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Tag Archives: kindness

Texting/Email Etiquette

The lack of texting/email etiquette is increasingly becoming a pet peeve of mine. I’m referring to the absence of friendly greetings and basic civility that would otherwise accompany a live in-person conversation but is routinely side-stepped altogether when it comes to people pecking away at their smartphones or laptops. At the risk of sounding terribly old fashioned, when did we become so boorish? I have a few friends that don’t even take the time to type out Hi or Hello, they just launch directly into whatever it is they have to say, without so much as a polite salutation or proper good-bye.

Since texting and emailing are some of the most common ways we communicate with one another, I think it’s worth investing time creating some kind of mindfulness-based practice around these methods of electronic connection. Here are some ideas:

Ways to infuse mindfulness into our texting/emailing routine

  • When beginning a new conversation strain, start with a greeting, such as: hi, hiya, hi there, hello, sup, good morning, top of the day…something to indicate that you’re not a caveman who’s totally unfamiliar with the subtleties of being kind and polite.
  • Tune into whether you’re feeling rushed when texting/emailing someone. So often we’re caught up in rapid-fire responding, fingers or thumbs ablaze. We can ask ourselves: Do I really need to be moving this ferociously?
  • Be attentive to your tone of voice when typing. It takes more time and will require more focused awareness than perhaps you’re used to, but how we communicate is perhaps the most important element in determining the quality of our relationships. Take the extra time to ensure that what you’re typing is coming across in a friendly manner. Remember: tone of voice comes across differently through our electronic gadgets. We have to enfold extra time and concentration into making sure we’re coming across well, since people cannot see our body language or hear our actual tone of voice when communicating.
  • Sign off in a manner that doesn’t make it seem like you’re just droppin the mic and walking off-stage. So many people that I receive texts or emails from don’t take the time to offer a short closing, they just stop typing and press send. It’s as though they were suddenly abducted by aliens and were unable to formally say good-bye before getting beamed aboard.
  • Read what you write before sending it off into the electronic ether. Don’t just skim for quirky auto-correct mistakes, read it for content and tone of voice.
  • A :) goes a very long way. Never underestimate the power of a well chosen opportunity to put a :) into your text or email.

Happy texting/emailing everyone :)

P.S I’d love hearing your own experiences with electronic forms of communication, please comment below if you feel so inclined!

 

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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Everyday Practice

 

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Inspiration

A few self-created images I thought I’d share :) Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Random Acts of Kindness Week!

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Random Acts of Kindness Week: February 12th-18th

#RAKWEEK2017

www.randomactsofkindness.org

Let’s get our kindness on! :) I’ve been enjoying making these, in preparation to help celebrate RAK Week:

dscn6088Front of the cards – with the ones I’ve yet to draw on pictured at the top

dscn6089Back of the cards

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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Everyday Practice, Fun

 

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Kindness

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Dear (insert your name here),

When offering love and care, please don’t forget yourself.

Sincerely,
Kindness

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2016 in Everyday Practice

 

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Random Acts of Kindness Brigade

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Last September my friend Jennifer and I started collecting change in order to do something fun with it together. After some deliberation we decided to put our funds towards buying local flowers and passing them out for free to people as a random act of kindness (RAK). Between the two of us we collected about $90 in coins over the last year. My stepson Jaden joined us too and we had a three-man Random Acts of Kindness Brigade and set out yesterday at our local Farmer’s Market downtown.  We had a great time!

We had some unexpected results as well in performing our RAK.  I realized after our first round of buying flowers and handing  them out to passers by that I was shying away from offering them to men.  So when we stocked up with our 2nd armful of flowers to pass out I was set on targeting men to give them to.  I saw a man sitting at a booth selling his art work and I went and offered him a bouquet.  He gratefully accepted and then invited me to take one of his wonderful pictures (as seen in the above photo).  A kindness in turn!

We also walked by a Downtown Ambassador who worked for the city and had a mobile cart with free info about Missoula, maps, bus schedules, and that sort of thing.  He saw our signs and decided to give us a few free carousel ride tickets, which Jaden then passed out to a few kids on the street.

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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in Everyday Practice, Fun

 

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On Kindness

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Kindness is more than an act of care and support.  It’s more than a pleasantry or nice offering.  Kindness is a way of living.  A way of responding to and engaging with the world around us.  If our sole practice was one of cultivating kindness it would contain all other important and beneficial teachings within it.  The diligent practice of kindness has more than enough conditions to transform suffering and establish us happily and joyfully in the present moment.

I was reminded about the importance of kindness last week when helping a student of mine.  I work part-time as a teacher’s aid in a local middle school.  Primarily I work with students who need one-on-one help with reading and writing skills, and comprehension.  Oftentimes the students I work with are very hard on themselves.  They consider themselves stupid because they are not at the same academic level as their peers.  Their feelings of inadequacy and self-judement in comparison to their classmates often shows up as frustration, behavior issues, social discomfort, and oftentimes an aversion to receiving the help they need.  Their feelings of frustration make perfect sense to me so it’s relatively easy to not take it personally when a student shuts down or acts out when I’m simply trying to help them.  Still, it can be stressful at times to be confronted with the difficult situation of a student who desperately needs help but refuses it and is angrily pleading with you to leave them alone.

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Everyday Practice

 

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Nuts & Bolts of Well Being

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Bike parts for making bike art at Missoula’s annual Festival of Cycles, September 14th, 2013

This past Thursday I was asked to speak at an interfaith service at our local Unity Church for the 20th Annual Unity World Day of Prayer.  This year’s theme was: “Living Well: Nurturing Mind, Body, and Spirit,” and
the affirmation was: “My positive thoughts, words, and actions create a healthy life—mind, body, and spirit.”

I represented the Buddhist faith and was among a handful of congregation leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Latter Day Saints, and Native American communities, along with a few others, who were there to offer a prayer or some words in line with the theme of well being.  It was my second year participating in this service and I enjoyed it very much.  Connecting faiths and sharing together is a beautiful expression of coming together as brothers and sisters.

This is the passage I read from the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book:

We come back to live in the wonderful present, to plant our heart’s garden with good seeds, and to make strong foundations of understanding and love.  We vow to train ourselves in mindfulness and concentration, practicing to look and understand deeply, to be able to see the nature of all that is, and so to be free of the bonds of birth and death.  We learn to speak lovingly, to be affectionate, to care for others whether it is early morn or late afternoon, to bring the roots of joy to many places, helping people to abandon sorrow, to respond with deep gratitude to the kindness of parents, teachers, and friends.  With deep faith we light up the incense of our heart.  We ask the Lord of Compassion to be our protector on the wonderful path of practice.  We vow to practice diligently, cultivating the fruits of this path.

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Everyday Practice

 

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