Today will begin by defining what mindfulness is and what mindful self-compassion is, then we will be moving forward with exercises you can practice in future blogs. As we previously announced, we are going to be posting about Mindfulness on the 2nd Monday of each month.
Beginning with mindfulness…
In A Year of Living Mindfully, Richard Fields, PhD, highlights two aspects of mindfulness being: Awareness of awareness and attention to intention.
Fields also explains that, “Mindfulness is about embracing the now, good and bad. It is about not beating yourself up about lost opportunities and mistakes in the past. It is about loving and embracing the goodness in the life you have. It isn’t about pretending that all is rosy or replacing negative thoughts with positive. It’s accepting that life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, and that this is our common humanity. We all have adversity, we all have challenges. It is part of the human condition.”
Many of you are parents or caretakers and regularly show compassion for others, but the notion of self-compassion is not always so easy!
Researcher, author and founder of Self-Compassion.org, Kristin Neff, PhD, tells us that, “Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” “how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?” Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.” You can test your “self-compassion level” by taking Kristin’s self-compassion assessment.
Quotes to ponder…
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” ~Allan Lokos
“For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others, first he or she must have a basis upon which to cultivate compassion and that basis is the ability to connect to one’s own feelings and to care for one’s own welfare. Caring for others requires caring for oneself.” ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama