8 Simple Acts of Compassion

Takeaways from Global Conscious Women

During a time when it’s hard to connect, here are 8 simple ways to show compassion.

Compassion is complementary to the quality of love. Just as love is the heartfelt aspiration for others to be happy and to have all the conditions for happiness, compassion is the heartfelt aspiration for others to be free from suffering and from the conditions of suffering.

Orgyen Chowang, Our Pristine Mind

1) Smile with your eyes

While many of our smiles are hidden behind masks or screens, it’s important to spread love and gentleness through our eyes. Not sure how to smile with your eyes? Give it a practice. Think of something that makes you really happy—something that fills you with great joy. Smile. Look at yourself in the mirror as you’re smiling. Notice how your cheeks rise to your eyes. There’s almost a sparkle in your eyes. Smiling with your eyes spreads comfort and positivity.

2) Show interest in others by truly seeing them

Stay in the present moment and notice how others look and feel. Make sure to ask questions, “Are you okay? How do you feel?” Try to keep your mind in the moment without thinking about other items you need to do or what you’d like to make for dinner. Really focus on others and listen for any areas someone might need help. By truly seeing and noticing others, you’re actively showing you care.

3) Send a card

Phone calls are wonderful ways to reach out and connect with others, but so is the (almost lost) art of mailing letters. Is there someone who has been on your heart, but you haven’t had a chance to talk to? Send them a card to let them know you’re thinking about them. Think about the joy they’ll feel when they receive a surprise letter in the mail, knowing that someone special to them has reached out.

4) Speak in a loving tone

There’s a lot of uncertainty, fear, and frustrations flying around the world today. If you are dealing with any negative emotions, try taking a few deep breaths (Ujjayi). The long, deep breaths connect your mind to your body and root you into the present moment. After calming any tension or frustration, it’s much easier to speak in a positive tone, thus spreading joy, grace, and love to others.

5) Wave enthusiastically

Show genuine excitement to see others. You might feel silly at first, but large, enthusiastic waves show that you care about the other person a great deal. Imagine the wave of love—and maybe humor—the person might feel on the receiving end.

6) Explore community support

Search for ways you can support others in your community. Many organizations are collecting donated items. Local dog shelters always benefit from pet food, pet beds, and pet toys. Some organizations are helping healthcare providers by providing masks and food. Other organizations collect items for children in need: food, school supplies, clothing, etc. Notice what ways you feel called to support your community. Take the next step of reaching out to a local organization.

7) Practice patience

The act of showing compassion isn’t limited to positive, joyful times. Another way of sharing compassion is demonstrating patience in difficult times. Maybe someone disagrees with you. Emotions could be high. You have your own opinions, rightfully so. What would happen if you took the time to see the issue from a different perspective, being slow to speak? Not giving up on others and the relationships we build with others shows a deep level of compassion while removing the ego from any given situation. A bigger picture presents itself in that deep connection instead of limiting our minds to the smaller, immediate frustration.

8) Let go

There are many circumstances and events that will try to pull us down into a lower frequency. That’s the nature of life. It’s important that we show compassion to ourselves by embracing what brings us joy and letting go of the negative circumstances. Let go of those quick, biting reactions. Acknowledge but release the problems. This act alone prevents us from compounding the negative and instead address others from a place of genuine love. Forgiveness becomes much easier and more attainable as does acceptance, patience, support, and compassion.

“The key to helping others effortlessly is to practice boundless compassion.”
—Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava

Thank you to my Global Conscious Women sisters who inspired me to write this piece: Marie Diamond, Annette Rugolo, Nicole Brandon, Kelly Sullivan Walden

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