It is something I have been experimenting with recently. Small ways to spread the love resulting in others feeling appreciated and me reminding myself that feeling grateful feels good. Saying thank you and voicing appreciation to those around me more often has had such a soothing effect on me and a smoothing effect on relationships, which in turn builds greater resilience during challenging times.
Much of my interaction with others is in the context of business so my opportunities to practice extra kindness have a bit of a business theme.
- A little email thanking someone for their advice however small the help was. For example, I just thanked my business mentor for reassuring me that some of the difficulty I was experiencing was also experienced by many others running a business
- Regularly thanking suppliers for their great service and letting them know how valuable they are for my business.
- Responding to a petty client complaint with more generosity and kindness and little or no defensiveness
- Holding back on a critical thought about someone close when it isn’t really necessary
- Telling employees that I appreciate their contribution to the team and sometimes specifically what I appreciate about them
- Stopping to talk to a stranger in the park, even just saying something like ‘Lovely day’.
- Telling a foreigner that I love the sound of their accent
- Saying a compliment out loud to a stranger. I saw some beautiful hair in a supermarket queue recently and instead of keeping the thought inside, I just said it out loud to the woman that I thought she had gorgeous hair. She loved it and walked away smiling and feeling better about herself
- Reminding a friend who is being self critical that self compassion is an option when we make mistakes. Gave a self love book to one such old friend recently
- I have been continuing to leave books on self love in the park stealthily.
- It has been valuable to do something nice like this and not get thanked for it. Knowing that I wont get acknowledgement or recognition for it is not something particularly welcomed by this ego but the heart loves it.
There is so much that we can do like this, and I have been making a point of actively hunting for opportunities to be kind and generous with others. Let me know if you have any suggestions please too! Sometimes these opportunities are so obvious that we dont see them right in front of us.
I would like to add that we were on the receiving end of some kindness today. My son lost his wallet in the street and the lady found him and told him through facebook, so we went round to collect it earlier. It was a beautiful experience to be able to thank her and exchange mutual goodwill and kindness with a stranger 🙂