Spreading the Blogging Love One Last Time…

Well, the Year of Kindness is rapidly drawing to a close. In the next week the Kindness Recruits will be performing the very last Undercover Kindness Mission and I will be sharing it with you in my very last YOK blog. Sad and exciting all at once. Just in case you’re looking for some new reading material, I wanted to take the time to introduce some gorgeous blogs to you…

Astro Artisan – I adore this site. A beautiful and insightful blog drawing on a blend of astrology and art to show the importance of understanding the cyclical nature of life. Silver is very talented – so incredibly accurate! http://astroartisan.com/

Carrer Confessions – How do we find a job we truly love? Monica wants to help by providing a fascinating and inspiring blog designed to motive us all achieve our dreams. careerconfessions.wordpress.com/

Intentional Acts of Kindness – If you need a kindness fix, read about the adventures of another brave soul, David, just starting the challenge of 365 days of kindness!  intentionalactsofkindness.blogspot.com

12 Novels in 12 Months – In a very different kind of year-long challenge, an incredibly disciplined and self-motivated writer, Sandra, is blogging about her personal mastery goal to write 12 novels in one year. 12novelsin12months.wordpress.com/

I would also like to extend a big thankyou to some beautiful blogging friends who have been a huge inspiration and support me: Eric for your wisdom and generosity (resolvetogive.wordpress.com/), Roberta for your beautiful photos and kind heart (inotherwordsandpictures.wordpress.com/), Brittany for your courage and thoughtfulness (theshynessproject.wordpress.com/), Cameron for being the kind of teacher every child wants and deserves (verdant123.com/), Kathy for your creativity and insightfulness (pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/), Lesh for your positivity and passion for kind food (themindfulfoodie.com/) and Steve (growthjournal.org/) who always makes me think about things from a new perspective.

And as for me, I am beginning a very different journey, although it will still involve giving – namely volunteering my writing services to share the stories of some amazing volunteers and children in a community centre in Tanzania. And it will involve some blogging:  nextstoptanzania.wordpress.com/. However, the universe has conspired to ensure it also requires a fair bit of receiving (through fundraising), which is the much harder part for me. Seems there is always more to learn when it comes to the art of kindness!

If I do make it to Tanzania, I’m sure my African adventure will provide many more life lessons to blog about!  In the meantime, check out the incredible blogs above and stay tuned for the YOK grand finale…

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More Wisdom from (Online) Strangers

I must admit, that for a long time the idea of blogging held very negative connotations for me. Although I love to write and I love to read, bloggers have that reputation of being somewhat self-absorbed people who believe everyone wants to read their opinion on whether cereal or toast is the superior breakfast food. However, since becoming part of the blogging community I have found many inspiring, witty, thought-provoking, smile-inducing bloggers on amazing journeys towards happiness and self-discovery. My kindness today is to share a few of my favourite lessons from some of my favourite blogs:

1. Say what you want, without expecting to get it The Power of ‘I Want’ from Growth Journal. This is a beautiful, insightful blog about personal growth. This post impacted me a lot because one of my biggest flaws is an inability (or unwillingness) to say what I want or need, for fear of seeming selfish or entitled. This post made me realise I need to give myself permission to communicate what I want. It doesn’t necessarily mean I always expect to recieve what I want, but it can be validating and empowering simply to give it a voice.

2. Self-perception is everything Change how you see, not how you look from Drawing My Own Conclusions. I adore the hand drawn pictures that accompany the thoughtful words and affirmations in this blog. This is a gorgeous post about accepting yourself and your situation completely.

3. Asking for help is not selfish Asking for Help When You Need It from 1000 Mitzvahs. This blog is Linda’s journey to perform 1,000 mitzvahs or acts of kindness in memory of her father. Asking for help always seems like placing a burden on someone else, but this post made me realise that sometimes its actually a kind thing to do not only for yourself but for someone else who is made to feel needed and giving.

4. Find the balance between kindness to self and kindness to others – Lessons in Generosity from Smile, Kiddo. This blog is all about finding happiness in, and gratitude for, the little things in life. I could relate to this post very easily because I know all too well that giving too little can make you feel guilty and giving too much can make you feel resentful. But those emotional reactions are just your instincts trying to guide you towards finding the balance.

5. Experience all the seasons before passing judgement – The Seasons of Life from Happiness is a Lifestyle. This blog is Lexy’s personal journey to create more gratitude, inspiration and happiness in her own life. I really loved this post which encourages us to make sure we don’t judge a person or situation after seeing only one, negative side. Seeing a tree in winter does not give any indication of its beauty in spring.

6. Don’t talk change, make changeWhat If … from Resolve to Give. This blog is about Eric’s pledge to keep the giving spirit of Christmas alive all year long. It’s inspiring to read about how he is actively living out the change he wants to see in the world.

7. Give yourself more credit and remember the big picture – Doing Something Right from Bye Bye Bitters. This blog is an honest, funny, thoughtful account of Helena’s quest for happiness and self-acceptance. This post is a reminder of how we can all be our own worst critic and come up with a million ways in which we aren’t “good enough”, but really when we look at the big picture we are probably doing a lot of things right.

8. It takes time and effort to create consistent happinessLost My Way from Cure My Toxic Mind. A blog about one woman’s journey to free herself from negative thoughts. Even when we know in theory that happiness is created and not found, it takes time and dedication to learn how to put this into practice.

9. Little acts of compassion can change the world – Random Acts of Kindness: Keep it Simple from The Naked Conscience. In this blog Rachel discusses her own experiences in trying to bridge the gap between good intentions and actually doing good deeds. I love the quote by Chris Abani this post focuses on: “The world is never saved in grand messianic gestures but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion, everyday acts of compassion.”

10. Accept nothing less than a fabulous lifeI can deal with aging but I can’t dig an ‘average’ existence from The Fab Life Project. This is an amazingly motivational blog that challenges us to question everything and develop an unwavering self-belief that we deserve to live our best life.