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Do All Things With Kindness

Click through to get this free inspirational printable PDF!

Here’s a free printable PDF for you!

Do you want an 8×10 hi resolution copy of this inspirational piece that you can print out and frame for yourself (or a friend)?  Just click here and you’ll get access to my resource library that includes this freebie and a bunch of other juicy stuff I know you’ll like.

Love, Steph

P.S. Are you struggling to create easy, beautiful graphics for your home on the web?  I SO have you covered, my friend!

Get notified when Canva For Creatives is available!

Do All Things With Kindness2018-03-29T20:23:06-04:00

You Will Never Regret Being Too Kind.

You will never regret being too kind. Need a pick me up to brighten your day? Click through to see the series Quick Inspiration on the Blog. The series includes some of my favorite quotes!

You will never regret being too kind, friend.

Maybe I’m becoming more mature or I’m learning to be more compassionate, but I feel like it gets easier to be kind as I get older.  We all need gentle words or gestures from others–it actually takes more effort to be nasty or rude, don’t you think?

And this goes for how we treat ourselves, too.  We need to be more kind with how we talk to ourselves–that inner voice shapes our views + outlook.  And when we have a gentle voice encouraging us from the inside, it’s easier to offer that voice to others on the outside.

There’s no such thing as being too kind.

Love, Steph

 

 

 

You Will Never Regret Being Too Kind.2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

Unexpected Kindness

Unexpected kindness

I love this saying and boy, is it true.  I notice that even when I don’t necessarily want to be kind (if I’m in a bad mood or whatever) just taking that extra step to be kind can change an entire situation.

Kindness is contagious and that’s something I want to spread around.

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Unexpected Kindness2018-03-29T20:23:10-04:00

Be Kind To Unkind People.

I was recently in one of my favorite health food stores at lunch time, looking for something quick to take on the go.  They have an awesome organic salad bar and fresh soups that are so yummy, I often dream about them (my favorite is vegetable dumpling!)  So while I was walking around checking out the offerings of the day, I noticed a lady that was getting the soup I was interested in.  I asked her with a smile, “Is that hot?” because sometimes when they bring out a new pot, it’s lukewarm and you need to heat it up a little.

I was being friendly–just making conversation, trying to make up my mind about what I was going to get.  Her response was: “How should I know, I can’t feel anything through the cardboard!”  I was a little taken back by her response, but I continued with a laugh “Oh, I’m sorry to bother you, I was just curious.  You actually can feel the heat through the cardboard” and extended my hand to touch it quickly (my first mistake).  She immediately recoiled in horror and started raising her voice at me: “I don’t work here!  Why don’t you ask someone that works here!”

Be kind to unkind peopleIn shock, I quickly tried to get away from her.  Clearly this was someone that didn’t want to be talked to and I totally get that.  I changed my location to the other side of the salad bar to end the whole interaction.  But apparently my new friend wasn’t done with me.

She proceeded to yell at the person behind the juice bar, “Hey this lady keeps bugging me about the soup, but I told her I don’t work here.  You work here–is it hot?  Please tell her so she stops bugging me.”  I couldn’t resist a rebuttal from across the salad bar (my second mistake) “I’m a grown adult and can ask for help if I need it, thank you.  You’re being really rude, please leave me alone.”

I wanted to be kind, but I was feeling so bullied; and I’m embarrassed to say I was shaking.  What did I do other than start a friendly conversation?  I felt like she attacked me for asking a simple question.  I realize this may not seem like a heavily involved exchange, but at the time, her nastiness made the hair on my neck stand up.  How was making me feel stupid helping her?

And then I remembered something I read in The Four Agreements: it’s not about me.  I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the receiver of something that had nothing to do with me.  She was working something out and I was in the line of fire.

It wasn’t personal.

As soon as I was reminded of this, I calmed down a bit.

The employee went over to the soup and felt the pot–he declared that it was ‘adequately hot’.  The crazy lady started chatting to him about how she didn’t understand why I didn’t just ask him to begin with and reiterated again, that she didn’t work there.  Ok, lady.  We got it.

I took my time getting to the register to avoid another exchange with her and overheard her lecturing someone on line about a product that was recalled.  She wanted to know how it could still be in the store!   It was then that I realized that she probably just really needed a hug.   I flipped my thinking just then and wished her well in my heart.  She clearly wasn’t a happy person.

We all have bad days, I know.  This experience was a good reminder that just because people react towards me in a certain way doesn’t mean I have to engage.  There’s always a choice to be made–as long as I stay true to myself and remember not to take things personally, I can’t go wrong.

