Why Fierce Kindness is a Practice…

Woman doing Fierce Kindness Practice

Fierce Kindness is many things, but at its simplest, Fierce Kindness is the practice of being kind – no matter what. And it applies to how we treat ourselves, others and also how we treat our environment or the planet.

Let’s start with: What is Kindness?

Kindness is simply this: a universal form of love.

And what makes kindness different from other forms of love is that it can always be applied. We may not be able to love everyone and everything, but we can always be kind.

It’s important to note there are many ways to be kind – and not all are soft and gentle. In this world of busyness, overwhelm and distraction, it requires integrity, courage, determination and perseverance to bring kindness to all aspects of your life. It can be challenging, and that’s why it’s a practice.

And what’s essential is to find the right level of kindness to fit a situation – which may involve being Fiercely Kind or even Kindly Fierce when we need to be.

The challenge with Kindness…

So. These days, being kind is quite the heroic choice!

We are a culture that only values kindness in specific spheres of life eg. with a child/animal, when something terrible has happened or when someone is obviously suffering or sick. The rest of the time we’re expected to take care of ourselves and not be a burden.

In particular, kindness is considered inappropriate at work or in business – because it’s equated with weakness.

Yet, kindness IS a form of strength and courage: it’s much easier to hide behind a mask, than be ourselves; it’s much easier to get angry than it is to admit how much something hurts; it’s much easier to dismiss someone as different than to overcome our fear and be curious, considerate and courteous; and it’s easier to go along with the crowd than stand up for what is right.

So while kindness includes being friendly, loving, generous and considerate, it also includes being strong, firm and even fierce – in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I wonder if you’ve seen bullying or exclusion at work, and let it happen? Or perhaps you experienced meanness at school or work and no-one was kind and stood up for you? And we’ve all heard about corporate decisions made where profit is chosen over being kind to the planet, people and doing the right thing.

The truth is…

…there’s no reason we can’t bring kindness into ALL spheres of life – including corporate life.

The Fierce Kindness Philosophy

Fierce Kindness practice forms part of the Fierce Kindness philosophy – a way of approaching and crucially being in our world. And there are 4 threads to the Fierce Kindness philosophy.

The 4 Threads of Fierce Kindness

Also known as The 4 Cs, there are 4 threads that weave through Fierce Kindness. And together these make for a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life:

  1. CONNECT. Connect to yourself, others & something bigger than yourself. In particular get to know yourself deeply – what you really want and need, who and what matters most.
  2. CREATE a life you love – so you’re operating from a place of strength. Yet, at the same time, learning to love the life you already have…
  3. CHOOSE (Fierce) Kindness always. Be kind and courageous – with yourself and others.
  4. CONTRIBUTE. Do something (however small) to make a difference: we find meaning and purpose when we become part of the change we wish to see.

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

So I’m excited to finally begin to share more Fierce Kindness practices, and our philosophy with you.

Next week we’re going to introduce you to a visual tool I designed to help us put Fierce Kindness into daily practice: the Kindometer!

And in the meantime, remember

Change the world. Start with you!

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Image of Calm Person by Marharyta Gangalo via Shutterstock


  1. Jeanette Harris

    Hi Emma Louise,
    I like this article a lot. It’s sad that we can’t show kindness at work because it is considered a sign of weakness. And, I agree with you that kindness is a sign of strength instead. It takes strength to be kind to people who hate you for no apparent reason. I choose to be kind each day in some way because when I go about my day someone somewhere is kind to me also, and I feel blessed to be able to give and receive love. Thanks for spreading this message. Hopefully, the rest of the world will catch on soon.

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Hi Jeanette,
      Thank-you! I love that you are already out there – being kind no matter what! I do hope the world will catch on – I believe it is beginning to…
      Em x

  2. Jennie

    I have been asked to write an article about kindness because Perhaps I’m seen as such. My curiosity, understanding and practice of kindness is far more challenging than they might be expecting but I wish to express this. I share your view of kindness being extended to all forms of life and nature. I am an activist for animals, refugees and the environment. My activism is an action of kindness but it also challenges and alienates, particularly when I’m being assertive. My allegiance is to the suffering (the exploited, the victims of systems, tradition, culture, religion etc) foremost. This is where courage, integrity and strength related to my understanding of deep compassion and kindness is manifest. It causes me grief but I now recognize it as fierce ( which I googled and found your writing ) thanks.

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Dear Jen!
      What a lovely comment/message. It sounds like you are indeed practicing Fierce Kindness (which for me is also an intelligent, thoughtful kindness that doesn’t just accept what we’re told, but THINKS about things, about what is happening in the world etc etc).
      How wonderful that you are clearly both strong and kind, and that people appreciate you for it.
      For me kindness is simply a form of love that can ALWAYS be applied. BUT, there are different levels needed, depending on the situation. And being Fiercely Kind and Kindly Fierce can also be kind!
      You may also like (if you didn’t find it already) the Kindometer: https://fiercekindness.com/kindometer/
      Warmly, Emma-Louise


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