What Is Kindness and How Do We Practice It

What is kindness?” is perhaps a question we want to ask ourselves more frequently. I say this because I overhear people speaking to each other in an unkindly manner all-too-often.

What IS kindness? According to Webster, it is nothing more than being sympathetic, generous, friendly, gentle, loving, tenderhearted, and affectionate. Sometimes, we are better at these ways of being to strangers than we are to those we have been with for a long time. I wonder why that is…

Perhaps, it is because we have grown tired of the relationship and the other person. Or, maybe it’s because we are feeling grumpy at the point in time that we are unkind and we think it’s okay to take it out on the one we love the most. Is that fair? Probably not…

So how do we prevent that? We learn about ourselves more, about our tendencies to blow up at another when we’re irritable, or not getting what we want. We do our self-appraisal and we make amends, when appropriate. We begin to consciously practice all the ways that Webster defines kindness, as I’ve listed above.

Then there is the issue of how we treat ourselves, which is often harsher than how we treat others. We call ourselves stupid, for example, when we make a mistake.

How do we practice kindness, you ask? The answer to that is that, perhaps, we don’t. But we can, simply by choosing to look at another with respect, tolerance, and love, so that kindness just naturally flows from that point. It may not be a simple matter for us to do that, in which case, we can work on that. It’s practice, not perfection.

What is kindness to ourselves and how do we practice that? First, we can begin to note our negative self-talk. Then, we fetch ourselves up shortly when we are talking to ourselves in an unkind manner. We remind ourselves that we want to treat ourselves differently – with more kindness. So, we replace the negative criticism with some compassion, perhaps, or we pay ourselves a compliment for what we DID do right or well. With practice, we can change our interior thought-world.

When we learn to be kinder to others and ourselves, we will have just that much more chance of getting and staying sober, and we will begin to feel more peace.

I just have one question and it happens to be the verse from my book which goes with the photo above. “If this is not the time to be kinder and gentler to each other and to ourselves, when will it be?” 





Altering Your Mind with Inspirational Quotes About Life

It’s hard to think that inspirational quotes about life can alter your mind. Usually, when we think of mind-altering, we think of substances like drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.

These substances bring us a euphoria, an escape from emotional pain and stress. It is with these that we get away from the demons in our mind, sometimes engaging in their use until we are numb and can no longer feel. This can occur when we are experiencing deep emotional wounds.

At the very least, this behavior of over-indulging can be self-destructive, especially if substances are used for the purpose of numbing. At its best and in moderation, altering our minds with substances gives us a bit of a respite – a breather, so-to-speak. Is this not the same thing we would all like to feel when we get stressed from the daily trials and tribulations?

Instead of using substances, consider that we can alter our mind with inspirational quotes about life. We hear the words of another, whether that person is famous or not, and we relate to them at a deep, personal level. They resonate with our being. Ah, a connection is made.

The words bring us hope – hope of better times, hope of release of stress in our mind. Often, the quotes are strong enough to bring forth empowerment. When this occurs, we are inspired  to take action on our behalf.



Stirring inspirational quotes about life bring us to compassion for ourselves and others. The words can lead us to want to show concern and empathy for those in our world.

Inspirational quotes about life lead us to gratitude as we express our thankfulness. We begin to feel oneness with others and ourselves, as we open our hearts.

It is that feeling of oneness that arises when we read these inspirational quotes that is so sacred, so spiritual in nature. Perhaps, allowing in the spirituality of the quotes changes our mind chemistry, such that it alters our mood.

So, the next time you have a need to alter your mind, try some inspirational quotes about life. Bask in the hope, the compassion, the gratitude you find, and experience that feeling of oneness with yourself and the world.





Introspect Can Lead Us To Harmony With Ourselves and Others

“When do we take the time to just listen to the breeze, the quietness, the ramblings of our mind, or the world around us? When do we simply rest, quietly connecting with ourselves and all that is vast and wondrous around and within us?”

Perhaps, we don’t take this time. Yet, it is so important to participate in introspect and self-reflection. We are always bustling, moving quickly from one activity to the next, watching TV or listening to music, never taking the time to sit quietly with ourselves.

