Kindness Is Contagious

2017 Kindness Challenge Week 7


This past week we were charged with keeping track of kindness both given and received. I found this exercise to be very valuable as I was made aware of just how much kindness was shown to me.  I also became aware of how much I had taken for granted.  Human nature seems to allow us to do that so often.

I must say that I feel very blessed and grateful for those times when kindness was extended to me this past week.   But I was truly amazed at how blessed I felt when I was the one being kind.  It was like Christmas when you give a gift and without anything in return you feel as though you had received the best gift of all.

Kindness works the same way.  The kinder you are, the kinder people are to you and to other people they meet.  Kindness spreads and multiplies.  But, there is a little catch to spreading kindness, the more anonymous it is, the larger the effect it has.

I have really enjoyed this challenge from Niki at The Richness of a Simple Life.  It has confirmed my belief that kindness is as necessary to the human spirit as food is to the human flesh.  Thank you Niki for challenging me to open myself up to kindness.

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”                           St. Therese of Lisieux




2017 Kindness Challenge-Week 6

I spent my week working on being kind without expecting anything in return just as the challenge specified.  I must admit that it was a lot of fun for me. What I realized is that although I didn’t expect anything in return, the more I expressed kindness to others the better I felt.  And that had nothing to do with the reactions of the recipients.

A feeling of joy grew with each small act of kindness that I extended.  It didn’t matter if the stranger I spoke to didn’t reciprocate. My spirit was lighter and my outlook was brighter.  I could feel the world becoming more peaceful just with that little act of kindness.

The bottom line is that kindness doesn’t cost you anything so give it freely and let joy spread through you.


2017 Kindness Challenge: Week 5

2017 Kindness Challenge:  Choosing Kindness

I grew up in the north east part of the country.  Many people who live up there look at you as if you have two heads when you say hello to them on the street.  I really didn’t know that there were places where strangers spoke to each other and it was not only accepted, but expected.

My first trip to the south was a real eye opener.  Strangers would speak to me with smiles on their faces.  Now I am not saying that everyone in the south displays this kindness. There are no absolutes here, but the overall attitude is one of friendliness and kindness. Which I hate to say is not necessarily how it is where I come from.

I began to speak to strangers when I returned home and was surprised how good I felt doing so.  And after speaking to people I didn’t know that I would see often at the grocery store or other places I frequented, I wore them down and they began to smile and say hello to me too.

So this weeks challenge is something I have already been working on.  I do try to always put myself in someone else’s situation and be more accepting of their reactions.  I have always been a little intolerant with some of my responses to things beyond my control.  I am working very hard to not respond unkindly to the messengers.  I think I am making progress.

Colossians 3:12  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience




How We See Ourselves, How Others See Us, And How To Embrace Where We Are — Catholic Wife, Catholic Life

I thought I would share this especially since the 2017 Kindness Challenge is going on right now.  I think it’s definitely worth the read.

I thought it was about time that I share some more of the best finds with you! These are some of the things that really resonated with me this week, and a lot of them have to do with who we are — with our identity, with how we see ourselves

via How We See Ourselves, How Others See Us, And How To Embrace Where We Are — Catholic Wife, Catholic Life

Choosing Kindness

Week 5| Choosing Kindness

It’s week 5 in the 2017 Kindness Challenge. I’ll be posting what I have learned at the end of the week.

The Richness of a Simple Life

Attention Kindness Challenge participants!

In this post, you’ll find:

  • this week’s theme prompt & exercise
  • video showing the ripple effect of kindness
  • the reflection post prompt questions for this week

If you haven’t signed up for the challenge yet and would like details about the challenge, click here.

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Week 4: Kindness Role Model

Week 4:  Kindness Role Model

If I had to choose who to list as my role models, I would have to start with my children. My oldest Kelly, has her hands full with my grandchildren. One has Asperger’s, one has other issues and my granddaughter dances four nights a week.  She is busy.  She has her own health problems.  But…she never hesitates to extend a hand to someone in need. She never hesitates to be thoughtful.

My son Gary, is very caring.  He is a wonderful father always putting his family first.  He is forgiving and generous in thought and deed.  Always ready to lend a hand to one in need.

My daughter Samantha, always generous with her time.  She will lend a hand at the drop of a hat to anyone in need.  Sam is thoughtful and kind always.

