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January - February 2017: Resolutions

January 31, 2017

​​​​​​KINDNESS

 

2017 seems to be the year of kindness. Parade magazine offered it as a resolution for society. One of my personal favorite quotes from a favorite author, Neil Gaiman, speaks directly to kindness and seems particularly appropriate for this edition:

 

​​​​​​​"I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind."

 

This year, as a Type A, I'm resolving also to be more kind - to self and to others. I bring this up not because of how critical it is to our survival as a species - a subject that continues to be part of podcasts that I listen to, but more importantly, because it is critical to us as individuals and particularly on our returns to the U.S.

 

Self-kindness as we struggle through judgments, both our own and others, is critical to our own safety net. I've resolved to actively engage in an intentional act of self-kindness each day. This can be as much as giving myself extra time to sleep, indulging in a special coffee, choosing to not engage in a relationship that doesn't serve me, etc. Our self-kindness then bleeds into other kindness, as it embodies empathy. Most people are their own harshest critics, and so the grace of kindness, showered upon ourselves, must naturally flow to others as well.

 

This type of engagement with ourselves, also puts us in a better frame of mind to manage the reactions we have to those around us. For example, when you are telling a story about your experiences and someone tries to equate their experience to yours when it's rather incomparable - that moment of recognizing their desire to engage instead of the annoyance at being trivialized is critical in our adjustment process as we slowly re-learn home. Similarly, we can explore what is great as we seek out the things that we wish to explore as an act of self-kindness - whether that be events or activities. And such engagement allows us to develop a new community of interest, better managing the adjustment.

What are your resolutions? How do you intend to engage the journey this year?

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