The Foundation of Self-Compassion
An editor at PsychCentral.com recently asked me, "What do you wish people really understood about self-compassion?" Here is my response.
I wish people really understood that self-compassion is fundamentally about caring about yourself. It’s about treating yourself like you would your best friend: with kindness, attention, love, and responsiveness. It’s saying to yourself, “I’m here for you. I care about you and I want to support you.”
I believe this compassionate attitude towards ourselves is the foundation for sustainable change.
As I sit at my desk in California, awaiting the trick-or-treaters, an e-mail my sister just sent me is reverberating through my mind. She wrote from New York, "No power. No school. Halloween postponed 'til next Friday." I picture my little niece and nephew all dressed up in their adorable costumes, having to wait over a week to celebrate one of their favorite holidays.
As the Buddha taught, sometimes life really sucks.
I'm writing this in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and am struck by the theme of loss that seems to be calling out for my attention this month, so I thought I'd muse on the topic of mourning, and offer some insight and support I've learned from my adventures in both Buddhism and Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
What lies about your "not enough-ness" did your mind tell you today? How did you respond?
While scrolling through Facebook this evening, I noticed a sinking feeling in my chest and could sense my upper body contracting. Luckily, thanks to my mindfulness practice, I was able to notice the unpleasant feeling right away and trace the feeling back to the thought that went something like, "I'm not informed enough."
I felt relief in noticing the thought and identifying it as one of those pesky "not enough" thoughts.
I was recently featured in an article on PsychCentral.com about practicing self-compassion. Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky. Click here to read the article on Psychcentral.com.
How to Practice Self-Compassion When You Think You Can't
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Self-compassion is powerful. It promotes inner peace. Self-
criticism, the opposite of self-compassion and what most of us are
used to practicing, “is an experience of inner conflict,” according to
Ali Miller, MFT, a therapist in private practice in Berkeley and San