Be Kind to Yourself

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Seems natural right? It often seems as if self sabotaging comments or being self critical is how many people feed their inner demons (fears, insecurities, frustrations,etc..) This can’t possibly be an effective tool for intrinsically benefiting one self or making any kind of positive contribution to the betterment of the planet.

“If we eavesdropped on the continuous thread of commentary in other’s minds, we’d be surprised at how cruel we are to ourselves. In fact, if self criticism were a disease, it would likely dwarf other epidemics. If, like so many others, you are your own worst critic, you know what psychological distress this relentless mental criticism can cause.” An excerpt from Conversations about Compassion through the Fetzer Institute.

Cultivating a practice in mindfulness, and responding to your own suffering with kindness are two ways that you can develop self compassion. Breaking away from the habit of harboring self-defeating thoughts is a practice that can move a person through this suffering and into a state of peacefulness.

Dr. Kristin Neff has some beautiful guided meditations to assist people in cultivating self compassion click here to explore what may work for you.

I didn’t always view self care as necessary. However, the older and wiser I grow the more I prioritize self care. At the top of the self care list is Self Compassion. Whenever a flight attendant talks about applying the oxygen masks in case of a drop in cabin pressure, they instruct the passengers to first put on your own mask before assisting others.

This analogy remains true in how we take care of ourselves off the plane and in our daily activities. As caretakers, it benefits all people involved.
Taking time to care for our mind, body and soul is crucial during a time when life is moving at a rapid speed. Recognizing that we need to take space from the “to do” list (or add self care to the list) is very important to our sustainability and the quality of life we are living.

Perhaps the term self care is foreign to you and you are wondering what that actually means.
Here are some ideas to stimulate self care practices for you: participating in an appropriate form of exercise, booking a massage, doing a facial at home, hot foot soak with epson salt, a quiet bath with candles and essential oils, tea date with a friend, writing a journal entry, date night with your partner or loved one, making a healthy meal, reading a good book or magazine, having a gratitude practice, meditation or time for peaceful reflection, hiking or a walk around your neighborhood, etc… the list can include anything that contributes to your well being.

The picture featured with this post is one that strikes me as profound. Try it, treat yourself on all levels like it belongs to someone you love. Hope this can make a difference in your life and you can find yourself a little happier, lighter and more loving.

Be Well~

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2 thoughts on “Be Kind to Yourself

  1. some great feedback from my dear friend, Mandara, “Too much self criticism is so common in Western societies.
    The practice of maitri or metta, loving kindness or friendliness helps in that area.
    The traditional way to practice is to first give compassion to yourself, but some teachers in the West say remembering the person you love the most in this world, noting the feeling in the heart, then transferring that feeling to someone close to you, then to yourself, then to a neutral person, and finally to someone difficult.
    This helps with the blocks to giving love and compassion to yourself.
    You can google metta for more ideas, or even better Ayya Khema talks.org for some of the best loving kindness contemplations and reflections.

    Another metta contemplation is to breathe in Peace, breathe out love, to family,friends, neighbors, the world.
    Making kindness and gratitude a daily practice generates warm feelings in the heart center.
    The more unconditional love we can feel, the less separation, which leads to feelings of unity, oneness…”

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