Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Be Kind, Unwind

I'm thrilled to be joining The Kindness Project, the brain child of a big group of cool writers, with Carolina Valdez Miller leading the charge. 

Here's the premise, from Carolina's blog:

"Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good. But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole. It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts. We post the second Wednesday of every month." 

With this in mind, I've spent most of today pondering kindness. But the thing about kindness is... wait for it... it's hard. 

Some days I am SO THERE-- I'm a nice person-- I like the elderly, small children, and animals. Some days it's easy to be Cinderella, singing to the birds and coordinating local mice into acts that benefit mankind. 

And some days I'm Maleficent, barely holding it all together (she IS evil, but she has the best bad-lady name of ALL time).

Today I woke up with a migraine. It was just one of those days. One of those days when you want to believe that if you force yourself to sit and work, the migraine will somehow go away (even though typing and staring at computer screens does the opposite). 

I failed to accomplish much this morning. I stopped for lunch, and then went back to the computer. I started slogging away again, and then I realized I wasn't being kind. 

To myself. 

So I pushed away from the desk and did a few things for me. I had a bath. I ate a fruit popsicle. I read. I took an Aleve. (Yay!)

By then it was time to pick up the boys, but my migraine had dissipated. 

I didn't get a lot of words down on paper today. I didn't finish the latest article I'm trying to crank out. Lord knows I didn't pay any bills or clean the house (Shh... I wouldn't have done the last two anyway). 

Sometimes, you have to accept that it's time to be kind to yourself. Then you can get to the place that allows you to be kind to others. 

What were you today, Cinderella or Maleficent? 

Want to join the kindness? Just grab the button. Then be kind. 

Looking for more inspiration? Check out other posts with The Kindness Project. 

Sophia Chang                         Sara Larson
Erica Chapman                       Matthew MacNish
Jessica Corra                          Sara McClung
Elizabeth Davis                       Gretchen McNeil
Christa Desir                          Leigh Moore
Sarah Fine                             Tracey Neithercott
Claire Hennessy                    Elizabeth Poole
Elana Johnson                        Lola Sharp
Liza Kane                              Michele Shaw
Amie Kaufman                      
Meagan Spooner 

Alina Klein                            Carolina Valdez Miller


  1. love everything about this idea!! And i know kindness is contagious because i have witnessed the domino effect many times.....
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  2. I freaking love you.

    The hardest part of kindness is being kind when we "don't feel whole," but kindness is an attempt to make yourself whole; exercise your empathy, apply your compassion, take all the badassery of Maleficent and apply it with the goodwill of Cinderella. First you need to acknowledge what you can do, and if what you have to do is take care of yourself, do it before you start hurting someone else.

    Great post, great take, great metaphor. (:

  3. Love the metaphor--I had a Maleficent moment last weekend and then I realized I needed to stop trying to do everything and take care of myself.
    It was nice to feel myself turn back into Cinderella.
    Thanks for the reminder on a gloomy Wednesday. :)

  4. SUCH truth to those words. Sometimes you have to be kind to yourself to get to that place where you can be kind to others. For sure.

  5. Man, this is something I really have to work on! I think women especially always take on so much, often feeling the need to put themselves last. But we have to take care of ourselves before we can ever be all that efficient at taking care of others or anything else. Really great reminder. <3

  6. I also love everything about this post. We tend to get caught up in our lives and forget we have to take care of ourselves in order for our inner light to shine on life's path. We're traveling this summer, but I hope to grab this button in the fall. Thanks!

  7. Me? I am sometimes the last person I forget to be kind to...esp when everything else is demanding my attention.

  8. It really does look like a way cool project. Kudos to you for signing up.

  9. Really great you took care of yourself. What a wonderful example. We all need to just give ourselves permission to be kind. ..to ourselves!!

  10. You are lovely and amazing. That is all.

  11. I was both today, depending on the moment! But I'm a firm believer in being kind to oneself as a first step in being able to show kindness to others. So glad you're joining us!

  12. Thanks for the comment, momto8-- that domino effect is amazing!

    Glenna, I've missed you!!! I like the idea of a maleficent/cinderella combo.

    Yay Rebecca- glad you found your way back to Cinderella!

    Thanks Sara- it't true, and we often are least kind to ourselves.

    Absolutely Carolina, I agree-- it is kind of a woman thing. Maybe that nurturing gene taken too far.

    Aw, thanks Kittie- I hope you do join in after your travels.

    I hear you Jennifer.

    Thanks Angela-- join in!

    So true Claire!

    Aw, Christa, thanks-- I would have to say: takes one to know one. :0)

    Thank you Sarah, I am both most days... but always striving to be more kind.

  13. Yeah, Maleficent is my favorite Disney bad-lady. She even looks cool. :)

    Being kind to and taking care of ourselves is so important. Perhaps your migraine was your body's way of telling you to back away from the computer, and unwind.

    I'm glad you're feeling better.

  14. I think if we're not kind to ourselves, it's impossible (or at least very, very hard) to be kind to others. I've had my turns being C or M these last few days. Hopefully more C! Migraines are the worst. Hope you're singing to the birdies today! :o) <3

  15. I think you're right, Lola, about the migraine being a sign. Our body tells us when it's time to take care of ourselves.

    LTM- I AM singing to the birdies today. Had a great afternoon at the library yesterday with my boys and lots of reading since then-- I can't complain.

  16. It definitely can be hard. Especially when life, or health, or the day job try to get in the way. Which they do a lot.

  17. Great post. You're so right that sometimes we could all probably use a little more kindness from ourselves. If not to help us in a bad situation--like when we have a raging migraine--but also because when we're overworked, overstressed, and on and on we're more likely to be unkind to others. At least, I know that my fuse is particularly short when I don't feel well.

    Also, you win for best title.

  18. Matthew- they do, constantly! :0)

    Tracey, I hear you-- my fuse is very short when I'm not feeling well. Yes! on the title!


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