Five Personal Ways to Share Kindness

World Kindness Day was on Monday, but we should at least celebrate all week. Right? So it’s not too late to join, if you haven’t already.

Here are five terrific ways to share kindness – and on a very personal level.

Sometimes it’s easier to do random nice things for strangers, like hold a door or share a smile. Isn’t that strange, but true? It takes time and effort to do something extra for the people closest to you.

Hopefully one of these ideas gives you some inspiration. >

{ONE} Notice Them

Yesterday’s post is still sitting deep with me. In my 21-day gratitude challenge, I was asked to think about the people around me whom I might take for granted.

When I started running down my list, I realized a couple of things. One, I have some incredibly awesome people in my life, and two, I probably don’t tell them enough how special they are.

In an effort to share more kindness, I think the simple act of noticing can be huge.

Let your eyes light up when someone walks in the room. Put the phone down, ask about their day, and be present for them. Notice something beautiful about them, and then speak it.

{TWO} Shower Them with Cards

A very kind and inspiring girl from my sorority is fighting colon cancer as we speak. She started chemo treatments last week and needs lots of support and encouragement right now.

One of our sisters decided to organize a card party (with snail mail). She started a Facebook page to get the word out to all of the girls who lived in the Delta Gamma house during the time our friend was there. And she’s encouraging all of us to mail a card, poem, pictures, or any kind of day-maker on Monday. We hope to flood her mailbox with love.

I absolutely ADORE this idea!!

Wouldn’t this be such a great thing to do for anyone special in your life? Pick an unsuspecting day – like not their birthday or anniversary – and organize friends and family to send cards that include special messages.

How fun for them to check their mail?! Not everyone’s letters will arrive on the same day, so it could span a full week.

{THREE} Listen with Love

Everyone needs a friend who can listen…like really set the world aside for a moment and listen. It’s such an important skill, but doesn’t always come naturally.

I recently read an article about “conversational narcissism” and couldn’t believe how many times I’ve done this or had it happen to me!

Here’s how it goes. A friend shares an emotional story, like how their kid got in big trouble at school, and you can tell your friend is embarrassed and pissed at the situation. You find yourself digging through your archives for a similar incident so you can empathize and make her feel better. That’s your intention, anyway.

What can end up happening is you make her feel like you’re one-upping her situation. Even if you don’t mean to. The kind thing to do is listen and let it be about them. Instead of saying, “Me, too!” stick with, “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help you through this?”

{FOUR} Speak Their Language

Waaay back at the beginning of my marriage (almost 17 yrs ago!!) Brandon and I discovered this book about love languages. We thought it might be kind of cheesy, but we also wanted to be good spouses. While we had dated each other for several years, being a wife and husband was definitely new territory for us.

When we opened the book, it also opened our hearts. I know, sappy, but true!

It outlined five types of love languages people gravitate toward: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch.

Once Brandon and I figured out the secret to each other’s love, it was so much easier to make each other happy.

So…if you want to truly share kindness with someone close to you, it would be good to figure out what’s most meaningful to them. Then do it, give it, be it, feel it, or say it!

Acts of service (above) is my cheat sheet for Brandon!

I happen to cherish quality time, so any of the ideas below would make me super happy. 😉

{A full set of downloadable prints for each love language can be found on this awesome post.}

{FIVE} Capture Their Kindness

Starting this week, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is sponsoring a 14-week photo challenge. They encourage you to capture an act of kindness and then post it online using the hashtag #CAPTUREKINDNESS. You can win awesome prizes and inspire more people to join.

Even better…you could double down on your kindness by taking a picture of someone you know who’s caught in the act of doing something nice. When you post the pic, you could win a prize and give it to him or her!

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That’s a wrap! For more ideas check out these posts on Acts of Kindness. You’ll find Kindness RocksMaKayla, our kindness elf, a few inspiring quotes, and more!

XoXoXo,

Kate

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Kindness Rocks + Finding Time “In Between”

Today’s post is inspired by a comment that Jenna @ Tractors and Glam shared with me on Friday. I had posted some fun project ideas for summer and included “playing with rocks.”

Jenna really liked the ideas and went on to explain that there’s a large group of people who are painting rocks and hiding them all around town, and that it has become huge in her community.

How cool is this? I was intrigued and started researching the idea.

Apparently this is a thing (and growing trend) across the country. There’s this article and this dedicated website to help us understand what it’s all about.

Essentially, the idea is to “spread inspiration and motivation for unsuspecting recipients through random inspirational rocks dropped along the way.”

Here are some examples from the Kindness Project Facebook page:

Aren’t these lovely? And what a creative way to spread some joy around the world. Not to mention, it’s an inexpensive hobby. Rocks are free and you can find permanent markers and paints at pretty much any discount store.

I’m thinking about starting a group in my hometown.

If anyone has experience with this, please let me know what to do! I’d love your tips and tricks.

In the meantime, I created a board with lots of ideas for what to paint on my first set of rocks. {There’s no shortage of inspiration on Pinterest, I tell ya.}

I’m excited to get started. Now, where to find the time to do this?!

Part 2: “In-Betweening”

As a busy mom with a job, pets, and a blog, a small part of me is asking, “When the heck will you find time to start this new creative project, sister?”

