In this PsychCentral post, I shared my perspective on emotional health: what it is and how self-compassion is a powerful tool in caring for this aspect of ourselves. I describe emotional health as “the ability to feel and respond to emotions in a way that is adaptive and functional, that supports one’s relationships and autonomy, and is in alignment with one’s core values.” I also shared my perspective on the ways that emotions give us vital information about ourselves and our needs, telling us whether our needs are being met or not. Emotional health is intentionally choosing to respond to an emotion, instead of reacting “in a way that is habitual, unconsidered and often unconscious.”
In this post from PsychCentral, I share my perspective on how self-compassion is a fundamental aspect of having a deeper relationship with yourself. I suggested a few ways to do this. For example, as you go about your day, notice what you say “yes” to. These are activities and needs that will deeply nourish you. Then listen to yourself, and act on these yeses. I shared these examples: “Yes, I’m going to go out with friends rather than work late (like I do most nights); yes, I want to take that class that is interesting to me that I think I don’t have time for; yes, I want to take care of my finances so I’m going to call my student loan servicer; yes, I want to be more mindful in my relationships so I’m going to reflect on what I want to say in response to a challenging email.”
I was interviewed for a two-part series of articles on PsychCentral about self-compassion and body image. I shared my perspective on the ways that self-compassion practices provide powerful gateways to relating with deeper kindness and acceptance to our physical selves. Some of these practices come from the Mindful Self-Compassion course, which I teach. Others are practices that I’ve developed and shared over the years.
I recently read a Huffington Post article about photographer Steve Rosenfield’sWhat I Be Project. Since 2010, Rosenfield has invited subjects to write words on their face and/or body that relate to their deepest insecurities. He then photographs them, looking directly at the camera, and titles their portraits with their insecurity included in the phrase, “I am not my __________________________ .” Rosenfield describes his Project as “a social experiment turned into, what is now, a global movement about honesty and empowerment.” And, I would add, self-compassion.
Do you know the Greek myth of Sisyphus? Short version: Mortal angers the gods and is condemned to eternally push a boulder up hill every day, only to have the boulder roll down hill every night. Sound familiar?
I recently came across “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”, an award-winning children’s book by Mo Willems. In this story, a bus driver needs to take a break, so he asks the reader to keep an eye on things until he gets back. His last instruction is: “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” As soon as the driver leaves, an insistent pigeon appears, pleading to be allowed to drive the bus. The pigeon tries many angles: direct (“Hey, Can I drive the bus?”), crafty (“Hey, I’ve got an idea: Let’s play ‘Drive the Bus.’ I’ll go first!”), bribery (“I’ll give you five bucks!”). As the pigeon persists and persists, and begins to enter tantrum territory, the reader gets to hold the line and say “No!” What a great reminder for kids (and adults).