Respect ---> Kindness

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What is the experience that comes before an act of kindness? 


The decisions we make are often a reflection of our values, beliefs, and past experiences. I asked Katy (todays #snapshotofkindness nominee) to tell me a bit about her motivation to be kind. 

 “When you’re able to truly respect the path of others, kindness becomes second nature”. -Katy  

No one experiences life in the exact same way. So much of our perception of others is through the lens of what we know and grew up with.  This awareness allows us to be kind to “unkind” people, because (most likely) they aren't unkind.  Most likely they are communicating their needs in a way that is different than ours.  Hold space for others to be different.  Difference doesn't need to mean “separate”. Difference doesn’t need to equate to someone being right or wrong.



I was introduced to Katy via Janelle:

How Do You Know The Nominee?: Yoga mentor, Life Coach, Inspirational Blogger.

How Has Their Kindness Inspired You?: During our training and afterwards, Katy was very frank about battling her own personal demons and how this struggle inspired her to start a blog for wellness, lifestyle and meditation. It is very inspiring when someone is brave enough to be that open about their life and using their experience to impact and help others. I have been so honored to be her friend, her student, and hope to continue learning from her in the future.

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The goal of Steller Kindness is to bring forward stories of “everyday” impact. It is a reminder that people are experiencing and learning from us, whether we realize it or not. Katy doesn't pretend to be perfect, or paint an illusion that life is easy.  Katy holds a space for people to be people.

What inspires and motivates you to be kind?

As I started seeing myself for who I really am, beautiful flaws and all, I realized that no matter how much I have ever messed up, my heart has always been good. If that was true for me, then wouldn’t it be true of others? We all have misgivings, bad days, have made missteps and ‘bad’ decisions. It’s not my job to judge the actions of others, that’s for the individual to use for their own growth, which will happen at their own pace. My only job is to understand that their heart is the same as mine. Wanting, needing, bleeding. When you’re able to truly respect the path of others, kindness becomes second nature. 

Janelle mentioned that you are an Inspirational Blogger. Tell me more.

When I started out in the ‘wellness’ career I struggled with how much of myself to show. How can I be a lifestyle coach, or meditation and yoga instructor and educator when I also suffer from anxiety and have a past of depression? When I swear and (gulp) sometimes drink too much? I was afraid to let people see the whole of me and ended up creating a lot of internal struggle. I’ve come a long way in my own self-growth, and have a lot of tools to share, but I’m also a normal human, with real struggles. It wasn’t until I gave myself permission to be all of me, the light AND the dark, the grounded AND the untethered, that I felt at peace. Blogging is a way in which I can be my authentic self, where I can shed a little loving light on things like the struggle of being 34 and single in the midwest or learning to embrace the procrastinator within. My hope is that by doing so I can give others the same permission: embrace every part of your personality, past, struggles and soul. It’s only from there that you can truly see what it is that you need.  (Blog can be found on my website: katyqcarlson.com. Just a note: content can be explicit)

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor and your journey to wellness?

Yoga was step one in my own healing. It’s where I understood that I could be okay in a real, true way and I immediately wanted to hold that space for others. This soon became the norm: I’d find something that speaks to and replenishes my soul, then find a way to gift it to those who may need it. When I experience the success and growth of others, my cup is so incredibly filled that I’m driven to continue my own development, which creates this immaculate revolving door of growth, because I then spin what I learn into a way to provide for others who may be experiencing the same struggles. Seane Corn (inspirational yoga instructor) says “If you want to find out where your service is, go to your wounds”. To me there is no greater purpose than to help someone whose shoes I once stood in. To say, ‘I see you, I understand your struggle, and I can help you.’

If you had one piece of advice to give to others about how to spread a little bit of kindness every day, what would that be?

We all know being kind is important. I truly believe that we must hold space for each other and lift each other up in order to have healthy and thriving communities. But, I think what I want to point out is that sometimes, it’s hard. I have days where I wake up and kind of feel like being a miserable bitch. I’m crabby. Sometimes rightfully so and sometimes because it’s Tuesday. And that’s OKAY. However, those are the days when kindness is most important and here’s why: self care. To be kind to others is to RAISE YOUR OWN VIBRATION. Which lowers stress levels, encourages metabolism, as well as the immune and nervous system. Oh, and it makes it easier to be happy. Seriously. So, if you find you’re having a rough day finding that little extra for others, give yourself permission to be a little selfish, be kind to others for YOU.

Want to learn more from Katy? Click here!

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With Love, The Universe

You are receiving this random act of kindness because you are a wonderful women who cares so much about everyone...
— The Universe via a stranger

Social Media is often times filled with stories of division and pain, and the impact of constantly being flooded with despair can take a hit on your outlook of life and humanity.  It is a breathe of fresh air when you stumble across posts like this:

ViVi Hairstudio had a stranger stop in at her salon, and drop off a letter with the instructions to give to her next client. Check out what was in the envelope! 

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Have you experienced a totally random act of kindness? How did it impact you? Send me a message! 

Audrey

Hand-outs to an extent, aren’t effective anymore. Our primary goal should be going others a “hand-across”, valuing them for who they are and not for what you can do for them.
— Audrey Williams
 Snapshot Of Kindness

Snapshot Of Kindness

Have you been inspired by the kindness of someone while scrolling through social media? 

I have never met Audrey in person, but for the past few years she continues to pop up on my social media feed with opportunities to support the NE Minneapolis community. I reached out and asked if she would be willing to share a bit about herself, and the "why's" behind her kindness.

"My name is Audrey D Williams and I am a single mom to two grown daughters, Kharis and Kharita and a son Isaiah who attends Edison High School. I moved to Minesota after the passing of my mom from ovarian cancer. I have been a NE Minneapolis resident since 2003 (I lived in Columbia Heights from 2001-2003). 

I am the CEO/Founder of  TMM Community Resource Services. My passion is working with single moms and providing resources for the homeless community. 
I am employed full-time with Lutheran Social Service as well as being a part-time student at University of Northwestern, pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree.

I love having family gatherings at my home. There are times when I just want to be goofy and make others laugh. I love telling stories.

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My values are rooted in my relationship and faith in God. There are scriptures in the Bible that tells us to care for the widows, orphans and the outcasts. We are to feed the hungry, visit those who are in prison or sick in the hospital and clothe the naked. Those are the principles that I strive to live by daily. 

It doesn’t take a lot to be kind to one another. Kindness can be shown in a myriad of ways. I make it a practice to give kind words to others daily, no matter what I am going through. I would love to see us get to the place where we become a village of people again. What does that mean? Intentionally getting to know our neighbors, forming community group that will rally around those in our community who are struggling just trying to make ends meet; being strategic on how we can effectively help them and build them up at the same time.

Hand-outs to an extent, aren't effective anymore.........the primary goal should be giving others a hand-across, valuing them for who they are and not for what you can do for them.
Lately, I have found so much pleasure in just getting in my car and driving. 

I love 2-3hr road trips where I get to enjoy the beauty of God's nature. It also helps to relieve some of the stress of life." 

Want to get involved? 

Audrey recommends checking out East Side Neighborhood Services!

Let's show up, let's be kind.