Self-talk and Kindness – KISS

At this busy time of year my thoughts are full of plans, and recently whilst ruminating on various plans I found myself remembering a classic acronym: KISS. It stood for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

It occurred to me that this is an example of negative self-talk. Why call myself stupid? That just puts me down, and heaven knows I don’t need that. It’s so easy to put ourselves down without being aware of it. These patterns are part of our culture, but we have a choice about them. We can discard patterns that are unhelpful, or convert them to new meanings that are more supportive.

Therefore, I hereby define a new meaning for this acronym: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart (or sugar, or uplifting s-noun of your choice).

Self-talk that is kind uplifts us. We all need that, especially when we are busy with all sorts of wonderful plans!

As we launch into the winter holiday season, I invite you all to find moments of silence and stillness, and to remind yourselves to Keep It Simple, Sweethearts!

Coping With Winter Blues

Painting by David Cox (1783-1859)


As the year draws to a close, I reflect that it’s been, as Mark Twain put it, “One damned thing after another.” Some good, some not-so-good, some most excellent, some terror-inducing. Whatever is happening, however, I remember the mantra, “This too shall pass!”

Life sometimes sideswipes us with occasions for rejoicing or unspeakable tragedy, but hard times run in cycles. It’s important to find ways of reminding ourselves of this rhythmic nature. Outward-facing periods of great vigor and challenge are followed by periods of apparent stagnation. These fallow times can feel like the pits of despair when nothing seems to be changing (except for the worse) and no matter how hard we engage with the problems in our lives, we seem to make no discernible progress. Winter is never going to end; all our senses convince us of it. We are never going to find “the one,” or sell that first story. And we’ve heard enough tales of folks who actually never do find a partner or make a sale that we are sure we belong in that group. As the days shorten and snow or rain turns into mud, we become even more certain the sun will never return.

That’s when I need black belt survival tools. My mantra (above) is one of them. Here are some others that work for me.

  • Every day, I speak with someone who loves me.
  • I try to do a daily act of kindness in a way that I will not be found out.
  • I try to begin each day with trust and end it with gratitude. These can take whatever form seems good to me on that day.

What helps get you through winter blues?