Something President Obama said in a speech last week has me thinking. He said: “Kindness breeds kindness”. He said it in regard to the current climate of the presidential campaign. Simple, yet powerful.
His remarks sparked thought about spirituality. Recently, some some self proclaimed ‘spiritually awakened’ individuals have been, as my Grandmother would say, out of line. Sharp tongues, twisted snipes and cuts, judgement, some gossip and just plain one-upmanship threw me for a loop.
I did some writing, looked to see how I might have contributed to the tango. I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes my practice is just staying centered and sending love, even in the face of, well, nastiness.
Obama’s remarks struck a chord. I know he was talking about the election, but it’s more. I wonder if we haven’t gotten lost in the how and forgotten the simple what–that Kindness Breeds Kindness. Whether your spiritual process is to light candles and chant, burn incense and smudge, consult crystals and spirit guides, shouldn’t matter. For my husband sailing is a spiritual experience, or a great scuba dive. For some it’s a hike. For me it’s a walk along the ocean, meditating, or journaling. Sometimes I light a candle and prey. I do different things at different times.
What matters is intention.
Are you coming from loving kindness? Or are you trying to prove something? Be better than the person next to you? More spiritual. More powerful. More more more, fill in the blank. Spirituality shouldn’t be egocentric, it should be heart centered.
I once wrote an article about how women judge women for my blog on the Huffington Post. I have been judged for lots of things in my life: my body, how I conduct business and my spirituality. I’ve been told I’m a ‘spiritual anti-christ’ (what does that even mean?), that I’m not in touch with my inner goddess and I’ve even been accused of not liking mermaids–(Who doesn’t like mermaids?) (And how does that relate to spirituality? I don’t know, but that was the context of the jab.) I have judged too. I am not perfect. I have a LEO-ego I have to keep in check for sure!
How a person expresses their spirituality is personal. It shouldn’t be a competition. And, if you’re starting with loving kindness, who cares how or what or when you ‘practice’.
Kindness Breeds Kindness.
Being spiritual is being kind, spreading kindness, coming from a place of love.
Fear Vs. Love.
If I’m not in love, but in fear, I will lash out, judge. That’s human nature. Because when we are afraid we are out of love (Yes Marianne Williamson) and it’s hard to not judge, not to compare, not to go to good vs. bad, right vs. wrong. If I’m afraid, I defend, compare, compete. I am in my ego, not my heart. Stepping into love, just that, is a spiritual act. Making that choice. Taking that breath and centering. We move from the oneness, disconnectedness, the aloneness of ego and fear into the vastness of being connected to whatever it is that you believe in and LOVE.
Spirituality doesn’t have to be complicated. And it sure as shit shouldn’t be competitive.
If you know me, you’ve heard me joke about how my business is my spiritual practice. And it is. It has taught me to be patient, to be kind, to trust, to have faith, to slow down, to walk away, to breathe in love and to be in service. Practice kindness, in an email, a phone call, a conversation.
In the end, whatever I’m doing to be ‘spiritual’, whatever you’re doing to be spiritual, shouldn’t it be rooted in love and kindness?
Kindness breeds kindness.
It is a beautiful practice.
Kindness breeds kindness.
With love and light