Mastering The Art of Kindness (Part I)

Hello! Happy Monday!

Today is the day I’ve been looking forward too for the last week…THE LAUNCH OF THE KINDNESS CHALLENGE!

It’s no secret that I’m completely dialed into my faith and I give credit to God for everything. Well, I was praying and started thinking about the last few months of my life. I was filled with so much gratitude and realized the common thread in the memories I was recalling was that in all of my experiences, I’m most grateful for the kindness I’ve received from others. Suddenly, I had an idea… Why not share some of these experiences and challenge others to do something kind for the people around them?! Thanks for the idea, God!

Today I’ll share an intimate experience I had that reminded me of how big an impact we can have on others by simply being KIND.

Toward the end of September 2016, six weeks before my husband and I were set to get married, I began to see doctors for some abnormalities in my physical health. Around this time, I was really stressed out at work and spent more time at the office than anywhere else. Over the course of the next few months, the abnormalities required more medical attention, so I had to dance around my work schedule in order to be see my doctor, as well as complete a number of tests and procedures. Have you ever forced yourself to get to work just to avoid falling behind? Well, that was me and, while I KNEW the RIGHT thing to do was to stop stressing and focus more of my attention and energy on my health, I was also concerned with missing work in the few weeks leading up to our wedding. I didn’t worry about my health because I trusted God would work it out, but, over the next few weeks, I did stress about work more.

In the middle of October 2016, I was told I needed to undergo a small procedure. The only times I could complete the procedure were during normal business hours, so I scheduled myself into a 7AM procedure; immediately after, I would go into work and avoid taking a day off. When I arrived at the hospital early that Friday morning, I met the nurse who would be helping the doctor during the procedure. Cathy met me with a grin and an aggressive “hi there.” She wasn’t mean, but she wasn’t soft-spoken. She reminded me of home, so I asked if she was from New Jersey. Cathy was from the mid-west and was raised by an Italian mother. She was less concerned about coming off as a “sweet lady” and more concerned with getting her job done efficiently. So, we got to it.

An hour later, I was laying face-up on a table with my head turned to the right, staring at a monitor. After the local anesthesia was administered, Cathy and the doctor got to work. During the procedure, I relaxed and waited patiently for them to finish. After about twenty minutes of staring at the monitor, I experienced my first “what if” moment and felt fear for the first time since embarking on this very fast-paced health journey. Just as my thoughts moved in that direction, Cathy put her hand on mine. I felt peace again when her hand touched mine and I was so grateful that she shared that kind gesture with me. When I left the hospital, I went straight to work and I wore a smile all day. I was so happy to have been cared for by someone who, though not gentle 100% of the time, had a gentle touch at just the right time.

This may not be the kind of story you were thinking I would tell when I was spreading the word about RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. However, it is a prime example of the message I’m hoping to spread. What does this story teach you? I hope one of those lessons is that you don’t have to do much to be KIND. Dictionary.com defined KINDNESS as “of a good or benevolent nature or disposition; indulgent, considerate or helpful; humane; mild, gentle, clement.” Have you ever had the opportunity to be gentle or helpful toward someone else? Maybe you’ve been around someone who is in a tough time and vents about their woes in your presence. What was your reaction or response? Did your mind immediately sound the alarm to get out of there? Did you offer any encouragement? Were you able to relate or were you completely disconnected from their experience? Is there anything would change you would change about your response?

My challenge for you THIS WEEK is to offer someone ENCOURAGEMENT this week. If you see someone having a bad day, find the part of you that remembers having a bad day, too, and surprise them with a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. If you’re around someone who is in a tough season or just having an off day/moment, take a quick moment to offer some encouragement. You can leave a little note or, perhaps, you can invite them to have lunch with you if your schedules allow for it! You can even consider offering that person a joke or something to provoke a laugh! The point is to promote positivity and spread kindness.

I don’t know what you have going on in your lives, but I do know that EACH of us struggles with SOMETHING. If you’re having a tough time yourself, this may be the right opportunity to turn your season around. Remember dishing out positivity attracts positivity! I believe that kindness and love help to heal ourselves and others. If you choose to participate in this CHALLENGE, please SHARE your experience in a comment below. Next Monday, March 27, 2017, I will share the 2nd of FOUR stories about RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS with a different twist, after which I’ll post the 2nd challenge of FOUR. Any person who participates in ALL FOUR challenges will be on the receiving end of a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. I can’t wait to learn about your stories! Have an amazing week! -E

7 thoughts on “Mastering The Art of Kindness (Part I)

  1. Thanks for sharing your story and starting this movement! I’m excited to be mindful of creating space this week to allow an opportunity to perform a random act of kindness. I’m generally good about doing this on a regular basis, however my personal opinion is even when you plateau in a good way, there’s still room to kick it up a notch! I haven’t been as mindful lately, so this is the kick start I needed. Excited to see what the week brings 😄

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    1. Hey Ash! How did the week go?! Hope you’re having another great week 🙂 -E

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  2. Thanks for sharing Fraind! Will be mindful this week.

