And after all of that, it wasn’t until I discovered Reiki that I realized my quest for all things spiritual was not an accident. It wasn’t until I began to practice it, on myself and others, that I realized just how powerful we are as spiritual/human beings.
My intention for this blog, and for my Reiki practice, is to search out wisdom, harness and share energy for the greatest good of my clients and the planet. When it comes to writing, you’ll find I may be a little unfiltered, and bad at finding typos.
I hope you’ll consider joining me in this discovery…