Yesterday, I received Gunilla Norris’ new book, Great Love In Little Ways: Reflections On The Power Of Kindness, This morning I read her first reflection, “The Sunshine In Your Face”. A representative quotation from that piece is:
When two people genuinely smile on one another, they create a mutual radiance. Imagine what this might be like if there were hundreds of thousands of people smiling on one another this way. The world would glow (p. 7)
If past performance is an indicator of future performance, and it often is for most of us, I will read a section of this book, I counted thirty of them, each morning. Each reflection is just a couple of pages, sometimes three, so they are quite manageable. A month from now I will be imbued with thoughts of kindness. Hopefully it will help me to become kinder, even if just a scootch, every day.
Developing a morning “practice” of spending a hour-ish, first thing, focused on what many might call “devotionals”, which Stephen Covey called a “daily private victory”, and what I call…well, I don’t have a catchy name for it. It is just spending dedicated time going deeper each day by reading and writing/reflecting and being contemplatively quiet. That typically will include several short readings, like a reflection from this new book or The Art of Pausing.
This practice has had the effect, over time, of exposing me to profound thinking, powerful new ideas and perspectives, and corking, compelling, as well as subtle, delightful language. I always appreciate a piece of work that has one or two or three words I don’t know and must look up. Stretching…deepening…opening, are all part of this practice of whatchamacallit.
So are the quieting and anchoring and gratitude that then precedes every day.
This whatchamacallit is inexpensive, available to anyone who will carve out 5, 15, or 50 minutes of their day, and – for me anyway – is a simple practice with both daily and lifelong, positive consequences and peace-of-mind.
Tomorrow’s reflection in Great Love In Little Ways is titled “Plain Seeing”. I wonder what I will learn?