September often instilled a somewhat unsettled feeling for me. The theme of change that Autumn brings just kind of made me yearn for a shake up, something different, a dabble of change. Maybe it's the habitual new start that the time of year signified through schooling, maybe it's the transformation throughout nature, I don't know. But I love it as a time of year for this; for its transient nature, its colourful expression, its demonstration of letting go.
Here in New Zealand, we're actually coming into Spring instead. Another time of change, but this one more synonymous with growth, beginnings, new life.
This season feels like the precursor of change. This time is perfect, regardless what season we're calling it, to lay our very own foundations of change.
The specific change I want to cultivate is one of more conscious kindness.
Kindness is generally quite a valued quality, we like to think of ourselves as kind and we'd aim to be kind to others too. But I think we need to have another look at kindness, a deeper look.
Maybe we need to check in on how we're actually doing with this concept. Are we fully embodying it? Are we living by it as a value entirely? Are we more kind than critical - to ourselves? - to others? Do our actions show kindness - to ourselves? - to others?
I recently began reading 'Kindfulness' by a Buddhist monk whose work I'd highly recommend, Ajahn Brahm. His commitment to opening his heart to see the world, his experiences and himself through eyes of kindness is staggering. He uses it beautifully and in a way that I definitely don't think is very common. And it's that which inspired a renewed commitment to kindness for me, the fact that there is so much more to kindness than we think. The fact that we can completely change how we react, experience, interact and ultimately live our day to day.
Across this wonderful season, I want to explore the idea of kindness and how we can truly cultivate it in our lives. I want to actively practice kindness towards myself and others. I want to transform our self critical commentaries, to eradicate our harsh judgements, to silence our conditioned comparisons.
I want to lay the foundations for more kindness - authentic, entire, wholehearted kindness.
If you'd like to get on board, keep an eye here and on the Dare to Live social media to see how we're going to bring more kindness consciously into our lives.