Exercises Of Love: 19 Peculiar Acts Of Kindness.

 

Photo: Google Images.

Photo: Google Images.

According to Wikipedia, a random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. The phrase may have been coined by Anne Herbert, who says that she wrote “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983.

Are we lone rangers or cosmically connected and does being kind have anything to do with anything?

For nearly a year, I’ve had this little white sign with red painted letters in my front window that reads: Free Hugs.

Yes, I am one of those people. I simply cannot help it. Most of the time I want to touch people’s hands, kiss their cheeks, look into their eyes and offer a little bit of love, even if it’s just an inappropriate joke or an unexpected hug.

(I repeat: most of the time.) 

So far, there hasn’t been a single response to my free hug solicitation. All right, I can’t blame anyone. Who would really knock on a stranger’s door and say, “Hi, yeah, well, I’m Greg and uh, I’m here for the free hugs. The sign? Got any left?”

But, I wish they did — serial killers, hissing geese, mean people in general and unfriendly probing aliens excluded, thank you, but don’t come again or better yet at all.

I live in Denmark and it isn’t very typical here, even for a granny, to vocalize an excuse me when the point of potential contact arises. Nope, not even when you’re standing right in the middle of the aisle trying to translate the ingredients on the package of a dark chocolate bar while pretending to existentially uncover the connected and often painful reality of human existence.

I think these Danish grannies have mastered a telepathic technique that only works if you have Viking blood, which I don’t. So they stand there until I notice them. They creep closer and closer until my watch tower reports an invasion of my force field. The meaning of human existence is lost and a set of disgruntled laser eyes are piercing the back of my head.

These situations make me think all kinds of thoughts.

Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t we make eye contact when you walked by? And then I get dramatic, like I sometimes do and my internal questions morph into: Why are we all always a little bit pissed off? Why are we always a little resentful toward others? Why is it so difficult to be nice? Blah, blah, blah.

And then I start to think about flowers — yellow daffodils to be exact (Are they anything but yellow? I don’t think so.) And then I drift off into imagining all the little secrets that flowers have. What is their essence and, if I sang to one, would it dance? And I wonder if those sweet daffodils exist with the intrinsic unknowingness that humans have. Why the hell are we here? What happens after death?

Dang.

Are we here to shove our grocery baskets up people’s arses because we’re too pissed off to say excuse me? Are we here to know all the shit that takes place in the world, feel its heaviness and despair, yet still refuse to truly see what’s happening?

Photo: Google Images.

Photo: Google Images.

Do I not love myself enough to receive a connection with the windows of your soul?

If one has the intuitive belief that we are all energetically connected and that an individual’s increasing conscious awareness to this energetic connection plays a vital role in the evolution of our species, then one could perhaps assume that the energetic vibrations we send off into the world help to shape, mould and influence whether we live in paradise or continue to create hell on Earth.

With heightened awareness, we might learn to speak a common language beyond words — the symphonic language of this planet — with all of the elements and all of Earth’s wild and mysterious creatures. This is not to be taken as an egoic cosmic trip, but perhaps we are a key ingredient that the Universe has manifested to help create harmony. Perhaps if we achieve this, all life on this planet will too provide the most elevated energetic vibrations. Perhaps this energetic lift inspires human nature to resort to discovering their innate abilities versus burning out our bodies with fight or flight and meaningless nine to five’s.

I’m talking about a place where we’d still have to do our inner work, face our demons and become sensitive to our patterns so that it can become possible for us to feel certain that we deserve to be here.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”  – John Lennon

Photo: Google Images.

Photo: Google Images.

You are at the center of the ripple.

Right, kindness. Most of us can agree that it can be challenging at times to be kind. Especially when the society around us is more often than not confused, desperate, fearful, stressed, angry, violent and greedy. It almost makes life feel impossible, even imprisoning.

So how do we break those chains?

Ever notice how you or someone else has the ability to shift and change the mood (the energy) of an entire group of people? Just one person has the ability to change the mood and energy of many! Ever listen to a song that brought you to your knees or sent you jumping toward the moon? It only takes one. It only takes you.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” –  Herman Melville

Image: Google Images.

Image: Google Images.

Here they are — 19 uncommon, somewhat random acts of kindness — suited for all humans, animals and nature friends of all shapes, sizes and colors:

 #118. Wake up and write down on a piece of paper: 10 reasons to be happy. Give it to someone by the end of the day.

#204. Thank every drop of water that touches your skin.

#315. While alone and with your eyes closed, whisper sentiments of forgiveness to those resentments that you harbor.

#421. Today, allow yourself to be patient, extremely patient — don’t stress the perceived time + space continuum.

#567. Look in the mirror — you never were more perfect. Believe it.

#667. Watch the trees — how their movement connects with your gaze.

#790. Instead of getting mad (at your mother, partner, children, boss or co-worker), get loving.

#801. Throw a 15-minute dance party every Thursday in your living room — celebrate the sheer fact that we’re alive.

#923. Ride bikes with a friend, but don’t act arrogant about it — be awesome.

#104. Listen.

#116. Tell your best friend that you believe in their dreams — do it, do it now.

#127. Let someone else go first — it’s not that big of a deal.

#135. Clean up the litter in front of where you live — try not to separate yourself from your surroundings.

#142. For one day, don’t gossip or talk shit — about anyone or anything.

#150. Look up at the sun and whisper to it, “You’re wonderful.”

#168. Let an insect crawl on your hand until it flies away — appreciate its courage, its grace and its intelligence.

#172. Take a photo you think a friend would like and give it to them — tell them you took it for them.

#181. Remind someone when they ask, “What if it doesn’t work?”, that the real question is, “What if it does?”

#199. Slip someone a note in your handwriting that says: Don’t forget… we are living in paradise.

Let’s restore our faith in humanity by being a little kinder… today.

PS – it has always been about you. You have the power.

 

*****

 {This Experience is Being Recorded for Quality Assurance.}

 

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Tanya Lee Markul
Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Rebelle Society (you are here). She’s convinced that she once swam the depths of the deepest ocean and in the next round, grew over two hundred feet tall. In this life, she’s a vulnerable creation in process. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & a Master’s in Business. In 2009, surrendering to the good fight within, she became a certified teacher of yoga. Now a full-time devoted student to the sacred art of self-discovery and creative expression, she spends her days on her yoga mat, in wellness experimentation and tilling the fertile soil of Rebelle Society, sharing bouts of black sheepish rebellion, self-acceptance and the beauty of darkness and well-being. Tanya is the creator of ThugUnicorn.com and Yoga.Write.Now.org. She is also the co-founder and Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness. Get to know her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and at Yogacentralen.dk. Sign-up for her free and almost monthly Newsie and contact her via email: tanya@rebellesociety.com.

