The connection between taking care of oneself and the ability to be kind to others is so intertwined.
To me, being kind is a little bit different than just being nice. Being nice is a basic form of behavior that mostly requires not being mean. Being kind is an outstanding form of behavior that lifts up oneself and others around you. The person who is being kind feels uplifted because every part of their being has joined together to make someone else feel good. The person who receives kindness can soar because they now have a “gift” that shows that someone values them.
The first step in being kind, is taking care of yourself. I have lived, and seen, that if a girl feels healthy, physically and mentally, then she can be a strong, kind soul to others. A DreaminGreenGirl fits a lot into her day, but most important of all are the healthy tools she gives herself:
1.) EATING WELL: Wholesome foods, home cooked meals, dining with friends, cooking with family, balanced eating, photographing food, inventing new recipes… these are all ways to incorporate KIND strategies towards food and towards friends. Grab a friend, plan a meal, laugh together, eat for hours and talk about life. Food is our friend (well, organic food anyway:) and food is way of showing kindness and love. One of the aspirations the DreamingreenGirl team has is to host teen girl cooking parties in which we create all different types of healthy foods that a young girl can use for the rest of her life. The couple of times we have dabbled in this, the girls have had the most amazing time and wind up eating the most healthy of foods (chickpea cookie dough anyone??). When food becomes the focus it is easy to enjoy almost ANYONE sitting around the counter and when you enjoy your friends, I mean really enjoy them, you show KINDNESS.
2.) WORKING OUT: This is one of the best uses of time for a teen girl. Grab a friend and workout! DiGG has created lots of fitness videos so that it feels easy to workout anytime, anywhere. WE call it Organic fitness— using your own body weight, any time, anywhere– but you could call it anything want, as long as you just get started. Working out releases all sorts of feel – good endorphins, which can make you feel as if you are floating. When you feel this good, it is EASY to be kind to others. When you feel good, you want others around you to smile, laugh, and share your lightness. Working out with a partner can really amp up those good feelings as well. A partner helps you stick to your routine and inspire you to push yourself to new heights! Oh yes, that reminds me.. when you have lifted yourself to a new height it gets easier and easier to lift others up as well. KINDNESS.
3.) SHARING OPTIMISM: Someone very close to me has a beautiful way of reminding me that even when people around her are grumpy she outshines them with her kindness. I noticed that I used to get down when a person I was dealing with was negative or complaining a lot. In recent years I have tried outshining that type of personality with the almost – too- much kindness strategy, and you wouldn’t believe it until you try it, but it works!!!! Find ways to add optimism into your life everyday: Wake up for sunrises, read beautiful quotes, listen to happy music, make a new playlist, read inspiring books and blogs , draw and color in a sketch pad, send someone a real letter in the mail, watch funny movies …. these are simple ways that you can take charge of your OWN happiness. These are ways to be KIND to yourself and once you are kind to yourself…..
4.) A CONSCIENTIOUS BEAUTY ROUTINE: For years I have washed my face, two times a day, in a mad dash to the finish line. I would have water dripping up and down both warms, a disaster all over my sink, and makeup smeared everywhere. Where was I racing to? I still don’t know. Perhaps I saved a minute?! When I started DreaminGreenGirl, my personal beauty routine became more of a priority. I got a headband to my hair back. I bought a pretty wood tray to in which to line up all of my face washing items, AND I began enjoying my face cleansing, moisturizing routine. Now, I feel KIND to my skin and myself. I take the extra minute to gently remove eye make up with my toxin free eye make up remover. I enjoy making the deep cleansing circles with my organic face wash and I work that moisturizing oil or lotion deep into my skin! Calmly and KINDLY, I can face the world (or my silk pillowcase) just a bit better these days. Seek out vegan, cruelty free, toxin-free products and cosmetics (everything in our shop), be conscientious in applying them, use just what you need, gift others with clean, green beauty and you will feel KINDNESS emanating from every pore in your body!
There is a line in a song by Jewel that says, “and in the end, only kindness matters, “… this resonates so deeply with me and I dream of a day, and a way, that all girls will know their kindest potential.
I think one of the best gifts we can give our daughters, sisters, friends is to encourage them to take care of themselves in all ways, always. The formula is simple: Eat well + fitness + inspiration + Safe Beauty = Happy, Healthy & Kind!
Dream Healthy, Live KINDLY.