This is one of our core values here at Adapted. It shapes pretty much every decision we make.
For those of you in the know, Yes it is from a Disney movie, when on her deathbed Cinderella’s mother tells her to “Have courage and be kind”. It is so simple and so important that it just seemed to fit. I remember the first time I heard the phrase. I didn’t recognize the importance of the statement in that moment, but it stayed with me. Courage and kindness truly are the only two attributes that are necessary in this life, and the two tend to go hand in hand. It takes a lot of courage to be kind in our world. And a lot of kindness to be courageous.
I’ve often said that there’s not much more that I want from the team other than for them to be kind, not nice or sweet, but kind. Kindness encompasses traits like empathy, understanding, and thoughtfulness. It means that you really need to take a step back and try to understand and empathize with the other person. Everybody can struggle to communicate or even understand their needs and wants. Especially in times of pain and stress. Trying to assume what another may need or want can cause issues. So the concept of being kind is really important to us.
Not only should we practice kindness towards others, but it is also important to be kind to ourselves. It’s no secret that we are harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. There is going to be so much outside pressure and judgement throughout our lives that the least we can do is relieve ourselves of the internal voice that says ‘you will never be good enough.’ Kindness to ourselves takes a huge amount of courage as it can be a really scary and hard thing to do. Often we have been trained to not be kind to ourselves and even have an innate feeling that we do not deserve it. Being kind to ourselves is often also the ‘boring’ stuff like going to bed on time, saying no to extra commitments, organizing the next day the night before, going to a Yoga and Pilates class!
We are essentially programmed to avoid pain. Whether that be fear or physical pain we are literally programmed to avoid it. Courage is the ability to stand up to this pain whether it be fear or some other and choose to do the right thing. This may look like having a big honest conversation with someone, turning up and doing something that you are scared of (many of us teachers get quite nervous before we teach), currently it is often taking the time to look at the context of a situation and creating a solution. It takes a lot of courage to do things differently. We are constantly told that classes shouldn’t be run so that we cater directly to the students and that you cannot structure a class around the needs and abilities of the student participants. It takes courage to really look at what you are doing and make a change for the better- which is something we are constantly doing.
Courage is integral to living a happy and healthy life. It means that you do that new thing, start moving, start being true to you. It allows you to look open and honestly at what is and isn’t working for you and then to do something about it. It is about being courageous enough to be kind to others even when it could result in pain for you (especially if you are shy and intimidated by that person).
Every door worth opening, takes some form of courage to do so.
These 2 simple words mean so much. Life doesn’t have to come with such a complicated instruction manual. Two simple actions can guide us through the best and worst times of our life. So let’s encourage ourselves to be kind, have courage, and live their best life while improving the lives of others. And while we’re at it, let’s try to do the same for ourselves.
Lets be our best.