For anyone who’s having trouble smiling after being unhappy for a long time, I find face yoga really helpful. This is the only course I’ve done on face yoga, but it helped me smile again. You can lose the muscle - that’s what causes the inability to smile. Smiling helps one be happy.
I think the integral/teal stage often helps people no matter what because of the high level of kindness. I’d be interested in people’s opinions on this.
You seem like a kind person, if you don’t mind me saying so.
“Kind” is an interesting word, both a noun meaning “class, sort, variety” and an adjective meaning “friendly, deliberately doing good to others.” Both uses of the word stem from the Old English (ge)cynde, meaning “natural, native, innate” and “with the feeling of relatives for each other” and “manner or way natural or proper to anyone.” The Old English root is also related to cynn, meaning “family,” so we get words like kin, kinship, kindred.
What I like about this etymology is the emphasis on the innateness of kindness, and that it is both natural and proper to anyone. I know many people who are very kind but who do not have a fully integral sensibility, but it could be true and certainly we want it to be true that Integralists on the whole are generally a “sort” of people in which a consciousness of kinship with everyone and all life, and a friendliness and deliberate goodness, have unfolded and are enacted moreso than in the population at large. Undoubtedly, kindness is an aid in helping and serving others.
A polarity that comes to mind for me around this topic is the capacity to be firm and the capacity to be yielding. Confucianism and Taoism emphasize these aspects of human nature, that one should aspire to be yielding on the outside (yin) and firm on the inside (yang). That firmness takes many shapes, but I think for Integralists it is most primary and noticeable in a solid, anti-fragile inner commitment to Wholeness, individually and in the world. The yieldingness takes many forms as well, but it is evident in the ability to allow and the ability to receive, the ability to bend, to flex and flow, and to submit and surrender when called for, including and perhaps most importantly during certain stages or phases of spiritual development.
I think those traits together, firmness and yieldingness, contribute to the kindness of Integralists.
Wow. I love this distinction between what is on the inside and on the outside in terms of firmness and yieldingness. I have never thought about this that being yielding on the outside is what one would always want. I agree though I think, because when a person is powerful, has good boundaries, has a strong personal moral view of what is right, and so on - qualities I associate with firmness - would be able to be ‘yielding’, soft perhaps, on the outside. Having empathy for all and being kind while also disagreeing with them, being soft while having an inner firmness, knowing that people cannot harm one because of that inner firmness, one is yielding on the outside, soft on the outside. I think hardness in one’s appearance or attitude comes from trying to have enough firmness… I feel sorry for people when I think of this, because I think the only reason people would be hard and unkind, cruel, is because they are trying to be firm and haven’t worked out how to be so maybe… This is something I have brought more into consciousness (it has been there within me for a long time really) with the help of what you have shared. I have learnt much from your writing this paragraph to me. I hope it helps you to write it down too and also helps anyone else reading it <3
Kindness to you LaWanna. I feel you have great kindness (this is an assumption also from evidence I have of your writings). I would want to be kind to you irrespective of whether you were kind though. I think you are this way too (this is also an assumption, however, based on evidence)
Love and kindness to everyone
helps me to feel love and kindess towards myself too. Cycles.
You’ve supplemented what I wrote very nicely, Julia. Hugs and love to you too