Lay Down Your Sword and Shield: How Practicing Kindess, Compassion, and Patience Can Change the Course of Your Life

“It is all too easy to lose our patience with people and act unkindly.  A wise person knows that showing kindness and compassion is the most effective way to bring out the best in others. ” Dharmachari Nagaraja

What would your life look like if practiced patience, kindness and compassion instead of negatively reacting to people who wronged you? Could you see yourself being more relaxed?  Would you notice how the person, on the other side of the interaction, immediately stopped being antagonistic once they observed you choosing to respond in peace?  Is it possible that by being more focused on creating easiness in your daily living, through the practice of the “trilogy” of kindess, compassion and patience, that you could change someone else’s life in an instant?

It takes a milli-second to get caught up in the “offensiveness” of someone and react in a prideful, self-righteous way.  And,  it takes a little moment longer to pause, breathe, and remind yourself  that the gift you can give yourself and someone else is not only to notice that it is YOU that is being challenged through your intolerance  but also, that displaying kindness, compassion, and patience in the face of YOUR struggle is the lesson to be learned.

There is a great deal of misery in chaos in our world.  Just look around, watch the news, read the papers and view what is on the internet.  If you allow yourself, you can align your attitude with the negative energies of the world, believing that there is very little that is good in humanity.

I don’t blame you for leaning into that a bit.  The behavior in different parts of the world and in our own country give us proof that it is “every man for himself.”  When you choose to live from this place of saving yourself first, you rule out any opportunity to contribute to the world in a capacity that is beyond you.

I don’t believe that we are placed on this earth to suffer or to become jaded by pain.  I believe that we are in “earth school” to reconnect with our origin self; the self that is connected to the highest good- our godliness; and in this godliness is goodness.

Just this morning I was waiting in line to purchase something.  I was in a bit of a rush and the clerk was an older woman who was moving slower than I had hoped.  I found myself becoming irritated and wishing that she would finish up faster so that I could get on my way.  And then, I thought of this blog post and I stopped in my tracks.

The very thing that I am sharing with you, is what I was being tested on in that line today.  The moment I connected the two, I immediately felt relieved that I didn’t have to be uptight anymore and that this sweet woman, behind the counter, was doing her best.  I took a breath and smiled at her and went on my way.

The practice of kindness, compassion, and patience can be tested anywhere.   In an instant you can be transformed from a taker to a giver.  In an instant, you can spare someone the punishment of your inability to manage your frustration by taking a moment to pause and recognize the challenge before you;  in the face of an offense, an injustice, or an inconvenience, do you give into your immediate reaction of intolerance or do you choose to pause and step into your higher self, and practice kindess, compassion and patience? 

As children, unless we are old souls who already have this concept ingrained in our spirits, we don’t learn how to offer patience to others when they offend us or treat us unfairly.  The lesson of kindness is often learned after the fact, from a discussion with our parents about how we could have acted differently by taking into account the other person’s perspective.

If you are a parent, how do you teach this to your children?  How do you show them that it feels better  to practice this trilogy of kindness, compassion and patience?   I can promise you that if you cultivate this habit of “being in the trilogy”, then your children will find it much easier to internalize.

Our knee-jerk reactions can serve us in the moment, but don’t always have a sustainable payoff of peace of mind.

Next time you become irritated, offended, and annoyed by someone, take a few seconds to remind yourself that in this moment of your intolerance that you are being tested and that you have the choice to serve only yourself or to serve both yourself and someone else by  responding in kindness.

In love and light,

Janis
www.cohenfamilycounseling.com

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The Payoff of Forgiveness:Filling Up Your Emotional Bank Account

Everything in our lives- every thought we have, every action we take-requires some energy.  How much energy are you putting into holding onto the pain, anger and shame in your life?

