a young black family with a toddler son and a baby girl sit on the the floor and share a laugh as the brother gives his sister kisses in a beautiful display of cultivating kindness by Kristyn Miller

cultivating kindness:

shifting your everyday mindset

Kindness shows up in my life in so many places and so many ways these days, it’s no wonder I find myself naturally incorporating ways of cultivating kindness into my business.

The Soulful Act of Cultivating Kindness

Ezra Bodhi, newest of the Millers and oldest of little souls, arrived alongside the sunrise on Easter morning. It’s hard to believe he’s been earthside for almost four months – time collapses and expands differently through the lens of parenting, I think. Any amount of time with children is the longest, shortest time without a doubt.

Having a baby in the midst of these pandemic days was, and is, such an adventure (one that I’ll share more of sometime), but here’s what I can tell you now: more than ever, I see and feel the beautiful, delicious, real-life, hold-in-your-hand weight of kindness.

From the amazing team of people who helped us bring this little one into the world to the friends who have insisted – with texts and calls and flowers and meals and an outpouring of simple acts – that we will not feel alone even in a time such as this.

a newborn baby boy stares up at the light from a window as his mama enjoys mindful moments in the midst of newborn chaos

All of it is a reminder to me that if there is anything good in the world, it’s because kindness and love have, on purpose, made it that way. While we would never have chosen this wrapping of our pandemic-changed lives for such a strange gift of insight and truth, here it is and I will take it gladly.

Kindness can be a tiny, even unseen thing. Yet it arrives with humble bravery and carries us moment by moment. When I think about the most powerful acts of transformation within our human experience, it’s hard not to find kindness embedded in there somewhere, whether it’s for others or for ourselves.

A toddler practices cultivating kindness as he gently holds his new baby sibling in his lap and cradles the baby's face.

A little girl holds her little toddler brother and gives him a huge kiss on the cheek while holding his face and cultivating kindness

Kindness — for Ourselves and Others — in Business

As entrepreneurs, it’s often harder to see what role kindness might play in the way we create a vision for our lives, or in the way we build a business. We’re focused, we work hard, we take brave leaps, we strategize, we fail, we start again. There’s dedication, courage, anxiety, collaboration, even fear on that rollercoaster (especially in this season), but kindness?

In my coaching practice, I work primarily with creative women in seasons of transition. Often clients come to me with tactical questions – what should my pricing structure be? What kind of sessions should I offer? How do I talk about my brand and get hired? These are solid and important questions to address when you’re shaping a vision of what you want your business to look like. But what lies underneath all of those tactical decisions are a whole host of other questions that guide who we show up as in every part of our businesses and our lives: do you believe you are worth what you want to charge? Does your revenue model support the life you want to live? Who are you to yourself when you’re in a place of doubt?

How we think about ourselves, our worth (and that of our work), and our potential so often comes back to how kind we are willing to be while we work out all the nitty-gritty of being human. When we get hung up in self-judgment or shame around asking to be paid real dollars or how we’ve spent our time or our perception of what others think of us and our work, we sabotage our potential. And we might be willing to be kind to others, but how often do you bestow that on yourself?

How you show up for yourself in a difficult moment – whether it’s self-deprecating or supportive – is a far greater indicator for your potential for success and well-being than the number of zeros currently in your bank account or the number of client sessions currently booked on your calendar.

I’ve seen the power of this in my client’s lives (and my own) over and over again. The smallest shift in our words, our thoughts, our actions towards self-compassion can make the biggest difference in the outcomes we’re after.

a happy image by Kristyn Miller Photography where a little blonde girl and her brother hold hands as they run through the forest smiling

a black man lays on the floor with his toddler son and they smile and he holds his son's head


A Self-kindness Meditation

I put together a little meditation practice on this self-delivered kindness to help my clients wade through those moments and clear the space anew for all the good work that’s yet to be done.

You can either sit comfortably and listen to it or read through it and guide your own meditation.


Find a quiet space, and settle yourself in comfortably. Close your eyes if it brings a bit more peace, or soften your gaze and let your eyes relax.

Take three deep-into-your-lungs breaths. Arrive where you are.

Rewind back to a moment when you were unkind to yourself in words or in actions. Feel the vibrations that arise in your body when you think of this moment and let them be what they are.

Take a breath, fill your lungs, and exhale all the way.

Acknowledge that at that moment, whatever it was, your best was enough. Nurture your past self for their choices. Thank yourself for the chance to revisit the discomfort of that moment. Allow yourself to release it, and breath deeply to move through it and back to the present.

Take a breath, fill your lungs, and exhale all the way.

Now rewind back to a moment when you were kind to yourself in words or in actions. Feel the vibrations that arise in your body when you think of this moment and let them be what they are.

Take a breath, fill your lungs, and exhale all the way.

Appreciate your own willingness to find grace for yourself. Look into the memory of that moment and celebrate when and how you made the choice to be kind. Let the feeling of lightness and ease fill you, and find a home in your body.

Take a breath, fill your lungs, and exhale all the way.


Our creative self is an extension and an embodiment of all the parts of us – even the ones we don’t like very much. What we practice (daily) in our treatment of ourselves is what we strengthen, and when we practice kindness for ourselves, we open the door to show up in our businesses and our lives as our bravest, kindest selves and to live into our potential more fully.