One Little Word for 2014 is "Kind" (or "kindness" depending on the circumstance). I chose this word because, honestly, it is one that kept coming up on my short list the last two years, but I kept avoiding... not quite ready to take on the everyday moment to moment awareness that I knew it would entail. In fact, when I look back over my "one little words" over the years, in four out of five years, my intentions for the word included adding more kindness in my life.
My words in the past have included:
2009 - enrich In included an intention "to enrich the lives of others by practicing kindness"
2010 - wholehearted My 10 for 2010 included "practice kindness"
2011 - happy
2012 - focus I was going to document random acts of kindness during the month of October.
2013 - dare One of my daring intentions was "Dare to make a difference"
Unfortunately, in each of these years I feel like I fell short, like I disappointed myself in this particular area, like there is so much more I could have done or should have done. So for 2014, Kindness is my MAIN focus. And in this way I'm sure to make it happen!
1. I intend to be KIND to myself by pampering myself and taking care of my body (healthy eating and exercise), and by making and allowing myself time to be creative and time to participate fully in online classes which means that sometimes I will have to say "no" to other demands on my time, in order to protect that time for me.
2. I intend to be KIND to my family by being present in the moment when I am with them, by listening intently, by meeting their needs as much as I am able without violating my first intention by putting my own needs last.
3. I intend to be KIND to others by being aware and in the moment when I am out and about, by finding opportunities to offer a smile, a compliment, a helping hand, or to be of service in some way.
To make the KIND to others a reality, I am undertaking two projects this year.
First - The Year of the Card - paper cards (mostly handmade) through snail mail to everyone I know for birthdays, anniversaries, thinking of you, get well, whatever the occasion may be. To realize what an undertaking this is for me, understand that I have a subscription to Blue Mountain, and I usually send e-cards or just post good wishes on Facebook. I haven't sent a birthday card in the mail in.... well, years. But in 2014 I want to fill mailboxes around the world with happy mail!
I need YOUR help to make this outreach project work. For some of you I have your address, but not your birthday. For some of you I know your birthday, but not your address. And for some of you I don't have any information at all! Would you like a birthday card in the mail from me this year? If so, email me at scrapdreams @ verizon.net with your birthday and address. I'll get you added to my file! :)
To make sure that this project would be successful, I spent the week between Christmas and New Years setting up. I used a large index file box (holds 5"x8' index cards) and using a divider for each month, made up a calendar of sorts on the front of each card with dates and names of each person who had an occasion that required a card for the year. Then I added envelopes and addressed each one to the recipients. So I have a year of addressed envelopes! Next I went through the stash of cards I already have made and added cards to the envelopes for January and February. Each week I just have to pull out the cards that need to be mailed that week and pop them in the post! I even bought stamps and put in the front of the file box. And I'll be working throughout the year to make new cards to fill the rest of those envelopes! Wouldn't you like one???
Second - A Weekly Kindness Challenge. I'm really excited about this one, but also a bit scared. I almost don't want to post it because I'm too afraid that others won't be as enthusiastic as I am and it'll be one big flop. But hey, even if I am the only one playing along, it will still be a good way to keep myself accountable for my word and to keep it out there. So here's the deal. Every week on Monday (except this week since it took me too long to get my thoughts together), I will make a Kindness Post to my blog. I'll include things like an inspiring quote, a link to a story about a kind act, or something similar, something uplifting. And finally a challenge. The challenges will be simple things that will require very little investment of time, and, as much as possible, little or no cost. You will have one week to complete the challenge. You can participate every week or just once in a while when the spirit moves you. You can come back to my post and comment about your results and/or leave a link to where you blogged about it, or you can keep your involvement totally private - your level of participation is entirely up to you! I just hope some of you will be as excited about this idea as I am and will want to play along with me!
Kindness Challenge Week One - pay someone a sincere compliment. This can be in person, via a comment on someone's blog or facebook post, over the phone, via email - however you communicate. Sometimes a sincere compliment can really make someone's day! And it costs you nothing. I had a sales clerk at JCPenney compliment me on my new hair style and I was still smiling about that later in the day. Sometimes it is just nice when someone notices!
Will you play along? Tell me YES!, then come back again and share how it went!