I know this: I can gently pet a kitten, smell a rose and embrace a favorite person with warmth in my heart. It feels so good, a gentle purr, a sweet fragrance and that special something that communicates love between friends who hug – and yet – on a daily basis is there more to understanding what passes as kindness?
Ordinary kindnesses – epitomized by the young person helping an elder cross the street, or carrying a heavy bag for a tottering shopper, are encouraged in a universal attitude of understanding. And yet, how can our kindnesses extend into every nook and cranny, every moment, every breath? What is holding us back from letting the sweetness inside be expressed?
Sometimes a kindness requires a deeper vulnerability- a reaching in to a dusty heartspace, a symbolic inner cave of old toys, cherished but unused. Imagine pulling them out, dusting them off and putting them to work to create a better day, a better connection and higher love. What happens when I am a deliberate creator of kindness? A new brightness comes, a sweeter joy erupts together with more laughter.
I am surrounded by animal companions – they delight at a glance and explode into playfulness with the least provocation. How can I emulate this – embody this – exult into this primal joy more and more often? Is it adulthood that holds me back or a concept of maturity? Is laughter often inappropriate? I aim to always remember to see life as a playground, rather than an industrial assembly line of productivity and accomplishment.
A recent visitor showed extreme disapproval at my lifestyle. Too many dogs, they said, too many books, bad feng shui. My joy was temporarily dampened. Am I getting it wrong about how to live and be myself? Humpf! I retrieved my eco-spray bottle of “Grouch-Be-Gone” and applied it liberally to all the surfaces in my sanctuary. As the mood lightened I remembered that I love to play – to dance and to sing. In tune or out, music is my delight, my happiness a true love. Cultivating inner joy and playfulness will definitely bubble over and expand out into the world as kindness, contagious positivity and happiness…oh yes and I really love my dogs, my books and my eccentric furniture. Having the confidence to make the choices my true heart is calling for, each day in each moment, large or small, has had the extraordinary effect of transforming my life into a living altar to joy and love.
It may not be completely authentic to live life as a musical production – but some of it can be – in fact the more of life that is filled with song (and dance and play) the happier we can be. Remembering to skip and hop instead of plod is the work of my inner child. The distilled essence of playfulness is my aim – in each moment as much as possible.
Joy is contagious – !