Random acts of kindness

Pay it forward

Another theme I am trying to foster in my life is generosity. I know a few people who are always generous, mainly with time and energy rather than money, and never expect anything in return. For most of us, this is a challenging concept. I myself know that if I am generous and consistently don’t get recognition for it, I will then close down and say I’m not doing it again. So part of the learning is to keep my heart open and give without expectation. The ultimate is to carry out an act of generosity and not tell the person so it is entirely without recognition to you. However, you will still feel a warm glow when you think about it.

This sweet video on you Tube exemplifies this perfectly: The boy who has the least to give, gives everything:

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I once went to see the film Pay It Forward at the Buddhist centre. This takes this idea and moves it forward again. This is a clip from the film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pCtXRP1edo

It’s well worth watching, and has great actors in it – Kevin Spacey etc. It’s all about every time someone does you a favour you pass it on to someone else, then we start creating a huge chain of consciousness of giving. So if you carry out random acts of kindness, the idea is that the person doesn’t necessarily know who did it for them, but you could leave a note saying “Please carry out an act of kindness yourself”. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get the whole world doing this? Or at the very least, feeling more kindly towards other people. Then we don’t just keep our generosity for our nearest and dearest but for all of humanity.

Finding healing in the darkness

There are so many words of wisdom in Bernie Siegel’s books about self healing, and finding hope and love in your darkest moments. Something I read recently by him seems particularly apt to me today. I am learning in my healing process how, understandably, I avoid looking at my darkest emotions. As I’ve realised, we can avoid them, but they don’t go away – they lurk and cause all sorts of difficulties in our lives and relationships. So in order to heal them, we need to go into the darkness and face them. I’ve avoided this for so long, hoping to heal myself with the least amount of pain. Now I am learning to embrace the pain and seeing that the fear of the pain is worse than actually facing it! I’ll come back to this theme in more detail in future. For now, here’s Bernie Siegel (in relation to the cancer patients he treats):

“The mind can cure cancer, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. The paradox is wonderfully expressed by an old Sufi story.

A stranger comes upon a man on his hands and knees under a street lamp in front of his house. He’s looking for his keys and the stranger gets down on all fours to help him. After a time, the stranger asks, “Where exactly did you drop them?” “In my house,” comes the reply. Exasperated, the stranger asks, “Then why are you looking out here?” “Because it’s dark in the house”.

The light is better in our conscious minds but we must look for healing in the dark unconscious. The doctor works in the light. He is verbal and logical. The patient’s world may be dark, but there are sources of illumination. Within each of us is a spark. Call it a divine spark if you wiill, but it is there and can light the way to health. There are no incurable diseases, only incurably people.”

This is work in progress for me so I certainly don’t have all the answers, but do share your thoughts. ♥

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The healing power of love and creativity

Find your inner creativity and love for life!

If you want a heart-warming, inspiring read try Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine and Miracles. All of his books are deeply moving as well, so expect to cry a little! He tells how he made the journey from being a traditionally trained medical doctor and surgeon in the US, with little empathy for his patients and deeply unhappy with his job, to becoming a dream doctor who hugs his patients and teaches them how to take control of their health and life.

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He witnessed “miraculous” cures in his cancer patients and began studying what made the difference in those patients who coped well with illness and those who just gave up. He realised that in his role as physician he could be really important in this healing journey, as he could give his patients hope, rather than bare statistics about how long they had to live, and most importantly, be a human face, treating them like human beings rather than “cancer patient in room 2″. One of the things he noticed about the patients who coped well was that they felt they had something to live for, passion and love in their lives or an outlet for creativity. Dr Siegel encouraged his patients to express their creativity through writing, art, whatever made them feel happy, or through reaching out to people.This alleviates stress and releases the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Like everything I’m reading about, it’s all about how a positive state of mind can have an amazing effect on our health. Hence this week I have started painting…very badly! But it’s not about the finished product, it’s the process ;-)