Friday, January 31, 2014

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: A Challenge for My Family and Myself

At the end of December, I selected my guiding word for 2014: Compassion. I wrote very little on my blog for most of January as I focused on what compassion means for me and how to begin sharing my journey with others. 

I decided focusing on 14 Days of Loving-Kindness in February might be a good start. The dictionary definition of compassion doesn't quite capture what compassion means to me: 1) a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.; 2) sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

Feeling compassion for someone or acting compassionately, for me, involves feeling loving-kindness toward that person or expressing kindness for a person that is rooted in love. 

For me, compassion requires empathy, not sympathy.

I fully expect the next two weeks to be a transformative experience for me. Each day, I'll focus my compassion toward a different individual and am preparing a way for my sons to also do this. 

There's a list for them, and a list for me. Join in if you'd like -- everyday or every now and then. 

I seek a depth of experience in each day's acts and hope to find ways to truly act from a place of love and understanding and to help my sons do this as well. At times, since the lists overlaps, I expect we'll do one act together as a family, but at other times, the acts will differ. 

The list for myself. 
The list for my sons, which Wild Thing (4) helped me design! 

I fully expect that on some days the act will require working toward an internal transformation -- a deeper understanding of another or of a negative feeling I hold and of the need to let that feeling go. I hope to come out of this experience more able to walk through the world with patience and understanding toward others. 

I hope you'll join me -- even if only on a few select days. If you do, I'd love for you to share your act with me either by commenting on the blog, or through Facebook, G+ or Twitter. If you use the hashtag #Compassion2014, I'll find it! And, if you'd like a PDF of the prompts, just ask. I'll happily send you one! 

P.S. Click here for an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's Peace is Every Step that expands on love and compassion.

Sharing at: Sharing Saturday and We Love Weekends.

Related posts:
Teaching Empathy through Sibling Play
Raising Boys to be Good Men
The Gratitude Shift


  1. Love this. It is so important to live deliberately with kindness and compassion. It helped me last year when I did a month of reading children's books that focused on fostering kindness. I saw great changes in both my daughter and myself. (Here is a list of what we ended up reading- .) Looking forward to reading your entries on how you showed compassion each day. I'll share this to my Facebook page.

  2. This is a wonderful idea! I think sometimes the idea of aware compassion gets buried in day-to-day life. This is a way to really focus on it and be intentional about it.

  3. Wonderful idea. I enjoy your blog.

  4. Wonderful idea and great blog!

  5. How neat and such a blessing for sure!

  6. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  7. Lovely idea! thanks for sharing! ~mari