In our busy, modern lives, we can expect a lot of ourselves: to be more peaceful, less stressed, more attentive, better listeners, more organized, healthier eaters, and the list goes on. How can we possibly do it all as life roars in and takes us away from a peaceful place? We can even wind up feeling more guilty or being harder on ourselves for the areas where we do not live up to our own expectations.
The good news is that being kinder to yourself is not difficult and does not have to be a distant land that you rarely visit. Instead, you can intentionally choose to return to your heart space in easy ways by implementing one – or all – of these simple kindness practices.
Analyze your relationships.
Who do you need to forgive in your life? Where are you holding onto anger, resentment, envy, or judgments towards another? Who has let you down – and you can’t seem to let go?
Hoʻoponopono, an ancient Polynesian prayer, can assist with healing differences between you and another as it focuses on forgiveness, compassion, and inner peace. This simple ritual has been practiced across various South Pacific cultures for decades to reconcile family disputes and to move past anger and resentment. In more modern times, this prayer was used by Dr. Hew Len to heal mentally ill criminals in a Hawaiian state hospital.
Simply repeat these four lines aloud, or quietly to yourself, for each person that you wish to forgive or release with love.
Whenever that person comes to mind, simply say these four phrases:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
It may be hard to do at first, but stick with it. It gets easier with practice. With repetition, you will feel a shift in yourself and the perspective that you are holding on to about that person because you are intentionally clearing away what is over and allowing it to be complete. This is freeing!
And when you are upset with yourself for any reason, or perhaps harboring a regret of some kind, say this prayer as a blessing to yourself, too. Sit with yourself in kindness and it will change your self-talk. As you practice this more regularly, you will also feel your inner talk changing to be more compassionate, too.
Create a mediation practice.
When you meditate, include humanity, the earth, nature, animals, and every person on the globe in your meditations. Simply hold the intention to willingly assist in any way possible to create more support, peace, and love now. Allow the energy of love to flow where it needs to with supreme trust.
This visualization practice can elevate your personal feelings of connection to the globe and compassion for all living beings on the planet now. Meditation with kindness can soften and open what is ready to bloom. As you focus on this experience, it will shift your inner world and you will feel the energy more strongly within yourself, too.
Slow down and be present.
Be willing to slow down and recognize the people in your life. Attempt to really see them as individuals doing the best they can in their life. Acknowledge the garbage truck driver, UPS delivery person, and bank teller. Honk less in traffic. Thank your postal delivery person for their work. Smile at the cashier.
Be present in your life with the people you come in contact with on a daily basis. Meaningful eye contact, acknowledgements, and a genuine smile can do wonders for the hearts of all involved. For as much as we look at our phones these days, really making a personal connection with another could be just what improves their day – and yours.
Send energy from your heart chakra.
Put a reminder on your phone to stop moving at some point in your day and send out energy from your heart chakra. You can simply sit at your desk, stand in a store line or elevator, or sit in your car. Breathe deeply into your diaphragm and hold it for three seconds. Then slowly exhale. Envision beams of Light emitting from your heart space: effortlessly, peacefully, and joyfully. Feel a warmth in your chest and heart. Allow the Light to flow as it needs to without directing it. Feel it coming back to you with force. Then return to exactly where you are and continue to go about your day, knowing you have contributed more love to the world.
Put your hand on your heart.
Another easy way to practice simple kindness involves placing your hand on your heart, which is good for our physical selves, too. When you bring your attention to your heart, you are tuning in to your heart beat, your pulse, and your breathing. You are connecting with the natural rhythm of life that is running through you multiple times a minute.
This amazing system we call our body is able to operate on its own in magnificent ways – yet how often do we stop to recognize it, appreciate it, and honor it for all it does for us on a daily basis? Take a quick moment to simply bless your heart and the wondrous system that allows us to be here in our human body suits now.