I think I found the answer in a podcast by my super talented friend and co-worker, Jameson Sheppard. He recently started a podcast called Creative Common Ground.

In episode 4, around 12 min into the podcast, he talks about the idea of “in-betweening.”

He explains that when we step back and evaluate how we spend our time (all of it, including the time scrolling through Facebook and deciding which Netflix series we’ll binge next) we’ll discover we have more time than we realize.

Look at the time between things on our schedules and engage in a creative endeavor or hobby during those small moments.

Even if it’s 5-10 min. each time, it will add up over the course of a week or month or year. Heck, you could end up learning to play a guitar or writing a book during all of that “in-betweening.”

We just need to decide and set ourselves up with the right tools to make this easy. I plan to give this a try with my rock project, so wish me luck!

Feel free to listen to Jameson’s full explanation of the idea – and check out his other episodes. They’re only about 15 min each and worth every second.

Here’s to more time being creative + spreading kindness like confetti…and rocks!!

Blessings,

Kate

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Random Acts of Kindness: Inspiring Quotes

Today I’m going to issue a challenge! Let’s see how many people we can reach with a message about kindness.

Jump on your Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter feed and tell a meaningful story or share an inspiring quote about kindness. And if you really want to step up your game, send a “just because” love note to someone close to you! <3

I gathered a handful of quotes to make this challenge even easier. So share away, and encourage others to join you in Random Acts of Kindness Week #RAKWEEK

 

 

Have a beautiful day spreading kindness, joy and love!

-Kate

 

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Random Acts of Kindness: Include Your Children

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{This is a picture of our kindness elves. We invited them to join us for this special week!}

There’s a quote by the Dalai Lama that proclaims,“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” I was blown away by the power of that statement.

I also wondered what kind of impact could be made if each child did one act of kindness each day. I imagine it would have astounding effects. So why not use this special week to teach our kids how to make kindness a daily habit?

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Here are a few fun ideas…

My girls recently received a list of “kindness” ideas from school, which is also celebrating Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) week. Out of the list, these rose to the top as my favorites:

  1. Bury treasure on the playground
  2. Compliment someone who is usually mean to you
  3. Leave bubbles on someone’s doorstep
  4. Write a friendly note on the sidewalk to make someone smile
  5. Leave a quarter in the gum ball machine at the store
  6. Tell the principal how great your teacher is
  7. Clean your room without being asked to do it
  8. Gather your bread crust or crumbs from lunch to feed the birds
  9. Invite someone new to play with you at recess
  10. Write a thank you note to the janitors at your school

I love how these ideas encourage creative thinking about the many ways you can brighten someone else’s day. They’re also easy things kids can do – without an adult’s help.

Of course it’s also important for us to include the kids in our own acts of kindness. When they watch us hold the door open for a mother pushing a stroller or smile at the waiter who’s visibly having a bad day, it affects how they behave and treat others.

Kindness is contagious!

One of the goals of this whole experience is to help kids think outside of themselves and beyond their own needs. Once we get them doing this on a regular basis, the habit of kindness is formed.

And perhaps more importantly, kids start observing the world in more productive ways. They might discover a friend in need or recognize a social injustice that could use their attention. Raising kids who focus on what problems they want to solve vs. the job title they want to have one day will surely have more meaningful lives. And who wouldn’t want that?

Here’s to helping the next generation live in a more loving and accepting world – through one act of kindness after another.

-Kate

PS. See you tomorrow with a special kindness challenge!!

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Random Acts of Kindness: Start with Yourself

As we kickoff Random Acts of Kindness week, I want to start with one of the most special people on earth…you.

You can’t authentically share love or compassion with others if the inventory is low in the stock room of your heart. So…

Make time to be kind to yourself today.

Here are three ideas to get you started.

{ONE} Look in the mirror.

For real. Go stand in the bathroom and take a good look at yourself. Reintroduce yourself, if needed. And instead of looking directly at your wrinkles or whatever flaws you think you have, try to look at your whole face. Take notice of the person you are, and say something incredibly kind. Start with, “What I love most about you is…” And make it the kind of compliment that would make you cry if your best friend or husband said it to you. You deserve to truly love and accept yourself.

{TWO} Listen to your needs.

Ask yourself, as if you were talking to a good friend or your child, what do you need right now? Is it to slow down and take a deep breath within this quiet moment? Could you use a fresh manicure or a personal day off work? Would a hot bath make you feel better? What about a long run? Or jamming to your favorite song, being silly or playing outside with your dog? Whatever your heart is saying to you, listen. Then go do it. And make it an act of kindness to yourself.

{THREE} Put your heart on paper.

I recently spotted this amazing book series in Barnes & Noble. It’s essentially a dozen writing prompts that are held inside of envelopes. In this edition, you’re encouraged to write letters to your future self and stash them away for a later date. It’s a lovely way to get connected to what really matters in your life.

Enjoy the day being kind to yourself. As promised, I will share a special post each day that includes ideas and inspiration for spreading kindness with those around you. So be sure to stop by again tomorrow to see what great things we can do together!!

-Kate

PS. If you want to join the bigger RAK movement, go sign the kindness pledge!

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