Preview of Coming Attractions: A YEAR OF LIVING KINDLY – the Book!

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” (Dalai Lama)

It was just over three years ago when I started this blog. My intent at the time was to spend a year learning all I could about kindness—about what it is and isn’t, how to live a kind life, why to live a kind life, and the science behind it all. My hope was that at the end of 2015 I would be a kinder person; if so, I would consider the effort to have been successful.

I’m happy to say the year was life-changing, though the changes may only have been evident to myself. I have not become a paragon of kindness. I can still be bitchy and cranky and oblivious, but those occurrences are less frequent. I am kinder, and I am so much more aware of kindness all around me. I am also happier.

While he’s never actually admitted it, I believe my husband hoped when I wrapped up 2015 I would set a different intention for 2016: a year of learning to vacuum or a year of reading all the books I buy and surround myself with.

Many of you, who’ve been following this blog since the early days, encouraged me to continue writing about kindness. A few of you even suggested I take it a step further and write a book. I ignored my husband and listened to you—and for that, I thank you!

It’s taken some time, but I am thoroughly elated to report that A YEAR OF LIVING KINDLY—the book—will be published in September 2018! I have signed with a wonderful publisher, She Writes Press, and am working with their amazing team to produce a book that I hope will contribute in some small way to spreading kindness and restoring civility on this planet we all share.

Whether you’ve been reading this blog since day-one or only since last week, I want to thank you for being a part of this journey. Those of you who have written comments or engaged in conversation with me have helped me to explore and refine my thoughts about kindness. You’ve challenged me to lean in and to dive deeper, and your presence has held my feet to the fire on more than one occasion.

As our worldwide need for kindness becomes critical, I look forward to sharing with you a continued commitment to kindness. We can counter the incivility, cynicism, and unkindness that pervades . . . one action at a time, one choice at a time.

A year of living kindly is not something one does and then moves on to the next thing. Kindness turned out to be a path, not a destination, and it’s a path I want to continue to follow up until the day I breathe my last, probably surrounded by books.

“The way we live our life is our spiritual practice—no more, no less, nothing but, nothing else.” (Robert Corin Morris)

Worthy New Year Intentions…

Attribution: Donna CameronIf you are setting intentions for the year ahead, may I suggest starting with Neil Gaiman? On New Year’s Eve, the splendid author and visionary often shares his hopes for the world and its inhabitants in the coming year. He doesn’t do it every year, but often enough that it is something to look forward to and savor, like the very best piece of chocolate—the one you saved for last, and it was just as good as you hoped it would be.

It’s been my own tradition since starting this blog to share one of Mr. Gaiman’s New Year messages as we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another. It’s always hard to choose—each one speaks to me on a different level and touches my heart in a different way. You can read several of them on this page of his website. As 2017 sputters toward closure, I’m sharing the message Gaiman wrote for 2015, with hopes that it will touch you, too:

“Be kind to yourself in the year ahead. Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand. Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin. Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them. Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.”

~Neil Gaiman