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All of these things were new concepts for me. Showing myself kindness was truly a foreign task. Within three months my body thankfully returned back to normal, but now I’m learning to continue showing myself kindness to prevent falling back into old, bad habits. Showing myself continued kindness day in and day out does take work. Accepting help and saying no to things, taking time out when I need it or should be. Kindness takes a new kind of practice. It slows me down, makes me consider things in a more impactful way. It is an added mindfulness that one needs to devote time to. By showing myself kindness, it has even begun infiltrating into my friends’ lives. They have seen first hand the impact self-kindness has had on my physical, mental and emotional health. I can actually walk again without having agonizing pain. By working on myself and being open and honest about my journey, they too are seeing how they need to be more kind to themselves.

I believe kindness is a domino effect. We need to be kind to ourselves in order to bring kindness to the world. Try applying the following things for yourself, and then inspiring others to do the same. See how they change your life:

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Not judging yourself for not being perfect

Not holding yourself to impossibly high standards

Not comparing yourself to others

Not beating yourself up for making mistakes or not being “good enough” at something

One of my favourite words is “kind”. It is such a small word. Nothing particularly significant about its structure. Yet, it is one of the most powerful words. It’s a universal language. Good deeds and gestures are recognised all over the world. It’s something we can all have, show, be, feel, teach, express. Kindness.

If we understand kindness and show it in our everyday lives, then it’s more likely to occur naturally around other people. If we always place the word kind in front of everything we feel and do, then our actions will always have the right intention. Is that a kind thing to do? Would you be kind to your friend?

As a child kindness is taught and expected, but as we get older it seems to be pushed to the back of our lists. Be successful, be healthy, be happy, be mindful, be wealthy. And eventually be kind comes to play. What if everything we did began with “be kind”? Would that mean we wouldn’t get so cross or jealous or angry or impatient? If we showed kindness first, would we treat animals, babies, children, friends, and family members differently? Would we treat ourselves differently?

For the next week, I encourage you to keep a journal of those moments when you showed kindness to yourself, or others, or when kindness was shown to you. Remember how it felt and what it did for your body and mind. You’ll be as surprised as I was to learn how powerful kindness can truly be. ∎

ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS

Storyteller, Philanthropist & Official Ambassador for Human Trafficking Awareness

www.awarenessties.us/elizabethblakethomas ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS is a British award-winning storyteller and philanthropist based in Los Angeles, having recently directed her latest feature film during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will You Be My Quarantine? is a romcom starring Full House/Fuller House star Jodie Sweetin and is set to release in 2021. Elizabeth’s recent film Evie Rose, starring Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore, is premiering on Christmas Eve 2020. Elizabeth is the founder and resident director of entertainment company Mother & Daughter Entertainment, whose motto is “Making Content That Matters”, putting focus on each project starting a conversation amongst viewers. Through MDE, Elizabeth established the MD Foundation Initiative, a campaign to mentor and employ undiscovered filmmakers through fellow philanthropic pledges.

64 AWARENOW / THE KIND EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com