Have you ever performed a small, random, unplanned act of kindness and then noticed that little moment of joy that follows immediately afterwards?
Have you also ever planned an act of kindness, expecting some reward in return, which never really happened as you thought? Plus the little moment of joy was missing. It seems planning ahead towards meeting your own wants (not needs) at the expense of others is not a precursor to joy.
If you expect a return on your kindness, then instead of a little joy, your expectation can lead to disappointment and anger.
Random acts of kindness can be performed by everyone, for everyone. But there are three individuals that have no interest in random acts of kindness. Called I, Me and Mine, they hang out together, preoccupied with getting in the way of helping making things better. They have no interest in doing something for others and so consequently never really know joy.
Don't go that way. Stay spontaneous and open to everything and everyone, because little random acts of kindness open us up to the whole working of the universe, if only for a moment. The joy you feel is simply the result of the natural law of cause and effect playing out.
Do the right thing, in the right way, and the right thing will happen to you.
The ancient science of yoga has a name for this and little random acts of kindness – Karma Yoga or the Yoga of Action. In the modern world it's called taking control of how you feel and what you do. A little act of random kindness means we stop ourselves (and perhaps others) being a victim.
Some people call that little frisson of joy you feel: ‘grace’. It’s available to everyone all the time but you have to be open to it. As Picasso once said, ‘Inspiration exists but it has to find you working’. That’s something I tell both my design and yoga students often; and it's the same with grace. It too has to find you working. In this instance working towards being continually receptive, doing what you can in the world to make it better. Little acts of random kindness towards others is the key that unlocks a whole series of changes, large and small. Like the fluttering wings of a butterfly in a distant jungle, the impact will flow and expand. But only if YOU stay active, being kind while at the same time having no motives, no thoughts of what's in it for you.
Five mindsets to promote random acts of kindness:
- 1. Do lots of little random things rather than one big thing.
- 2. Don't plan ahead if you can help it. Don't think about it. Be spontaneous and just do it.
- 3. Don’t claim any act of random kindness as a job well done or expect some reward. It's not about you.
- 4. Stay open and receptive. Look for ways to engage and get involved, even if it's just a smile while passing in the street.
- 5. Repeat the above as necessary until symptoms of unhappiness pass.
Little random acts of kindness performed often, spontaneously, are the secret to the art of living a life of real possibilities. It's easy to do. But if you are held captive by I, Me and Mine, learn meditation and unlock your own little acts of random kindness.
Meditation is the key to unlocking your acts of kindness, with no expectation. To learn more about our meditation programmes, for both individuals and businesses, get in touch or take a look at the programmes we offer.
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