Consider energy as a financial allowance equal to one hundred dollars a day.  Your task is to learn how to invest this money wisely, because your investments will either earn you interest or put you in debt. Continue reading

Why Talking to Your Children About the Small Things Makes it Easier to Talk About the Big Things

If you are like most parents, you do your best to be involved in your children’s lives by asking about their day, who they played with at recess, with whom they ate lunch and what their homework is for the night.  You attend their school events, taxi them around to various play dates and parties and do what you can to keep an eye on their emotional and psychological well-being.  Sometimes life gets in the way and you miss an opportunity to dig deeper.  And, as kids age into adolescence, the window for involvement quickly shrinks, and before you know it, the only response you get from your tween or teen is a shrug or an “uh-huh.” Continue reading

Seeing is Believing: What Your Behavior is Really Telling Your Kids About You

Children pay attention to EVERYTHING.  They use all of their senses to find clarity, safety, certainty, and love when they are around their parents. Children watch you, even when you don’t realize it.

They notice how your tone of voice differs from the words you say, they see how you come home from work and watch who you become, when you get home.  Even though your children live in the “now”, they file away the nonverbal messages you give, and if there is a pattern, they try to figure out how they fit into the equation of why you are acting the way you are acting and sometimes,they wonder why they don’t seem to fit into your behavior at all. Continue reading

The Proof is in the Siblings: 3 Ways Parents Can Ensure Loving Sibling Relationships

Those of us who have brothers and sisters, whether they are biological or step siblings, know that these relationships deeply define us.  Depending on the pecking order, you can be the one held responsible or the one to blame for everything.  You can be the caretaker, the troublemaker, the high achiever, or the quiet one who tends to slip between the cracks.  While the pecking order impacts the relationships we have with our siblings as we grow up, it can change in adulthood. How it evolves results from the value that parents place on family and connectedness along with modeling what connectedness looks like over time.   Continue reading

Hearing is Believing: How Words Can Make or Break Your Kids

Words standing alone, are useless.  When put into a context, matched with  a tone of voice and the underlying intention of the speaker, they can lift you up to the peak of happiness or they can bring you crashing down into the depths of despair.  Words are powerful tools; and when you  use them with your children, you can make or break their spirit; because children listen to what you say. Continue reading

What Every Parent Needs to Know

                                                           

When you become a parent, you are given the most important role you will ever have; to mold another human being from their first breath. You have the amazing ability to influence your child’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors and beliefs about themselves and their world. Life becomes about giving your child the best possible chances in life and doing whatever it takes to raise them to be happy, hopeful, and joyful adults.

You have the power to create a safe and secure environment or one that is fear-based and unreliable.  You are the one who has the chance to teach your child the value or self-respect, resilience, fidelity, respect for others and what it means to be a kind, compassionate and giving person.  You are the one who can ground your child in religion, faith and/or spirituality, or not.  Continue reading

I found you…

~~Love After Love~~

The time will come when,

with elation you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, Sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine.  Give Bread.  Give back your heart to itself,

to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another,

who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit.  Feast on your life.

 

Derek Walcott~Author

In love and light,

Janis

www.cohenfamilycounseling.com

Fortune in the Fall

Watch your step“, the man shouted out as I unknowingly glided into the liquid on the floor, flipped up in the air and wound up flat on my back.  It happened so quickly that I didn’t know what to make of it.  Within a second, I was transported from a place of un-awareness to full awareness.  And, rather than feeling angry, I felt pretty peaceful.  I am still stunned by this overwhelming feeling of openness to the experience. Continue reading

Gene Simmons, the Eulogy and the Coffin

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at anytime.”
Mark Twain.

Gene Simmons’s show, Family Jewels, is a reality show; and a very interesting one at that.  In last night’s episode, he and his  future wife, at the time it was taped, Shannon, attended a program called “The Marriage Boot Camp.”  This program was designed to break through the barriers that prevents couples from finding true happiness and fosters emotional intimacy.

The major issue for Gene and Shannon was his infidelity, which had been heavily hidden throughout their 28 year relationship.  Only recently was his cheating behavior discovered, as photos of him, being with other women, were leaked to the internet. Continue reading