You? Kind? Seriously?
Who are you kidding?
These demeaning words come from the Inner Critic, the voluble, vociferous voice that goes wherever I do, the one who interrupts vulnerable moments.
This ‘I am…’ exercise is not my invention. It comes from The Energy of Money, by Maria Nemeth. The exercise is called ‘Standards of Integrity,’ and is on pages 68-71 of the paperback.
You begin by responding to eleven prompts that result in a long list of people you admire.
Then, for each person, you list the traits or qualities you admire in that person. After listing the qualities for the first person, you move on to the second. If the second person shares a quality you already listed for the first person, you simply place a checkmark next to that quality.
When you have finished identifying qualities you admire for each person on your list of names, you will have a list of qualities, some with more checkmarks than others.
Then, take this list of qualities and checkmarks, and get a clean sheet of paper. Consider each quality and ask if it warms your heart and if you like being with people who demonstrate the quality.
If the quality lights up your heart, write that quality on the new sheet of paper. If it doesn’t, move on to the next. When you are finished reflecting on each quality, you will have a list of qualities that warm your heart.
Take the new list and place it in front of you. Each trait has significance and meaning for you. That is because you possess the receptor site for it in your heart. If you didn’t know what each quality meant, it would not have the power to evoke a response from you. To put this another way: If you see these qualities in others, and if your heart resonates with them, then they exist inside of you. If not, you would not be able to see them in others.
Nemeth names this list your Standards of Integrity. As you are more aware of these qualities and more demonstrative of them, they become even more true of you.
It is easy for me to be critical, especially of myself. But if I choose kindness and start with kindness toward myself, it is easier—there is more space in my heart—to be kind to others.
My eyes are closed. I move them to the center of my chest, the fourth chakra, symbolized by the color green, and say the words:
I am kind.
Leda left this week. Her liver finally gave out. She left on Monday morning, the solstice, with me lying beside her, petting her. She left so quietly that I wasn’t sure if she was gone or still here.
When the vet—who had been scheduled to come to put Leda down—arrived, she looked over at the still body and said, “She may have already passed.” “But she’s still warm,” I said, because she was. I had felt the warmth of her body under her blanket. “She’s not breathing,” said the vet, her eyes gentle above her printed mask.
The vet took out her stethoscope, slipped it under Leda’s blanket, and listened but there was nothing to hear. Leda was already gone, probably running up a grassy hill somewhere, maybe flipping down on her back and kicking her legs up in the air.
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for family—the one we get and the ones we make.