On my run this morning I passed one very intent dog. He was staring at something through the chain link fence. He looked at me then back to whatever had his attention. When I got closer, I saw it was is ball. Nothing mattered as much as this little green ball just out of reach.
I picked it up and threw it back over the fence, to a very happy puppy. As I watched the puppy get his ball back... an extraordinary thing happened...I was just as happy as the puppy.
A tiny act of kindness gave me joy.
Research shows that kindness raises endorphins, reducing pain, enhances serotonin production, responsible for relaxation, happiness, and wound healing, and promotes oxytocin production, that reduces blood pressure, enhances heart health, and creates a surplus of loving feelings (www.randomactsofkindness.com). Even watching others behave in a kind fashion can make you feel good. You are then more likely to pay it forward to others, resulting in a “helper’s high” through being kind. Lori Chortkoff Hops, PhD, DCEP)
How do you clean your house, wash dishes, unclutter your desk? How do you cook dinner, pick up after your family and greet each other?
In our normal, there are pockets of daily, habitual actions that can be cultivated into habits of love.
What if your evening dish washing became a meditation in gratitude? Your grocery shopping an exploration in color? What if the act of making dinner became a nightly act of love? What would happen to your life, to the lives around you? What if every time you picked up something left behind, you sent that person a little love in your thoughts?
I'm not saying every chore needs to be elevated. But in a world where we can get lost in the nightly news. Or brain drained from too much screen and digital time... We need rebalancing habits...Habits of gratitude, wonder, kindness...
Simple actions done intentionally and consistently to reboot our sense of life
Start cultivating pockets of nourishment.. daily chores that transform the ordinary into extraordinary.
Try this...Pick one chore or daily activity. Something you do everyday. Brush your teeth and send love to those you love, do the dishes with gratitude, pick up the house thinking how lucky you are, cook dinner with beautiful posture and a smile, go for a walk look for wonder and wave at your neighbors. Turn one little act into something extraordinary. Practice gratitude in your chores.. and habitual actions.
Do it everyday for 31 days...and just notice what happens. Be curious, consistent and persistent.
From my home of chores and practices to yours,