My whole life has been dedicated to the search for meaning in chaos.
My life has been a voyage for the one true way to enlightenment, to recovery, to being well, to find inner peace, and to fit. It comes from growing up in a complex family dynamic (or to put it another way a family that was well...screwed up). It comes from knowing you are starting this adventure called Life in the worst possible way with all the odds stacked against you.
I have traveled the world, lived nomadic, and been several times on the edge. I have explored mysticism, alternative lifestyles, religion, and psychology. Yet, all this seeking, at best, met me with 'less than satisfied'. I now understand it is the simplest of things in life that can and do make us well: connecting with people and creatively taking part in life, experiencing new adventures, and achieving even minor things. Living is about testing ourselves and celebrating what we then can achieve.
Like I said, I have tried everything because I have lived through everything and that is no exaggeration. Mental illness, near death experiences, trauma, and childhood abuse, to name just a few. So what after all these years have I found that has broken the cycle of human suffering?
The act of giving with compassion and kindness releases you from the trap of the loyalty to self-fulfilling misery. Giving is a paradox; it is both an act of self-healing as well as an act of healing another. Giving breaks down the cycle of time travel, of living in the past or worrying about the future. The act of kindness forces our minds into the present, the here and now. Giving is an act of mindfulness; a live, active, and interactive version.
One of the most powerful effects of giving to another is that we create a sense of belonging for the other person through our recognition of them. Our act of kindness acknowledges their existence in a world where many people feel invisible, alone, and unnoticed. We make them feel valued and that, by default, values us. Being kind lifts us from depression and the cycle of self hate, makes our mark on the world, and creates, like a positive virus, the same feelings in another.
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