Last Saturday morning I was wandering around downtown Harrisburg, PA when I stumbled across the above mural directing me to “radiate kindness”. Those words, that turn of phrase hit me in just the right place and time…it was enough to stop me in my tracks and think on that mural for the rest of the day.
Radiate kindness, it directed….radiate kindness.
I was thinking about that mural as I went about my day...thinking about what it means to radiate kindness, and also, what it doesn’t mean.
My dear friends, I think we can both radiate kindness and stand up for ourselves and others when it’s appropriate to stand up. We can radiate kindness and get angry at injustices done toward ourselves and others. We can radiate kindness and create firm boundaries when boundaries are needed in our life. We can radiate kindness even when we are wronged…but that doesn’t mean we ignore the ways we are wronged. I think we can both move through life reacting to our world around us when bad things happen and simultaneously choose to soften, to slow down, to understand more, to show more kindness even when we might need to stay firm in our needs, our anger, our boundaries. I don’t think any of those things are mutually exclusive.
There are a lot of terrible, horrible things going on in the world, my friends…and it can make life, at times, feel absolutely overwhelming. But I think we can do our part to make our little part of the world a better place one relationship at a time.
Have an amazing week, my friends.
A few months ago I mentioned that my boys and I stopped at Luray Caverns on our way home from West Virginia.
One of my favorite spots in the cavern, as I meandered through slowly, was the reflecting pool…a shallow pool of water that perfectly reflected the cave and stalactites above and all around it. It was amazing and fascinating to see the depth perception that the reflecting pool created. That shallow pool of water created this perfect copy of the world around it in those waters and just garnered this deep sense of wonder and delight in me as I observed how the room was reflected in the waters below. It really did induce such a deep sense of wonder.
My thoughts, for some reason, went back to that pool this past week, and how there are times when our reflections, our memories, like that pool, are a perfect mirror to our past, and, likewise, there are times when those reflections are a bit more muddled, a bit more fuzzy, a little less clear.
But, my friends, no matter if our memories are a perfect mirror, or a little bit fuzzy, we can use our past, those memories, to help us learn and grow into our future selves. No matter if those reflections are a perfect mirror or just a little bit fuzzy, we can use them to help us garner a sense of wonder and delight in the world around us…we can use them to help us become more of who we are right here and right now.
Have an amazing week, my friends.
I’m sure it comes as little surprise that I love jumping off things. Cliffs, ziplines, bungee jumps…give me something tall and I’ve always been very happy to jump off for as long as I can remember.
We used to do a lot of cliff jumping on canoe trips when I was younger…and the one thing I always found to be true about jumping off something tall…the longer you stand at the top and anticipate the fall, the harder it was going to be to jump off said cliff.
I talked a few months back about being emotionally affected this summer with my older son heading off to his freshman year in college. The lack of creativity, the lack of bandwidth, the emotional toll that anticipation had on me this summer was real. We had a fantastic and fun summer, but the emotional toll of the anticipation of college and change was real and hard in spite of the fun we had.
Yet, in my own personal experience, once I dropped my older off at college, that emotional heaviness really dissipated for me, and it was amazing to notice the immediate relief I felt that coming week.
Let’s be honest, there are definitely times when the actuality of whatever we’re anticipating is just as bad or worse then the anticipation, it doesn’t always provide relief…and yet, I think there are many times when we build that thing we know we need to do up in a way so that it sits in and on us…when the easiest solution might be to simply jump and take the plunge.
I hope, this week, if there are areas where you might need to take that plunge, that you might have a little more courage to do so.
Have an amazing week, my friends.
For the most part we had really wonderful weather while we were in Iceland…in all honesty, it didn’t look like we were going to have good weather toward the beginning of the week, the forecast was abnormal amounts of rain every single day. But we got lucky and had fantastic weather and only light rainfall for most of the week.
Except one afternoon. The afternoon a group of us went horseback riding, and another went whale watching.
Oh, the weather was bad, it was really bad. Cold, rainy, sleety…it was just plain gross outside that afternoon. Those who went horseback riding finished our ride in the beautiful Icelandic countryside soaking wet and cold despite our extra rain gear our hosts had provided, and very excited for the hot tea, coffee and cakes that were waiting for us.
I found it interesting, when talking to folks after our ride, the vast difference in experience and perception folks had even though we were all on the same ride. With very few neutrals, I had some who were so very enthusiastic, and had just the best of times on our adventure in spite of the bad weather, and I had some who had been absolutely and totally miserable throughout our adventure because of the weather.
But, my friends, here’s the thing…there wasn’t a correct and an incorrect experience. There wasn’t a “right” way to experience that ride and a “wrong” way. We were all on the same adventure, but with vastly different perceptions of said adventure, and that is ok, my friends. Those who were miserable during our ride and those who were blissful and excited had just as much right to their own individual emotions and experiences.
I think there are times when we try to force those around us to see the perception we view as the correct perception, the correct way to see the situation, and in spite of what might be the best of intentions, when trying to force our perception as correct, we end up negating their own lived experience. May we, this week, allow ourselves and others to have our own individual life experiences and emotions…without trying to force ourselves and others into how we perceive we all should feel.
Have an amazing week.
Hi, I'm Krista!
Krista Mason is a yoga and fitness instructor based in Washington DC. She owns an online studio and loves it!