News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™


More Joy, Love, and Peace in 2014 please!

Attitiude Reconstruction  

March  2014                                                             The 4 Kindnesses
                                             Santa Barbara coast from the Double Dolphin          
4 Ways to Express Kindness
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Jude Bijou
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Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  

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Greetings Friends!


Spring is upon us. It's a time for sprouting new things. Kindness is something you can easily cultivate. Giving gestures of kindness make you feel better, expand your vision, and increase feelings of connection. This lost art is not just a new-age, spiritual activity but a practical way to make a significant, positive change and kick off your own personal rebirth. Read on and just do one thing every day.




Based on raves about the 2 clips last month of Ray Romano practicing his listening skills, I've decided to make topical and entertaining videos a part of each newsletter. It's fun to go searching on YouTube to find lighthearted videos in keeping with my themes. Good ones make me smile broadly and feel good.


For a great take on this month's "kindness" topic, here's a sketch between Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Kimmel trying to out do each other to decide who is nicer.  

                                                       who's nicer?



Anger, left unexpressed physically, naturally, and constructively, manifests as unkindness.  Anger, processed constructively brings us back to our heart, to love. And love is expressed in acts of kindness.


Kindness manifests in a lot of ways, such as acts of compassion, helpfulness, empathy, forgiveness, and caring.These gestures kindle and ignite feelings of love. These acts of giving are the hallmark of love. Kindness is not a business transaction. For maximum effect, kindness must be offered without expecting something in return, except for you to feel more love and connection.


Additionally, kindness is one of Attitude Reconstruction's 4 Rules of Good Communication. (The other three Communication Rules, just in case you want a reminder, are: 1) "I"s, talk about yourself not others, 2) Specifics, deal in concrete terms, not over-generalities, and 3) Listen well.)   


Here are four kindnesses to heap on yourself and others:  


1. Positivity

2. Praise

3. Appreciations

4. Gratitutdes






The Four Kindnesses


We need to direct kindness towards other people and things as well as ourselves. As a daily practice, write, think, or speak one to three of each daily and reap the benefits! 



It's a real drag to be around someone who has something negative to say about almost everything. Accentuating the positive can make a noticeable difference. For example, you can declare the latest party you went to was a total bust because not many friends showed up or you could be delighted over the company of those who graced you with their presence.  


Looking at the glass as half-full is like giving water to a thirsty plant. By leaving out the negative observations and focusing on what you liked instead, you'll elevate your inner state as well as others around you. As you go through your day, replace the "no" with "yes, yes, yes."





 Who doesn't just love being told what they're doing right for a change? In his book The Power of Positive Parenting, Dr. Glenn Latham, suggests that the ratio between praise and corrective feedback should be about twenty to two. And this concept doesn't just apply to children. Across the board, it's infinitely more effective to praise actions that you want to encourage than to punish those you disapprove of. People can't get enough genuine praise, so keep it coming, especially when someone is going through a difficult time. Some examples of praise are:


       I'm glad you brought that up.

       You did a good job on that.

       I like what you just said.





A simple gesture of appreciation can be all that's needed to bring love into the room. Expressing appreciations for others doesn't negate the differences we might have with them, but it super charges the good we see in each other. Instead of criticizing and judging, focus on characteristics or actions that we admire and voice them. Appreciations can be general or specific. Here are some examples of strong appreciations:


       I appreciate how you helped me on this.

       I appreciate your sense of integrity.

       I like how thoughtful you are.

       I appreciate that you cleaned your room this morning.

                                   I'm glad you understand how I feel about this.


Being thankful for what you usually take for granted, you become aware of how fortunate and blessed you are. Expressing our thanks reminds us of our bounty and offsets complaints and feelings of entitlement. Specific gratitudes may be:

       I'm grateful for my good health.

       I'm grateful for my friends and family.

                         I'm grateful for this meal. 
                            Thank you for your help today.




 The field of psychology is coming along. Here is a summary of some research about the benefits of giving gratitudes.

How Do I Know What's Kind?


Sometimes we get caught in our heads and are not quite sure how to be kind in the present moment. When this happens, pause for a minute and then ask yourself these questions...  


* What is most loving?

* What is most compassionate?

* What is most kind? 

* Will what I'm about to say move me towards love and connection?  


 When you hear your answer, obey.




How to Receive Appreciations


Giving appreciations is half of the equation. The other part is receiving what's offered. We cringe, deflect, discount, and don't let it in because early messages or beliefs have convinced us that we are not worthy. When someone offers thanks or appreciations, we resist because we've been told it's selfish or self-centered to toot our own horn.


The bottom line is we don't accept the gesture of love that is being offered. Being able to fully accept appreciations, thanks, and gratitude is a major step in reclaiming your self-esteem. You can do that by silencing your inner and outer voice when someone lays one on you, and take in the gift you've just been given. At first, it's not easy.


Shake your head up and down, say "yes" and after a generous pause, say either "thank you" or "will you please tell me that again because I'm working on accepting appreciations."   



Hey Jude,

Is it really okay to love myself? That's a radical departure from what I was taught growing up.


Why would we be instructed to love everyone and everything but not love ourselves? That makes no sense. We are just as worthy of love as our neighbor. And how can we truly love others if we don't love ourselves first?    

The great spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, aka Richard Alpert, suggests we meditate and repeat the following:


I love everybody.
I love everything.
I love myself.
I am loving awareness.


So over and over, repeat the above phrases silently and aloud and see what happens. 

We all need to give and receive a lot of kindness. So do your part and spread the love.