Kind Kindred : Kate : Your Courageous Life

Happy Monday you beautiful beings you! I hope this post finds you smiling & well! Today, Kate from Your Courageous Life joins our Kindred family. If you didn’t catch this post on Wish Studio blog already you can see it here today, as it is important & should be read by as many people as possible because so often we forget to give ourselves a break, to forgive ourselves for a careless word, action or thought – Kate is here giving us permission to do just that today. Be sure to check out her Love Letter to the World where she gives you permission to let others off the hook as well. Thank you Kate, it’s such a pleasure to have you here! Peace to all of you, skies full, Amanda

On Kindness

Writing on kindness today, I find that what I really want to acknowledge for a moment, and hold tenderly, are those parts of us that can feel anything but kind.

The parts of us that feel we’re too tired for compassion, too worn out to make that stretch when someone has just been rude.

The parts of us that see the kind acts of others and then compare ourselves, thinking that someone else has got it figured out — but not us.

The parts of us that feel frustrated by our own lost tempers or passive-aggressive behaviors — the parts that ask, “If I know better, then why don’t I do better?”

The parts of us that wonder sometimes whether or not we even have a kind bone in our bodies.

I want to cradle gently the parts of us that feel we’re lacking and not enough. I want to hold the small spaces that feel constricted. I want to comfort those parts of you that won’t cut yourself a break.

Hurt, pain, suffering — they come up in life. And when we meet these feelings with unkindness, with an unwillingness to even throw ourselves a bone, they stick around a lot longer. Yet we’re oddly conditioned into not “cutting ourselves too much slack” in the screw-ups department. Doing that, we’re taught, could cause us to run amok, forgiving any transgression.

Here’s a radical thought: Why not forgive any transgression? Why not find the kindest possible point of view in light of unspeakable pain? Why not extend that compassion first and foremost to our own souls (thus teaching ourselves how to extend it to others)? Why not let go of the resentments towards our parents or former friends?

What have we got to lose — other than some old, tired baggage?

Of course it sounds easier said than done, but I’m committed to the belief that in fact it’s easier to forgive than to carry around the old muck. I’m not successful in every moment at using kindness as my tool, but by golly — I’m racking up more and more of those moments. They are my lily pads along the way. Each kind moment seems to pave the way for the next one.

As a society, we are most inspired by those who emerge from horrific circumstances to shine bright. The people who do this are not superheroes but everyday heroes–and they would love for all of us to join them.

What is one — just one kindness — you could extend to yourself in this moment?

Let yourself off the hook. The world is waiting for you.

Kate Swoboda is a life coach, teacher, and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She supports women from around the world in making powerful choices and rocking out their lives (side note: this involves a lot of courageous laughter, love, acceptance, and not taking ourselves too seriously). When she’s not writing, leading retreats in Italy, or connecting with other courageous women, she can be found sipping chai in libraries, buffing up on her Italian, taking photographs, or getting all bendy-stretchy on the yoga mat. Learn more at http://www.yourcourageouslife.com.

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