Tag Archives: kindness

“Mindfulness helps us to set boundaries by revealing what makes us unhappy and what brings us peace.” ~ Sharon Salzberg

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Mindfulness is a big buzzword these days.

It’s being equated with thoughtfulness and kindness, those so-called “goody-goody” qualities that ultimately, many people in the world believe, make you a doormat.

Yes, mindfulness does tend to make you more thoughtful and kind, but it also allows you to see very clearly when you’re being violated.

Mindfulness is, simply put, being aware. Aware, like eyes wide open awake.

Mindfulness will make you fierce. Fierceness is not unkindness. It is making sure your boundaries are not being violated.

Boundaries are the lines that define what hurts you and what makes you feel good.

Whether you like it or not, people will step on and cross your boundaries, intentionally or unintentionally.

This is when mindfulness becomes very important–because only when you are aware/awake will you realize that you’re being violated.

And this is when the fierceness of being mindful comes into play.

A strong, firm “NO” to harming and hurting you is showing yourself kindness.

Kindness is not being dumb, because before we can be kind to others, we must first practice kindness with ourselves.

Kindness to ourselves is not as automatic as we think it is. It takes a great deal of self-awareness–mindfulness– to practice kindness to ourselves.

Our very human needs–for love, comfort, admiration, warmth, appreciation, the need to alleviate loneliness–can be so overwhelming to the point that we lose sight of our boundaries. In the search for comfort, sometimes we end up being unkind to ourselves and allow ourselves to be harmed.

Yesterday, the antiselfie read with dismay about a woman asking for advice. She said her boyfriend was asking her to have sex with other men. She wasn’t sure where this was leading, and the mere fact she was asking for advice showed that she knew this was not an ordinary request that she could comfortably accommodate.

It was painful to see how unmindful, unaware and unawake this woman was, understandably blinded by love and a need to please her man.

The advice given was, of course, to run away as fast as she can, because the guy was obviously not out to love her, much less protect her wellbeing and welfare. We can all say “duh” but in fact…

We are all, in varying degrees, like this woman.

In the desire to love and be loved, to seek comfort, affection and warmth, to please those we love, to help make life good for others–all healthy motives– we end up blind and unhealthily sacrificing our own peace and wellbeing.

We end up being unable to say “no” to harm, abuse, deception and bad deals.

This is not the path of kindness or love. This is the path to enabling harm to ourselves.

Mindfulness is the GPS that will tell you when things are going the wrong way.

Have you ever experienced doing something that you knew might hurt you in the end? Did it bring you a sense of peace or discomfort? Do you know how peace feels like? Mindfulness will teach you the difference between the sensation of peace and unhappiness, and help you protect yourself from harm. 

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~ Jack Kornfield

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We here at the antiselfie advocate kindness towards others to replace the narcissism behind the selfie culture on social media.

But we’d like to pause and remind you:

Kindness to others must begin with kindness to self.

The antiselfie has learned, and continues to learn, this lesson in the hardest ways possible.

We all want to be kind to others. But what do we do when others do not reciprocate, or worse, abuse our kindness?

Then we retreat, and start showing ourselves kindness through practicing self-respect.

Self-respect means honoring pain, boundaries and limits, and listening to the internal or external “ouch” and not dismissing it. To do so is to show kindness to yourself. Your self is sending you a message to care for yourself. Listen to it.

One good question to ask yourself to determine if someone is abusing you, or showing you unacceptable behavior : “Would I allow anyone to treat my child (or any child) that way?”

If the answer is no, then the offending behavior should not be allowed to continue. This may mean leaving a situation or person, reporting the situation or person to authorities, seeking help from trusted people to deal with the abusive person or situation.

Then do something to actively soothe yourself. Take a walk in nature. Soak in the tub. Cook your favorite healthy meal. Do yoga. Talk to a trusted, kind person.

Anything that sends yourself the message that “You are loved. You deserve kindness , care and gentleness. Your well-being is important.”

Like all practices, kindness starts with yourself.