This is such an important activity in which to engage, as it allows us to become centered, grounded. Introspect allows us to examine our thoughts, our beliefs, our actions and our interactions with others. Introspect allows us to determine if we have approached ourselves and others with love.

It is a time of sitting idle to allow ourselves to observe what is happening in the world around us, and to determine how we fit in. Activities such as meditation and yoga provide a framework in which to practice introspection.

Other activities might include sitting on the bank of a lake, river, or the ocean, allowing our thoughts to follow the meandering, rhythmic movements of the water. Or, we can sit on our front porch and watch the activity around us.

The benefit of taking time alone, without noise distraction, is a great connection with our innermost self. We can reach that part of us which is love. From that point, we can them touch others with harmony and love. We become available to ourselves and others when we practice introspect.

Post a comment, telling us what the ways are in which you practice introspect and self-reflection? What are the benefits you reap?



Inspirational Sayings About Love

Acknowledgment of Others

At long last, I return to the blog. I took the last topic of patience and really put it to the test. Perhaps I have lost some of you… that is my fear. If not, thank you for your patience. It’s appropriate that today’s topic is acknowledgment, as I wish to acknowledge my lack of writing for almost a month.

I was in Pennsylvania from the end of May until June 6th. Since my return, I have been unable to sit down and write. I have had trouble getting back into my work routine, period. I have taken three weeks to pull together  documentation for an application to a health care program. In the process, I learned to do a profit and loss statement for my business, so it turned out to be positive.

As a review, what we are doing with this blog is this: In my blog, I write on the topics that are in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, in the order in which they appear in the book. We are going from fear, worthlessness, sorrow, and despair, through discovery and awareness, to lessons learned about how to treat ourselves and others. Finally, we reach joy and peace. It is a chronicle of my own journey from the depths of despair and praying to die, to wholeness and happiness, joy and peace. I’m glad you’re joining me on the journey.

I have to acknowledge that one reason I have procrastinated is because I am uncomfortable writing the blog using my new keyword phrases, inspirational sayings about…, inspirational quotes about… Sometimes, they just don’t fit. Sometimes, I feel uncomfortable using them from blog to blog. I am concerned about what you, the reader, will think. Will you get impatient with it? I have to get past that as I am on page 1 in Google because of using those keywords and phrases. This reaches a large segment of people with which I would like to connect. So please have patience with me as I continue this practice.

On with acknowledgment… In the book, there are inspirational sayings about love, about how we can show love by acknowledging others. “We go within so we can reach out to others, and we reach out to others so we can go within,” is one such example. “We need to matter to each other, and to ourselves,” is another.  I think it’s important to acknowledge another… a smile to one on the street, a clerk waiting on a customer, a response to a loved one when they are talking. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated, but it is so important to show love and respect to others, and this is one way to do that.

In our, perhaps, haste to acknowledge others, we sometimes forget to show the same love and respect to ourselves. We brush aside our hurts, our pains, and do not take the time to feel them, grieving for what it is we have lost, giving importance to our feelings. They are not wrong, they are just what is. Once we can experience them, acknowledge them, we can heal from them, and gain the higher benefit from the experience. I think, too, that once we share what we are feeling, it makes us more human to others. We can all relate and connect at that place of hurt, as we have all experienced it. It is a part of living, a part of being human.

We can watch ourselves, as we go through our days, giving acknowledgment to others, remembering to offer it to ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts. We can remember to acknowledge ourselves when paid a compliment, also. So often, perhaps, embarrassed, or not feeling worthy, we brush it off. Does that not  negate the other person’s thoughts and feelings, showing them disrespect? Does that not belittle our strengths and who we are? Just some thoughts on quotes about life…




Learn to be Patient and Wait For the Evolution of Life

Inspirational Story about Patience
Early in sobriety, I was encouraged to learn the art of patience, to watch and wait for the evolution of life without forcing it. How does one do that who has raced around and forced everything their whole life ?  How do I learn to be patient? I was at a loss to know.

