Autumn is here, summer’s been and gone. ‘Tis the season now to knuckle down and get some good bloomin’ work done before the year is out. On one hand this feels good, on the other I have to admit, that thinking about darker, colder, busier days makes my heart sink. Having noticed ‘that sinking feeling,’ I took it as a sign that I need to do something creative to brighten up the Autumn and warm up the winter. The very first idea that popped up in my head was “The 108 Day Kindfulness Project”
“One kind word can warm three winter months” Japanese proverb
Kindness is a magical act that transforms the lives of many. It’s the ultimate positive ripple tool where you can create maximum happiness for minimum effort (let’s hear it for constructive laziness!). Think about it for a moment. If you do a small act of kindness you momentarily get to feel just a little bit happier; the recipient gets to feel just a little bit happier; anybody witnessing gets to feel just a little bit happier, anybody sharing or hearing the story of your small act of kindness also gets to feel just a little bit happier. Kindness is a simple, magical and fun way of living that most of us miss. Why? Because we don’t realise it’s something we actually have to cultivate and DO.
“Kindness says; ‘I want you to be happy’. To be kind means to be friendly, caring, generous, benevolent, considerate, respectful, fair and affectionate. We all know in our hearts when we’ve received or offered kindness because of the warm feeling it brings. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to experience kindness from another person?”
What is Kindfulness?
Kindfulness is what you get when you mix your mindfulness practice with a big dollop of kindness. I learned about this concept from two of my mindfulness teachers – Shamash Alidina and Ajahn Brahm. Both are great living examples of kindfulness in action and I’d like to be a great example of this too.
It’s now well known that mindfulness is an invaluable skill, however the stark act of being mindful can become a bit bleak and cold unless it’s imbued with an attitude of kindness and friendliness – towards yourself and others. Learning mindfulness without kindness in the mix can be gruelling and torturous. Kindness is the magic ingredient to make your mindfulness practice sweet and compelling.
Most of us like to think that we are kind by default. However kindness, like any other skill needs cultivating and practising on a regular basis. With regular ‘on-purpose’ practice, kindfulness can become a habit that can radically transform your life.
It’s been said that it takes 90 days to form a new habit. Many business run their projects in the form of ’90-day challenges’. 90 days is long enough to sink your teeth into, get some momentum going and see some good results. However 90 days is too ‘businessy’ for my liking and seems a bit too dull and boring.
108 is much nicer than 90. Some say it has magical qualities and has been referred to as ‘the number of great joy’.
Knowing this, who wouldn’t want to do something wonderful 108 times??
Also next week on the 15th September there will be just 108 days left this year, so it’s perfect timing to get started on this.
Projects are supposed to be challenging and fun. They have a start and an end, they can be really satisfying and you can look back at the end and see how much things have changed.
It’s a challenge to stay focussed and follow through with good ideas when we’re so busy being swayed by other commitments. There’s a big difference between intentions and accomplishments. If we decide do something good and make ourselves accountable for following through with that decision it’s far more likely to happen. I’m challenging myself to do this every day without fail.
Starting on Tuesday 15th September for 108 days until the end of the year I will carry out at least one mindful (not random) act of kindness, towards myself (yes, I’m worthy of kindness too) and/or others. To make myself accountable I will write a quick note of what I did each day. Hopefully this will also give you ideas about small acts you can do too.
I’m curious to find out how life will change as a result of developing the kindfulness habit.
I guess it will help me keep my mood lighter and more buoyant throughout the winter.
I know that it will strengthen and enliven my own mindfulness teaching and practice.
I want to ‘be the change I want to see in the world’
I hope my idea will inspire some other good people to join me too.
GREAT!!!!!!!! The more the merrier. A journey is more fun with travelling companions. We’re all in this (life) together, so we can go at this mob-handed – lightening the end of the year with more smiles per hour than we’d normally produce.
To make things easier for many of you we’ve created a Facebook group for us to share with and encourage each other.