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The kindness challenge: Let’s change the world, one small action at a time


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Photo: Gabrielle Bernstein
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Welcome to Well+Good’s (Re)New Year—a five-week expert-led program that’s all about helping you have your best year yet. For Week Five, we’re excited to have Gabrielle Bernstein, the ‎self-help phenom (not to mention best-selling author and member of our Wellness Council). Throughout the week, she’ll be sharing her tips for how to channel the self love and confidence you’ve been working on throughout the program—so that you can be your most grounded and powerful self all year long.

Do you ever feel disconnected from other people?

Whether you catch yourself judging someone you don’t even know—like that person on the subway who’s taking up two seats rather than one—or you have an off day at work and are giving off negative vibes to avoid any unnecessary small talk, sometimes you need take a minute to sulk in negativity

But, be honest: Does your not-so-nice thinking ever help you feel better, in the long term? While it might give you a sense of temporary relief, it never flips your mood completely.

Instead, when we separate ourselves from others, we actually separate ourselves from our loving truth—and this disconnect can leave us blocked in relationships and how we relate to the world. (Time to end this, right?!) 

Let’s make 2017 the year of kindness and openness. Whenever you’re feeling disconnected, I want you to bust through that block and send love to all. Here’s how.

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No, you don’t have to start walking around and giving off random hugs to strangers! First, you need recognize that every word, movement, and action leaves a powerful impression on those around you—good or bad. Once you put that on your radar, your second task is to get into the practice of not only emanating love, but sharing it too.

How to do it? It’s simple. Throughout the day, send love to everyone you see.

You can send love through a thoughtful prayer, a smile, or the simple intention to be kind. If you’re on the bus, subway or even stuck in traffic, send love to your fellow commuters. All it takes is a simple thought: “I pray for you to have a blessed day.”

The best way to bring togetherness for all is to simply send love to all. Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini yoga, said, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” Consider God love. If you want to experience divine love in your life, then practice seeing love in all. Think of yourself as a love machine that becomes more loving as love is spread. (Okay, that’s a lot of loves—but you get it.)

Over the last five weeks of this (Re)New Year series,  you’ve sweated and meal prepped, prioritized self-care, and worked on your inner (and outer) beauty, but today—and for the rest of the year—I want to challenge you to be kind. Before you walk into work, silently bless everyone in the office. When you come home at night to your roommates or family—or even your cat—say a prayer for them before you walk in the door.

Spread the love far and wide, and pay attention to how it makes you feel—but more importantly, pay attention to the way people react to you. Through a simple prayer, smile, or a positive thought, you can change someone’s life. And together, imagine the impact we can have on the world. Here’s to a kinder 2017!

The (Re)New Year series is not a “New Year, New You” program. (We think you’re pretty great as is!) Instead, we tapped the biggest and best influencers across the wellness space to help kick off the New Year in the best possible way. Between heart-racing workouts, DIY beauty recipes, and killer confidence advice, get ready to have your happiest and healthiest year yet.

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The definitive guide to Los Angeles’ one-stop holistic health havens