Today I watched a video by an author and teacher that I greatly admire – Anita Moorjani. (You may have heard of or read her bestseller book Dying to Be Me, a story of her near death experience.)
What caught my attention in today’s video was the concept of Random Act of Kindness, which according to Wikipedia, means ”a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world”.
For example you might leave your favourite book with a thoughtful note on a park bench for a stranger to find, or offer to babysit friends’ kids without her having to ask, or put an extra couple of dollars on someone else’s expired parking meter. The possibilities are endless! And doing good will surely give you the warm fuzzies, not to mention the lucky someone who gets to receive your offer of kindness.
But the twist here, as promised in the heading, was Anita Moorjani’s idea to do at least one random act of kindness a day… (ready?)… FOR YOURSELF!
That means doing something kind towards yourself. Every. Single. Day.
It’s so much easier to offer compassion and kindness to someone else, isn’t it? Most of us have no problem giving money to a charity or buying an expensive birthday present for a friend, but spoiling ourselves, that’s a completely different story.
And I’m not just talking about spending money, although that can sometimes be part of your good deed towards yourself. A random act of kindness to yourself could look as simple as saying “no” when you’re too tired to attend a social gathering, or going to bed early and leaving the dishes for the morning, or investing in your own interests such as taking the class that you can never justify spending money on. You could take yourself to movies, to a concert, to the park to watch the birds on your lunch break. You get the idea.
Essentially, this is a great example of practicing deservingness. (And it’s much harder than it sounds. For me it is, anyway.)
You deserve to be kind to yourself.
You deserve to rest, to play, “to follow your joy” as another favourite author of mine, Robert Holden, puts it.
IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED ON KINDNESS
Let’s list a few ideas. See how you feel when reading them. Do you jump at some of them and hesitate at others? I dare you to do at least one of these things for yourself today!
- Give yourself genuine compliments
- Speak to yourself like you would to a good friend
- Take yourself out on a “date”, with or without another person
- Buy yourself an indulgent, expensive tea pot and loose leaf tea to go with it
- Go for an early morning walk before anyone else is up
- Buy an inspirational book or magazine, just because
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes
- Buy yourself flowers
- Make time for a sleep in (organise a babysitter, clear your schedule…)
- Spend more money on quality/organic/healthy/delicious food
- Sign up for a course that interests you but isn’t work related, “useful” or “practical” but speaks to your soul
- Ask for help for whatever you’re struggling with
- Indulge in a luxury (whatever that means to you)
- Go on a holiday, or take “a mental health day”
- Let yourself feel your emotions fully
- Book in for a massage or facial or other treatment that you feel drawn to
- Write down 20 things you love about yourself and store it for a “rainy day”
- Let yourself exercise the way that feels good (think of taichi, kayaking, swimming in the ocean, taking the dog out for a walk, playing soccer with the kids…)
- When you feel like crying, cry. Don’t apologise for being a feeling, sensing human being.
- Choose to wear colours that make you happy even if they are not matching or “trending”!
- Take a nap
- Take a bath, a swim, a foot soak with peppermint oil
- Let a friend buy your coffee or lunch when they offer. Don’t argue, “thankyou” is enough!
- Treat yourself to a 15 minute quiet time, or meditation.
- Lift your feet up at the end of the day and rest for half an hour before attending all your to-do’s for the night
- Praise yourself at every possible chance