Aha Moment Of Kindness Challenge - Awakin Magic

Posted by Deven P-Shah on May 16, 2014
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I had signed up for the kindness challenge.

An email was popping in my Inbox every morning, prompting me to do an act of kindness for that day – call a friend, appreciate someone working hard, talk to a stranger …etc.

#BeTheChange - Aha moment of personal leadership
One of the acts was to be nice to someone close in the family. For some reason, this was harder than others. I am an intense person. I tend to get wrapped up in my world. I talk less. I am not the one always easy to open up. The thoughts for the day was to spend a little extra time with family, do something new/different like going to a different restaurant for dinner, plan trips to beach every week-end, or get something nice. That last part seemed to be the easiest. The day went by, I got wrapped up in routine and before I knew it, it’s next day morning. One more email popped in, and I gave myself a “ding” for not doing “yesterday’s kindness act”.

It made me wonder for a bit why it’s easier to call a friend I haven’t talked to in years than being there for someone that is already there at home. I deposited the thought in a secret vault in my mind and went on with the routine. While driving I thought maybe I need to be just an extra mindful and stay in the moment while I am with family. Sounded good, felt good … hard part is, it’s an everyday type change – not like “perform an act, and get over it”. That also went in to a vault inside.

A couple of days later, I was scrambling to get ready and encouraging Nilay, my 13-year old to get ready for the school. Now, he is a freshman at Troy – a rather challenging program requiring him to be in the zero-period that starts at 7:00 AM. Being 15-20 min away from the school, the drill is to start from home at 6:30 AM. I am preaching, lecturing importance of waking up on time for days and days thinking “this doesn’t work, he doesn’t get the simple idea of simply getting up from the bed and get on…” We are scrambling, running, hurrying, struggling to make it to the school on time. “He needs to get it.”

On that day, I went to him. Knowing the drill for a couple of months, he said, “Dad, I know. I am getting ready now.” Tone that basically said, “It isn’t exactly thrilling going over anything that you might have to say”.

Something changed on that day though, I said, "Nilay, I know this is hard. I know you have so many other things going on as well with activities, clubs at school. Try your best not to worry. You look tired. Maybe skip your shower, and take a nap for extra 5-10 min.”

Personal Leadership - Act ProactivelyThat day in the afternoon, Nilay came to me… “Dad, I have thought of ways to finish my work at night early. That way I can go to sleep early. I think that will make it easier for me to wake up."

That moment is etched in my memory for lifetime. He was thinking of solutions, answers on his own initiative. I loved it.

This triggered a positive spiral ideas and conversations at home. I am so happy and blessed for it.

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It’s amazing how a seed planted in the mind brings crops of rewards, enrichment and surprise gifts when we least expect it.

My most favorite “aha” moment from kindness challenge came from an act that was hardest for me to perform. The beauty of it was, it wasn’t something from a planned “act of kindness”, it just happened.

It’s been eight months since then, I somehow am a bit more in tune with people close to me. I am comfortable in sharing my thoughts, ideas. I am somehow feeling more secured in feeling vulnerable, it is coming out easier. People around me seem to like, appreciate me for that.

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At last week’s Awakin circle, we all were sharing “aha moments”. I don’t even know how; this came to me as a story to tell – an experience to share at the circle. It popped in from inside. I went with its flow, or I should rather say it took me in its flow.

It felt really good. I felt connected.

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