This is the 3rd and last in this series of three blogs where I am exploring the opening sentence of my Personal Magic book:
You can be someone who is resilient, optimistic and kind while being realistic in the present world.’

Last time I offered a way into being a realistic Optimist  and the blog before encouraged you to embrace Resilience.  Today I consider choosing to be Kind in your interactions in the world.

Kindness, or compassion, is an action and attitude that is most useful when directed both out to others and also toward your self.  Like Resilience and Optimism, it is not befuddled by avoiding facts, and sidestepping reality in a syrupy wash of ‘feel good’ babble.

Kindness is marked by the capacity to both see the reality without emotional attachment or the need to prove something, and at the same time with a generosity of heart. A kind person can offer support without dismissing the others’ experience or behavior nor using that as an excuse to exact a lesson. Kindness expects nothing in return and is independent of outcome.

In many ways, kindness is a gift that we can give to another. In the book I write this about Gift giving:

When you are empowered, you can choose what to receive  (allow in) and what to give (offer out). The feelings – and indeed the tangible outcome of giving – often elicit a smile on the face of the giver as well as the receiver, a sensation of warmth, peace of mind. Most of us want to feel good, to be at peace. Giving a welcome gift with an open heart and with no expectation of ‘reward’ brings its own reward – of goodness, of peace and of honorable power.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, you are most empowered when you give, and the gifts that have the greatest capacity to stimulate empowerment are those that are created with courage and truth, offered as gifts with no expectation of reciprocity. A gift is only a gift if offered as such. When we place a condition or price on it, it becomes a ‘deal’ or a sale.

You can see how kindness must be offered with a clear intention, distinct from your fear and needs.

Earlier in the book I write about Attachment, Detachment (really the flip side of attachment – it is still hooked into the drama) and the only powerful place of all, Non-attachment.

Non-attachment – the state we are in when we are not caught in the drama. We have nothing to prove, win, defend, get or make happen. So we can pay attention to the entire interaction because we are not blocking or manipulating the material.

Ultimately true kindness, offered without expectation of return and clear of personal agenda, empowers others. Especially with regard to the children/youth with whom you engage, kindness and compassion that does not excuse nor blame, offers a foundation from which they can gain their own empowerment.

In the final chapter of the Personal Magic book I write about the role we all have in empowering the children we meet.

No-one empowers another. That is something each person must accomplish for him/herself. However, as parents or teachers, you can (and, in fact, must) seed opportunities for that Empowerment of Self to arise in others.

Those opportunities will vary widely based on age, ability and circumstance. It does mean that you find ways to expand the horizons, broaden the activities and environments, and widen the range of relationships and activities for each individual. Through your efforts others may find ways to attempt, fail, succeed and finally experience the true exhilaration of well-earned pride and the empowerment that struggle and outcome can bring.

Kindness as the foundation from which you engage the world allows you to be both honest and supportive, hold others accountable and forgive their mistakes.

As valid as all that is, most importantly is to practice kindness toward yourself. When you provide the same kind of clear, honest and compassionate support in your own journey, so you will be more able to truly shine your Personal Magic for others.

KINDNESS EXERCISE

• Take a moment and consider who in your life has been kind to you. Define ‘kind’ as something that encouraged you to grow, supported on you in your journey.
• Write a short description of something they did that stands out for you.
• Write a short letter of thanks (even if you do not send it or that person has passed on.)

• Now, write a letter of kindness to yourself.

Looking back on the last two posts and this, take a moment to pull them together for yourself.  How do they relate for you? ResilienceOptimism – Kindness. Your Personal Magic will bring you to this place. As you negotiate and embrace to opportunities of 2012 and beyond, that empowerment will be the strongest foundation from which sustain, evolve and participate fully in your life.

Please share your thoughts with us by posting in the comments below.

This is the 2nd is a series of three blogs where I am exploring the opening sentence of my Personal Magic book:

‘You can be someone who is resilient, optimistic and kind while being    realistic in the present world.’

Last Wednesday I offered a look at Resilience and today I recommend Optimism. Unlike the pessimist who can only see the negative, dwells in the difficulty of a situation and expects the worst possible outcome, the Optimist is not a victim and ascribes to the possibility of a better outcome.

A true optimist deals with reality. Sidestepping the facts, avoiding the lived-felt experience or ignoring the challenges means that you are engaging in escapism, lacking responsibility. It is not optimism to say ‘Oh, everything will be fine. I am just going to think positively.’ That is avoidance. Inevitably you will come face to face with reality and you might as well be prepared rather than broadsided.

I write about the difference between Positive Thinking and Positive Being in the Personal Magic book.

I think real positive thinking is truly seeing what is, with clear vision, from an emotionally nonattached place. This requires courage and an open mind. And what is an open mind? It is being open to anything, working with what is, regardless of what you fear or want it to be.

Positive means being in tune with the universe, aware of and open to something that is greater than the ego, inviting in the Spirit and then truly listening to it. It is not a fighting, demanding or fearful energy. That takes from you, is a negative.

Conversely it is not negative to recognize and engage with the events, circumstances and feelings that may ‘feel negative’. In the experiences of loss, fear, sadness and challenge we actually have enormous opportunity to grow. Thus, these are ultimately a vital aspect to Positive Being – in that you are willing and able to recognize this in your life.

Being in a positive state often means experiencing some discomfort. It is not simple or simplistic but does require a lightness of touch, a joy and a delight and love. It is a way of being in the world, that accesses something greater than just how you are treated, what you have lost or are working on getting.

A true optimist does not allow the reality to overwhelm their sense of possibility, because they are able to assume responsibility for their actions and know the potential of their personal empowerment. When you are open to discovering and then nurturing that powerful being, when your Personal Magic shines for yourself and others, you can be both realistic and optimistic.

Exercise POSITIVE BEING

Select something about which you tell your self ‘Think Positive.’

Now, be positive with all the information there is about that event, physical position, whatever, without emotional attachment to outcome.

Jot down the information in any kind of form on the page.

Consider all the possible outcomes, different points of view, and allow them to be what they are – possible, different.  

Make a list of actions you can/will truly take, now.

Make another list of what you cannot change or do right now.

Then sit with what is. See the truth without the emotional baggage. See the present state and accept that picture without undue hope, criticism or fear or anxiety. It just is.

(If you start to feel anxious, take a minute or two and breathe, consciously in and out. Feel the air move from the top of your head, down through the center of your being to  the bottoms of your feet and out to the earth. You will feel grounded and clear.)

Now that is Positive Being. Nothing is hidden, and nothing is pulling at you, and nothing is there that can make you feel inadequate.

When you are in a state of Positive Being then you are almost by accident an optimist.From this powerful state of connectedness to all the possibilities, your Personal Magic, take a moment to look ahead into your year with real Optimism. I’d love to hear about your view and how this worked for you. Share your story in the comments below.

The next post will address Kindness. Click on the Follow button to make sure you get it!