This week’s Kindful Connection was made while creating kindness cards to spread in our community. We had way more fun than I even thought we would and we connected deeply together while creating messages for others. This was a fun kindness activity unexpectedly turned into a Kindful Connection.
I am often asked why I run. Do I enjoy it? Do I actually like it? The short answer is “It’s complicated.” I was asked this about three times in the last few weeks because I just ran in and helped to organize a 5K for our local domestic violence shelter. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I thought I would finally tackle this question head on. I am a domestic violence survivor. In honor of this month, of my history, and the role running has played in my recovery, I thought I would share this piece of writing I wrote nearly 10 years ago as I was grappling with PTSD. This is TRULY the reason why I run.
Last year, I started a practice with my kids of putting hand written notes in their lunch boxes. It started by accident, actually. On the first day of school, I put in a special note in my oldest son's lunch box to say that I loved him and to have a good first day. Nothing crazy. Really simple. But, it turned into so much more.
Finding time to volunteer with your kids is so important. Doing good for others is the ultimate form of gratitude and kindness. It is the quickest way for your children to develop empathy. And, it is an incredibly impactful way for your child to learn about the world around them. But, the word "volunteer" scares most parents. Why? Well, time of course.
With the rise of mindfulness, there is so much needed dialogue and discussion given right now to the concept of acceptance. Acceptance of who we are, where we are, and our current state. It is such an important form of self-care. But, lately, I’ve struggled with when to accept where I am in a given moment or to push past my comfort zone. At times, acceptance has felt like giving up. So, is acceptance self-care? Or is it just giving up?
I’m excited to introduce a new series of blog posts to share those little moments in our every day life where kindness builds connection between people, family, and friends. These are meant to be short and inspirational with the hope to inspire kindful connections in your life and in your children. Most importantly, I want to highlight and honor those moments where kindness is spread through mindful interactions with those around us building connection and relationships.
We are not big gift people in our family. My husband and I believe in creating meaningful experiences and creating memories. So, the idea of favor bags drives us both a bit nutty. What is this need to give everyone a present? Birthday parties are about being together, after all. Well, this doesn’t resonate with kids so well. They LOVE presents. This year, I gave in and I was surprised by what happened.
Summer is over and so is our Summer of Kindness initiative. We did 12 weeks of kindness activities for our community and it was incredible! Also, incredibly hard. But, the personal and emotional growth for both me and my children was worth every bit. Activism is becoming second nature to them. Empathy is building in them. And, I had some of the most deeply meaningful connections with them in the past few months. Read on for my most memorable moments, lessons learned, and incredible outcomes from our experience this summer.
Toni Morrison’s perspective of how any human should act when a child walks in a room affected me big time. This week, I take a slightly different perspective on her deeply important advice. It’s not enough to just accept, love, and be kind to our kids. We have to SHOW them how to do this for others. Role modeling is one of the most influential ways to raise kind kids and I share 5 simple ways to do this at home. Right now.
Tony Morrison said a now famous quote "when a child walks in a room, your child or any child, do your eyes light up? That is what they are looking for." In so many ways, I feel this quote is at the center of raising kind kids. Our kids need to feel love, acceptance, and kindness in order to show it to others. Once again, another example how important parents and caregivers are to raising the next generation of kids as the most kind.