“Every moment has infinite potential. Every new moment contains for you possibilities that you can’t possibly imagine. Every day is a blank page that you could fill with the most beautiful drawings.”
― John C. Parkin, F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way
As of this writing, the Mega Millions jackpot stands at $640 million. Most of us would love to win that, but we rarely stop to acknowledge that we’ve already won big.
The fact that the universe exists is already awe-inspiring. When this universe blinked into existence, our chance of ever living in it was infinitesimally small, yet here we are. Against the enormity of the universe, $640 million is a trifle — yet many people fixate for hours every day on far less. The universe is at your feet. Life is an all-access pass. Appreciate it and live it, and any riches you acquire in the meantime will be the cherry on top.
Do you feel lucky?
Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing. Practicing mindfulness can help us be aware of when we’re struggling with uncomfortable feelings and stress, and respond with kindness and compassion. An easy mindfulness exercise to try anytime during the day is to focus all your attention on your breath for one minute. Leave your eyes open and breathe normally. Be ready to catch your mind from wandering off (because it will) and return your attention to your breath whenever it does so. Use this exercise throughout the day to restore your mind to the here and now, and restore your mind to clarity and peace.
Do you practice mindfulness?
Children can learn the importance of kindness and compassion at a very young age. The next time a local charity holds a clothing drive, get the kids involved. Explain that the clothes your children no longer wear will be appreciated by other nice girls and boys who need clothes, but whose families are unable to buy them. Ask your kids what they are willing to give away to help others. Involving your children in the process of helping others goes a long way to teach the importance of kindness and compassion.
How do you teach your children about compassion for others?
Most animal welfare advocates believe animal testing is cruel and unnecessary. Organizations like Leaping Bunny work to debunk animal testing myths and encourage cosmetics, personal care, animal care and household products manufacturers to eliminate animal testing from all phases of development.
Designation as “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” may refer only to the final product when in fact, most animal testing occurs at the ingredient level.
If you don’t support animal testing, choosing products certified by Leaping Bunny is the best way to know a product is 100 percent free of new animal testing. Download the Leaping Bunny shopping guide.
What do you think? Is animal testing “just the way it is” or an outdated practice we can consciously eliminate?
If you know someone who’s having a tough time and could use a break, offer to take him or her to lunch. Ask, “How are you doing?” and let your friend talk about whatever is bothering him or her. You may be able to offer a solution to the problem, but simply listening may be all your friend needs.
Do you know someone who could use a free lunch and a kind ear?
Lots of people talk to animals…. Not very many listen, though…. That’s the problem. — The Tao of Pooh
It’s easy to take our pets for granted sometimes. They ask so little but give so much joy. And they always seem to appreciate whatever attention we can give them.
Sometimes you’re simply too busy to take your dog for a long walk, but you can always take a few minutes to let him know that he’s special. Have lunch with him, or just give him some well-earned pets or treats.
It’ll benefit you both.
What can you do to make your animal feel like he’s part of the family?
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of course, selfishness is never the reason for kindness, but as Emerson and many others throughout history have discovered, altruism is not only good for those helped, but also for those helping.
Shouldn’t we all try to make this discovery for ourselves?
Many of us, women especially, don’t take enough time for ourselves. The paradox is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give. Today, take at least 10 minutes, more if you can, to do something that adds value to your life. Enjoy a cup of tea, take a walk, meditate… Kindness for ourselves is the first step toward living a more compassionate life.
What will you do for yourself today?
Winter is officially over today. Sure, to much of the country, it seems like winter’s death-rattle came weeks ago, but there’s still symbolic joy to be found in the arrival of the vernal equinox. So much fun to say, too. Vernal. Equinox. Try it a sec. We’ll wait.
With winter gone for another nine months, there’s no reason not to give the dryer some time off and start hanging your clothes out to dry. Why do it?
- It’s better for the environment because it doesn’t use fossil fuels, just the original renewable energy: the power of the wind.
- No need for fabric-softening sheets.
- Your clothes will smell great.
- Your clothes will last longer.
- It may remind you of your mom.
Give it a try, and give your dryer – and the environment – a rest.
Does your wardrobe need a boost? Instead of heading to the mall, why not invite your friends over for a clothing swap? Everyone can bring clothes and accessories they no longer wear, and trade them for “new” items from someone else’s pile. It will feel like you got a whole new wardrobe without spending a dime, and with no added stress on the earth.
Did you know that Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year? The textile and fashion industries also use incredible amounts of energy, chemicals (many toxic), and resources to manufacture clothing. There many social and animal welfare issues with clothing production as well. More about the environmental impact of clothing