Years ago my life coach told me there are three rules by which to live: “Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.” Although it may sound quite simplistic, it is, in practice, quite challenging. And—if practiced often—it can be exceptionally healing. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Everything is energy . . . that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.” Everything brings a unique form of energy to our lives–thoughts, words, sounds, colors, fragrances/odors, movements, temperatures, etc. Each form of energy has its own vibration and frequency. So then, what type of energy comes when we are kind?
Recall for a moment, the feelings that you have had from someone paying you a genuine compliment, or unexpectedly doing something kind for you. Even more importantly, think of when you paid yourself a genuine compliment or did something kind for yourself. The power of kindness is remarkable. There are many studies confirming the importance of encouraging children rather than criticizing them. Yes, we need to be honest and truthful and avoid false praise, but often we can be honest using words of kindness.
Being kind means saying truthful words to ourselves WITHOUT judgment. As an example, you can change the phrase “Wow, I am so overweight and ugly,” to “Wow, I allowed this to happen and I can move toward a healthy weight by being kind to myself every day.” Instead of: “I am useless, I cannot do anything right,” we can say “I am having a challenging day and will pay closer attention to details.” The technique requires us to be positive with truthfulness. We cannot simply effect desired change by being “new-age” and thinking positive thoughts if they are not true. Our minds know the difference between truth and falsehood. When we make poor choices or act in ways we really don’t like, we cannot sugarcoat our actions. We must acknowledge what occurred, accept the learning that we invited, and then choose to take a different path.
Here are some ways you can be kind to yourself this coming year:
- Find fifteen minutes of calm or beauty or healthy pleasure for yourself to experience every day.
- Give a genuine compliment to yourself.
- Notice when you are criticizing yourself and interrupt your thought process by replacing it with something you are grateful for in yourself.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Keep your promises to yourself—and make sure your promises are realistic and attainable.
- When you fall short of one of your own expectations, acknowledge that it occurred (without judging yourself!) and ask, “What is it that I need to learn from this experience/situation?”
Being kind is a daily practice and requires us to be patient with ourselves. Set a New Year’s Resolution to be kind—to others, yes, but especially to yourself.
January 2017 – Genevie Kocourek, M.D. is Board Certified in Family Medicine. She practices at The Ommani Center and is the founder of Trinity Integrative Family Medicine; focusing her practice on integrative care and prevention of disease for the entire family. She is accepting new patients (children beginning at age 0 as well as adults). Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311