Like the patina’s growth on the gate, we’re asked to be patient while it forms. In this case, we’re asked to slow down, to patiently watch and wait as life unfolds. That is not to say we lay idle. Oh, no. We are still asked to take action on those things which come across our path that we are intended to do, that feed our soul. But then we must let go and let life unfold.

How can we take action while we still wait for the evolution of life? The point it, we do take the action, and then we turn our attention to something else, to the next thing that has crossed our path. We wait to see the results of our labor, but we don’t stop our lives while we wait. Eventually, life has a way of working itself out, if we can be patient while that occurs.

Sometimes, we may believe that our efforts in one area have been fruitless. Sometimes, it takes days, or even years, for a result of our efforts to be known. Do not be discouraged or go into despair during these times when patience is needed. Know that life will work out to our betterment, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Let it roll off the moments of time in a natural way. Practice patience while that happens.

How do we know when we are being patient? It’s a feeling in our being. It is one of quietness, gentleness. Angst and worry are absent. We can let the results go, without getting wigged out, without that tight feeling in our gut. We know we are being patient about our lives when we can turn our attention to our next endeavor, without angst or regret or wondering.

Do you display patinece while you’re waiting for the evolution of life?


Carolyn CJ Jones is the award-winning author, photographer, and publisher  of the book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. If you are celebrating a transitional journey you have navigated, if you would like to embark upon such a journey, or if you are in the middle of one and struggling, you will find yourself in the book’s pages. You will want to experience in your own journey what Carolyn has experienced in hers. This book uses a collection of inspirational sayings and quotes about life, which, when coupled with photographs of wrought-iron gates, shows one soul’s way to inner peace. Carolyn resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her feral cat, Izzy.



Inspirational Sayings That Can Help Change Hopelessness to Hope

Many people go from great despair and depression to hopelessness; they go hand in hand, it seems. It is possible to find inspirational sayings that help change hopelessness to hope, but we have to be in the right mind-set for them to sink in. Often, when we feel hopeless, we are not able let anything in – we are too exhausted emotionally to hear anything, too depressed to care, too bereft to sort out what is coming our way.

For me, hopelessness was a feeling that there was no use to live, no purpose to my life. I was totally listless and had no belief that things would get better. In fact, I felt so hopeless, I prayed to die. I found my thought that things could not get better, to be untrue, however. Hope crept in…

I am an inspirational sayings and quote kinda gal, and I found inspirational quotes about life that helped turn my hopelessness around. I just kept reading quotes. I also did a lot of recovery work involving much reading, and I was taking what I read and applying it to my situation.

Because of my work with sobriety, I reached out to help another and, through that action, discovered that the painful events of my lifetime had meaning and purpose. I discovered that when I relayed my story to another who was in pain, and humbly offered what I have found that helped me through it, he expressed gratitude for me sharing; he said it was very helpful to him.

As I processed what had happened, I realized that my painful experiences in life had been necessary so I could relate to this person’s pain and have compassion. I realized they were for the purpose of sharing them and the solutions I have found to heal from them. Suddenly, I had purpose! My life had purpose. I felt useful to others. It was this realization that led me to come out of despair and to feel hope. In fact, I have not felt hopeless since that day. What a blessing; such a gift.

I think when we do for others, we can recognize that tender part of our heart. Seeing that in ourselves, it resonates with what we would like to be in the world – perhaps kindness, perhaps giving.  And we begin to say to ourselves that a person with a tender part in their heart cannot be all bad or worthless. That is a redeeming quality. Ah, a beacon of hope .

“May a ray of light across the bars of your being light your way, instill hope in your heart.” That is for those who struggle with hopelessness, worthlessness and is a modification of what is in the book, as I made it about you, and not me.  I like Kathryn Hepburn’s words, “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.” And I add, including yourself. Don’t throw anyone out, including yourself.

So move forward with intention (the aim of the root to anchor and the leaf to find the sun) and provide kindness to another (kindness-the touch of an innocent heart on the broken wing of a fallen bird).  Go with courage (the will to act in the face of fear guided by trust and the knowing of the moment) and go with trust (the arm that reaches through apparent circumstances and holds steadfast to identify with Source).