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Easy Good Habits: Soften Up with Kindness and Compassion

Child and Chick_BirdI believe that the start of a new year is a great time to shake things up a little.

So . . . here’s a radical three-part notion:

1. When you soften your heart with patience and kindness (and therefore courage), positive thoughts are able to make a greater impact on your mind.

2. When you strengthen your positive thoughts, it automatically becomes much easier to change your perspective and make things work.

3. Therefore, the most powerful thing you can do to create a positive mind-state — the state from which flows all creativity, health and wellbeing, as well as worldly success — is to allow your heart to soften.

How do you soften up? You’re really going to enjoy this . . .

  • First, consider that your true self is already peaceful, free, and kind. All you need to do is reacquaint yourself with its natural healing gesture: compassion.
  • Next, affirm this in your own experience. Notice (or remember) what happens when you see a child or a small animal suffering. Usually you’ll feel a pang of concern. You wish they weren’t hungry, hurt, or lonely. At the very least you may feel momentarily uncomfortable. This is a glimmer of compassion. It is your heart’s natural gesture, and it reaches out to another being —  either overtly or invisibly —  whenever you see them suffering.
  • Say to yourself, “Because my heart is naturally compassionate, I am kind. This compassion would like to ease all of the suffering I see.” Stand before a mirror and say this out loud to yourself. It’s OK if you laugh — it is kind of funny to talk to a mirror. But it’s also very interesting. It’s good practice acknowledging what’s true.

To support yourself in this new Easy Good Habit, you might try listening to Becoming Fearless and Compassionate (CD or MP3) every day for at least a week. The best time to do this is either just as you’re waking up in the morning, or just before you go to bed at night, but many of my friends listen to their tapes at lunch, to freshen themselves for the rest of their day. See what works for you.

  • Next up: The Courage to Be Kind

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

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