Not knowing to care for yourself, you will be unable to care for others.

Not knowing how to honor your own boundaries, others will end up abusing you.

Not knowing to show compassion for yourself when you’re in pain, you will be unable to show genuine compassion for others, and unable to recognize their pain.

When you show yourself kindness and are able to care for and respect yourself, the ability to be kind, caring and respectful to others arises naturally.

Kindness does not mean being a doormat.

In what ways do you care for yourself? In what ways do you encourage your well-being? Do you hear, and listen, when that small voice inside you sends you a message of pain? 

Here are other good resources on self-compassion:

http://www.becomingwhoyouare.net/2014/01/five-foundations-self-kindness/

http://selfcompassion.org/

Pope Francis On How To Use The Internet

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Yes, that’s the head of the Catholic church posing for a selfie with a fan. It’s a great picture that just shows how in touch this Pope is with people.

The news headlines were full of Pope Francis’ blessing bestowed upon the internet, calling it a “gift of God.”

But let’s not forget the rest of his statement. Pope Francis had, in effect, issued guidelines on good Intenet usage and online behavior!

“The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us.”

Translation: Get your face off your smartphone and talk to real people, will you?

He called for communications in the digital era to be like “a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts.”

Translation: Quit trolling, trolls! Haters, stop hating! More antiselfies please! (Antiselfies – content that promote kindness, gratitude, compassion and universal values that comfort others, opposite of self-obsession and narcissism, best demonstrated by relentless selfie-taking and posting.)

“May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful neighbors to those wounded and left on the side of the road.”

Translation: Enough of this junky, dime-a-dozen content showing photoshopped worldly materialism. Let’s use the internet to help those who need help, like the weak and vulnerable people of society.

Have you checked your postings today? Are you using this “gift from God” in a way that benefits others?

Read more about Pope Francis’s comments on the internet:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-internet-is-a-gift-from-god/

Dove’s Short Film “Selfie” : Mixed Feelings because “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

So Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign came out with a short film called “Selfie.” It’s gone viral.

It’s about young women and their mothers taking selfies and basically admiring their selfies. But really, it’s about accepting your own brand of unretouched beauty, instead of the standards of beauty that we are bombarded with, by media’s airbrushed images.

The antiselfie recognizes that there is merit in this. Of course.

But what if…the campaign for real beauty finally tackles the kind of beauty that no beauty bar, not even my favorite Dove white unscented for sensitive skin, can ever, ever touch?

Let’s not kid ourselves. This campaign for real beauty is still, at end of the day, a Dove commercial. And like a lot of commercials, it’s a kind of brainwash, that’s been set on the delicate cycle.

How about we get really revolutionary and talk about real beauty, the kind Kahlil Gibran speaks of? The kind of beauty that’s not attached to the possibility of brand loyalty and customers for life, and needs no marketing dollars to produce?

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Some of the most beautiful people I know attract a lot of friends and followers of all genders and sexual orientation, of different political persuasions.

Many of them wear no makeup, are bald or have white hair, have wrinkled skin, and are past 60.

Many of them are monks, nuns, priests, or the types who’ve outgrown traditional models of beauty.

Their beauty comes from being really, really deep down kind. No selfies or Dove soap needed.

How about launching a campaign for THAT kind of REAL beauty?

Alarming Trend: Self-Harming Selfies on the Rise

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A report says more and more young people in the U.K. are posting disturbing pictures on Instagram or sending them via Snapchat that show them hurting themselves.

The report says young people post the self-harming selfies because they feel they have “no one else to turn to.” Commenting on these selfies may produce feelings of validation and encouragement of the behavior.

A guest in a British television show, who has been cutting herself for 11 years, explains that she does this to “shock” herself out of feeling low, and as a form of “release.”

The gruesome selfies can elicit competitiveness among other self-harmers who view them. They may try and outdo the cutting, said mental health experts.

Others may bully or troll the self-harmers, which in turn may create even more motivation for self-harming.

