“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
It’s really never been the big, grandiose acts that have captured my heart and inspired my soul – it’s always been the little things. The Blue Day Book while I was feeling low. Chicken soup when I was in bed. A look from across a crowded room just to remind me I wasn’t alone. We have the power to offer these “little” acts of kindness to ourselves, each other, and whomever we encounter along our day’s journey. Do we smile and say hello? Hold the door open for the person coming behind us? Look someone in the eye and say “thank you”? Remind that Mama-stranger that you’ve been there before? Hold your child’s hand just to help them feel safe? Play that 8-minute game of Candyland? It’s easy for me to go on auto-pilot and meet my children’s needs. Check. Check. Check. It’s not always easy for me to embrace the moments in between with presence and connection. But it often takes but a moment. I have been whispering the words “you make my life better just by being you.” To my middle daughter lately. And her eyes light up and her head tilts and a smile spreads across her face… she leans into me with a hug. I know I’m helping to nurture young spirits in my role as a Mom. And some days I rush through. Some days I hurry along. Some days I’m overworked and exhausted. And some days I wonder why? What is truly important? How can I cultivate more of the connection I talk about? The answer is simple. One small act of kindness, love, presence at a time. It’s learning my own boundaries so that when I interact with my children it can truly be WITH them. It’s balance. It’s saying no to the things that don’t align with my connect goals. It’s scaling back when I get to that place of overwhelm and disconnection. It’s reminding myself that I, too, deserve small acts of kindness – and that I don’t have to wait for anyone else to “give them to me” – I can fuel myself. It’s leaving the checklist behind, the dirty dishes in the sink for a little while longer, reading the same book for the 14th time… we don’t need the big fancy vacations or the big fancy presents. We need the tiny bits of presence strewn throughout our long days. Connection is built one small act of kindness at a time?
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