Have you ever thought about defining what it means to be kind? When you look the word ‘kind’ up in the dictionary it says of a friendly, warm, and generous nature. Do you think of yourself as a kind person? Is that how you treat yourself? Do you know how to be kind to yourself?
Practice kindness to yourself every day. If you normally do one thing per day, today do two. The following day do three kind things for yourself. Keep adding one kind act per day until the habit is your natural routine.
Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
Shut down negative self-talk.
Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Eat nutritiously. Get exercise.
Respect yourself—honor your opinion, trust yourself.
Tell yourself that “I am enough.”
Invest in yourself. Spend 15 minutes reading or listening to inspirational talks or music.
Smile at yourself in the mirror.
Pay yourself a compliment.
Buy yourself some flowers.
Take a bubble bath.
Write a letter of appreciation to yourself.
Give yourself 15 minutes to induldge in your favorite activity.
Treat yourself to a favorite food or drink or a small gift.
Find one part of your physical self and praise it.
Identify one part of your emotional self and praise it.
Honor your dreams. Don’t call them silly, fantasies, or any other derogatory term.
Show yourself compassion. If you stumble, be your own best friend.
Take a laugh break—watch a comedy, youtube, or cute videos.
Take a break from electronics for a day. Talk a walk in the woods, read a book, or listen to music.
Do something kind for someone else. If you need ideas, refer to the first 9 ways you can be kind to yourself. If you still need some inspiration, visit spreadkindness.com.
Start a kindness diary. Write your daily kindness plan down each morning and record the kindness you showed yourself and others.
Finally, I’d like to share a few quotes to copy into your kindness diary.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Audrey Hepburn
Shortly after it won the 1963 Newberry award, I read A Wrinkle in Time. I fell in love with Meg, the witches, and their world. Fast forward to the early 80’s. I was an aspiring writer and the mom of a three-year-old. I had the opportunity to go to a writer’s conference out-of-state. Ms. L’Engle was a presenter at that conference. I submitted one of my manuscripts for her critique.
The appointed hour came and I was sick with nervousness. Ms. L’Engle was gracious, and kind, and talked about my manuscript for thirty minutes. She told me I should expand my story into a novel. What a shining moment! I thought my heart would explode! I hope Ms. L’Engle knew how grateful I was for her encouragement.
Warren Norwood is the second of the seven people who changed my writing life. I met Warren at ConQuest, our local science fiction convention. He had published at least a dozen novels and I was in awe of him. He attended a post-convention party at my home. Amidst the chaos of the party, Warren discovered my author’s copy of my first published short story.
Warren sat on my sofa, in the middle of party noises and shenanigans, and he read my seven-hundred-word children’s story. He closed the little magazine and said, “This woman can write.” He didn’t know I was sitting behind him. I don’t think he knew me at all, but his words thrilled me.
Warren became a dear friend. I would learn that he had earned a Purple Heart, among other medals, in Viet Nam, that he loved music, and that he was a generous teacher. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005 after a long illness. I miss him.
You’ve seen his name on this blog before. Rob is another author I met at the local science fiction convention. He invited me to be part of a writers’ group that met in his home. Later, he and I collaborated on a story idea. He taught me how to develop an idea into a story. He and I often joke that since I worked with him I’ve never been able to write a 700-word short story again. (It’s true!) Our novellas, The White Box and The White Hope, appeared in Analog Science Fiction Science Fact Magazine. Rob continues to be generous with his time and knowledge and hosts a writers’ group in his home. While I am not able to attend as I once did, I’m grateful that he continues to encourage and guide me.
4. My husband.
Five years after a contentious divorce, I thought I’d never get married again. Then I met my forever husband (he changed more than my writing life *grin*). My husband’s belief in my writing has far exceeded my own. Shortly after we married he insisted that I take a year off my paying job to write full-time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the skills to be successful at that time. Fortunately, his faith in me didn’t waiver. His encouragement and belief have brought me back to myself each time life has derailed my writing career. I’d love him for many other reasons, even if he didn’t believe in the writer me, but he does. His belief and support mean the world to me.
I’ve never met Holly Lisle. I don’t even remember how I first heard of her. Her Writer Crash Test videos on youtube hooked me. Soon after that, I enrolled in her How to Rewrite Your Novel course. That course teaches story deconstruction. It made me a better, stronger writer.
I first heard of Margie Lawson on Facebook. Friends praised her awesome editing techniques. The more I read about her techniques, the more I needed to know. I bought Margie’s lecture packets (available on her website). The information in those packets strengthened my stories sentence-by-sentence.
Her Immersion Master Class was life-changing. Her encouragement, her ability to help you see your own words in a different way, is pure platinum and gold and filled with gems. It pays dividends long after the class is over.
Bill is an author, a friend, and a mentor whom I also met at my local convention. A former roommate of Rob Chilson, Bill, was a co-founder of the writers’ group held in their home. It wasn’t until after Bill moved to California that he and I entered into a true mentor-student relationship. With Bill’s guidance, I’ve finally melded all that I’ve learned into a set of skills and a new level of understanding. His comments and critiques are kind, and thoughtful, and enlightening. My debut novel, My Soul To Keep, would not be what it is without his help.
These seven people represent pivotal moments in my life for which I am eternally grateful. Thank you.
There have been many more people who have, and are, helping and encouraging me. You know who you are. I thank you with all my heart.
And so ends my gratitude posts for this month of Thanksgiving. For the seven people who changed my writing life, there is no end to my gratitude. And I need to say that these aren’t the only people who have changed my writing life. There are many, many more. You know who you are. Thank you.
I hope you found this interesting and, perhaps, inspiring. See you next time!
The blessings that I’ve received this year are many. Sure, I’ve had struggles. I will continue to be challenged and to face new challenges. In a way, I’m grateful for the struggles that I’ve had. As he says in the song, everything is a gift. It’s up to us how we see and use and appreciate (or not) that gift.
One of my most precious gifts is you, my loyal readers. Your loyalty, your comments, your gift of your time are so very appreciated. Thank you!
I give thanks for many things. This week of gratitude would not be complete without listing these in particular.
Near and Far
(in no particular order of preference or date)
Imagine YOUR photograph here.
You thought I’d try to put in photos of all my friends? I love you all! I would not want to miss any of you.
that shelters me from all kinds of weather
the elixir of my life!
and how modern medicine has sustained the lives of those I love
in all its variety
FINISHING MY EVERLASTING MANUSCRIPT!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Have a safe and happy day and, of course, stuff yourself with all your favorite foods. But also, take a moment to be grateful for the people, places, animals, and things that make your life better. Need some ideas? Here are 20 weird things I’m grateful for. Remember, you are one of the 13 things for which I give thanks. Thank you for reading, for coming back, and for all your support.
Music, poetry, love, the air that we breathe are some of the things we cannot see. Josh Groban’s song “Thankful for what we cannot see” is a reminder to be grateful for those things.
I am so grateful for all of those things but most of all I am thankful for hope and peace. Yes, peace is an idea. An idea that is different for each and every one of us but represents so much of what is good in us. Despite all that is happening in the world, I choose to believe in and be thankful for my fellow man, in goodness, and in peace.