MoK: Compliment Day!

Three full weeks of positivity. A bunch of people, each doing a few kind acts per day. Both individually and collectively we have literally changed the world for the better. Stop and think about that. It’s like being a soldier in the Love Army, where you shot people through the heart and mind with acceptance, understanding and love. I can’t believe how amazing you are.

We never know who we caught at what time. There’s no way any of us could know it at the time, but with this many people, surely one of us caught at least one person on a really difficult day. Someone was heading toward suicide, or some other very negative act, and our little March of Kindness–likely without them even knowing it exists–may very well have saved their lives, or at least their day.

We’ve all had those days, weeks, months and years. Maybe we lost someone important to us. Maybe we got news that our dreams were not going to pan out the way we’d hoped. Maybe a relationship ended. These things happened in life. And yet just stop and think about those days where someone’s actions felt more like a life preserver than anything. Good for us! We made a difference.

So with only one week left, today let’s return to something from the end of week one; only then you were giving compliments as a way of shifting your thinking away from you and your thoughts, and toward someone else. Today we’ll act the same, but inside ourselves we won’t be doing it as a symbiotic act. This time we think about what we’ve done, we feel strong and capable, and then we give from that position of strength.

As the title obviously suggests, it’s Compliment Day. We stand up tall, we remind ourselves of our strongest times and then we turn on our awareness, looking for things and acts and people we admire. Today you’re a compliment machine. Today you make people around you feel good through your willingness to openly acknowledge them.

It can be their coat, their hair, their smile, their manners, sense of humour, work, or character. All compliments count. You are a fountain of strength and sharing today. Today you surprise and please people. And in doing so, between all of us we’re sure to incite someone to spontaneously join us. Without doubt, one of us will tip a positivity-compliment domino and it will keep tipping through a number of people as the good feelings pass like a wave.

I’ll start off by complimenting all of you and your willingness to work on your own mental health, resiliency and society. Even the kids in schools that participated had to buy-in. That was voluntary and as a fellow human being I really appreciate the fact that you did that. Thank you. Thank you–personally–thank you thank you thank you for having the big heart and great attitude that you have. I love that quality in you.

So today, get out there and give those compliments. Let your full cup runneth over into the lives of those around you. Make a co-worker or classmate feel great about their effort, or attitude or style. Make a stranger feel good about who they appear to be to others. Make those closest to you realise that you do notice the little things.

Thanks again for your participation. You’re all just awesome. What a great thing that a bunch of strangers would meet on a website and agree to be kind and generous to a bunch of other strangers and friends. Who does such a thing? Us, that’s who. Us, people who care. We’re the ones who are strong. We’re the ones filled with love. And today we express that love! And we enjoy every minute of it!

Have a great weekend everyone. For my part I’m going to carry this compliment thing all the way to Monday and our final week. You have a spectacular three days and I’ll see you all back here on next week. Until then, much love to each and every single one of you.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Other Perspectives #69

691 OP Relax and Succeed - Sometimes your heart

We need to understand and dismiss our increasingly thought-based sentimental, immature, self-centred and dramatic reactions to regular life. We have to accept challenges as an aspect of our journey and we need to exchange our fears of going the wrong way with an intense passion of fully being awake and alive with other people, especially those closest to us. Then even an ordinary day feels fantastic and you fall in love with everyone around you over and over. It’s wonderful. But to feel that you have to be quiet inside. That means no talking to yourself. You tell yourself that’s your heart and your head debating, but both of those voices are you. That’s you telling yourself a big long narrative all to justify the way you feel, which is a natural mixture of feelings. But you take those very human feelings and your do as you were taught by your culture: you habitually turn those feelings into language, and then you use that language as though there is an actual debate going on when really that’s just the normal way to feel when you’re transitioning in any area of life. Whether that’s the act of getting closer to someone or leaving a long term job or moving cities, those transitions will have naturally mixed feelings. We’re just so brainwashed to dislike certain feelings and to convert absolutely everything into language. So you feel compelled to tell yourself big stories about a set of sensations that would have happened whether you told yourself the story or not. So instead of feeling them once, by turning them into words you’ve found a way to turn them into stories that you can re-tell yourself ad nauseam. So now you can be bothered by today, ten years from now. But that is a choice. So if you take control of the stories you take control of the feelings. So stop talking to yourself. It’s just an excuse not to act because you’re afraid of doing something wrong. Forget that fear. Just live. Live all of your emotions. Rather than avoid half of them make friends with them. If you do that it turns out that even the ones that you’ve historically called bad are actually pretty enjoyable in their own special way. So just relax and feel all of life. That openness isn’t a guarantee of a great day but it’s as close to a guarantee as the universe will let you have. Be open, be quiet. That’s it.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #66

