The Kindness Flash #50

This month’s theme: BOLDNESS

Coming Up This Month

As I began thinking about the theme of Boldness, I thought what can be more bold than stepping out of your comfort zone and connecting with people from around the world.

Did you know studies have shown that dancing makes you happier?! That’s pretty awesome!

That got me thinking, instead of dancing once a year in our annual Dance for Kindness, why not have a monthly Dance Party and spread the happiness year round! And so, I’m psyched to announce Life Vest Inside’s Monthly Dance Party with Choreographer Marvin Cassie! Each month will feature a new dance and dance style and the best part is, you get to have a say in which style we dance to next!

Each month a new dance will be posted right on the website. Sign up, learn the steps and JOIN us in the beginning of every month on zoom to DANCE with people from around the world. We’ll end off our dance classes with some good old fashioned connection where you’ll get to learn more about your monthly dance buddies! PLUS, at the end of our dance session, I along with our partner Mariel Wilk will share 3 fun and easy Acts of Kindness that we will complete LIVE on the zoom call together and share what the experience was like!

First Monthly Dance Party Happening On: FEBRUARY 9th 6pm (New York)

Sign Up!

Articles of the Month

What Does It Mean To Be Bold For Change – It is never too early nor is it ever too late to be bold for change. Any change you desire starts with you. The way we raise our girls and boys to be accommodating of differences is a great starting point.

What Kindness Can Do – Be kind and you will live better and longer.

How to Be Bold – Discover what makes you different and then parade it around for all to see. Put flags on it, call attention to it and love yourself for it no matter what others think. That is the heart of boldness.

“People survived by being cautious, but they got ahead by being bold.”

V.E. Schwab

“The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock.”

Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Act of Kindness

Be bold and courageous. Engage in an act of kindness that’s out of your comfort zone. Talking to a stranger, visiting a local hospital, or something as simple as holding the door for someone. Kindness is unstoppable; be the one to light the flame.

Question of the Month

What does being bold mean to you? Share here or in the comments below.

Kindness Media

Songs of the Month

An empowering anthem for anyone who needs an extra dose of courage to take a stand and keep pushing forward one day at a time.

A simple yet undeniably resonant message: Be yourself – that is the boldest thing you can do.

Reinforces the little voice in our head that wants us to reach for great heights and never ever give up!

Videos of the Month

Grace shares stories of experiences that have taught her about service. She speaks on the subject of the servant mindset and how our passions can lead us to do bold things for other people.

To be bold you should do at least one thing a day in line with your purpose.

Books of the Month

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level – Gay Hendricks – Your life is meant to be full of unlimited joy, abundance, and love. You are meant to have and do amazing things. Just get out of your own way, and stop the doubting and negative thinking.

The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz – This book will help you realize that a willingness to think big, opens the door to new and greater opportunities. The bigger you think the more elevated your life will become.

Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams – Mike Dooley – “Our thoughts become things,” is a major tenant of this book. As the good old law of attraction says, by focusing on what we want and experiencing the feelings of having this, we start to make it our reality. It’s time to visualize what you want.

The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson – A powerful, poetic picture book to share with children while talking about bravery and acceptance.

Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave – Jessica Hische – This book teaches kids that bravery isn’t about being fearless. It’s about something magical that happens inside of us to push through our fear, self-doubt, and anxiety and do the things that feel hard or frightening.

The Pink Hat – Andrew Joyner – The Pink Hat symbolizes solidarity and change and is a reminder to readers that they’re never too young to start shaping the future they want.

Dancing Makes You Happy

1. Dance Improves Self-Confidence (Sherry Graves)
There’s no denying that the teenage years can be tough for girls, as they often feel pressured to look perfect and behave a certain way. This can lead to low self-confidence and high levels of stress and anxiety. Luckily, researchers in Sweden found that teenage girls who attend weekly dance classes have higher self-esteem and improved mental health. These benefits often lasted for many months!

2. Dance Reduces Anxiety
The hormones released during exercise – called endorphins – are known to improve your mood. However, Psychology Today explained that people who dance often experience more benefits than those who simply run or hit the gym. Dance can lead to a calm demeanor, improved mood and better sense of control. This can be especially helpful for dancers who are having a hard time in school or their personal lives. Not only does escaping to the studio allow students to express themselves creatively, it also gets those good hormones flowing!

3. Dancing Alleviates Stress
People tend to recommend activities like yoga or meditation for stress relief, but a study from the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that dance might edge out both these activities. The researchers found that tango classes lowered individuals’ stress levels more than meditation. In this study, dancing was associated with positive emotions, better self-esteem and lessened anxiety. What’s better than that?
These scientifically proven facts are surely impressive, but nothing speaks quite as loud as the smiles on your dancers faces after a great performance. You should be proud that your studio not only teaches a beautiful art form to students of all ages, but that is also contributes to the well-being of youth in your community.

Why dancing makes us happy?
When we dance our brain releases endorphins, hormones which can trigger neurotransmitters that create a feeling of comfort, relaxation, fun and power. Music and dance do not only activate the sensory and motor circuits of our brain, but also the pleasure centers.

Indeed, neuroscientists at Columbia University say that when we move in tune with the rhythm, the positive effects of music are amplified. Therefore, a little secret to make the most of the music is to synchronize our movements with the beat, so we will be doubling the pleasure.

However, the magic of dancing can not simply be reduced to brain chemistry. Dancing is also a social activity that allows us connect with the others, share experiences and meet new people, which has a very positive effect on our mental health.

What’s more, as we move, our muscles relax to the music, which allows us to free ourselves of the tension built up during the day, especially the one accumulated in the deepest part of the musculature.


Original post:

The Kindness Flash #49

This month’s theme: COURTESY


Thoughts from Our Founder – Courtesy stems from mindfulness. Only through being mindful can we more readily take advantage of the endless opportunities to engage others courteously. The true test of courtesy is how we connect and engage when we don’t necessarily get the response we are looking for or when things don’t go exactly as planned. Read More >>

Articles of the Month

The spirit of work: How courtesy, respect and thoughtfulness create the foundation for all other work success – To establish a healthy, successful workplace climate there needs to be inner motivational intent to do good and to be good. Energy follows intent. Without real intent, strategies become empty shells.

Courtesy and Acts of Kindness – Any society that is populated by courteous people offers a higher quality lifestyle than one where people are rude and inconsiderate. It’s always good to follow the basic guidelines for social or business etiquette, but you can take a step farther by doing acts of kindness.

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.”

Henry Clay

“We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Act of Kindness

Be mindful. Over this month, train your eyes to behave courteously. We communicate a great deal through our eyes and when we are mindful of the attitude we portray to the person standing opposite us simply through our eyes, we can more readily ensure that we are communicating feelings of warmth, kindness and acceptance. Here are some ways you can train your eyes in kindness: Look people in the eye when speaking with them, smile with your eyes, mindfully make the choice to give off feelings of warmth and compassion when looking at people. You never know what might be going on in the other person’s life, your kind eyes can light them from the inside out!

Question of the Month

In what ways could you be more intentionally courteous toward others? Share here or in the comments below.

Kindness Media

Photo of the Month

How does this picture connect with this month’s theme of courtesy? Share your thoughts.

Songs of the Month

With his peppy beats, Bruno Mars turns his crooning style to discussing kindness and being a good friend. Always good for a pick-me-up and a reminder to be helpful.

This country song offers the reminder that kindness helps us see past our prejudices and biases.

Videos of the Month

The bottom line of manners is RESPECT.

Everyone wants to sparkle and stand-out with confidence and charisma. Our desire for connection has become far too dependent on technology and less so on relationships, built upon manners, social synchronization and trust.

Books of the Month

An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy: How Manners Shaped the World – Bethanne Patrick – With engaging and artfully presented text, including sidebars on media mavens throughout history, social gaffes, and archaic manners, this book is as entertaining as it is informative. Readers delve into cultural similarities and differences through lively passages, colorful photography, and sidebars on unique history.

Emily Post’s Etiquette – Lizzie Post – This edition tackles classic etiquette and manners advice with an eye toward diversity and the contemporary sensibility that etiquette is defined by consideration, respect, and honesty.

A Book of Courtesy: The Art of Living with Yourself and Others – Sister Mary Mercedes O.P. – As the world becomes increasingly indifferent to social rules, the sense of etiquette that we once took for granted is fast disappearing. A Book of Courtesy provides a charming, beneficial antidote to this dilemma, restoring the Golden Rule to its rightful place of honor and proving that good etiquette never goes out of style.

Freda Says Please – Stuart J. Murphy – This is one book in a great series that teaches kids the importance of character and values.

Dude, That’s Rude! – Pamela Espeland – Full-color cartoons and kid-friendly text teach the basics of polite behavior in all kinds of situations—at home, at school, in the bathroom, on the phone, at the mall, and more.

Mary Louise Loses Her Manners – Diane Cuneo – A humorous and entertaining book illustrating that by ignoring the importance of manners we can literally lose them. A perfect example that practice makes perfect!

Reflections on Courtesy

Courtesy stems from mindfulness. Only through being mindful can we more readily take advantage of the endless opportunities to engage others courteously. The true test of courtesy is how we connect and engage when we don’t necessarily get the response we are looking for or when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Throughout our lives we will come across different types of people, experiencing different types of hardships and personal struggles. Oftentimes outside circumstances influence a person’s attitude, mood and the way they choose to engage with others. Coming off a rough day can leave people with a less heightened sensitivity for being courteous. While we aren’t excusing the lack of courtesy regardless of the circumstance, our job isn’t to change others, but rather to look inward and analyze our own actions and responses.

We can’t control how others treat us but we can control our reactions and how we respond when others choose to forgo courtesy or are blinded by outside factors. While courtesy stems from mindfulness, it is based, as is all internal work, on empathy. Courtesy can only exist when we remove ourselves from being overly judgemental.

The next time you are confronted with a lack of courtesy, give two doses of courtesy in return; one for yourself and for the person standing opposite you who is likely in need of a double portion. But remember to keep yourself in check, courtesy without humility is like a body without a soul – it’s useless.