Why Kindness And Goodness Matters

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” 
Roy T. Bennett

Life can be a difficult ride, and each of us at times will know pain, trouble, loneliness and struggle. That’s why it is so important for us to practice love and kindness.

But when we are going through our own difficulties, when we are tired or feeling taken for granted, we might wonder what’s the point? What’s the point of being kind? What’s the point of continuing to be caring, helpful, polite?

Have you noticed that emotional states are contagious? Hang around an angry person long enough and some of that will rub off on you. The same goes for depression. Uncaring acts beget more. Selfishness breeds isolation, disrespect, contempt and ugliness.

Just as negative emotions have a negative impact, choosing to stay focused on love, gratitude, positive values and caring will have a positive impact on our lives.

Our emotional state and our thoughts travel out from us like ripples on a pond. They radiate energy that affects everything and everyone around us. Eventually, some of that energy will be reflected back to us, perhaps weaker, perhaps greatly magnified…

What sort of world do you choose for yourself?

Loving others, living from your heart, choosing kindness, and performing acts of service and devotion that may well go unacknowledged or unappreciated are paths that can truly lead us to a better future, influencing and supporting the positive unfolding of history in ways we may not ever know or understand in our lifetime.

No matter what your emotional starting ground, when you uplift others, you also uplift yourself. When you share your heart, it doesn’t decrease your love – it expands your love, and your capacity to give and receive love.

Our Universe is built upon unseen acts of courage, goodness, faith, optimism, service and great love.

Whether you subscribe to a particular religion or not, whether you believe in God, karma, Universal Law or death and taxes – know that by your own actions, your choices, your values, sacrifices and personal character you contribute to the future unfolding of our planet.

Invisible acts of love and uplifting others might not provide us with an immediate reward – but through these acts we are gifted something far more precious – they give us the power to positively shape destiny, and to better shape ourselves in the process.

When in doubt about how to act, be guided by the wisdom of the Dalai Lama:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

Sending love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

Those Misleading Rainbow Flags

Image from raiweb.net

Image from raiweb.net

“We can either emphasize those aspects of our traditions, religious or secular, that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings. The choice is yours.”
~ Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

“When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life; it gave me the hope that one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. Most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value. And that no matter what everyone tells you, God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”
~ Dustin Lance Black

 

I have been staying in a stately old area of Brisbane this past few weeks. These suburbs have grand old trees, some beautiful old houses, and many churches. It’s an established area. A conservative area.

Recently, a church that I frequently pass decked itself out in rainbow-striped flags and bunting. It coincided with the day of the Sydney Mardi Gras.

Oh, I thought to myself, that’s wonderful. How welcoming! You see, I expected that those rainbow flags meant something.

After all, the Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the world’s most iconic, inclusive and joyful celebrations of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Queer, Transgender and Intersex community.

And to be truthful I was also grateful for those flags after a friend’s young teenager had attempted suicide in that same week as a result of being bullied at school for being gay.

Image from mardigras.org

Image from mardigras.org

Image by Hamid Mousa

Image by Hamid Mousa

A few days later, walking past the rainbow-bunting festooned church, I said hello to an older lady there.

We spoke of the weather, she admired my dog, and she asked where I lived. Had I been to the church before? Would I like to come along and join them?

I thanked her for her kindness and then told her of my surprise and pleasure that the committee had decked out the church with all those rainbow flags.

‘Why?’ she said. ‘Do you like rainbows?’

‘Of course,’ I answered, ‘who doesn’t?’

She smiled at me.

‘You did realise that those flags are also a symbol used by the LGBT community?’ I said.

She looked at me, her face suddenly furrowed into a look of confusion.

‘The lesbian gay, bi and transgender community,’ I added for clarification.

‘Oh,’ she said sharply.

The look on her face said it all. No, she hadn’t known.

She stared at me for a minute, and then she said angrily,’They are rainbows. We thought the children would like them.’

‘So the flags aren’t welcoming the LGBT community?’ I asked.

She didn’t say no. ‘They’re rainbows,’ she said. ‘Anybody’s free to use them.’

‘I see,’ I answered. ‘Well, thanks for talking with me.’ I turned to walk away.

A second or two later I heard her hiss ‘Hippy do-gooder’ under her breath, but loud enough for me to hear. To a friend who had just joined her she muttered, ‘One of those people…’

If only she knew.

I’m not actually LGBTI. I’m psychic. Different closet, but often similar reactions and discrimination on coming out. I’ve had Christians denounce me for being an abomination in the eyes of God, and an instrument of the Devil. I’ve had Jehovah’s Witnesses stand on the footpath outside my home every Tuesday for three solid years praying for my soul.

As insults go the ones from the church woman weren’t so nasty. But it certainly didn’t make me feel like I wanted to rush and join her congregation. If they don’t happily accept the LGBTI community, I’m sure they won’t be all that welcoming towards a practicing psychic with strong leanings towards buddhism, druidism and aboriginal mysticism. A psychic whose friends and family include those people, as well as a rainbow tribe of faiths, beliefs, traditions and viewpoints.

Image from buzzle.com

Image from buzzle.com

The rainbow flags and bunting are pulled down now. Like all of the churches around here their congregation numbers are dwindling as our lives and lifestyles change. These churches are doing what they can to draw people back to the fold, and that bunting did look pretty!  I hope they found the kind of people that they want to attract to their own branch of the community.

I don’t think that dwindling church numbers means we are less godless as a society. So many of us have found our own ways to connect with an energy and space of divinity within us and around us that better reflects our values and beliefs.

I’ve drunk from the well of many faiths, and found something at each place that has nourished me. But I’ve often wondered if my welcome would have been as warm had they known who I was or what I did. You can’t tell what’s inside a person by the way they look. I look quite average and respectable from the outside. My mother raised me to have nice manners. I know how to fit in.

I respect the right for anyone to have at your table those people with whom you feel comfortable. But if you invite me to make your table my own, I would like to think that all of my friends and loved ones are welcome; those of different faiths and beliefs, those of different cultural heritages, those of differing sexual orientations, those who believe in God, and those who don’t. So many of my friends don’t believe in the God that was taught to them at school. They see themselves as atheists or agnostics. Ant yet some of these people demonstrate the most Christian values and character I know. Just because you do not believe in God does not mean you are godless or lacking goodness. Isn’t the Divine an energy that dwells in us all?

I’m not sure there is a faith or religion encompassing enough for myself and all of those I love and hold dear. Right now, I think the best chance of creating the inclusion I desire is if I go place a table under a tree, festoon it with lights, lay out some food and invite you all to come join me as friends – in the spirit of kindness and compassion. In the spirit simply of love.

I hold out hope that love and kindness towards all people is possible. I pray for a quiet revolution of inclusive hippy do-gooders across the world, creating tables where all are welcome to sit, share and be nourished and supported.

That’s the kind of world I want to live in. How about you?

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

Invisible Acts of Love and the Importance of Uplifting Others…

Image by Michael Leunig

‘Tis the everyday things that really count,

And the everyday people we know;

And everyday kindnesses go very far,

Toward making a heaven below.

Life can be a difficult ride, and each of us at times will know pain, trouble, loneliness and struggle.  That’s why it is so important for us to practice love and kindness.

But when we are going through our own difficulties, when we are tired or feeling taken for granted, we might wonder what’s the point? What’s the point of being kind? What’s the point of continuing to be caring, helpful, polite?

Have you noticed that emotional states are contagious? Hang around an angry person long enough and some of that will rub off on you.  The same goes for depression. Uncaring acts beget more. Selfishness breeds isolation, disrespect, contempt and ugliness.

Just as negative emotions have a negative impact, choosing to stay focused on love, gratitude, positive values and caring will have a positive impact in our lives.

Our emotional state and our thoughts travel out from us like ripples on a pond. They radiate energy that affects everything and everyone around us. Eventually some of that energy will be reflected back to us, perhaps weaker, perhaps greatly magnified…

Image from optimestric.blogspot.com

What sort of world do you choose for yourself?

Loving others, living from your heart, choosing kindness, and performing acts of service and devotion that may well go unacknowledged or unappreciated are paths that can truly lead us to a better future, influencing and supporting the positive unfolding of history in ways we may not ever know or understand in our lifetime.

