Posted by Ellen Sichel on February 9, 2012
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart. Carol King
This lyric from the song has great deal of meaning in its simplicity. As we enter February, we see many commercials and items to celebrate love. It begins with ourselves. It is important to fill yourself up so you have something to give.
We all have problems to deal with and it is easier to shut ourselves down. Even something as simple as a smile at another or a kind word can bring on an upwelling of loving feelings.
Showing love can be a decision, rather than a feeling.
I find when I teach at the Cancer Center, no matter how I am feeling when I walk in, my spirits are uplifted when I am able to give from an open- hearted space. I watch others fill up, leaving feeling calm and centered.
When you wake up tomorrow, cultivate a feeling of showing love and kindness. You will feel more content from the inside- out.
Let me know in the comments below how focusing on love works for you. Were you able to show care and kindness to yourself? Was it easier to show it to others?
Posted by Ellen Sichel on January 26, 2012
When I first began posting blogs, I made a spelling error that spellcheck missed. A reader sent me a message correcting my error, which I am grateful for but the way it was communicated was sarcastic and rude.
I wonder why the individual felt that approach was needed? What would have been much more effective was a simple, clear compassionate message. Usually when a person is sarcastic and rude with others, they treat themselves the same way.
Mistakes happen to us all. It is an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than get stuck in the downward spiral of negativity.
When input is communicated in a positive, solution based manner we are much more receptive. The practice of kindness when you or someone else makes a mistake will go a long way.
Let me know in the comments below how you react to mistakes. Can you make a shift to kindness and compassion?
Posted by Ellen Sichel on August 5, 2011
I was at the airport boarding my plane. In front of me was a frustrated mom raising her voice to her child while holding her heavy carry on in one hand and a baby in the other.
My first reaction was judgment at how she was speaking with her child.
I took a breath and asked her if she needed help and she did not hesitate to say “YES”. Her voice was still curt but and she said a quick thanks.
There are opportunities every day to practice kindness even when the tendency is to judge. Remembering that we are all human, doing the best we can helps us see beyond the behaviors of others.
The most powerful practice (and toughest to attain) is to let go of any attachment to their response and treat the person you are helping with compassion, as another human being, no different from yourself.
If I had stayed in judgment or frustration of her behavior I would have felt tense and agitated. When I choose to be kind, my state was calm and centered.
Let me know in the comments below what your experience has been and how you feel when you practice kindness.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on March 18, 2011
It was a beautiful day! I decided to walk my dog and as I was passing a house, I saw an agitated family arguing in the driveway. By the time I passed the house, the father was yelling and telling his wife and small children to “shut up.”
Unfortunately this happens in many relationships. And, most of the time, the person who is acting inappropriately does cares about the person he or she is hurting.
All traditions address non-violence and I focus on teaching these principles through Yoga as well.
Ahimsa is a word used in the yoga tradition, and it means non-violence or non- harmfulness in thought and action. Many of us try hard to be kind to others, but somehow our harmful reactions still seep out.
Why? Because if we don’t treat yourselves with loving kindness and if we abuse ourselves, this will impact our relationships with others.
How many times have you made a mistake and berated yourself? How often do you not give yourself time to rest or play? Unless we treat ourselves with kindness, it is difficult to consistently practice non-harmfulness towards others.
How can you treat yourself with kindness today?