Tapping Into Kindness

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Rev. Sonia Echezuria

A Spiritual Campaign

Designed to Help Us

Experience, Know and Express

Love, Kindness and Compassion

through Social Media

 

Combining my experience in the world of moving images and my need to share spiritual tools that can make our lives a worthy adventure, I conceived Tapping Into Kindness, a series of 5 spots that help us remember that, when facing challenging situations, we always have the option of breathing, validating our feelings and choosing a kinder response to share with the world. These on-line doses of kindness are posted on YouTube and you can access them by searching “Tapping Into Kindness” in Google or YouTube.

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The first spot of Tapping Into Kindness, Traffic, reminds us that when a person drives in a way that we consider rude or inconsiderate, the man or woman behind the steering wheel can be motivated by reasons that we do not know and that could explain –and even justify- their conduct. Being rigorously honest with ourselves, we probably remember situations where we also have driven our vehicles with less caution than necessary. By “putting ourselves in their shoes” and embracing our common human essence, it is feasible to respond to this situation in a more caring, loving and compassionate way. It is important to bear in mind that an angry or violent response affects the nervous system and may expose us to greater dangers.

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The second spot of Tapping Into Kindness, Mistake, reminds us to practice unconditional compassion and love towards ourselves when making a mistake. We have been programmed by families and societies to be “perfectionists” and “infallible” when the truth is that few experiences offer us more opportunities to heal and grow than making mistakes. Also, to pretend that we’re perfect and infallible is unrealistic and unfair because “to err is human.” By accepting that we have made a mistake, we have the opportunity to be compassionate to our human nature and to offer ourselves the support that we would offer to the person that we love the most in the whole world. Sometimes, we become our own tormentor and judge ourselves cruelly. This attitude does not help us, on the contrary, we abandon ourselves, we set unrealistic goals, we demand more than what we can give and, weakened by our intolerance, we let ourselves down repeatedly. On the contrary, by being compassionate, by loving ourselves unconditionally, by treating ourselves with kindness, we not only have a chance to correct the alleged error, but we also give ourselves a renew chance!

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The third spot of Tapping Into Kindness, The Stranger in Me, reminds us that when we dislike people, when people irritate us, they could be reflecting aspects of ourselves that we need to recognize, accept, forgive and/or heal. In a nutshell, as the popular saying goes, “you spot it, you got it!” It is easier to perceive in others those characteristics of our own personality that we do not appreciate or accept. Thus, others become our mirrors and through their presence in our lives we get to know ourselves fully. The inevitable consequence of practicing self-acceptance and compassion is that it increases our ability to cultivate unconditional love for ourselves and others.

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The forth spot of Tapping Into Kindness, Wrongdoings, reminds us that every experience has a lesson, a gift, a blessing even when things do not go as planned. When things go wrong, when facing blessings in disguise, we breathe, validate our feelings and then give ourselves the opportunity to explore “what’s right with this?” –no what’s wrong but what’s right. To acknowledge the benefits of each life experience -and to let go what does not serve us- contribute to our health and wellbeing. By cultivating this affirming attitude, life may reveal to us unpredictable and surprising opportunities. By choosing to be there for ourselves no matter what, we give ourselves a break and another chance to grow.

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The fifth spot of Tapping Into Kindness, Right-doings, reminds us how important it is to rest and recover after reaching our goals. To alternate rest and activity is a habit that contributes to the health of our nervous system. Besides, it is more realistic to have energy to celebrate and to continue co-creating great things after regaining strength through rest. On the other hand, this message also reminds us that we were, are and will be much more than our successes and failures. Sometimes we choose to believe we are our actions or our possessions, we may try hard to convince ourselves that we are what we do and what we have. This set of beliefs may limit us during times of change, loss and transition. It is a fact of life that things, people and circumstances come and go. When our satisfaction depends only on things outside of ourselves what inevitable follows is dissatisfaction. It is beneficial to celebrate our successes without attachment and our losses without resentment.

The Tapping Into Kindness teachings are very simple, as simple as the greatest revelations we realize throughout our lives. However, these teachings are not easy to practice, because it is not easy to be mindful of our thoughts, feelings and actions in order to be proactive rather than reactive. To choose growth and transformation is not easy but it is worthy –just like giving birth can be difficult and painful but well worthy. The Tapping Into Kindness campaign does not teach us anything, it reminds us what we already know intuitively, that practicing compassion, unconditional love and kindness we can reach the sky while keeping our feet on the ground.