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TitleA Year of Living Kindly
File Size3.9 MB
Total Pages219
Table of Contents
                            Cover Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Introduction: The World Could Use More Kindness
The Season of Discovery
	I. Understanding Kindness
		1. Being Nice Isn’t the Same as Being Kind
		2. If I Were Always Kind, I Wouldn’t Be Doing This
		3. The Chasm between Kindness and Unkindness
		4. Kindness and Indifference Cannot Coexist
	II. Why Kindness Matters: Its Benefits and Power
		5. Perform Two Acts of Kindness and Call Me in the Morning
		6. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo: Kindness Alleviates Social Anxiety
		7. An Epidemic of Our Own Choosing
		8. The Business Case for Kindness
	III. Opening Strategies for a Kind Life
		9. The Power of the Pause
		10. Kindness Means Suspending Judgment
		11. Kindness and Keeping Score
		12. “Kill Transform ’em with Kindness”: A Lesson from My Mother
		13. Dancing with Discovery: Taking Time to Notice the Kindness in Your Life
The Season of Understanding
	I. Barriers to Kindness
		14. When Fear Gets in the Way of Kindness
		15. When We Don’t Have Time for Kindness
		16. I Don’t Have the Patience for This!
		17. Other Barriers to Kindness
	II. Resistance to Kindness
		18. Rejecting Kindness
		19. On the Receiving End of Kindness
		20. It All Starts with Kindness to Self
		21. No Kindness Is Ever Too Small
	III. Opening Our Lives to Kindness
		22. Kindness and Abundance: Enough Is Enough!
		23. Gratitude Is a Companion to Kindness
		24. Kindness and Generosity: It’s Not All about Money
		25. Pay Attention: Kindness Requires Presence
		26. Dancing with Understanding: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
The Season of Choosing
	I. The Tools of Kindness
		27. A Life of Kindness Requires Courage
		28. Kindness and Curiosity
		29. Kindness and Vulnerability
		30. Choosing to Be For or Against
	II. Choosing Kindness
		31. What Do You Want Your Legacy to Be?
		32. Extending Kindness to All: Kindness Isn’t Selective or Conditional
		33. Oh, the Stories We Tell!
		34. What Are You Looking For (Really)?
	III. Dealing with Unkindness
		35. Big Bullies
		36. Little Bullies: Where It All Begins
		37. Bystanding . . . or Standing Up for Kindness?
		38. Choosing Our Cyber-Voices and Media Companions
		39. Dancing with Yes: Dance like No One’s Watching
The Season of Becoming
	I. Challenges to Kindness
		40. When My Kindness Is Your “Yuck!”
		41. What If I Don’t Feel Like Being Kind?
		42. Being Kind to People We Don’t Like
		43. I’m Just Sayin’. . . Honesty Isn’t Always Kind
		44. When the Kindest Thing to Do Is . . . Absolutely Nothing
	II. Creating a Kinder World
		45. A Transformation or an Evolution? The Five Percent Plan
		46. What We Want Most for Our Kids
		47. Kindness to the Earth and All Its Creatures
		48. Strategies for Bringing Kindness into Your Life
	III. Living Kindness Every Day: Your Kindness Legacy
		49. Kind Actions That Cost Nothing and Take Little Time
		50. A Dozen Reasons to Choose Kindness
		51. The Lessons of Kindness
		52. The Never-Ending Dance: A Kindness Manifesto
About the Author
Document Text Contents
Page 109


Mindfulness Fosters Compassion
There is research from Jon Kabat-Zinn1 and others that mindfulness cultivates
compassion and altruism. Experiments2 have shown that mindfulness training
makes people more likely to recognize and help others—even strangers—in
need. It’s a matter of having our eyes open and seeing what’s in front of us. If
we’re present for our lives—paying attention—we’re going to recognize when
our gifts are needed: a smile, a word of kindness, a proffered hand.

It’s true for self-kindness, too. If we are aware and awake to our lives, we are
more likely to recognize that we are tired and need to rest, or that we are stressed
and need to pause. As we cultivate awareness of our own lives, we will be better
able to recognize and respond to the needs of others. We can’t live a life of
kindness toward others if we are not kind to ourselves.

And it all begins with the simple act of choosing to be present, and choosing
again and again what we will pay attention to.

Kindness in Action: Can you think of a time when you missed something wonderful (not necessarily
big, but wonderful) because you were either oblivious or absorbed in your device or smartphone?
Have you—like so many of us—all too often allowed the urgent to crowd out the important in your
life? Are there boundaries you could set (and keep!) that would help you to stay present and aware
throughout your day? Try it for just one day, and see what happens. Also for just a day, or a week,
cultivate a practice of pausing to pay attention to what you’re feeling. Do you need to rest, to eat, to
breathe, or even to just have a few moments of quiet? Give yourself that gift, and see how it feels.

Page 110

Chapter 26:

Dancing with Understanding: Two Steps Forward,

One Step Back

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” (Dalai Lama)


Page 218

About the Author

Author photo © Bill Wiederkehr

Donna Cameron has spent her career working with nonprofit organizations and
causes—as an executive, consultant, trainer, and volunteer. She has seen
kindness in action and been awed by its power to transform. When she
committed to a year of living kindly she considered herself a reasonably nice
person (with occasional lapses into bitchiness), but she knew that true kindness
was a step above—and over the course of that year, she learned that it takes
practice, patience, and understanding . . . not to mention a sense of humor. The
recipient of multiple writing awards, Cameron has published numerous articles
and, in 2011, coauthored (with Kristen Leathers) One Hill, Many Voices: Stories
of Hope and Healing. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Donna now lives in
a suburb of Seattle with her husband.

Page 219

Selected Titles From She Writes Press

She Writes Press is an independent publishing company
founded to serve women writers everywhere.

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Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan. $16.95, 978-1-63152-113-
3. Transforming intention into action, equips you to shed your baggage, bridging the gap
between where you are and where you want to be—body, mind, and spirit—and empowering you to step
into joy-filled living

Think Better. Live Better. 5 Steps to Create the Life You Deserve by Francine Huss. $16.95, 978-1-938314-
66-7. With the help of this guide, readers will learn to cultivate more creative thoughts, realign their
mindset, and gain a new perspective on life.

This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life by Patti Clark.
$16.95, 978-1-63152-028-0. A story of healing for women who yearn to lead a fuller life, accompanied by a
workbook designed to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness
their creative power.

Stop Giving it Away: How to Stop Self-Sacrificing and Start Claiming Your Space, Power, and Happiness
by Cherilynn Veland. $16.95, 978-1-63152-958-0. An empowering guide designed to help women break
free from the trappings of the needs, wants, and whims of other people—and the self-imposed limitations
that are keeping them from happiness.

Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness by Cheryl Rice. $16.95, 978-1-
63152-917-7. Rice’s universally relatable story of how her mother’s sudden death launched her on a journey
into the deepest parts of grief— and, ultimately, toward love and wholeness.

Body 2.0: Finding My Edge Through Loss and Mastectomy by Krista Hammerbacher Haapala. An
authentic, inspiring guide to reframing adversity that provides a new perspective on preventative
mastectomy, told through the lens of the author’s personal experience.

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