If we were having coffee we would find some secluded arbor to really have a heart to heart. Once comfortably settled, iced coffees or lattes in hand, I might ask you: “Do you find it easier to show kindness to others than to yourself?” Over here, a resounding yes!

This week marked my personal entry into the kindness challenge, seven weeks of focusing on various aspects of benevolence. Although meshing so well with the summer theme of living with intention, sometimes, the most worthwhile endeavors get off to the bumpiest start, especially seven days of being kind to myself.

For nearly two decades I have poured my life into my husband, my kids, the church and homeschool community….the needs of everyone else took precedence above my own. Many times this seemed necessary. When my husband was taking symphony orchestra auditions I did everything I could to support him and ease his way during a difficult and stressful time. During the baby and toddler years I didn’t have a good support network so any breaks or moments personal time were very few and far between. And the pattern has continued to the present day. Somewhere in my life an unhealthy balance set in. I became the person you could walk all over, exhausted, resentful, and burned out.

Focusing on self kindness for seven days really turned the spotlight on all the negativity galloping around in my head. Disgruntled with how I look, convicted each morning of my laziness, guilt ridden that my homeschool is much more relaxed than filled with hard core academics. Parenting shortfalls are biting me in the behind, foolishly entered commitments are hard on my heals, lack of boundaries and communication skills have created a toxic soup in at least one relationship…where is there room for self kindness in all of this?

There is always room for love, room for compassion, room for light to shine in the darkness. As long as two people are living and breathing there is hope for restoration and rebuilding of healthy relationship.

The place where I am learning that I am worthy of love in on the yoga mat. It is a haven of non-judgement, of acceptance, of being enough in the moment as I am. It is a place to be still and listen to God, to breathe in His love and breath out the toxicity of past and present.

This week was one of small victories. Observing where I am and planning a route to where I want to be. Equipping myself with tools to replace negative habits with positive one. Establishing relationships that support me in this journey. Giving a light of hope for the future.

Thank you for joining me for coffee. What have you learned this week?