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