Compass

Orienting Your Life Towards Kindness

Author: Michelle Noehren

Every single day I think about how I can make life better for others. I strive to have positive interactions with everyone I encounter, even those who are upset or angry. I believe in my heart that life is meant to be lived in service to others, and I let that guide every aspect of my day.

But I wasn’t always this way.

I have always had a penchant for kindness, but it wasn’t until about 12 years ago that I intentionally began practicing it in my daily life. The shift occurred for me when I was searching for a way to feel more inner peace because I was in personal situation that was very confusing and was challenging my sense of self. I remember very clearly driving through my neighborhood and seeing a sign advertising meditation classes that happened to be taking place 2 miles from where I lived.

It felt like exactly the “sign” I needed and I wholeheartedly followed it. I was very nervous attending my first class since I had never done anything like this before, but in retrospect, attending a Buddhist meditation class is probably one of the silliest things to be nervous about, because everyone is so loving and welcoming.

The Odiyana Center, located now in East Hartford, Connecticut, made me feel at ease immediately. I quickly fell in love with the teachings and the structure of the classes, so much so that I joined their Foundation Class to do a deep dive into a book about Buddhism.

During that class the teacher challenged us to begin looking at every situation as an opportunity to deepen our compassion and to send caring thoughts to everyone we came across. I was working at the Connecticut Legislature at the time and remember setting up a display in the Legislative Office Building and intentionally sending loving thoughts to everyone who walked by. It felt strange but also exhilarating.

Starting a daily practice of kindness is truly that simple. It begins with a strong wish to be a source of joy in other people’s lives. That wish is then planted in our minds as a seed that grows every time we intentionally think about the well-being of others. Eventually, living our life in service to others becomes completely natural and is no longer something we need to set an intention to do, because it’s ingrained in who we are as a person.

If you feel a pull towards living a more meaningful life, try starting out by setting a daily intention to be more thoughtful and loving in your interactions and in your own mind. Based on my own experience, I promise that you will quickly feel lighter, happier, and more at ease.

Colchester COVID-19 Response

  • DO YOU NEED HELP? If at any point you find yourself in need of help please fill out this form and our volunteers will do their best to help.
  • BE A HELPER: If you would like to join our volunteer database you can do that here.
  • CHECK-IN CALLS: Would you like to receive a weekly check-in phone call? Please fill out this form.
  • DONATE TO THE FOOD BANK: The food bank is not currently accepting donations of food. They also do not need financial assistance at this time. This will likely change in the upcoming weeks so we will update this page when they need our help again.
  • THERAPIST DATABASE: If you need mental health help please see this list of local therapists we put together. We only selected therapists who take insurance. You can call and confirm that they take your insurance and that they are offering virtual session.
  • LAWN SIGNS: Would you like to put a supportive lawn sign out? Use this link to request one.
  • TOWN RESPONSE: Colchester First Selectwoman Mary Bylone is providing daily Facebook live updates. Please follow her page.
  • SCHOOLS: Please visit this page to view the latest information from Colchester schools.

We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

2020 Colchester Kindness Ninja Contest

Join your friends from Colchester is Kind for our very first Kindness Ninja Contest!

The Colchester Kindness Ninja Contest will take place from February 11 – 18th (Random Acts of Kindness Week). The contest is open to all ages. Each person must register individually (parents can register children). An email address *must* be provided because that is the main form of communication used. The evening of February 10th participants will be emailed a list of acts of kindness along with detailed instructions.

The objective is to complete as many acts of kindness as you can during the week. You can do the same act of kindness more than once. The list you receive the night before the contest starts must be filled out and emailed to colchesteriskind@outlook.com by the end of the competition. Participants must also submit at least 3 photos of their acts of kindness. The three participants to complete the most acts of kindness will win a prize:

1st Place: $50 to the Plum Tomato
2nd Place: $25 to Groupon
3rd Place: $15 to iTunes

REGISTER HERE

Let’s fill our community with kindness during Random Acts of Kindness Week! Be sure to hashtag any of your acts of kindness you share to social media with #colchesteriskind. Questions? Email us at colchesteriskind@gmail.com. If you’d like to download and share our flyer please do!

Period Kits for Youth

Lots of teens worry about getting their periods at school. Some younger teens, even pre-teens, may experience their very first period while in class, away from home. To help alleviate period-related stress for teens in the Colchester community, Colchester is Kind has organized Project Period.

Through donations from community members, Colchester is Kind creates period kits for students at William J. Johnston Middle School and Bacon Academy. The kits will be available in the nurses offices and are free of charge.

The kits include items such as pads, panty liners, tampons, and wipes. Additionally, we collect items such as deodorant for youth of all genders.

Young people shouldn’t be anxious about getting a surprise period while at school. And youth that come from families that cannot afford an adequate supply of these items deserve access to basic necessities.

If you’d like to help, please check out our Amazon wish list. All items purchased from this list are delivered directly to us so we can add them to the period packs. We appreciate your generosity!

If you are a student at WJJMS or Bacon Academy and would like to help with this project, please contact us at colchesteriskind@outlook.com. We would LOVE to get you involved.

Kids Summer Kindness Challenge!

We are so excited to share that we’ve created a new challenge to encourage kids to do acts of kindness during summer break. You can download the PDF here for printing purposes. If you’d like to register your child/children just email us at colchesteriskind@outlook.com with their names and ages. Kids that complete 15 acts of kindness will receive a special certificate before the start of the next school year!