Have you seen a kind face or have you shared one today? If not, you are experiencing the same thing I am experiencing lately. The perception that world has gone derailed thinking life is hostile (hence, most people are not to be trusted) Lately,  I’ve been so aware of how kindness is deeply needed. I see it because just a simple smile, a look in the eyes or a short conversation about the weather is like a major gift when I give it. People are hungry for kindness. I’ve been observing the behavior of some of the people that surround me and I can tell that fear is the main operating mode.

I can tell this because that was my go to mode too.
I see it because when that was my mode I found it hard to trust others.
I can feel it because I can sense their defenses, their walls and the other familiar mechanisms I used like avoidance and judgment.

In her latest book, Brene Brown makes mention of the habit of judging others or not believing people are doing the best they can. The data of her social work research shows that people who judge or are fearful of being judged are those who are harder on themselves. I know that too because that was me. I didn’t trust most people and it hurt. This is a burnout precursor because one feels alone and tired when you’re always with your guard “on”

Of course we live in a world were people will “misbehave”, but if you get real honest you’ll see that the “offenses” are minor, we just choose to focus on them and magnify them. In this way the word feels scary and we feel that our judgement is justified. This is the problem with righteousness – it is draining energetically, mentally and emotionally. I know that some people talk more than we’d like to, some are slower or faster than we prefer, others seem clumsy and spacey, and too many maybe rude or too serious. But that is not for you to police. Let them live, because they are actually helping you see something important. If they are annoying you they are showing you something you need to see. You’re “using them” to project something. Kindness is the remedy to this projecting habit. Making stories in your head while you avoid the inner work is the stuff of madness. There are too many people looking out, monitoring others progress, and not looking within. The feeling you get when you are in this operating mode is one of the world is against you and the decision you make, however unconscious, is to give your power to these “guilty” people. You then feel powerless, tired, used, drained….burnout.

What can you do? Acknowledge that you can be kind and wise at the same time. They’re not opposites. To do this we must drop the victim role. We have to follow our hearts, not our fearful habits. The heart is intelligent, it will not guide us wrongly and it will never blame. This is why one of the most important layers of my coaching is the breath initiated movement practice. This type of breathing focuses in your chest (rib cage) and solar plexus, the throne and house of your heart. When used regularly, this breathing techniques help individuals drop that hardness and shield. It often produces a sensation of relief or decompression that expresses itself in tears. I liken it to a pressure cooker when you let the steam out. When unburden by all that heaviness the heart can perform its work as the foundational layer of your intelligence. This is a different intelligence. Like I said, it is wisdom.  This intelligence is being studied by The Heart Math Institute, so it if you need science to show you how this can be I encourage you to look it up.  Science or not, experience will show you that when you connect to it gives you instant results. This intelligence isn’t blurred by past memories and neurotic patterns where you keep connecting new people with people from the past like you’re in some sort of Groundhog Day replay. When the emotional center is healed you arrive at the present moment and feel a lightness and sense of safety that cannot be described, only felt.
So when you catch yourself pointing the finger to the opposite party, the other religion, the annoying coworker, the lazy bum, the mean girl, the crazy boss or the whatever you choose to call your brother, look within, with kindness, but in seriousness too. This isn’t hard, the truth is that it is simple, but it takes practice. I am not a Master at this but I can ensure you that with enough practice you will be advanced enough not to get lost for days in your fearful cerebral mind operating mainly on past unpleasant memories projected onto the present. Slow down and look at how you judge and blame. What are you projecting? Who have you not forgiven? What story are you telling yourself? That person is you..that person is your Guru. Like Ram Dass says treat them like God in drag, because that’s who they are and who you are too. By being kind to others you are more compassionate towards yourself too.
Coach Maria Marcano
You’re too hard on yourself if you are doing this

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