“It’s impossible to change the past or the present: you can only accept all that as it is. But you can tend to the causes of a better future. Most of the ways you’ll do this are small and humble… These little actions really add up over time. Every day, ordinary activities—as well as any personal growth or spiritual practices—contain dozens of opportunities to change your brain from the inside out. You really do have that power, which is a wonderful thing in a world full of forces beyond your control. A single raindrop doesn’t have much effect, but if you have enough raindrops and enough time, you can carve a Grand Canyon.”
When we experience loss in our life, we can so easily get stuck wishing that things were the same as before. But we can’t change the past! However, if we take time each and every day, just to take some small action, a baby step, we can create a better future for ourselves. It might be just taking 5 minutes each day to sit quietly and meditate, or maybe getting out in nature, cooking ourselves a nice meal, or spending time with friends or loved ones. Over time these small gifts to our self, will help us to accept the past, and begin to enjoy the present.
“If compassion is the wish that beings not suffer, kindness is the wish that they be happy. Compassion responds primarily to suffering, but kindness comes into play all the time, even when others are doing fine. Kindness is expressed mainly in small, everyday ways, such as leaving a big tip, reading one more story to a child even though you’re tired, or waving another driver to move ahead of you in traffic.
Kindness has a loving quality, thus the term loving-kindness. Loving-kindness ranges from the casual helpfulness of strangers to the profound love one has for a child or mate. The words “kind” and “kin” share the same root; kindness brings people into the circle of “us” and feeds the wolf of love.”
There are so many ways that we can offer kindness in our lives, and there are dual benefits. It’s always great to receive a kindness, but it also feels good to give a kindness too! It doesn’t have to cost anything either. You can offer a smile, a hug, genuine interest in another person, an offer to help someone. What act of kindness could you do today?
Marci Shimoff tells us in her book “Happy for no Reason”: “Have the intention to notice everything good that happens to you: any positive thought you have, anything you see, feel, taste, hear, or smell that brings you pleasure, a win you experience, a breakthrough in your understanding about something, an expression of your creativity—the list goes on and on. This intention activates the reticular activating system (RAS), a group of cells at the base of your brain stem responsible for sorting through the massive amounts of incoming information and bringing anything important to your attention. Have you ever bought a car and then suddenly started noticing the same make of car everywhere? It’s the RAS at work. Now you can use it to be happier. When you decide to look for the positive, your RAS makes sure that’s what you see.”
When we’ve experienced loss, it’s easy to focus all our attention on what’s now missing from our lives. We notice all the things that are going wrong in our lives and we feel even more miserable. But if you choose to incline your mind to joy, by focusing on all the good, then you will naturally begin to experience more and more joy. Now wouldn’t that be a better way to spend your days?