Welcome to the very first Kind Kindred post, a weekly series that will feature some of the most amazing, giving & kind bloggers, artists & crafters out there! Be it through art, crafts, acts or ideas - each post will focus on one of the many ways to Live Kindness. Amanda & I are so excited about this, we've been working on getting things lined up for the past several weeks & oh wow, it's been hard not sharing this with you all!!
Peace to you, in all you do.
Listen, be kind
Eating dark chocolate with raspberries.
Taking a long, hot, bubble bath.
Daydreaming in a quiet corner in the back of the bookstore.
Shopping for art supplies.
Skipping in the park with your dog.
Writing in your journal before dawn.
Getting a pedicure with pink glittery nail polish.
These are just a few fabulous and flawless ways to be kind to yourself. I'm sure you can come up with a list of a hundred or so more. We all can. But when do we have the time? It's sinful that our lives have become so compact and crowded that the thought of performing one of these simple acts of self-kindness can escalate stress and feelings of unworthiness even.
I teach art in a K-8 public school, and my job has taught me time and time again that the most powerful act of kindness is when I simply stop what I am doing to listen. If it is a little one, I'll kneel down to be face-to-face and hear how excited they are about losing a tooth, or how confused they are that mommy and daddy no longer live together. Sometimes, especially with middle schoolers, listening has to take on it's own life -- as you attempt to decipher what it is they are actually trying to say as they hide their feelings and real thoughts behind "acting cool" in front of their peers.
Listening is the greatest form of kindness my friends. It doesn't cost a thing -- it doesn't need you to go somewhere or rearrange your schedule to fit it in. When the opportunity arises, you simply need to be present -- and boom -- kindness prevails.
But here's the vanilla icing on the kindness cupcake...the greatest act of self-kindness is simply listening as well.
There's a little voice inside us all that wants us to kneel down and be present. Sometimes, just like a middle schooler, this voice in our hearts requires us to be clever and alert -- to decipher the code it communicates with.
Sure chocolate, pedicures and brand new oil pastels can make a great kindness patch to any day...but listening to our hearts and souls can become a self-kindness practice that becomes a natural way of being.
Be kind. Listen.
|Connie Hozvicka is passionate about art and creativity and loves inspiring others to dive deeper into their own Creative Juicy Life. She has a BA in both painting and art history, and is a licensed art educator with over 15 years of experience nurturing artists of all skill levels, ages and backgrounds. A painter at heart, Connie's artwork has been exhibited in galleries nationally, collected internationally and can be found for sale in her Dirty Footprints Etsy Shop. Connie shares her Creative Juicy Life on her blog DirtyFootprints-Studio.com, teaches art full-time in a public K-8 school, hosts the online workshop sensation Art Journal LOVE Letters, paints like a mad chica every second she can, is a dedicated Yogini, and lives a life of bliss in sunny Arizona with Hansel, the love-of-her-life, and their two furry lovelies: Nyla (the doggie) and Theo (the fat cat).|