On this Valentine’s Day, we’d like you to think about spreading love, joy and kindness to others beyond the traditional flowers and chocolate. #SpreadKindness
“New Year, New You!” That’s a saying that is frequently heard this time of year. You never really hear “New Year, Old You!” because the idea is, that we are always striving to be or do better than we already are, that years past aren’t as good as the next year can be.
In my case, I’d like to reinvent the “New Year, Old You” motto. A few years ago, my life was filled with conscious acts of kindness as I blogged about how easy it was to do good deeds on a daily basis and started a non-profit built on that philosophy. What happened, you ask? Life happened. My husband and I started a family, things got busy, and now with a walking, talking, into everything 19-month-old, I barely find the time to eat a meal, let alone find time to do “good deeds” on a daily basis. With this new year and new perspective, I am finding that I need to get back to my old self and teach my daughter that “Every Little Bit Counts!”
Here are 5 EASY WAYS to spread a little sunshine and share a little kindness:
Yep that’s right, show those pearly whites and share a smile wherever you go. When you smile at someone, you innately make them feel good. Share smiles with your family, and those you love of course, but don’t forget to share a smile with the checkout person at the store or the stranger in line behind you—sharing a smile is one of the easiest (if not the easiest) things you can do to spread a little kindness. You never know what kind of day they’re having.
CHANGE FOR CHANGE
Spare change can add up, and fast. I used to have a jar in my classrooms, called “Change for change.” Once the jar was full, we would collectively decide on what organization to donate to. I put a jar just like that in my kitchen where my husband and I can add our spare change at the end of the day. It’s a great way to visually see the “every little bit counts” idea, and explain it to my daughter. It can also start a great conversation with family and friends about what causes speak to you and why.
Of course we’ve all heard this one before. But many times people shy away from volunteering because they simply don’t have the time. We live in a busy world, and it’s hard to find time to get it all in every day. Think of what cause speaks to you, what skills you have to offer, and then find a way to help. There are various websites out there that can help you find the right place to volunteer your time. I like to use: http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
FUND A MICRO LOAN
A what?! A micro-loan, as in loaning a small amount of money to help someone in an underprivileged country to start their small business or finish school. You can loan as little as $25, and it gets repaid over a few months time. (Times vary depending on how big a loan you give). Once the money is repaid, you have the option to take it back or re-loan to another individual. I have been doing this off and on for over 4 years. I’ve helped several women in Peru and Colombia start their personal businesses or finish school. I’ve re-loaned that same amount of money several times. It’s a great way to make a difference and help someone by giving them a hand up vs. a handout. A great organization that I’ve used for this is www.kiva.org.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
Kind words from the heart can really go a long way. Love the way that your Mom always packs you leftovers for you to take home? Or how your husband always makes sure you have a full tank of gas? Let them know how appreciative you are. Maybe even write them an “I appreciate you” note! And this doesn’t need to stop with loved ones. Have great service at a restaurant or hotel? Speak their praises to their manager or let them know.
Mother Teresa said it best, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
As you work on strengthening your body, these simple acts of kindness can help with your Focus and Mind-Body Connection.
Tell us in the comments below how you spread acts of kindness in your daily life.