Even if you’re not afraid of being reincarnated as a dung beetle for your misdeeds in this life, you can still benefit from improving your karma. Having peace of mind at the end of the day – knowing that you’ve done your part – is a feeling that we can all enjoy. We’re not talking about grand gestures here – just be kind to yourself and to others. It’s pretty simple when you get right down to it.
You’ve heard it a million times – love yourself! Are you still not sure what it means? It means that you take total responsibility for you… no excuses, no judgment, no self-doubt. Accept yourself as the total package that you are – the good, the bad and the unruly curls handed down from your mother. History is filled with people who have done remarkable things – and they weren’t perfect. George Washington had wooden teeth, and Marilyn Monroe reportedly had a sixth toe – so accept what you’ve got. Work with it, not against it. Then pry your gaze away from the mirror and see yourself through someone else’s eyes – you might be really surprised to know that your co-worker admires your sense of style, or that your mate finds your generosity unbelievably attractive. When you’re able to view yourself in a loving way, it’s a lot easier to see the goodness in others, too.
Just do it
Is your “to do list” a mile long? Procrastination is a tricky beast, and sometimes the reasons you don’t complete things may even feel altruistic – for instance, you didn’t have time to do laundry because your best friend was going through a crisis that you needed to talk them through. If you’re stressed-out because you’re not taking care of yourself and your priorities, you’re not able to really focus outward and truly help others. Give yourself permission to take the “me” time that you need – so you’ll be able to genuinely, whole-heartedly give to someone else.
Be a good Samaritan
Give your change to the homeless man on the corner, or help an elderly neighbor with her groceries. Look people in the eye when you say “hello, how are you?” These little things might mean more to the receiver than you know – you can’t really weigh the benefits of kindness, but you can try to remember that the next person who needs jumper cables could be your mother. If you see a person in need, why shouldn’t you be the one who isn’t waiting for “someone else” to take care of it?
Let someone off the hook
Whether you need to forgive a big thing or a little thing, releasing someone else from the bonds of judgment frees you both up to do something better with your time. You don’t have to call up your ex to let them know that you forgive them for that time they stood you up – but you can write out your feelings, come to terms with them – and then let them go. We’ve all got better things to do than hang on to useless emotional garbage. We’ve all made mistakes, and we’ve all been “that guy” who cut another driver off on the freeway. Smile, bless them, move on – it’s really never worth it to dwell on anyone’s past mistakes.
Pay it forward
Feed someone else’s expired meter, or use the “donate to charity” option at your local Coinstar machine. Pay for the car behind you at the drive-through window… giving to a stranger gives them the idea to give to another stranger, who in turn may help someone else. Being a positive force in a relatively negative world may seem a little kooky at first, but the chain reaction started by your little spark may have unseen impact on people you’ve never even met – that is powerful stuff.
Good karma doesn’t have to be about long hours spent in meditation, or grandiose deeds like selling your belongings and moving to India. Every day, there are people in our path who could use a kind word or deed – let it start with you, and let it start today.
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