Self-harming is violence. It is just as bad as committing violence on others. Kindness MUST start with one’s self.

The antiselfie is shocked and saddened by this trend. It MUST stop.

If you are a self-harmer, please seek help from people you trust. This is not healthy for you.

If you see a self-harming selfie, please do not bully, shame, encourage or copy the person who posted it. If you know the person who posted a self-harming selfie, please help them. Suggested options would be: contacting the school counselor and asking for advice on how to deal with it, and how to help the self-harmer. 

More on this disturbing story here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2544055/The-disturbing-rise-SELF-HARM-selfies-Teenagers-posting-gruesome-images-online-no-one-turn-to.html

“You are hereby fined $1 per selfie on charges of self-obsession. ” ~ The Selfie Police

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“On behalf of humanity, you are hereby fined $1 per selfie on charges of self-obsession. All the money goes to fund education for kids who can’t afford college, let alone a $600 self-indulgence device. Donate and join us. Police your friends. There’s a lot of work to be done. Together we can turn vanity into charity.” ~ The Selfie Police’s booking statement

The antiselfie wants to laugh and cry at the same time, as it reads about the Selfie Police.

The Selfie Police is a new program that rides on people’s self-confessed, unabashed vanity to raise funds for impoverished kids who can’t afford to go to college, reports Elite Daily.

It’s so simple, it’s brilliant. (Laughcry here.) For every selfie you snap, you donate a dollar to help poor kids go to college.

The program is of course, voluntary. With the bajillion selfies taken around the word every single day, there really is potential for raising bajillion dollars.

“When we first came up with the idea we were trying to think of how to engage our generation in giving. It’s tricky because we’re such a selfish generation, so the question we asked was not how do we make our generation charitable, but how do we turn selfishness into charity. That’s where Selfie Police was born.” Chas Barton told the Norwich Bulletin.

“We want to engage our generation in helping other kids our age dealing with the same sorts of issues, trying to go to college and school, but who just don’t have the same opportunities we do.”

The concept is praiseworthy. But at the risk of sounding like an obstructionist harpie, the antiselfie has a few observations about this scheme.

First, we reiterate: we LOVE raising funds and helping others. Especially underserved kids aspiring for higher education. In fact, this is the antiselfie’s advocacy, when we aren’t blogging about selfies and antiselfies.

BUT we just aren’t too sure about encouraging the principle of giving to look good, which the Selfie Police seems to be promoting. This program seems to say, it’s okay to be addicted to selfies (translation: narcissistic) as long as you help poor kids?

It’s kind of like drinking.  Do you drink in moderation, and know when to stop, or do you regularly stumble out of the bar and black out? Will it make things better if you donated money but continue to have a drinking problem? Probably not.

Let’s pause here for a little self-diagnosis: Do you take selfies in moderation, or do you expend quite a bit of energy on selfie taking and posting? Do you post selfies to get a buzz? How often do you need that high of people liking and commenting on your selfie?

We here at theantiselfie believe, selfie addicts just need a little intervention.

We suggest that instead of using your energy for one selfie, why not instead practice a little kindness? It’s a practice in restraint and proactively reaching out to others in kindness.

We believe that once a selfie addict experiences the genuine fulfillment that springs from having an attitude of  “What can I do for you? How can I help you?” instead of “How will this make me look good? How can I attract more and more attention to me?”–then the selfie addiction will naturally taper off.

Yes, let’s raise funds so poor kids can go to college.

But let’s also help ourselves and wean ourselves away from our growing addiction to self and selfies, and start genuinely doing something good for its own sake.

No money needs to be involved, because kindness comes free.

Read more about The Selfie Police here:

http://elitedaily.com/news/technology/awesome-new-program-fines-users-1-per-selfie-donates-scholarships-developing-countries/

A Million Likes for A Big AntiSelfie Message: Stop Bullying, Stay Strong

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This is one of the best postings I’ve seen. It’s gotten 1,130,718 likes and has been shared 175,611 times on Facebook so far.

