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12 Steps to Transformation: A Month-to-Month Guide Bringing Joy, Peace, Love & Fulfillment: Part 1 Kindness

REIKI NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Camille Lucy – Certified Holistic Health Coach & Reiki Practitioner:

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We’ve all been told “be kind,” or “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” but what you may not know is that studies have found that practicing random acts of kindness is like nourishment it improves creativity, growth and overall health. Also, it was found that most of us are more likely to act kind towards a stranger than those we see everyday. Ouch! 

The Real Love Experiment

In my book, The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self, I devoted a whole chapter to the latter part of the above study. The chapter, titled “Buy a Punching Bag. Seriously,” discusses how we all have issues or “trigger buttons,” as I call them:

“We all have issues or trigger buttons. There’s no escaping that. To the degree we handle them is the degree to which we can maintain inner peace and share unconditional love. There’s an old philosophy that we all seem to abide by and accept as okay, and that is: it’s really easy to take our “troubles” (our BS) out on those closest to us. Ok then. This is true, but just because something is easy and “normal” does not make it acceptable. If we say we love someone, shouldn’t they be spared our wrath? Why do strangers get a friendly face, then we turn to our loved ones and snicker or glare? Or worse, attack them as though they are the enemy? 

If you want a healthy relationship full of real love, you’re going to have to buy a punching bag. Seriously. Take your anger out on that boy, not the one sitting in the room next to you because he (or she) loves you and wants to be with you. There is no justification for displaced anger and ego in a loving relationship. It’s abusive. Your angry words will sting way worse than your physical punches on that bag. And they’ll leave a lasting impression, where the bag will bounce right back, ready for more. Kindness is always key. 

Obviously, any form of abuse is a lack of love (self-love, included). Unconditional love does not abuse another. When we are in that mind frame, we are acting out of pain and fear and allowing our ego to overtake us. Whether we feel someone deserves our wrath or not is irrelevant. No one deserves to be mistreated. It’s not our job to teach people lessons, to hurt them, or punish them. It’s our job to love our loved ones! And to harness the wisdom of self-control and discipline. It can be really challenging to step back and let love flow in before reacting to our negative emotions and triggers – especially when they are sometimes learned during childhood and are therefore decades-old – but the reward is plentiful.

Love-ercise

In the “Love-ercise” (exercises at the end of each chapter), readers are asked to reflect on their relationships and patterns of behaviour. Questions are asked for them to open their eyes to new ways of loving, controlling their reactions, and suggestions are given to guide them to help themselves feel better, in addition to others:

Reflect on your relationships and your patterns of behaviour. While doing so, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. How does it feel when someone close to you seems to take their anger out on you? 
  2. Do you often act out angrily towards people close to you, even if they have nothing to do with what you’re upset about? 
  3. In what ways can you learn to control your temper and give out love instead of abuse? 
  4. Do you find any value in reacting poorly towards people? 
  5. What are some more productive ways of handling situations that upset you so that you can stay in a positive space and vibration? 

While we may not realize it, anything we dish out to others, we take in for ourselves. The poison we ask others to drink is inevitably seeping into our physiology, as well. Gautama Buddha teaches, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It’s been proven that our body function changes when we experience negative emotions or anger, whether they are about other people or ourselves. This can lead to disease (and dis-ease)!

Random Acts of Kindness

According to Random Acts of Kindness, the scientifically proven benefits of being kind include: kindness is teachable and contagious (think: ripple effect), and increases the love hormone (oxytocin), energy, happiness, lifespan, pleasure, serotonin and pleasure. Kindness decreases pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.

 

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Photo Credit: Roman Boed, December 2012 – Kindness

 

Start Practicing Kindness At Home

Yes, when we are around people for extended periods of time they have a tendency to get under our skin. And yes, it is very easy to unload our junk on them because they are there, and seem to be trying to annoy us. But at these crossroads, we have the choice to choose to act out of love or ego.

Ask yourself, Why do we give strangers more respect and love than we do our partners (or kids, family,  friends, etc.)?

