In this follow-up article on PsychCentral, I share my thoughts on how to respond with compassion when you experience anxiety.
I was recently interviewed in PsychCentral about how self-compassion can help you relate differently to your anxiety.
When you think about self-compassion, do you feel worried that it’s a trick ~ that if you treat yourself with kindness, something bad will happen? Even if you know, intellectually, that self-compassion is important and something you want to cultivate, there are probably some parts of you that aren’t so sure. If you have a history of being a perfectionist, or feeling that you need to be productive at all times, you may have some resistance to practicing self-compassion!
Fire and heat and impermanence are on the minds of many folks right now. In the last two weeks, wildfires in Northern California have burned over 140,000 acres combined. While the fires are becoming increasingly contained, they are still burning as I write this. I have been thinking a lot about the people, animals, trees and land impacted by these fires. I know at least one person who lost her home, and I have been moved by the courageous and pragmatic way that she is meeting her experience abrupt change and unexpected loss.
It’s probably obvious that cultivating self-compassion will help you come into a healthier relationship with yourself. When you practice interrupting old patterns of self-criticism and relating to your experience with greater curiosity and less judgment, your internal climate becomes significantly friendlier.
If you struggle with self-judgment, you’ve probably wondered where it comes from, and how you can find relief from it. In my experience and training as a therapist, and in my own personal process, I’ve seen that self-judgment can have a variety of causes.
I was recently interviewed for a PsychCentral article which focuses on ways that self-compassion can help those who are struggling with depression.
Recently, I met a little dog named Cookie who reminded me of how easy it can be to misunderstand inconvenient feelings, as well as how hard it can be to have compassion for them.
I was at Austin Zen Center recently, attending a ceremony for my teacher, who was installed as the Center’s first abbot. As part of the ceremony, my teacher made five statements to summarize his teaching. The one that stuck with me most was this: whatever you find in yourself, acknowledge it, accept it, and forgive. This statement aligns very closely with the three aspects of self-compassion: awareness, a sense of common humanity, and kindness. It also sounds like a recipe for making amends with oneself, and I wanted to share it with you.
If you’re human, you’ve probably made an unforced error. An unforced error is a sports term that refers to a missed shot or lost point (as in tennis or volleyball) that’s entirely a result of the player's own error and not because of the opponent's skill or effort. In other words, it’s the shot you “should” have made. You’ve made shots like that hundreds, maybe thousands of times, yet for some reason, you missed it this time.
In my groups and workshops, people often ask about shame: where it comes from and how to cope with it. I recently attended a self-compassion training with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, and I found their teachings on shame to be insightful and helpful.
Would you like to include some simple self-compassion practices in your morning routine?