No matter what your emotional starting ground, when you uplift others, you also uplift yourself. When you share your heart, it doesn’t decrease your love – it expands your love, and your capacity to give and receive love.

Image from creativeeating.wordpress.com

Our Universe is built upon unseen acts of courage, goodness, faith, optimism, service and great love.

Whether you subscribe to a particular religion or not, whether you believe in God, karma, Universal Law or death and taxes – know that by your own actions, your choices, your values, sacrifices and personal character you contribute to the future unfolding of our planet.

Invisible acts of love, and uplifting others might not provide us with an immediate reward – but through these acts we are gifted something far more precious – they give us the power to positively shape destiny, and to better shape ourselves in the process.

When in doubt about how to act, be guided by the wisdom of the Dalai Lama:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

How You Can Change the World

I’m here with some good news.  You are powerful, and you can make a difference in our world!

Have you noticed that much of the world media is focussed primarily upon the negative, and it builds a vibration of fear and uncertainty around our futures?  Many of us are reeling under the constant barrage of bad news, and the latest market crash, tragedy or monstrous act of violence.

It is easy to feel that we are insignificant in the scheme of things.  But this is not the case.  Many people have changed the world through their thoughts, and actions.  And you too can play a part in lifting the vibration of our world to a place of Harmony and Peace.

At the core of our distress is always lack of Love.  When we live from our Hearts, violence against each other, and senseless acts of greed and inhumanity within our communities and environment dissolve.  Why? These are not products of the Heart, but of the Mind.  They arise from our sense of disconnectedness from ourselves, our families, our communities, our environment and God/Source Energy.

So what can you do?

Firstly, focus on all that IS good in your life, and in the world, no matter how small that detail may be.  Do not give your attention to the bad news around you, and the unwanted things in your life.  Focus purely on what is going well, and what makes you feel good.

When you pray or meditate, bring that beautiful Divine Love and Light into your body and heart.  Fill yourself up, and allow the Love and Light to continue to flow through you and to the people around you.  Picture people and situations, and send healing energy and Love to them.  Surround them in white Light and wish them only Love and Good, no matter who they are or what their actions might have been.  See people and situations only as you wish them to be – full of harmony, wellness, love, creativity, joy and peace.  Don’t dwell on negativity – always choose Light.  Choose forgiveness of yourself and others

Within your immediate circle, practice acts of love, kindness and compassion.  Move outside your own needs, and begin to understand and reach out to meet the needs of the people around you.  Strengthen relationships within your family, friends and community.

Create a network of support for yourselves and others. Speak well of people. Treat others in the way you would wish to be treated, and always, always send and practice Love and Kindness.  Where people hurt and upset you, send them more Love and Kindness.  And when you are hurt and upset, connect with Love and Light to heal yourself.

Be true to yourself.  Practice self nurture, and allow yourself the time and freedom to enjoy your life and your relationships.  Use the gifts that you were blessed with to do the things you are passionate about, and that you most enjoy.  Doing this puts good energy back into the world, and allows you to grow and flourish at a Soul level, making ever increasing amounts of positive energy available to you and to those around you.  You will have a positive impact on your immediate environment, friends and family just through your personal energy and state of mind!

Reach out to others whenever you can.  We are social creatures, and it is when our connections with others begin to weaken and fall apart that we are most capable of harming ourselves and others.  Practice a spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness, but most of all, BE Love.  Remember old people and children.  Help them to feel loved and wanted.  Find a way to give back to your community or a charity of your choice.  Lead by example.

Accept healing and nurture from nature.  Spend time in natural environments, and with plants and pets.  They are all here to give us Love.  Introduce nature into your home and work environments and try to spend time in the fresh air and sunshine.  Yes, it does make a difference!

Slow down!  Take time to breath, to feel, to rest and relax.  Reduce your stress, and the stress you impose on others.  Eat well and look after your health.  Support products, services, organizations and individuals with integrity and who treat the world and its inhabitants with Love and Respect.

Finally, strive for Love and excellence in all you do, and in all you are.  When you raise your own vibration, it has a positive cascade effect on all around you.  So, don’t buy into fear – choose Love.  Like the saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the World.