Be Kind to Yourself!

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Dear Reader:

When I look out my “blog bungalow” window I get to see the ginger plant Vickie recently gave me. Because I had been told that it would add a lovely scent seasonally to the garden I searched in vain for a shady spot …but no shade exists long enough there..

All my flowers and trees have to be tough….full sun, each and every day. Ginger Plant’s leaves began curling up and turning brown within days of planting. (You might remember I planted it by the deck so guests could enjoy the wonderful aroma of the plant… but it was not to be.)

I walked all over the yard searching for a shady spot and finally realized that the other side of the house, known as “Azalea Lane” in early spring and now *”Wisteria Way” or “Bamboo ByWay” has the least amount of sun and the most shade. *(Either name means hacking away at these two formidable “enemies” constantly… like in the jungles of Vietnam)

So I decided to plant “Ginger” right outside my window. While typing away on my blogs I can raise the window and smell the sweet scent of the ginger plant. I felt a little selfish at first… but I quickly got over it….this plant is for my enjoyment and that’s okay too!

It seems like the word “Kind” and the expressions associated with it,  have made a comeback of sorts. We are constantly hearing or watching “random acts of kindness” on television or hearing terms like: kind words, kind regards, be one of a kind, would you be kind enough...and Ellen Degeneres always reminds us to be “Kind to each other” as she closes her show each day.

(I see kindness everywhere except in politics…but that’s another story and you don’t want to get me going so I will “kindly” let everyone off the hook.)

It is very easy to fall into the trap of being kind to everyone ….EXCEPT ourselves. Like Pogo said, “I have met the enemy and it is me.” Why are so many of us harder on ourselves than anybody else in our world?

In an article from World of Psychology  by Margarita Tartakovsky on developing awareness of the importance of  self-kindness… the author gives this every day example: Sound familiar?

Imagine for a minute that your best friend, partner, parent or child had a horrific day. Maybe they made a mistake at work. Maybe they got very little sleep. Maybe stressors seem to be striking from every angle. Maybe they struggle with sadness or anxiety.

Either way, they’re devastated. What do you do?

No doubt you sprint to console them. You hug them, and ask them what they need. You listen, and empathize. You might even crack a joke just to make them smile.

Now how would you react if the person hurting were you? Would you acknowledge your pain, and figure out how to help yourself? Would you be just as kind and empathetic?

Because this is what self-kindness looks like, said Rosie Molinary, an author and educator who empowers individuals to embrace their real selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world.

“Self-kindness is taking all those actions, all those reactions and applying them to yourself just as readily as you offer them to others.” It’s about acknowledging the difficulty of a situation, recognizing your efforts and soothing yourself, she said.

……………

The author concludes that we need to be especially kind to ourselves when the going gets tough. We should treat ourselves to a day off from work, a long walk in the park, an ice cream cone, or lunch with friends. Being kind to ourselves means learning to self-soothe like infants…we don’t need to necessarily suck on a pacifier, or carry a  Linus blanket, but we do need to know what will calm us down until we can get a better perspective on the situation that’s bothering us.

Personally I have discovered that looking up at the stars helps dwindle my problems as compared to the vastness of the universe. I usually leave stargazing feeling quite silly about all the commotion I have put myself through…

So until tomorrow….Sneak a couple of cookies for yourself out of the batch that you’re taking on Wednesdays to the DSS, stay in the shower for a long time with the hot water steaming away and don’t stop to chastise yourself for running up the electric bill. Allow yourself a good cry or a “little” pity party every now and then… but always move forward, leaving unkind remarks or actions pointed at you behind. Remind yourself you are stronger and more compassionate for the experience.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

IMG_0832 (2)*Look how Brooke’s little grandson Caleb has grown…he was five months old yesterday. Happy Birthday Cutie Caleb!

*And don’t forget to be kind to yourself and go see Anne and friends’ wonderful paintings this afternoon at her home from 4-8.

Walnut Farms: 131 Scalybark Road

Anne even dressed up rabbit in his best floral finery….to welcome one and all.

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IMG_1484* In Sunday’s blog I will include directions to my house for Monday’s Open Garden Celebration: morning tours run 9-11 and evening tours 7-9. Stop by for as long as time permits for you, dress casual and a fun big garden hat is always welcome!

(I even glued my poor rabbit’s ear back on for the occasion! Dessert and drinks available!!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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