676 OP Relax and Succeed - Life heart vs mind

This is such a common metaphor but it really doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. What we really mean is that we make one argument to represent our desires and another argument to represent our fears and we bounce them back and forth inside our own heads in the hopes that we can stay balanced and on some fictitious tightrope of life. But of course there is no tightrope. That would imply there is some correct way to live and there isn’t. There is no right step for you to take. It’s not a battle between your mind and your heart for the right thing. You’re just going to pick a thing, not the right thing. So the battle in your head is over an answer to a question that doesn’t exist, meaning the entire mental exercise is a waste of time. So since both the heart-voice and head-voice are both just your hopes and your fears being relayed back to yourself, that’s all pretty meaningless. You might as well just save yourself the drama and be quiet-minded instead. Because without constructing the notion of a rope that you then need to balance on, the possibility of making a mistake disappears. And that’s what real freedom is. The freedom to get off the narrow confines of the rope, where any wrong move is sure to tumble you out of existence. Instead you can be firmly on flat ground, free to move in any direction you choose. Stop your mental arguments with yourself. Get off the rope. Go peaceful instead. Live with a quiet mind. The rest is all theatre.

peace. s

00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

Stairway to Heaven

203 Relax and Succeed - When you're happyThis Friday’s video will be pretty easy to enjoy. It’s a musical performance from The Kennedy Center Honors, where Anne and Nancy Wilson (from the band Heart) perform the Led Zeppelin hit Stairway to Heaven. With missing member John Bonham’s son on drums, they perform before many distinguished guests, including the President and Mrs. Obama, as well as the three surviving members of the band, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant.

In a Vancouver Sun article, the writer suggested that Plant cried “tears of joy.” I do hope they were right about that. It’s an awesome song and he did a fantastic job doing the original interpretation. And I do think there’s a greater likelihood that they were correct, but to illustrate a point, I want you to consider the following:

We have no idea of the backstory behind this concert. Plant may be a very humble man and was moved by the honour. Further, he may be like many brilliant artists in that he has trouble owning his own talent. Maybe he feels lucky. Fortunate. And so when he thinks of who is in the room and what the honour means, we see tears form. Or…

203 Relax and Succeed - When you look at a personMaybe he was close to Bonham in a very special way. Maybe he and Bonham’s son shared a common struggle, like an addiction, or growing up without a dad around. And so when Plant sees him performing in front of the President, he may be thinking about how the performance will cement Bonham’s father’s place as good man and worthwhile father and he knows the special meaning of that. Or…

Maybe when they got the honour they asked Led Zeppelin to perform for the President. But maybe Plant can’t hit those particular notes certainly enough for him to risk it at such an event. And so while he loves the version and is honoured, maybe he’s crying because he knows he’ll never sing it that way again.

Stories. We make them up for ourselves and for everyone else. And everyone else makes them up for us and everyone they see. It’s a giant maze of guesses and judgments. Thank God there’s music.

Enjoy. And see if you can figure out what you think he’s thinking. 😉

And if you’re interested in delving deeper into the idea of aging , I would highly recommend checking out this poignant comedy piece by Jonathan Goldman, from the CBC Radio One program, Wiretap.

http://www.cbc.ca/wiretap/episode/2013/09/06/how-to-age-gracefully/

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.