This is THE ideal, as far as we here at theantiselfie are concerned.

It spreads an important message that makes a difference. It is a true antiselfie.

We checked out the Facebook page that shared this image. Called Stay Strong, the page posts quotes and pictures that, we imagine, would lift up the spirits of depressed teen-agers going through issues typical at that age.

We’ve read many stories of how social media can cause depression because of all the pictures and messages that might suggest that someone else’s life is better than yours.

Stay Strong is an example of how we think social media is best used. Harnessing its power for good, Stay Strong is pro-kindness, an antiselfie page.

We hope to interview Crissy of New York, New York one day about her page.

Keep up the good work, Crissy! Like her page:

https://www.facebook.com/StayStrongCrissyOwns

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” ~ William Arthur Ward

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This quote sounds really cheesy, we at theantiselfie are aware. But believe it or not, there is truly power in smiling, so much so that it’s a form of meditation taught by the revered Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

This is not the “fake it ’til you make it” forced smile, but rather a gentle smile that comes forth, as part of serenity and calmness that are byproducts of meditation.

I was first made aware of the power of smiling during a retreat, when at the end, the instructor asked us all to stand in a circle, softly gaze at the floor and have a half-smile, which he called a “Buddha smile.”

He then asked everyone how they felt. Incredibly, I did feel an internal softening and lightness.

Don’t take my word for it. Relax your face. Have a half-smile and a softer gaze. See if you feel a little… less stressed? Less anxious? Dare we say a little..kinder?

Take your brand new half-smile for a spin, and check it out–are more people actually smiling at you? Yes, they are.

How does that make you feel? Maybe a little less tight and more expansive perhaps–and may we suggest, more prone to being kind?

So when you take that next selfie, look at your smiling self and decide that your smile isn’t just for posting on Facebook or Instagram. It’s going to be for the real people you meet in your real life. And watch the changes unfold in your life.

Observe random people. Check your internal reaction to those who have stern, harsh expressions. Compare that to your reaction to people who smile and have gentle expressions. Who would you want to be friends with more?

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” ~ Mother Teresa

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On a gray and cold early morning, the sidewalks of an affluent neighborhood were lined with heaps of blankets, cardboard and plastic garbage bags. Underneath those mounds of insulation, the homeless were asleep.

The streets were deserted, except for myself and another man, who was dragging a big blue suitcase with wheels. Both of us were surveying the landscape. Under some of these makeshift bedcovers, there seemed to be  more than one person–perhaps a mother and her children? Or siblings? Or lovers down on their luck? Who knew what stories were buried beneath these layers of material.

The man stopped, opened his suitcase and pulled out a pair of jeans. He laid them by one of the heaps. Those jeans would come in handy, somehow, at least to one person.

Here at theantiselfie.com, we love seeing antiselfies in action, online or offline. What is an antiselfie? It’s an act of kindness, an attitude of wanting to be of benefit to others.

How about trying to do an antiselfie today? Let us know how it went. :)

The AntiSelfie Movement Growing: “I want to see more young women holding a fish than holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror doing a selfie.”~ Sarah Palin

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Guess who just joined the anti-sefie movement?

None other than former Alaska governor and defeated Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

“I want to see more young women holding a fish than holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror doing a selfie,” Palin said, according to E! online.

Whatever your politics, Palin does make a point, in fact, a point very similar to ours here at theantiselfie.com.

The point is there are a lot better things to do with our lives, no? Like go outdoors and go fishing. Palin was just saying–do something else, drop your device and do something else than bathroom mirror and selfie gazing!

If you’re not into fishing, how about something that benefits others (the opposite of focusing on self too much)–like being kind to others?

Suggestions: help the homeless, feed the hungry, open doors for others, say kind words instead of bashing people, the list is really endless.

Palin’s anti-selfie quote is related to her forthcoming show on the Sportsman Channel scheduled to debut April.  The show is about, well, the outdoors.

How many selfies do you take and post in a week? Have you asked yourself why you love taking pics of yourself and posting them?