2020 has been a year like no other. So many things have happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability, divisive politics, fake news, and the constant acts of injustice, oppression, police brutality, and violence against Black, indigenous, and people of color, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the LGBTQ community. Most of what is happening has occurred for years, decades, and centuries. COVID-19 has just opened the world’s eyes to see it all more clearly.
For some, it has created stress, anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, and other emotions. For others, it has amplified their disrespect and hatred. For folks like us at the Thriving Mindfully Academy, we are choosing to embrace this time as an opportunity to slow down, go within, have a conversation with our heart, and practice loving kindness with ourselves, loved ones, and others.
Loving kindness is the act of befriending yourself with gentleness and nonjudgment in all you feel, think, say, and do. Practicing loving kindness helps you come home to yourself. It allows you to look in the mirror and see and accept who you truly are without judgment. You can use loving kindness each day to support your self-care practice of mindfulness and meditation. It is one of the five mindful self-care vitamins you can take each day to be kind to your mind. Go here to get the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s resources.
Having a daily loving kindness practice strengthens your resilience. It’s one of the best mindful self-care practices you can use to navigate life. Once you are able to give yourself loving kindness, you are in a better position to give it to your loved ones and others.
In an effort to support ourselves, clients, and the world community, we have launched Loving Kindness Month in November to remind us of the power we have to slow down and take better care of ourselves with gentleness and nonjudgment.
We also encourage you to practice loving kindness on World Kindness Day, November 13th. World Kindness Day is one of our favorite days to recommit to our loving kindness practices. It was launched in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness nongovernmental organizations to highlight good deeds in the community that focus on the positive power of making kindness the norm and bringing people together to celebrate our common humanity. Go here to read our blog for more information and inspiration.
We hope you will join us this month as we shift our 2020 energy and mindset with weekly themes, self-care practices, a weekly Mindful Monday meditation class, an online retreat, and other resources including World Kindness Day, new podcast episodes, a YouTube playlist, and more.
10 Ways to Give Yourself Loving Kindness
- Know you are worthy of loving kindness just because you are who you are!
- Breathe deeply and set an intention each day to befriend yourself with gentleness and nonjudgment.
- Speak kind words to yourself with daily affirmations.
- Give yourself a big hug.
- Practice a loving kindness meditation.
- Be kind to your mind by unplugging from your digital devices for 30 minutes, one hour or more each day.
- Listen to your body and give it water, healthy food, physical movement, and sleep when it needs it.
- Watch out for your inner critic and give yourself compassion, patience, and forgiveness because you are human and make mistakes.
- Ask for and accept help when you need it.
- Say NO to the thoughts, actions, people, and things that don’t make you happy so you can say YES to what makes you happy.
Loving Kindness Practice for Self
Start and/or end your day with a loving kindness moment. All you need are a few minutes (1-5 minutes; take more time if you want to). Begin with three to seven deep breaths. Allow yourself to become still as you breathe. Notice how your body feels. Pay attention to any physical sensations. Become aware of your breath. Observe any sounds and smells around you. Shift your attention to any thoughts in the mind. Just witness the thoughts. Don’t try to push them away or address them. Continue to breathe at your body’s natural rhythm. Start with an intention such as “my intention is to open my heart and offer myself loving kindness.” Use the Loving Kindness Month affirmation and practice below.
Loving Kindness Practice for Loved Ones and Others
Use the Loving Kindness Month practices to honor your loved ones and others. Start by slowing down and breathing deeply. Become still and bring to mind one of your loved ones or another person. Feel free to touch your heart and use your loved one’s name. Repeat the loving kindness phrases on the graphics to yourself.
Be Kind to Your Mind Practice
Weekly Themes and Meditation
Join Ananda Leeke for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Loving Kindness Meditation Class on:
-November 2 at 7 PM ET: Register here.
-November 9, 16, 23, and 30 at 7 PM: Register here.
Music and Podcast Episodes
Listen to the Thriving Mindfully: Be the REAL YOU theme song by Garnet Jay of Footprint Productions. Be sure to read the loving kindness reflections on the video.
Watch the Thriving Mindfully Podcast’s kickoff of Season 5’s Conversation with the Heart series on loving kindness.
Listen to the Thriving Mindfully Podcast episode on practicing loving kindness with yourself, colleagues, and others.