Kindness is Love in Action with Jackie Stewart

Guest Post by Jackie Stewart for the Kind Kindred series.

photo by Jason Smalley

Kindness is Love in Action

In spring and summer when the garden is going all kinds of crazy I pot up the extra plants that have self-seeded and place them on a blue painted table outside my house for strangers to take.

This random act of kindness makes me skip with joy. I make a hand-painted sign inviting people to take a plant or two and draw pictures of what the plants will look like in flower, writing what I know about their herbal uses and the wildlife they attract.

At night when I bring in the empty table, I’m always delighted to see that the plants have gone. I imagine them settling their roots in new gardens bringing new joy and my heart expands. It’s a gift straight from my heart without any expectation of reward or praise. It’s kindness for the pure heartfelt joy of it.

One Sunday morning there was a knock at the door. A woman on the doorstep clutching a few plant babies, looking confused. ‘Where’s the money pot to pay for the plants?’

‘Oh…’ I faltered ‘There isn’t one, it’s a gift. Please help yourself, I don’t have room for them all in my tiny garden’. We talked for a few minutes. She was struggling to receive something without giving anything back. It got me thinking about what I needed to notice.

So I wondered how it would feel if I did ask for payment for the plants. Maybe I needed to open up my ability to receive. I sat with that possibility in meditation. I felt how my heart feels when I leave the plants outside without expecting money in return. It feels free and limitless and like my heart is blasted wide open.

Love without limits.

When I imagined putting out a pot for money it felt like I was putting a container around my heart. I would be expecting something in return and that didn’t feel so good.

photo by Jason Smalley
A few days later and I’m on the other side, being the one who struggles to receive kindness. I’m standing in the supermarket with a pint of goat’s milk for my morning decaff goaty latte (If Starbuck’s ever start marketing a goaty latte and call it a goatee you heard it here first!)

The woman in front of me has filled the conveyor belt with her shopping and I see her glance at my goat’s milk then look down at her mammoth pile of food. ‘Do you want to go ahead of me?’ she asks and I say ‘No it’s OK, I’m not in a hurry’ but she insists. ‘Go on, please’ and smiles.

Her kindness reaches straight into my heart and I accept, noticing how I’d struggled to allow that kindness in. We’ll probably never meet again, she and I. It was kindness without expectation. It often is from strangers.

When I’m kind without expecting to receive anything in return, my heart feels so big that I can’t tell where my heart ends and the rest of the world begins. This feels like a lesson I keep learning and relearning – expanding my ability to give without expectations or conditions.

Limitless kindness. Limitless love.

I relearnt it with someone I’d met briefly a couple of years ago. She was having a difficult time so I offered to send her flower essences for free to soothe her pain because I knew the essences would help. I posted the essences and didn’t hear another word from her until I bumped into her months later.

It was only when I mentioned the essences that she said ‘Oh yes thanks for those’. I felt unappreciated and then it struck me that I’d had an expectation that she would be thankful. I hadn’t given her a gift at all. I’d given her something with strings attached. When you give with expectation of receiving something in return (even if the thing you want to receive is simply thank you) you’ve not truly given at all. You’re still attached by a gossamer-thin strand of expectation.

photo by Jason Smalley
And I realise that when we expect something in return for kindness it’s because our hearts are aching for love and recognition. When we top up our hearts with love, we don’t need to get any from other people because our hearts are already full and overflowing.

Our capacity for kindness isn’t fixed. It’s directly linked to how open-hearted and loving we’re feeling.

Sometimes my heart feels tender and tight and restricted so it doesn’t occur to me to be kind and I’m too closed to receive kindness from others.

Other times I feel so full of love that kindness flows from me effortlessly without limit, and all I notice is the infinite kindness of others.

I believe that our true natures are love and kindness, and when we lose sight of that it’s simply a reminder to return to our hearts and top them up with more and more love.

So be kind to your heart and tend to it daily. Give joyfully without expectation. Practice random acts of kindness and get high on the delight. Be kind because it feels good and be vulnerable enough to accept kindness from others.

Try this simple practice to top up your heart with love and kindness:

1. Focus on your heart as you take 20 slow deep breaths.

2. Hold the palm of your left hand over your heart and imagine that you breathe love in and you breathe love out.

3. Do it for as long as you need to.

Kindness IS love in action.

Chicory flower remedy is for unconditional love so I’ve created this poster and wallpaper with beautiful chicory flower captured by nature photographer Jason Smalley for you:

Click on the buttons to download!

Jackie Stewart is a Soul whisperer and barefoot breather who offers Soul medicine for conscious living at Her brand of Soul medicine = flower + crystal essences for transformation + emotional support to heal your heart + spiritual counselling to bring you clarity + guided meditation to soothe your Soul + big big love.

Happiest outdoors kissing flowers, stroking moss or meditating, Jackie is the co-creator of 10 Steps to Soothe Your Soul in Nature and the Barefoot Breathing e-course at Essence of Wild {live link to}.

Find her on Twitter @JSFlowerspirit and Facebook and at You’ll receive free Soul medicine from your personal healing flower when you sign up for Jackie’s mailing list.


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