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Practice kindness. It’s a simple word that is used frequently but practiced not nearly enough. To be kind on a daily basis can be quite a challenge – it seems to encompass so much. If we are kind, we won’t judge another, lie, cheat, steal, be mean or spiteful, resent… the list goes on.

Practicing kindness makes us more compassionate, understanding and accepting. It isn’t easy and certainly few of us remember to be kind every moment of every day but when we are kind, things that come our way are usually met with calmness, thoughtfulness and acceptance.

What doesn’t matter is pettiness, mindlessness, regret, resentment and anger. These states of mind are usually centered in fear and the emotional toll is a complete waste of energy. Don’t judge and don’t let others’ judgments and criticisms ruin your day. Have confidence in yourself and follow your heart. Be happy.

Spend time in nature. Take in and relish this beautiful world we live in. Whether it be sitting on top of a mountain staring at the vast beauty in front of you, in a forest where you can smell the pine and the earth, or on a beach where the waves mesmerize you as they crash to shore. We live in a beautiful world and too many times we get busy and forget to stop and look at what we have.

Sit in silence or meditation for at least a few minutes to bring one’s self back into focus, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Connecting with nature brings most of us peace and clarity of mind. Embrace the serenity as, more often than not, it enables us to be less reactive and aggressive and more thoroughly enjoy the day. The best part about nature is that it doesn’t cost anything – it is free for all to share and connect with.

Love animals. We can learn so much from them. Our pets spend their entire lives living in the moment – not worrying about the past or the future. They are pure love, joy and innocence. They inspire us to exercise, make us laugh, remind us we are worshipped and allow us to love them dearly and freely.

I have four rescued dogs, three of whom were facing death at a very early age. To think of what could have happened to them versus the life they are now living and the happiness they bring me fills my heart with love and gratitude that we found one another!

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Anne Gurchick is the author of the new book Saved: Cancer, Katrina Dogs and Me. Anne has been involved in animal welfare and rescue work for over ten years, having started in Austin, Texas. In 2004 Anne decided to follow her dream and move to the mountains with the hope of working with animals. She relocated to Aspen, Colorado, and became involved with Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter (FAAS). Anne has served on the board of FAAS for over eight years and was appointed executive director of the non-profit in 2009. Less than six months after arriving in Aspen, Anne was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and successfully battled the disease.

FAAS operates a spay/neuter/rescue campaign. Since October 2007 the campaign has resulted in the neutering of over 7,000 pets in Colorado and beyond. In partnership with Seth Sachson, director of the Aspen Animal Shelter, FAAS has rescued over 1,200 dogs and cats from shelters where they otherwise would be killed due to overcrowding.

Anne currently lives in Aspen, Colorado, with her four rescued dogs, Bella, Stryder (a Katrina rescue dog), Max and Haddie. She encourages you to make a difference by adopting a shelter pet.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Anne. A great article. Everything we say and do impacts not just on our own lives but the lives of others. A little kindness and compassion go a long way to making the world a better place for us all.
    We have much to learn from our animal friends who love us unconditionally.

  2. Thank you Anne for this beautiful reminder to be kind! I absolutely love it. Kindness is such a soft and loving word that rolls gracefully off of your tongue. Continue doing what you do. Our four-legged friends thank you and I thank you. Namaste!

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