Kindness Counts

Kindness Counts

Be kind to yourself, and then let your kindness flood the world. – Pema Chodron

This time of year inspires me as we’re surrounded with bountiful gifts from Mother Earth … lush green trees and vibrantly colored flowers offering hope for the future. I’ve been thinking about where we go next as we emerge from the COVID crisis.

How can we intentionally shape a new way of being together with more gratitude and grace?

I believe it begins with our being more mindful about the power of kindness and how something so simple can have a lasting impact on those around us. In any given moment, the grace you offer to yourself or to another can be transformational. Kindness flows so naturally through us when there is a genuine intention behind an action. An act of kindness benefits both the person giving it and the one receiving it and the impact of that one gesture can be so healing!

Did you know that when you do something nice for someone it stimulates the vagus nerve which quite literally warms up the heart and stimulates the production of oxytocin, a hormone that inspires bonding and connection?  That same act of kindness triggers the release of dopamine, a hormone that generates positive feelings and emotions.

Simply put, practicing kindness reduces stress and anxiety and can cause a natural high for everyone involved. How easy is it to cause a ripple effect of positive vibes everywhere you go? I encourage you to be an observer of how you feel the next time you offer someone a compliment or let them go ahead of you in line. Notice how your overall mood shifts and how your elevated energy can be contagious.

Kindness, like mindfulness or meditation, is a practice. The more we do it, the better we get at it and the more natural it feels. Whether we are giving or receiving it, kindness teaches us to that we get to choose how we want to show up in the world.

Kindness starts with YOU. It’s important to practice being kind to yourself. Lose the negative self-talk. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself and give yourself the same respect you give to others. We all have bad days from time to time when we’re struggling to stay positive. Next time you’re feeling “off”, stop and breathe and think about how you really want to respond to a situation and practice loving kindness with your words and actions. Imagine the impact we can make by collectively spreading more kindness around like confetti.

High Vibes + Grateful Heart, XO, Jenn

Set Boundaries…If You Dare!

Set Boundaries…If You Dare!

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

– Brené Brown

Spring is a time to celebrate rebirth and renewal. Seeds planted last fall are popping up through the rich, dark soil and new life is emerging. We’re being called to release what no longer serves us to make room for a fresh start. We just witnessed a full moon in Libra urging us to strike a balance between meeting our personal needs and attending to the needs of others. In January, I vowed to set healthier boundaries and admit that this still a work in progress. I’m a nurturer with a human design to “rescue” people. While this is a wonderful gift, I’ve learned that too much of a good thing can leave me feeling depleted and a little resentful. When this happens, I find myself vibrating on a much lower frequency than where I want to be so I give myself a swift kick in the pants to mindfully taking actions for my highest good. 

As an Intuitive Coach, Empath, & Energy Worker, I teach others that creating boundaries is very empowering and is, in fact, essential for our overall well-being. When we set and manage expectations and limits for ourselves, we protect our own self-esteem, maintain self-respect, and learn to separate our thoughts/feelings from others. Nobody wants his/her/their boundaries violated by others. Yet we’ve all experienced times when we’ve allowed lines to be crossed. We need to learn to differentiate between where our own values start and stop and where another’s begin.

It can be tricky to maintain boundaries especially with those closest to us. Even though we’re all separate beings, we can get lost in our connectedness with one another and the lines get blurry. Most struggle to maintain healthy boundaries out of fear of the response we’ll get from someone we care about, or out of guilt for not doing enough for that person. Even though it can go against our nature to put our own needs first, I encourage you to give yourself permission to put some self-preservation guidelines in place. Remember, a healthy relationship allows you the space to be yourself and to maintain your personal integrity. Most people will respect your boundaries when you explain what they are and will expect you to do the same for them. I know from experience that when I consciously honor my boundaries, I live a more balanced life and enjoy more productive and loving relationships and you can too.

 

High Vibes and Grateful Heart, XO, Jenn