Practicing Radical Kindness
It never fails. When we go for an unkind thought, our life contracts, a kind thought & our life expands.
Since we can only go as high as our thoughts, if we belittle (be little—whoa, it really hits you when you break it down) ourselves regularly, we self-sabotage even our best efforts.
Talking smack to ourselves usurps our strength & leaves us feeling weak & isolated. But when we replace judgment with gentle mercy & tender regard, we can overcome our inner critic & transmute self-judgment into self-love.
Now you may already be a champion of self-acceptance, but if not, it’s time to course correct. Here’s where it gets fun. Proceed at your own compassionate pace. (Of course, being unkind to ourselves for being unkind to ourselves would defeat the purpose.)
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• Invite your best pals or spouse to gently nudge you when you're devaluing, criticizing or
treating yourself unkindly. Only kindness will do.
• Be quick to forgive yourself as often as necessary & move on. Offer yourself complete,
unconditional approval regardless of what takes place in your life.
• Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, &
knowledge that you had. Now you are growing & changing, & you will live life differently.
• Get in touch with your divine magnificence. You were fearfully & wonderfully made. Tap
into the wonder.
• Be your own cheerleader. Show some respect. Appreciate your noble efforts. Milk your
successes. Remember all those times you came through with flying colors.
• Receive compliments graciously. Allow them to really sink in & re-teach you your loveliness.
• Only ever talk to yourself with a tone & inflection you’d use as a kind & loving friend.
• Craft daily small kindnesses for yourself.
• Give to yourself as much as you give of yourself.
To infuse more kindness into the nooks & crannies of your life:
Whenever our thoughts don’t fall into the category of benevolent, let’s see how quickly we can catch them & turn them around. (Told you this was gonna be fun.)
Always remember that the times we “fail” the biggest are the times that most call for absolute, unconditional compassion; for replacing self-punishing rumination with comfort & exhortation; for lavishing kindness & tenderness on our breaking hearts. Kindness acts like medicine.
"An Amazing Life Story..."
Love yourself for your every mistake. They’ve been very valuable on your journey.
It’s the way we learn. Instead of punishing yourself, how about
appreciating your willingness to learn & grow?
Self-flagellation never produces lasting change. No matter how justified they may seem—if we refuse to indulge in damaging emotions or thoughts about ourselves—our best selves naturally emerge.
The more we practice self-acceptance, the easier it is to replace destructive habits with nurturing ones. Change occurs naturally in an atmosphere of unconditional love.
Skeptical? Even science has proven that self-criticism lowers serotonin levels, sets off cravings, & sends us in search of a serotonin boost in the form of sugar & carbs & other addictions.
Self-soothing replaces self-medication. When we get our needs met in healthy & sustainable ways, substitutes eventually fall by the wayside. Love resolves the fear that fuels addiction.
We can choose the words and the tone of voice in which we speak to ourselves. When we do so with warmth, affection & tenderness, the spirit of the words eventually take hold in our hearts.
When we extend kindness to ourselves, we automatically have more compassion for others. It's inevitable. It's the spillover.
So, talk yourself up. Be kind to yourself as a general enterprise in a world that can at times appear unkind beyond belief.
All photos courtesy of Courtney Meckes | Photo edits by Peter O'Krepki | Captions by Cindy O’Krepki.
Begin now. And get ready to be amazed by the shift you’ll create as you offer yourself radical, unreasonable, unprecedented kindness.
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