Then I have friends, real friends who have always been there for me.  Never question if my need is real or imagined.  Pat I have know for fifty years.  Even though we don’t live close to each other anymore, she never ceases to show her kindness and understanding. Pat is someone who has always put others before herself.

And there is Dottie who I have known for forty nine years has always been kind to everyone she meets.  A wonderful friend to me.  We were in each others weddings.   Nothing is too much to ask of her.

Then there is Wanda.  I met her on the internet after she read my profile when I was on aol.  She is also a nurse, we share the same name, and we are both in North Carolina.  We hit it off online and became friends.  We met at Thanksgiving after about a year of chatting.  When she married her husband I was her matron of honor.  Wanda has had many medical problems.  She never gets short tempered.  She remains understanding and always is kind.  She puts herself out for anyone who needs something.  We have been close friends for well over twenty years.

Sue is someone I have only known since 2005.  I met her at my quilting guild.  We hit it off and became friends.  Sue is thoughtful, kind, and never hesitates to do whatever she can for anyone who needs anything.  The thing about Sue is she is a wonderful listener.

I don’t have to look far for role models.  My family and my close friends fit the bill.  I could not be more proud of my children and the way they step up when someone is in need.  My dear, dear friends have always been examples of kindness to me.  I am truly blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.  They know what I need without my asking.

Last year, when my husband passed away I was shown kindness from so many people. It was a very difficult time for me as you can imagine.  Acquaintances I hardly knew showed me such warmth and understanding and compassion.

If we look around we see that there is more kindness in the world than we realize.


Week 3, Self-Acceptance




This past week I have been evaluating self-acceptance. After the first two weeks of the 2017 Kindness Challenge, I have a better perspective of who I am and how I feel about it. I have always tried to be what my mom raised me to be. A good wife, mother, nurse and the list goes on and on. However, I have to admit that what my idea of each of these things is quite different from what other’s ideas are. My husband, for example, began our marriage comparing what I did with what his mother did. Because of my basic personality, I rejected this immediately. But if I am really honest I did feel as if I was not what he expected and felt badly about it.

There are so many aspects of my life that I felt that I didn’t measure up and disappointed my parents, husband, children, co-workers, etc. I don’t think I ever thought much about it before this challenge. I have come to the realization that I probably wouldn’t have had an ulcer if I had.  I guess that says a lot huh?

I have decided to actively let go of all of those guilty feelings about not measuring up to what everyone else thinks I should be. I will accept my looks, my weight, my talent, my work ethic, my parenting style, and everything else that makes me who I am one day at a time and one issue at a time.

I am a work in progress. The operative word being progress. I feel as long as I am making progress I will eventually get there.




Kristin Neff, Ph.D., associate professor in human development at the University of Texas at Austin is the author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, says that self compassion has been linked to greater well-being, including diminished anxiety and depression, better emotional coping skills and compassion for others. According to Neff, self-compassion consists of self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

The past week I took a good look to see if I was indeed practicing self-compassion. I clearly had had issues with self-kindness and discovered ways for me to improve in that area. However, I see now that just changing how I respond to the issues in my life is not the only necessary thing I need to change.

I have not been very accepting of my issues or of my feelings about them. I have not given myself the consideration I have given to not only loved ones and friends, but to total strangers in my nursing practice. I have realized that I am just as worthy of being compassionate, caring and kind to myself. I have always been one who takes charge and been very strong. So, when I am troubled about my life I am impatient with myself and un-accepting of my weakness even if it is just my perception of weakness. I have come to the realization that for me to get to where I need to be, I have to change my way of thinking.

I also must realize that we all suffer and have self doubts and we are not alone to deal with them. I need to see that our common humanity calls us to be careful how we deal with ourselves so we can be compassionate with others. Being here with my friends in Florida helping them out while Frank recovers from a serious illness and surgeries has made me realize the truth of Neff’s observations.

We were asked to try to identify where the disparaging voice that plays in our head when we fall short of the mark so to speak comes from.  I was surprised to realize that my little recriminations came directly from my mother.  I don’t for one minute believe she was being malicious, but rather she had her own set of problems she was unable to handle.  My grandmother raised me from the time I was eleven and did a pretty good job of instilling self esteem in me.  However, sometimes I still hear my mother in my head.

I could not be more surprised to learn that after not seeing my mother since the age of eleven her words could still have that impact on me.  Now that I understand where it comes from I can now move on.