We all have a kind and compassionate inner self. Every single one of us. Yet how do we create a kinder world when it just doesn’t feel like it around us or within us?
We feel grumpy, cross, angry or simply pre-occupied with the business of living. And we see so much nastiness, greed and power-grabbing around us. It’s difficult to believe that all our political leaders as well as ourselves, are at heart, the same.
So rather than looking out to this distressing world that you may find yourself in, here’s a reminder that can be empowering for you.
Where you place your focus expands and grows
So if the stresses of work and relationships have been drawing your attention, they will probably feel huge, maybe overwhelming. And if you are following certain political events on Social Media for example, that too, can feel very troubling.
This is not about turning away and pretending it’s nothing to do with us.
But notice that the more your mind attends to this, the more you feel the frustration, anger, fear.
In fact, look within, rather than out. It all starts with you as creator of your kinder world. Those strengths of kindness and love are already there, they simply require your attention.
How do you create your kinder world?
It seems timely as we have a whole new year ahead of us, to ask yourself, what do I want to feel more of this year?
Your list will be unique to you, but there will be some qualities we all wish for – love, peace, calm, compassion and kindness.
Notice what it feels like to focus on love, peace, calm, compassion, kindness. Take just one of these and prioritise it in your day. Become aware of how the feelings grow. And invite more love, compassion and kindness, peace and calm, into your life. Return to them again and again.
It can be this simple intention to reveal these tender inner qualities. Simple but very effective.
As you face challenges, the mundane or the unexpected, meet them with a sense of peace and inner calm. You can treat yourself more lovingly and be more compassionate with others. Whatever is happening.
All this while the world is moving on. Only now you bring kinder qualities to the situation. And notice how they actually feel strong, not weak.
Any time, simply remember the words ‘love’ or ‘kindness’. These innate qualities expand within you as you focus on them.
It doesn’t stop you from expressing your opinion about anything you disagree with.
You can still support issues that are close to your heart (poverty, world climate changes, gender inequalities, etc)
There will still be upsets with friends, family, colleagues.
Yet a greater inner strength grows with love, kindness, compassion and patience. I invite you to try:
Kinder world — ideas that might be helpful
Compassion and Karen Armstrong
I’ve been listening to Oprah Winfrey’s podcasts with Karen Armstrong.
I had read a couple of her books over time: The Spiral Staircase and The Case for God. She entered a Catholic Nunnery at the age of 17 and spent 7 years attempting to ‘find’ God.
In the end she left, but has spent her life studying how all the main wisdom religions share similar ideals at their core.
She highlights this as: ‘The Golden Rule’, perhaps your own parents taught you this one:
‘Never treat others as you would not like to be treated yourself’
Around this foundational quote, she developed the 12 steps to a compassionate life.
Loveability and Robert Holden
Robert Holden, too, talks about love and kindness in his book Loveability. It always starts with your capacity to love and value yourself. One idea he suggests is to choose a daily question that you consider as you go about your day:
How can I be a more loving person?
How can I be more considerate?
How can I be more compassionate?
How can I be kinder?
His book is full of beautiful wisdom. Well worth a read.
Loving Kindness Meditation
The Loving Kindness or Metta Meditation can be a beautiful practice that enables you to steep yourself in love. It lets you grow more in compassion and appreciation for your loved ones, generosity and forgiveness towards others, and it all reverberates within you and for you too.
You may wish to explore what Andy Puddicombe of Headspace shares about compassion and Loving Kindness meditation.
And this post, ‘Do you become kinder if you meditate’ includes a little more about Metta meditation.
I hope you might feel drawn to explore some of the above ideas. And notice how it feels to lessen the burden of self-criticism and the outer drama of politics. Instead, choose love. I wish you well for the new year as you create a kinder world, the one we all wish to live in!
Look out for the Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Sunday podcasts – a rich mix of wonderful chats with amazing people.
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation