My goal in writing am i being kind is to help you realize that your own happiness is actually the key to creating a more peaceful and kind world. Simply put, when people are authentically joyful and inspired, they are more likely to be loving.
Unfortunately, it took me most of my life to realize this. As someone who was once unhappy in every sense of the word, I can personally verify that misery leads to heartless behavior, and vice versa. For years I experienced failed relationships, financial struggles, poor health, depression, and an endless stream of negative habits nearly every day. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, true contentment eluded me as if I were working off karmic debt for crimes committed in a past life.
Searching for the Secret to Happiness
Looking back, I now understand that the reason I couldn’t “find myself” was because I’d been searching in all the wrong places. I didn’t realize that the answers to everything I ever wanted would be found in the last place I’d thought to look: inside my own heart. There it was, the secret to happiness, beating in my chest all along.
Not only did this awareness dissolve my personal suffering, but it also gave me the profound realization that my life’s purpose was the complete opposite of what I’d originally imagined. After all, in our culture we’re often indoctrinated at an early age to believe that chasing external conditions such as money, relationships, and material items will bring us fulfillment.
Eventually, I found that true satisfaction simply couldn’t be achieved by living in this way. For me, bliss came through opening my heart to the world and rediscovering the essence of who I really am — and who you really are, too: love and kindness.
am I being kind — What Does It Mean?
Often when I discuss the material in this book, someone asks me about the title — “Why don’t you capitalize it?” “Why isn’t there a question mark at the end?” The answer is simple: it came to me that way.
First seen in a morning meditation, this inner mantra floated through my brain exactly as you see it. (I’ve often joked that meditation doesn’t have spell-check.) For days I considered its meaning and how it may be relevant to everyday life. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. But I finally did get it out of my mind . . . and into my heart. And that’s where I discovered the true power of this question, just as you will.
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At one point, I thought of the word kindness as just a warm and fuzzy way of being nice. I never would have imagined that it could be used as a method for personal and spiritual advancement. But after devouring hundreds of books, attending inspirational workshops and seminars, meditating, praying, saying affirmations, and absorbing the wisdom of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers, I have yet to find anything as profound as adopting kindness as a guiding principle for making my way through this world. Maybe that’s because, unlike some systems that encourage only personal growth, this method not only changes your life . . . but it also changes the lives of others.
You Can Always Begin Again... by being kind
Perhaps the true spirit of am I being kind is to demonstrate that no matter where you are right now, or how much you’ve been through in the past, you can always begin again. I have found that many people believe it’s too late or even impossible to alter their path and make a different decision. This is simply not true.
It is my intention to give you a newfound sense of hope, while also revealing the life-changing power of kindness. Having personally lived this philosophy, I can verify its astonishing results. I’ll even go so far as to say that I’ve seen miracles happen. It doesn’t matter what religion you believe in, how old you are, what color your skin is, if you’re male or female, or what corner of the earth you live on — kindness is a universal language that everyone can speak.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. ©2011. www.hayhouse.com
About the Author
Affectionately known as “The Kindness Guy,” Michael J. Chase is an author, inspirational speaker, and a powerful voice for creating a kinder world. At the age of 37, following a life-changing epiphany, Michael ended an award-winning photography career to found The Kindness Center. After gaining extensive media attention for his 24 hours of kindness event, he quickly became a sought-after speaker and workshop leader throughout the world. Considered an expert on the subject of kindness, Michael has inspired thousands to make positive choices that not only impact their own lives, but also those of others. Visit his website: www.TheKindnessCenter.com.