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Be Kind To Unkind People.2018-03-29T20:23:11-04:00

A New Year Doesn’t Have To Mean A New You.

Are you tired of resolutions? Me too. Don't reinvent a new you this year--learn to love yourself + others deeper for real fulfillment.

Last year, I took a week to unwind and relax during the holidays.  It was an amazing time to recharge and it reminded  me how much I have to be thankful for.  I had a lot of time to reflect on my past year: I got engaged, moved to a new home and started my art business.  It was exciting, to say the least.

During my down time, I loved to see how others reflect on their past and how they’re viewing their future, too.  As I read a lot of blogs and posts on the web, I saw the usual common theme: how to be better for next year.  There’s always the thought about the new year that we need to constantly improve + keep expanding ourselves in order to be good enough.  Create the new you. But for some reason this year, that thought hit me differently.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m really trying to cultivate more compassion for myself and others, or if it was simply a growth moment, but I felt a little sad about making changes for the new year.  I realized I don’t want to change myself so much this coming year; I kind of like who I am right now.  Because it’s all about being comfortable + trusting our choices, right?  And loving who we are in any given moment.

I’m learning to ride the waves of my life + accepting that there are always going to be challenges.   And I’m enjoying learning more about who I am becoming, without beating myself up about it along the way, especially when things don’t go to plan.

So this year I’m going to work on focusing more on the wonderful qualities of who I am, and how they help me get to where I want to go.  I’m going to love myself deeper.  I’m going to zone in on what is working, because I know that what I focus on, will grow.  And that change to be better everyone talks about?  It will happen naturally.

Because I don’t want to live that shame-based existence that come with failed new year’s resolutions.  I want to let go of that ever-looming pressure to always be more, do more + try harder; it ruins a lot of fun along the way. Things don’t always have to change to be good, I can just appreciate how my life is right now.  And  if I don’t ‘get it all done’, I’m not a failure.

Do you want to join me on this self-kindness march?  Tell me what action you’re going to take to be more accepting of yourself here. Can you extend this compassion + kindness to others as well?  That means letting people off the hook and accepting them for how they are.  Because we’re all ok as is, even when we don’t believe it ourselves.

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A New Year Doesn’t Have To Mean A New You.2018-03-29T20:23:13-04:00

Art In Progress: Kindness Is The Way

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

 

I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately, especially around the holidays; my personal mantra has always been ‘kindness, regardless’ because, well, you never know what people are going through/feeling on the inside and it actually takes very little effort to be kind.  The world can be tough, and I don’t want to add to anyone’s suffering.

And yet still, I have my moments of forgetting the mantra (oops).  Even though there are times I’m not so great to myself or others, somehow I always come back to this thought as my touchstone.   I find that if I ultimately stay focused on kindness, it gets me where I need to go.

So I was really psyched when the sentiment of this piece popped in my head as I was painting.  I think it had to do with the soothing colors + the gentle overall tone–it was fun to experiment along the way.  And this painting was a great learning experience for me–the process gave me the faith + confidence to stick with my gut until it felt right, even when I got frustrated for not getting there sooner.

Here is the first pass through where I’m just getting some colors, textures and layers down.  At this point, I try to stay loose and enjoy the free-style painting:

Kindness is the way 1

I added in some lines and stamping, just to mix it up a little.

Kindness is the way 2

Then I felt like the girl was ready to appear–I experimented and used gesso for the first layer of her face, just to see how it made a difference.  I usually  paint with a flesh color right on top of the other layers. (Turns out this was a great idea!)

Kindness is the way 3

I added her dress, feeling tentative about the colors of it but went with it for the moment.  Again, checking in with my gut.

Kindness is the way 4

When I added her face and hair, it dawned on me that the dress was all wrong.  I was feeling my way through the process–rationale doesn’t have a huge role in my decision making while painting.  I try to stick to how it feels, no matter what.

Kindness is the way 5

So after I added the butterfly and leaves to her hair, I tore off the dress and used some turpentine to remove it from the canvas.  This isn’t a fun process because it’s stinky and can stretch the canvas a little, but it was well worth it.

Kindness is the way 6

Once I went with the different color dress, it all fell into place.  I loved the way it looked!

Kindness is the way 7

Here’s a close up of her sweet face with the sentiment: the gesso helped to make it a true flesh color.

Kindness is the way 8

And here’s the finished product:

kindness is the way final

 You can find prints of Kindness Is The Way  in my shop here.

We all need kindness in our life, friends.

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Art In Progress: Kindness Is The Way2018-03-29T20:23:13-04:00
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