World Kindness Day, on November 13, emphasises the fact that we could all stand to be kinder to each other. But, in order to do so, first you have to be kind to yourself; a term known as ‘kindsight’. Here are my top nine tips to get you loving yourself again.
Make yourself your own best friend
Heard the little voice in your head? The one that constantly reminds you that you’re not good enough? Would you talk to your best friend this way? What if you could stop comparing your looks, wealth and success against others and see that you are unique; you always have been and always will be. Celebrate your uniqueness and celebrate your successes as though you were your own best friend. Life is not about beating yourself up. Speak to yourself more kindly.
Pretend you are a child
Engage with the ‘childlike you’ and dream big again. Visualise what it is you truly want in life; make the dream bigger, bolder and more colourful. Write it down, draw or paint it, cut pictures out of magazines or capture it on your computer. Be creative – let your imagination run wild like a child. If you can visualise it, your subconscious mind will help it unfold. Being creative is kind for the mind.
Have a vivid and bold dream and seize the opportunity to make new choices – but lose attachment to the outcome of your big vision. Keep your dream real in your mind’s eye but understand that everything happens for a reason. Accept that sometimes the universe may have bigger, bolder and kinder plans for you.
Low-grade or high-grade fuel
How are you fuelling your body? Be kinder with how you nurture your body. Low-grade fuels such as sugar, processed grains and convenience foods rob your energy and exacerbate stress. Try including plenty of high-grade natural foods; vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Swap your sugary or processed foods with natural foods. Get into the habit of doing this every day and watch your body go the distance. Your body will say thank you for the kindness.
Juggling all the plates
Stop trying to please everyone. The reality is you will never please everyone until you start trying to please yourself first. It’s not selfish and people will start to respect you more. Don’t allow people to mistake your kindness for weakness; they think that gives them permission to walk all over you and rob you of your most precious gift – time. Life may not always be tied with a bow but nevertheless it is always a gift. A precious gift. Realise the gift of time.
Live each day and connect with your inner self. Stand still, listen to the birds and gaze at the sky. Take time out of your busy schedule to immerse yourself in a few moments of ‘being’, instead of ‘doing’. If you can’t be in nature then take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply and visualise Mother Earth beneath your feet, holding and supporting you.
Make peace with your past
Reflect on past occasions or people that made you feel inadequate, ashamed, betrayed, lonely, angry and sad. Send forgiveness to those people that made you feel less in some way. If you can’t forgive what happened then say, ‘I accept that’ and let it go. Put your thoughts in a balloon and let them go. Accepting is not the same as agreeing. Acceptance is a kindness that sets you free.
Make new friends
Surround yourself with uplifting people. If life feels like a challenge, take time to find new friends or new pastimes. It may be bold and it may be scary but search the web/social media for groups. There are plenty of people willing to embrace you into their group and support you. Connection is kindness. Kindness is contagious. For example, join InterNations online and meet other expats in Bahrain, looking to connect with like-minded individuals (www.internations.org/bahrain-expats).
Liz Keaney is an international speaker, author and founder of the KindnessCODE – Coaching for Life, Leadership and Self-Mastery, and is resident in the GCC. She helps people find their inner magnificence through a consciousness of self-nurture, self-worth and self-connection. Visit www.lizkeaney.com.