Kindness Breeds Kindness

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.

Aloha Flying Big Red

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.

redondo spoiriIn 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
Practice well
and
Write on

carolyn first only sig

How Naked?

Blustery Day in the Park

Blustery Day in the Park

I was walking in Wilson Park yesterday

The wind pulled the leaves from their branches
They spun in the air
Before landing yellow and brown on the grass for a moment
Only to be swept up again
And again
And again

I thought to myself, how naked do I want to get?
Which layers should I peel?
What if I’m like an onion?
I don’t want to make people cry.

WE DO!I don’t know why I remember this moment as I’m walking around Wilson Park.

“I brought my album.” I said.

It was 2003. I was a newlywed, maybe married three months. I had invited them to my wedding, they declined even before I sent the invitation.  We don’t do weddings. He said.  Weddings are silly, she said.  Over and again, they said, as I planned my day, how weddings are nothing but image and pomp and circumstance.  I can’t stand the ‘scene’. She’d say. It was as if they had a repulsion to the institution itself, that they hated the whole tradition. We don’t do weddings. He’d say.  They were married.  Although, she did take pride in the fact that she didn’t have a wedding.  As if she were some special breed of woman that didn’t need a wedding. She was above it all, she didn’t go in for all that fluff.  She’d shared her  story with me more than once.  We ran off.  We didn’t have a wedding.  We eloped to Vegas.  We just decided one night and got in the car.    

My wedding wasn’t just pomp and circumstance.  Each of the twenty-eight pictures I chose to put in the album reflected our feelings, our love, our happiness, our joy.  I brought the album to show them how special the day was. I wanted to share that with them. I wanted to let them know that it was more than what they thought it was.

We were in their living room.The wind was loud outside, lifting up from the ocean, wrapping itself around the Monterey Pines. They were sitting, side by side, in the white love seat under the window. I was standing in front of them holding the album out to them–an offering.

“Do we have to?” He said.

“Don’t make us.” She said.

We ARE Married 10 26 03

I cried that night.

I have no idea why the memory blew in as I circled Wilson Park yesterday. A seed could have been fertilized that night and yesterday the wind might have tugged at some of it’s leaves and I remembered.

It’s funny.  I keep the album on my coffee table.  Sometimes someone will be at my house and they’ll notice it.  They might ask,  Do you mind if I look through your wedding album?

I’ll smile and answer not at all.

Here’s what else I’ve been thinking about.  How naked do I want to get?  When does kindness trump truth? Sometimes isn’t it better to be quiet. Isn’t that the truth too?

The heart is the most powerful of all our organs. It generates the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field. When two energy fields meet, they change each other. With that change, they impregnate memory.

After remembering that night back in 2003, I think that if my heart really is leading, literally, electromagnetically, I must listen to her.

I don’t want to be an onion.

the heart field

 

Agape

AGAPE

  • Selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications.

  • The love of God for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; … extends to the love of one’s fellow man.
  • In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros”. 

I want to write about AGAPE. I hear lots of preachers preaching AGAPE, well they’re preaching, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t AGAPE.

I want to make sense, be readable, be fair, open minds, open hearts. I write and write and write and you know what? It’s a lot of pressure and even more crap.

“Honey?” I call to Bill. He’s in the garage varnishing a piece of wood, watching the sanded mahogany transmute to a deep cherry. Man In A Box hovers in the Sunday August afternoon, winding around his head, it catches wind, liquefies in the yard.   [Read more…]