This past month seems to have been all about random acts of violence. Witnessing the MetroNorth train crash, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Denmark and the tragic death of Bob Simons, coupled with the coldest days in two decades, can drive us into hibernation and self pity. When we feel out of control, we often feel fear, withdrawal and isolation. No matter where we go or what we do, the reality of this randomness (that any tragedy can happen at any time) shakes us up.
Like with a good martini, shaking can cause the ice cubes to begin to melt and water down the elixir of life. Stirring, instead of shaking, can lead to calmer qualities.
So, I encourage you to stir, not shake!
Stirring our inner mindfulness by thinking about the good things in our lives, by giving of ourselves to others and by focusing less on the violence, leads to better physical and emotional health.
My favorite mindfulness strategy is to engage in small, random acts of kindness.
Be kind and smile to your driver (you may get a higher Uber score)! Share with your neighbors. Try to do something you have never done before. Go through your closets and clean out clothes and items you are not using and give them to people who need them. Get involved with a nonprofit whose mission you admire. The nonprofits that help the older generations really need your help now. Are there any lonely older people in your apartment building who need your help? Don’t stay alone while you binge on a television show. Invite a friend. You’re your next vacation.
Random acts of small kindness will stir the soul of others, sending a heat wave of happy elixir down the pike…and will lighten your load as well. Don’t hesitate. Start today!