"Isn't that nice." "Be nice to your sister!" "Nicely put!"
There's nothing wrong with "Nice." But check out how different the above statements feel from these ones:
"That was so kind of you." "I appreciate your kindness." "A random act of kindness."
Do you feel it?
I think, at the very least, niceness, or "being polite" is a beneficial way to approach life, like 89% of the time (I have nothing against well-placed anger). But NICENESS, when we simmer it down to its bones, is quite surface and often for the benefit of others thinking we are good. KINDNESS, on the other hand, equally cares for your well-being, and my own.
Showing KINDNESS is the extra. Kindness is the soothing touch. Kindness is the noticing, and the being present.
Nice is fine, and Kind is different than nice. Kind is the empathy. Kind is the genuine. Kind comes from selflessness AND self-awareness.
Here are some analogies I've come up with about NICE vs. KIND:
NICE = starched white cotton sheets
KIND = soft flannel sheets with a weighted comforter and slippers by the bed
NICE = offering up your seat on the bus
KIND = sitting next to someone who looks lonely
NICE = "Let me know if you need anything!"
KIND = "I know it hard right now, so I'm showing up on your doorstep with no expectations, to just offer my presence."
Is there another situation you could add to the list?
Who has shown you kindness recently? Have you shown it to yourself?
This morning, before getting to work, I painted and nailed together some wood pieces and crafted a jewelry holder. This past weekend, I sat outside in the fading light of Mother's Day and did some watercolor. I've discovered that prioritizing creativity as much as I do productivity is my way of finding ease and balance in my life.
When I teach a yoga class with our 7 spirited pygmy goats in the backyard of the urban farm, that balance is created in the combination of nature, movement... and play.
Why is something as "silly" as practicing yoga with gentle farm animals a thing?!
Here's my take on why what we do has such an uplifting effect:
If you've not had a chance to come out and play on the urban farm, consider this your invitation! I would love to host you at any of our upcoming events or for your private function.
by Emily Nielsen
"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
All posts are copyright ©Emily Nielsen