49 Comments

  • Lucie commented on June 6, 2013 Reply
    That is very beautiful!! Everyone should have this on their ‘to-do’ list every day. Thank you very much, Tanya! :-)
  • SR Atchley
    sratchley commented on June 6, 2013 Reply
    Tanya, you never fail to amaze me. I love your beautiful shiny heart.
  • Riikka Rajamaki
    Riikka commented on June 6, 2013 Reply
    Priceless! Beautiful! I laughed where you talked about the older mamas just standing there waiting for you to see them! So true! Love!
  • Carolyn Riker
    Carolyn Riker commented on June 7, 2013 Reply
    Lovely! So needed an uplifting read. Thank you! xoxo!
  • Steve commented on June 7, 2013 Reply
    I actually do some of your fine suggestions. Thanks for further ideas.
  • Victoria Erickson commented on June 7, 2013 Reply
    LOVE THIS!
  • Nanna commented on June 8, 2013 Reply
    I love stopping when I see peps taking pictures of each other and asking if they want one picture with all of them in it – and then I do … And it puts a smile on my face too
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on June 9, 2013 Reply
      My heart smiles — and, by no means am I surprised by this! LOVE.
  • Elyot commented on June 8, 2013 Reply
    This is awesome. I love all 19 of them.
  • Tracy Wisneski
    Tracy Wisneski commented on June 10, 2013 Reply
    Loved this and wish I lived close enough to cash in on one of those hugs!
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on June 11, 2013 Reply
      I got a virtual one for you any time – any day. :-) xxxx
  • Michael L commented on June 16, 2013 Reply
    Nice words and sentiments.
  • john berry commented on June 27, 2013 Reply
    i love your work here, you brighten and stimulate everyday with good energy, which i really appreciate. i am up on orcas island by canada, above seattle, you would like it here, so come visit sometime…www.rainbearcollective.tumblr.com or myspace.com/outerwaters
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
      Thank you for the kind words and welcome, John! :-) Great to be connected and it seems like you are in a wonderful place and space!
  • Judy commented on June 27, 2013 Reply
    I love and identify with this soooo much! Thank You!!! Love Love Love this site!!!!
  • Arun Ks commented on June 28, 2013 Reply
    Many thanks, Hugs and Love.
  • BodhiBoo commented on June 28, 2013 Reply
    It would definitely be a challenge (to say the least) to hug serial killers, hissing geese, mean people in general, but they probably need our hugs more than anyone else :( Maybe they wouldn’t be as mean if they had enough people to inspire them and show them love and kindness in their life <3
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on August 3, 2013 Reply
      Gorgeously put. :-) And, sometimes all we can offer is an intention of hug — how cool is that?! This way we can avoid any rash moments on behalf of the hissing goose. :-)
  • barryjohnjohnson commented on July 13, 2013 Reply
    my fave :#801. Throw a 15-minute dance party every Thursday in your living room MuchJoy&Thanks
  • andeejo commented on July 14, 2013 Reply
    love! :) now i don’t feel so weird that i already do some of those things… now i have more to add :) gracias xoxo
  • Michele Sifuentes commented on October 15, 2013 Reply
    I really enjoyed this piece. Thank you! I am curious though. Where can I find and read all of the other “tips”? I’m assuming there’s more that exist somewhere based on the numbering. Thanks!
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on November 10, 2013 Reply
      Hey Michele — those will come in due time. ;-) xoxoxo
  • Darlene commented on November 9, 2013 Reply
    Just, thank you. Really, and honestly, thank you.
  • Nancy Smith-Watson commented on November 9, 2013 Reply
    It is very rare to find someone who meets the world in a similar way to me. It brings tears of joy to my eyes to read this. I am renewed to keep teaching connection! Love and hugs to you!
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on November 10, 2013 Reply
      Nancy, I’m in LOVE with your energy! OH man, grateful for the connection! Keep UP sister! Love to you! xoxo
  • Debbie Happy CohenDebbie commented on November 10, 2013 Reply
    I LOVE that you describe yourself as “one of THOSE people”. Me too :-). I LOVE that we are living in a time of social media where we can congregate and communicate and feel connected with each other. Thanks for celebrating what’s right and for sharing your light, Tanya in Denmark!
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on November 10, 2013 Reply
      Heck yeah, Debbie!!!! Sending you SO much LOVE and immensely grateful for this connection!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo
  • Melissa Grace commented on November 19, 2013 Reply
    Tanya, I think I love you. I know I do! Thank you for being you and sharing your experiences; beautifully articulated and so on-point. I think we might be sharing a heart and a brain.
  • bbbetty commented on December 27, 2013 Reply
    The free hug debate came around because there is a business thinking of offering free hugs to paying customers. Now, I’m not a natural hugger. I think there are people out there who may require a bit more personal space. AND,THAT’S OKAY, PERSONAL SPACE PEOPLE, not to hug someone if you don’t feel it for real. Hug an animal or a tree if that is what you feel more comfortable with instead. As for the list, some good ideas to try. Of course, one can only do a few at a time. I mean, if I tried doing all of them every day I’d never find the time to just be instead of do. Sometimes the best part of being is that nothing, absolutely nothing is required of you. You don’t have to think or act or wonder if you are acting good enough. To let your mind wander into the dark and the light of you, can be very liberating.
  • Addie commented on February 1, 2014 Reply
    You are speaking the words of my soul! How did you know these are also the musings, whisperings, discernings of my soul too… perhaps because we are all truly integrated, interconnected, energetic reflections of this fabulous, miraculous, cosmic ohana. Mahalo nui loa.
  • Guy commented on February 1, 2014 Reply
    Tanya…that was a work of art…sheer art. It calmed me and made me grateful for so many wonderful things in my life. Every one of those items in that list…were amaaaaaazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
  • Jeannette commented on January 8, 2015 Reply
    Beautifully written. Tanya, you are such an inspiration! It takes courage, honesty, energy, BELIEF, LOVE…to really adopt these acts of kindness…against the dark energies that can also live within us. Rebelle Society has changed my life in SO many unimaginable and exciting ways. THANK YOU to you and Andrea. Sending you all Rebellious LOVE!
  • Prana commented on February 5, 2015 Reply
    Thank you for confirming these acts which are possible in all of us, but it seems the world has hardened so many that they forget why we are here. May we all be renewed and remember as we read your words. Thank you, sincerely!
  • webspirit commented on February 21, 2015 Reply
    “Don’t forget… we are living in paradise.” I think I had this very conversation this morning. Thanks Tanya for your beautiful perspective. So thankful to be a part of your tribe!
  • Lucy commented on February 22, 2015 Reply
    Where did you get those random acts of kindness? Do you have a book?
  • Mahsa commented on May 27, 2015 Reply
    Thank you so much for this article, Tanya. I cannot express the impact of your words. I will keep reading this article often to remind myself of what is actually important in life. Your message has greatly shaped the way I plan to live my life and treat others. I will strive to be my most genuine and kind self in all interactions, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

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