Today's blog in the #BeTheRippleBlogs series is an insightful piece from Craig Gilbert entitled 'Be Kind, and Watch Your Happiness Grow'. A fitting piece in the run up to World Kindness Day.
Craig is a Mindfulness Coach and Author. He's passionate about mindfulness and the amazing gift of joy and happiness it can give from us being more present, bringing kindness into our own lives and the lives of others.
You can find Craig on LinkedIn: Here and on Twitter: @craigwriter.
Over to Craig:
Be Kind, and Watch Your Happiness Grow
Are you struggling with life, or someone/thing at your workplace? Do you worry endlessly about things; do you suffer physically and emotionally to the events that happen to you? Are you constantly beating yourself up, blaming yourself and blaming others for your lack of happiness? Are you unhappy, bored, lonely, tired, grouchy, or just generally slogging through life?
Here is your answer:
Be kind to yourself and to others.
That’s it. Only, it’s more than that, of course. But by offering kindness, we are looking outward at others, we are looking outward at the world and our place in it, and it changes our mindset from thinking about ourselves so much (self-thinking: ego) to thinking about easing suffering in others by being kind (non-self-thinking: non-ego). The result is that our ego is lessened, and therefore our worries lessen. We don’t THINK as much about ‘woe is me’, ‘if only I’d done that better’, ‘if only they’d been kind to me’, ‘I can’t believe that person said those things to me’ etc. These types of thoughts are ego mind, they are thoughts based on perceived threats to our well-being. Note the word ‘perceived’ here; many things we think are happening, of what people think of us etc, are mere assumptions and conjecture – not actual truth.
Change your mindset. Instead of thinking about me, me, me all the time – see if you can ease suffering in others. Can you be kind? Can you offer to help when someone is struggling (for no reward – to help just to help)? Can you let go of your ego-mind when it whines and screams at you that ‘you are not happy’? Can you come back to the present moment in those situations, breathe, smile, and ask yourself: ‘How do I ease suffering in this world’?
Imagine being at a workplace, and offering your kindness. Making someone a cup of tea, putting a post-it note on someone's desk thanking them for a job well done, even simple acts like this can make a big difference to our own sense of worth. By taking the time to stop thinking about 'us' for a moment, and pausing to reflect on how we can make things better for everyone, change and harmony can happen. It's ironic but when we help others as a priority, we also help ourselves. Can we offer our presence to someone? Listen mindfully to someone, to acknowledge their work difficulties, dropping ours at that moment to pay attention?
Letting go of the need to talk about your own problems is key to a happy mind. Helping others is the path to selflessness – and that opens the doors to non-judgment, to genuine compassionate energy building up inside of you. People always respond to people who are kind and compassionate. You’ll find, without the need to THINK or TALK about YOU, you’ll get your needs met anyway. Start with being kind. This, as they say, is it.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say ‘let go of your own needs and thoughts’. It’s not easy. It’s a practice. It’s a discipline that is needed every single day you think the way you think. You have to try and catch these thoughts, let them go, and come back to the moment. Every. Single. Day. This is why we have the practice of mindfulness. This is why every moment of the day can be seen, if you concentrate on it, with your aware, waking mind, your non-ego mind, your non-thinking mind. Only when you encounter the present moment more and more will you ease your suffering and build joy. It’s an act of kindness in itself to ‘be in the moment’. Being is so much more important than doing. But when you do inevitably ‘do’, do it with kindness. Start with kindness to yourself, and work out to others. I guarantee it will change the way you are with the world, and the way the world works with you 🙂
Thank you so much to Craig for sharing this piece, a reminder that if we start with being kinder to ourselves, it will have a ripple effect that will spread out with no logical end.
If you are not yet a member of the #BeTheRipple community, we would love you to join us. You can find us on Twitter: @BeTheRipple2020 and/or in our LinkedIn community: Here
Thank you once again to Craig for sharing his work with us.
If you would like to submit a blog for this series, please send your work via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send to me via LinkedIn.
You can find PDFs of all blog pieces: