Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Mindfulness and Me

Dear KOM-ers!

We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!

Please enjoy this excerpt from “Mindfulness and Me” by Kira Markoff.

There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE hard copy:

  1. Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
  2. Email us at with the Subject: Mindfulness and Me giveaway entry

The winner will be randomly selected on 6/5/23 and announced on our website and social media. *

Are you ready to see mindfulness in a whole new way? As a set of relevant practices for emotional stability, concentration, insight, relaxation, self-control and mental fortitude, mindfulness was never intended to be shrouded in mystery. Current psychological research shows that just 8 weeks of daily mindful meditation practices significantly lowers the activity in the fear (a.k.a. stress) center of the brain.

“Mindfulness and Me: A Practical Guide for Living” is a myth-busting, philosophy-integrating handbook designed to lead you through 8 weeks of practice for creating a meaningful, empowered, kind and relaxed life. To prove there’s nothing mystical or magical about mindfulness, these practices integrate Buddhist, yoga and Christian philosophy, mental health treatment, modern psychology and so much more. This book will take you through the biology of stress, changing thought patterns, managing emotions and having a better relationship with yourself and others.

There’s nothing magical about it. It just makes sense.

Excerpt: Week 4, Day 4 – Kindness Journaling  

It’s time to look deeply into the meaning of kindness. At its core, I truly believe that kindness is about being present with someone. When you remember that you exist, and the other person exists then you can appreciate the moment that you’re sharing and their impact on your life. A word or action which relieves another person’s suffering or brings them a moment of happiness – that is kindness. A sincere acknowledgement of how another person’s existence improves your own – that is kindness. If you Google search ‘kindness’ you will find that it is both an act and a quality – being friendly, generous, and considerate. There are three parts here. First, you remember that the other person exists. Second, you offer a gift in word, act, or material item without any expectation of personal gain. Third, you interact in a way that is non-harming and pleasant for the person. The goal of kindness is to create an environment where people feel seen, accepted, and appreciated. We all want to feel like valuable human beings. What a wonderful gift to be able to offer to someone.

Because life is about balance, it’s time to talk about what kindness is not. Kindness is not letting yourself be mistreated. Kindness is not overcommitting yourself. Kindness is not empty flattery. Kindness is not a tool to get people to like you or do things for you. Kindness is not neglecting yourself to do things for others. Pema Chodron does a lot of teaching on kindness and compassion. The essence being that kindness has to start with you. Kindness to yourself is step one. Then, when you are filled with kindness, it will naturally pour out of you to reach other people. One of my parents’ frequently quoted Bible teachings is, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the Mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 [4]). Essentially, whatever you spend time cultivating on the inside becomes obvious on the outside. The more you redirect your thoughts to kindness, understanding, and empathy, then the more these things will show in your words and your actions.

PRACTICE: Kindness Journaling

  1. Get paper and pen and go to your quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe in and out several times to prepare yourself for your meditation.
  3. Set your timer for five or seven minutes.
  4. Reflect on an act of kindness that meant a lot to you.
  5. Write about how this made you feel and why it was so meaningful.
  6. You can write this as a journal entry or a letter to the kind person.
  7. If you finish before your timer sounds allow yourself to re-read your words or simply to reflect on the feelings or action.
  8. Once your timer sounds, close your eyes again and notice the effects of your practice.
  9. If you wrote a letter, decide whether or not you want to send it.


* By entering this contest, you give consent to Kind Over Matter to use your name for promotional purposes on our website and on all social media. 

NOTE:  You can pre-order Kira’a book from Hunt Publishing or on Amazon.

kira markoff
Kira M. Markoff, LCSW-C, is an outpatient mental health therapist at The Mental Health Center of Western Maryland and Psychology PhD student at Grand Canyon University. Kira has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Since 2017 she has provided mental health therapy to individuals and families specializing with veterans and those with co-occurring substance use disorders. As a yoga instructor and longtime meditator, Kira believes in using a mind, body, spirit approach when working with clients. Kira developed a belief in the reciprocity of personal and interpersonal well-being through yoga practice, clinical experience and academic research. Her passion for cultivating meaningful connections led her to study mindfulness and romantic partner conflict which is the focus of her doctoral dissertation. Kira believes that understanding is the key to discovering a solution and hopes to use her expertise to help people foster deeper connections with each other and themselves. She lives in Chambersburg, PA.

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