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Posts Tagged ‘Kindness’

Fall is my favorite season, a time of bounty, beauty, turbulence, transformation, perpetuation, and possibility. It’s also a season that invites solitude, reflection, and gratitude.

During this season of Thanksgiving, give thanks for persons who have called your name, even if you weren’t aware of them doing so. When others call your name it is a way of acknowledging you… all of  your unique gifts, skills, and talents, which comprise your signature presence.

When others call your name, it is part of a larger pattern of recognizing the importance of an individual and the collective of which we’re all a part. It also recognizes our interconnectedness to one another and all of life, as well as our responsibility to care for one another and our planet.

As we’ve learned from so many cultures where hospitality and harmony are of utmost importance, I cannot exist with you, and you cannot exist with me. In many African cultures, this kind of innate interdependence is an aspect of the spirit of “Ubuntu.” 

When we deeply understand our interconnectedness, we understand the soul of leadership. In Western culture, we sometimes call this stance servant leadership.

As you prepare your heart for your Thanksgiving celebration, reflect on and count your blessings. Be sure to include persons who have come into your life – however briefly – who have extended a kindness to you… a loved one, a friend, or even a total stranger.

This week, take time to fill your heart with and reflect on these questions: Whose am I? Who supports me? Who do I belong to, and who belongs to me? Who has extended graciousness and blessings to me? Who do I extend graciousness and blessings to? Whose name will I call today?

Pass It On!

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This morning, one of my students opened our class with an attunement, our meditative practice at the beginning of each morning to focus our energy – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Compassion Flower

Her attunement was to shine the light on simple acts of caring and compassion. She shared with us a moment she experienced just today while waiting for the ferry. As she waited in line, she noticed a man who had slept on the ground the night before, apparently homeless. She watched as he sat up, smoothed his clothing, folded his blanket, neatly, and brushed his hair, readying himself for the day while his companion was still sleeping.

My student noticed another man as he got out of his car and approached the man who had slept on the ground. They had a brief conversation then the man returned to his car. A minute or two later, he emerged, carrying two cups of hot, steaming coffee. He gave both of them to the man, a cup for him and a cup for his companion.

As my student described this early-morning exchange, she said she was struck not only by what she had witnessed, but also by the simplicity of what it means and what it takes to care for our brothers and sisters: a little time… attention… generosity… and a heart of kindness.

Pass It On!

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Here’s an inspiring new book, The Power of Giving, by Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon. Book reviewer Kolin Lymworth notes that the authors expand the definition of “giving” to include “…the giving of kindness, ideas, advice, attention, skills, time, hope, love, touch, and much more.” We can always something in ourselves to give, especially important in these trying times.

 

 

 

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