Choosing Kindness Shares Joy – Kindness Challenge, Week 5

choosing kindnessWeek 5 of the Kindness Challenge Niki asked us to choose kindness while living our lives. Easy enough! But, instead I missed a kindness opportunity. Luckily, found a quote that shined a profound light on why to choose kindness.

My missed opportunity took place on the treadmill next to me at the gym. A kind and lovely woman asked if the gym was always this crowded. Wrapped in this simple question was an apologetic tone, as she quietly explained it was her first day using the gym’s equipment. Politely I answered her questions, never acknowledging that I wasn’t bothered by her inquiry.

Later, I realized I could’ve elevated this exchange by choosing kindness thru being her cheerleader. Simply expressing positive reinforcement about her heathy choice to exercise. And maybe asking what brought about this new lifestyle. This gesture to welcome her to gym and welcome her to the “club” of people who decided to exercise would have been choosing kindness. But I didn’t…I didn’t choose kindness. I chose to stare at the television, distracting myself while jogging on the treadmill.

This negative behavior of mine started me wondering what I thought choosing kindness meant. My intuition started this internal probe thru a sensation of unfulfillment. Lacking clarity I started to sense it wasn’t just about being nice, sort of an absent minded disconnected action like, picking up something that someone dropped or holding open a door for someone while talking on my cell phone. I’m not minimizing these helpful actions but I intuited there was something deeper at work when choosing kindness. But what…

 Magically, while scrolling thru Twitter, I read the message that my intuition was preparing me for.

“Release the joy that is inside another and you will release the joy that is inside of you.”

This quote named the unclear sensation and brought the deeper awareness of choosing kindness to my consciousness. Choosing kindness created a connection thru joy.

With this knowledge, I imagined the potential outcome if I had simply said, “Welcome, to the gym.”, or “Good for you for caring for yourself.” or “What led you to this choice?”. I can see her shy smile forming. She becomes a smidge vulnerable to release some joy at a stranger’s heartfelt words to positively acknowledge her effort. This exchange, that I could have initiated, would’ve created an opening thru kindness to feel some joy. According to the quote, we would both be richer for the moment. But none of that happened….

 

 

 

Comments (16)

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    Jim Furneaux

    Ah yes the amazing treadmill of life. And the changing of meaning of the term reflects the place we all too often find ourselves in. Treadmill was originally a way to harness oxen or other large animals to walk in a circle and grind grain – thus producing food for all. Treadmill today is a device where you can remain in place and do exercises of benefit to — yes YOU and only YOU. It is solitary and designed to involve and impact no one else. So we have to overcome this as well as other gadgets that isolate us (with a warm feeling of doing something good) and recognize that everything we do, everywhere we go is an opportunity to spread love – not necessarily joy in my parlance love. You know I am considering you is a way of showing I love you.

    Enough musings time for my Thai rice breakfast.

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      Julia

      Thanks for sharing before breakfast. xo

      Reply

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    Rosie Amber

    I hear, you, this has been my hardest week so far in the challenge.

    Reply

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    Niki Meadows

    I encourage you to see it as an example of an opportunity you could have chosen kindness. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It was an opportunity that you missed out on but given the opportunity again, you’ll likely act on it because of how much not acting impacted you. We have more opportunities than we realize each day. Celebrate the ones you do and learn from the ones you don’t. This challenge will never end, each day you have plenty of practice opportunities <3

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      Julia

      Thanks for your support. The writing sounds more dramatic than my feelings over it. I was going to use this missed opportunity to lead into another successful moment. It just felt better to really sit with the missed opportunity as a writing piece. Let it stand alone. Don’t know why I did that but it just feels right. :>

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        Niki Meadows

        Ok I just wanted to be sure you weren’t being too hard on yourself 🙂 I’m glad you did what was best for you. It’s good to put things out like that sometimes. <3

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          Julia

          Truly I appreciate your comments and kindness. It felt right to learn from not doing something than to learn from handling well. Ya know what I mean? More impact somehow.

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            Niki Meadows

            Oh yes! I’m one of those too! It’s human nature I think. Some of the greatest people in history are remembered because they learned from their mistakes. <3

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            Julia

            :>

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    Me Revealed

    Thank you for putting your missed opportunity front and center of this post. It is such a good reminder how we sometimes miss being in the moment and let a chance pass by. But once we realize it, it is our next move that becomes the important one. Will we see the next chance or will we miss it yet again, because we were mentally still caught up in the one we missed? Sounds like you caught the next one, which I call a success 👍

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      Julia

      Now that I read your comment, while on a whale watch today and speaking to the whale expert, I was much more present. Not only with her knowledge but more with her and asking her about her experiences in the whale world. I do believe it was because of the way I wrote this week’s post. I’m an open and friendly person but usually onto the next thing so it’s taught me about being present and sharing the joy. Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it!

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    Patricia

    This is something I do sometimes…maybe often is more honest. I am often busily self-involved and have to remind myself that other people are around and to engage with them and see them rather than looking through them. Life is a school and we are students.

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      Julia

      Right on! Truly, I could easily have said good for you. Enjoy! and smiled. It would have taken 2 seconds. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Reply

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    Jenn

    I think for the most part a lot of us are in “gym mode”, so the focus is really on ourselves. Don’t beat yourself up over it. The next time you see her in the gym, maybe say hello 🙂

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    positivelyappealing

    I’ve noticed that me being naturally shy keeps me from initiating conversations with strangers and sometimes even acquaintances. I usually am polite enough to answer the question of how are you etc. but I really have to force myself to be kind back and ask how they are, especially if I don’t know them at all. Thank you for the new found insight! 🙂

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      Julia

      Glad to hear I can help.

      Reply

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