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  3. I don’t know if this is how we are supposed to share our 1st week experience on the “Kindness Challenge” but here goes.

    So I was struggling all week on what can I do to be extra kind. I think kindness is something I’m aware of often but it’s nice to be reminded that there is always more you can do. So I recently joined (3 weeks ago) my church Prayer Team and it was a funny how it happened because I have been having trouble getting myself more involved in church since I moved to NorCal when I have been very involved in every church for the past 10 years. I had been posting on FB and IG in January once a week that I took on being a Prayer Warrior for 2017. Since I wasn’t involved in church I would at least take on more responsibility in my Faith. My pastor happened to see my post and he told the leader of the Prayer Team to ask me to join the team. I was a bit reluctant (more of my own fears creeping in) but how could I say no. Well it has been a great experience thus far. It takes me out of my comfort zone in many ways. 1) I don’t like to formally speak in front of people even though I have no trouble among my friends. 2) I’m getting to know more people at my church. 3) I get to pray for others and my church. Which to me is the ultimate reward. Yesterday (Sunday) I walk into church and the 2 ladies greeting (I did not know) reached out and gave me a hug. I was like wow, I needed that. So I decided to bring it up in prayer group to lets make sure we greet and say good bye to each other with a hug. After all being Latina, it’s just what we do. And honestly sometimes we need a hug and we don’t even have to say why. Human touch is so important. So to me this week my contribution to the “kindness challenge” was starting the HUGFEST!

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    1. This was so sweet! Thanks for sharing! I hope you’re able to make something special happen this week 🙂 -E

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  4. andyreita@gmail.com March 28, 2017 — 7:26 AM

    I forgot to comment here, but better late than never! 🙂

    First of all, thank you Erika for doing this… I love being encourage to do something nice/kind for our world!

    Anyway, I was also struggling all week thinking how can I be kind? I think I act with kindness most of the time, or at least I try. Should I buy my coworker lunch? should I bring cookies for my operators? Should I buy coffee to the security guard that welcomes me every morning at 6am? All these things are great acts of giving and kindness, but I wanted to do something unexpected, something that I didn’t have to plan out; I wanted to do it right at the moment. So, I decided to just wait for the opportunity.

    Saturday night, I went out to downtown Walnut Creek with a few friends to have a fun Saturday night. I had a blast, and it made my heart super happy just to share moments and experiences like these with them. Once the bars closed, I invited them to go to my apartment because I wanted to make the best “after party” snack (AREPAS)…. So we did, we ate, danced, and kept having lots of fun! Soon enough it was 3:30am! and we decided it was time to wrap things up because we needed to sleep and be ready for our deadlift-off challenge the next day!
    One of the girls forgot her keys to her home, and she didn’t want to wake up her husband at that time because he had to work early the next day! I encouraged her to stay in my place that way she didn’t have to wake him up. So She did so.

    We went to bed around 4am, and at 7AM, she comes inside my room, asking me if I can take her to where her husband works, so she can grab the keys to get in her apt. At that moment, my brain, soul, body and spirit just wanted to keep sleeping. However, I couldn’t say no, she needed a ride, and I was capable enough to offer one. So I did, when I got back to my place it was 8AM, so I was happy because I could watch the morning service online, from my home church in Florida.
    All of the sudden, I was full awake, so I prepared my morning coffee, and started listening to the sermon. Funny enough, the sermon was related to serve, and how God has gifted each of us with something to give out to the world. 1 Peter 4:8-10 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
    After listening to it, I was surprise how God works in so many different ways, and is always teaching us to be better, do better, and aspire to be like Him!

    That’s all… Love you and cant wait to this week’s challenge!!! 🙂

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    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing. That was superrrrr kind of you! Some people would even scough at such a selfless act, but that “servant” mentality truly IS a gift that’s meant to be shared. I love this. I’m excited to hear about the new opportunities to be kind you’ll encounter this week. Xo -E

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