From the time I was about 10 years old I can recall seasons where a sense of hopelessness would follow me through the morning.

It was the oddest thing. Some days I would wake up and there it would be, sitting in the corner like a cloak insisting on being worn. I couldn’t leave my room without it. Other mornings, it was no where to be seen.

I never knew when it would come or when it would go. I didn’t understand such a heavy emotion so I couldn’t explain it to someone who could have helped.

The good news is, by about noon I was either distracted enough or warm enough on the inside to shed the cloak.

Seasons came and went with that cloak and eventually I became an adult who fought it off with all the good old self-medicating tools at my disposal: alcohol, shopping, and ice cream.

That’s a fun way to live, for a while.

Ten years ago, I found myself with everything I had ever wanted and enjoying none of it. The cloak had found its way into being a regular part of my wardrobe. It wasn’t always the most dynamic or prominent, but it was always an accent piece.

That cloak still sits in the back of my closet. Every once in a while it tries to sneak out. But not very often. It doesn’t want to go where I’m going.

The cloak knows that, like it or not, we are going on a kindness adventure.

I have traded my own sad, frustrated and hopeless feelings for a chance to make other people feel a little warmer.

All day long, every day, I look for them. It’s my own little game. I love a good adventure and anticipating a kindness adventure is my way of keeping my eyes on others while transforming my own life.

People have lots of stories about living a life of intentional kindness. This is mine.

It’s World Kindness Week, so I want to remind you that if you have a cloak of fear, foreboding, perfectionism, or anything else, it might be time to begin your own kindness adventure.

Kindness isn’t about rainbows and confetti and cotton candy (although I do love those things!). Kindness has teeth and it has the power to transform a life. Spend today on the lookout for who you can compliment or treat to a coffee or just prefer over yourself.

In the end, you are the one who will benefit. The life you transform with kindness is your own.