Exploring our own happiness and the happiness we experience when we connect with others helps us discover our human “kindness.” What if caring for our own spirit and being mindful of everyone else’s are the two things that would make all the difference in our levels of joy in life?

Discovering our own spirit is simply a way of thinking, a shifting into higher consciousness and becoming more aware and awake. It’s a knowing that our spirit is alive, as it has been all along. It’s about becoming quite enough to hear what our spirit is telling us, what’s right for us or what’s not. When we do what’s right for our spirit, we have the key to move forward in a different way. To put it simply, we’re free to drive the “car” wherever we want to go because when we put the key in the ignition and our foot on the gas, we move in that direction.

I have spent many years caring for our aging population. When talking with them about their lives and memories, they often have regret over the choices they have made. The processing they do about their lives and how they have lived makes me wonder why we can’t see during our younger years how critical it is to be kind, loving and caring to ourselves, those we love and all those with whom we interact.

Wouldn’t we all experience greater levels of happiness if we paid attention to our level of human kindness?

Aren’t we all seeking the same things? Peace, love, and joy? We are called human “kind” and we’re all in this together! I believe we all wish to feel and express kindness; it’s our core, our natural sense of being. To find what we’re all searching for takes a collective village, but we must be in touch with our own spirit first, because that helps us feel connected to everyone’s spirit.

On the outside, people appear different. People are rich, poor, dark, light, short, tall, big or small, however, our spirit shares the same desires, wishes, hopes and dreams of a happier, healthier, better life. Being mindful and accountable about how we live and how we interact with everyone is the key.

By unlocking the door, we make a commitment to ourselves, to one another and to this beautiful world to be happy and kind. This matters more than anything. We make a decision that respect for ourselves and all of humanity is the single most important thing to attain.

We can achieve this by becoming more mindful of the internal dialogue that criticizes others and ourselves. We can live our lives differently by finding acceptance and applying our human kindness in all that we do! If we want to feel happiness flow from us and to us, we all need to become mindful of the thinker, for the thinker just thinks. We all have the power inside of us to speak to the thinker.

Our spirit — the spirit of our life, the one who knows we are all connected to every living thing — is the one who has the keys to what we know to be true, that we deserve happiness and to live our lives with joy and peace for no other reason than that we are all part of human “kind.” When we make this our primary way of living and being, we will find what we are all looking for. We will replace sorrow and regret with joy and kindness as it resides in our spirit of life, our humankind.

Here are some steps you can implement:

• Make a list of what it means to you to be kind.

• Be aware of the thinker and what it is saying.

• If your thinker is judging something, you can say: “That’s not working for me anymore” or “There’s another way to look at this.”

• Look at your list and choose one kind thing from it.

• Take a breath, close your eyes and visually see this kindness in action.

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