Friday, April 27, 2007

Practical Tips for " Modeling Your Message

from the book Above All, Be Kind by Zoe Weil

1) Find or create a practice that helps you to deeply connect with your true self, your soul, your deepest beliefs. This might happen through meditation, prayer, time in nature, conscious physical exercise (such as yoga or Tai Chi) or journal writing. Commit to a practice every day, even if it is only a few minutes.

2) Before you go to sleep each night, take stock or your day. Observe in your mind's eye the choices you made. Ask yourself: "What did I learn? For what am I grateful? What could I have done better?"

3) Make the words "My life is my message" a mantra.

4) With your spouse, a friend or a group of parents share your progress toward living more humanely. Commit to meeting once a week to once a month to support each other in your efforts

5) Acknowledge your feelings! If you find yourself wanting to toss your recyclables in the trash, stop at McDonald's rather than fix a nutritious meal for your family, buy a product tested on animals, not give more to a worthy charity drive---whatever the impulse or desire---ask yourself "What is my underlying feeling?" You may have to ask yourself this a few times to uncover the deepest level of truth. Let yourself really feel whatever emotions make you want to make choices that are not in the best interests of you, your children or the world. Give the feeling voice; let it be heard in your heart and mind and soul. Then...

6) Ask yourself what your really want, what you really yearn for, what is really important to you.

7) Breathe deeply and weigh the competing emotions. Make a conscious decision about your choices. Don't permit yourself to rationalize. Acknowledge your feelings in response to your decisions, be they decisions stemming from desires or fears or from kindness and compassion.

8) Judge without being judgmental. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Your kindness toward and acceptance of yourself despite all your imperfections will almost paradoxically, allow you to make more humane choices.

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