Being kind

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Are you the type of person that always has a goal? You map out your half marathon training. You are going to get to volunteering at least once a week, you are going to hit every mark and beyond at work.. And of course you are going to be a wonderful friend, eat healthy, stay in shape, and have time for other extracurriculars.

I have lived a life that has felt goal oriented. Reaching higher, pushing more, staying in it..and for the most part, I have been fairly successful. But looking back at these achievements and this habitual pattern my question is, is success what it’s all about?

I traveled to Pittsburgh this weekend for a meditation workshop, and practiced in a formal setting. I was creating goals within the class, just like I do my life. Goal #1: I will stay still for the first two rounds, then I can change my position. Goal #2: I will contribute to discussion and bring about ideas others didn’t think of.. The goals conscious and unconscious again, we’re generally Reached. Half way through the day, we met with the instructor individually, and I walked into the room with a book and my journals, ready to be the best student and started crying immediately. The message he responded with was a powerful one: Halle, the first and most important part of this practice is the ability to be kind to yourself. With a. Lump in my throat, my idea of progress came crashing down.

Because, my friends, sometimes being kind means sitting out. Sometimes being kind means accepting the thing about yourself that brings you anger, or frustration. Sometimes being kind to yourself means seeing yourself in a way that has no “if onlys.” Instead, you can be aware of the subtle challenges you face and find a way to be compassionate toward yourself. Instead of trying to suffer through a run, you can give yourself a walk.. Because the walk means being kind and replenishing.

This begins when we wake up in the morning, looking at our reflection in the mirror.. inspecting our greatest physical flaws.. and plays through our days entirety until our eyes find rest. But let’s try Instead to look in the mirror from the lens of acceptance. All that I see is me and I will choose to be kind and maybe tomorrow I will accept this with kindness.

In a world that can feel like a battle to the top in every way, show kindness to yourself. For me, it was dropping the pride of staying in a certain position on the cushion. I knew that I was uncomfortable and in pain.. And eventually found my way to a chair, swallowing my pride a bit. But we do this everyday. We ask a lot of our ourselves. Be kind. It all starts with kindness, my dears, and it starts with kindness to yourself.

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