We save face…fearing judgment or rejection from people that have absolutely nothing to do directly with our lives. Yet we attack our loved ones, not concerned in the moment about what they think or feel. It truly makes no sense when you break it down. Wouldn’t you want to give your loved one more effort, more patience, more care?  Or at least the same. After all, you share a close bond.

Tensions mount, pressures rise, overwhelm kicks in. Life can be really brutal sometimes. But, as Paulo Coelho said, “If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world.” It’s our responsibility to control our own emotional junk, and to protect others from its eruption. Not only will it benefit the person that is about to get blasted, but it will benefit you, as well. It will save you from diving head-first into negativity, and keep you elevated in heart space. Seeing as the Universe works by the laws of attraction, this will also save you from calling forth even more unpleasantries (think: “it’s just one of those days”).

Be Kind to Yourself

Though it may not be easy, being kind to yourself is the precursor to being kind to everyone else. Life is a reflection, or mirror, of what’s going on inside of ourselves. And most times, we have the most trouble being kind and loving to the person staring at us in the mirror. Be sure to carve out time for yourself, to do the things that light you up that you love, to forgive yourself (fully), to take care of your body, mind and soul, and to respect yourself (this includes having boundaries and maintaining them). Lift yourself up (be your own cheerleader), treat yourself and know that you are perfect and whole, right here and right now. Just as you are. Life is a journey; and we all make “mistakes.” That’s how we learn and grow. You’re doing the best you can, with what you’ve got. So take a load off… ease up on some of that pressure you’re putting on yourself and appreciate all of your great qualities. Even the quirks that make you special and unique.

Let me reiterate… You are magnificent.  And perfect just as you are in this very moment.  If you are carrying pain, if you are unhappy or if someone has done or said something that hurt you, know that it was not about you at all.  We view the world through our own narrow perceptions.

Know that happiness is a choice you make with every breath you take.  Your life is all your own, and you have the opportunity to choose what you welcome and allow in.  This includes your thoughts, feelings and emotions.  No one is responsible for your attitude but you.  Own it, honor yourself and choose to be well. Treat yourself as you would your very best friend. Love and appreciate all of what makes you you.

Be Kind to Your Family and Loved Ones

When triggered by stress, we often act out in unkind ways to those closest to us. Though directed outward, our body absorbs the poison. What’s more, everyone is affected. Energy is contagious. If a cashier was rude to you, chances are that they had a negative interaction prior to you stepping up next in line. And their bad attitude can have you complaining to those closest to you about how awful your experience was at the store. Anything we give out has a ripple effect, and you’d be surprised how many people are affected by one bad ‘tude.

Redirect your mind when you feel upset by something, or take a moment of “time out” before responding and reacting, and teach your children (if you have any) to do the same. Viktor E. Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” This is a powerful lesson. Most times, we react before giving ourselves space. In that space, we have the ability to calm down, to redirect our focus, to shift our perspective, and to really “think before speaking.” 

A little kindness goes a long way. And it’s like any other “muscle;” the more you use it and stretch it, the easier it is to respond with kindness, even in unpleasant situations.

Joel Osteen said, “Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” 

You have the power within you to live a healthy, happy and full life. A life of love. Real love. And kindness. You’re Superman (Superwoman), remember? You’ve got this.

 

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Photo Credit: Candy, February 2014 – The Kindness Bus

 

Next month I’ll cover “Trust and Faith”

In this 12-part series, readers will learn the key ingredients to a delicious life! Each topic will cover why it is important, as well as offer simple ways or suggestions on how to integrate these shifts into your everyday life. If these principles are followed, the results will be undeniable; a radiant and able body, mind and soul, shining from the inside out, stronger and healthier relationships and a dramatically improved quality of life.

About Our Reiki News & Review Columnist – Camille Lucy

Camille LucyCamille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Reiki & Raindrop Technique Practitioner, Ordained Holistic Minister, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3-girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and – well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Camille is also author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at www.CamilleLucy.com or on social media at @LiveFullToday.

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s professional opinion, based on their knowledge. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about a medical condition. Also, always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

 

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