Kindness Exercise

Life can definitely be very stressful sometimes. As human beings we have all found numerous ways of complaining about our fellow humans. “The lady behind the counter is looking at me weird and she obviously has a problem, she’s messed up.” “That driver behind me keeps coming really close to me and it’s really pissing me off, he is such a jerk, what a loser.” I was actually inspired to write this post today because I was getting pissed off at a driver who was coming really close to me. He was probably just trying to pass me up because he was late for work or something of that sort, but I took it as a personal insult got angry. Once I thought about my reaction I realize that usually when we are complaining about someone, we aren’t even sure that they’re doing anything specifically to us! How do we know the lady behind the counter is actually looking at you weird because she thinks something negative about you? How do you know that the person who’s riding your butt on the highway is actually doing it to annoy you and not because of his or her own personal problems?

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Think about this quote for a moment. This quote has been extremely important and has meant so much to me over the years. It is basically a quote about perception. When you change the way you perceive something, the thing you were  perceiving quite literally changes. It does not really matter whether it literally changes in a physical, spiritual, or mental/perceptual realm. This quote reminds me of something my dad used to always tell me when I was young and I would get very angry with someone. He would tell me “Kill them with kindness.” He was basically telling me to show others kindness even in the face of their negativity and ignorance to me because when I do this not only will I feel better, but I will be able to help calm down the other person as well.

This all sounds super easy right? “I’ll just change the way I perceive things and then everything around me will change! I’m just going to start perceiving that my boss is going to give me a raise and then boom I’m going to be rich!” That’s the one caveat in all of this. Changing your perception isn’t the easiest thing to do. You might have been perceiving something one way for many many years, and changing the perception isn’t going to happen overnight. Like anything that is worthy, it’s going to be time-consuming, difficult, and will only happen with consistent practice. But if you do all this I can promise you amazing results.

How about we start with something pretty easy and simple? Sound good? Let’s start with changing basic negativity into positivity. I am asking you from this day forward, to try and send one thought of kindness towards every single person you meet or talk to today. You probably won’t be able to do this immediately. You will start off probably forgetting to do this throughout large portions of the day, but don’t be discouraged. Keep chugging along. Keep going. Make it a goal of yours to consciously be aware of one day where you have been able to send one kind thought to every single person you meet that day. Once you get to that point, you will be able to start other steps in your journey to changing the way you perceive things so that the things you perceive can change. Send kindness to others and you will receive kindness back. Call it karma or call it cause-and-effect, this is what will happen no matter what.

— Greek Guru Guy

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