Today we continue with learning what mindful self-compassion is and isn’t and try a simple exercise.
About Self-Compassion (from a Mindful Self-Compassion workshop with Kristin Neff, PhD)
Self-compassion is not:
- Self pity (“Woe is me; no one knows the pain I do”)
- Self esteem (Tied to what we do/achieve rather than who we are)
- Self indulgence (Short –term pleasure or escape)
- Self-kindness (Treating self with care and acceptance)
- Common humanity (“We all struggle. I am not alone.”)
- Mindfulness (Allows us to be – without suppressing or exaggerating)
When you are stressed or are struggling, gently say to yourself:
- “This is hard.” or “This hurts.” or “I’m struggling.” (Mindfulness)
- “Struggles are part of living.” or “I’m not alone.” Or “Other people struggle too.” (Common humanity)
- “May I be kind to myself.” Or “May I accept myself as I am.” or “May I learn to accept myself.” (Self-kindness)
If you can’t find the words, recall what you say so easily to others when they are struggling.
Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion
- Treat yourself with the same kindness you’d use with those you care about. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, don’t say it to yourself.
- Be aware of your inner voice. If a critical message pops up in your mind, be prepared with a kind message in response. (“Why can’t I ever do this right?!” “This is hard. If I keep at it, I’ll get it right. Maybe I need to ask for help.”)
- Try a gentle touch or gesture with yourself. Try folding your arms over your heart or cradling your chin as you might a child’s sweet face.
Quotes to Ponder
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Buddhist proverb
“I’m on the patch right now. Where it releases small dosages of approval until I no longer crave it, and then I’m gonna rip it off.” ~Ellen DeGeneres