A Self-Compassionate Letter as You Begin Your Journey
The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror
And each will smile at the other’s welcome…
– Derek Walcott
from Love after Love
To bring awareness to your self-compassionate voice and to use that awareness to help you set clear, conscious intentions for the eight-month journey ahead.
Your journal and a pen you love to write with
Before you begin this exercise, please complete “How Would I Treat a Friend?” Then, sit down, settle comfortably, and find the breath. Acknowledge all that it took to arrive right here, in this moment. Breathe into your feet – really feeling the ground supporting you. Be present to the physical sensations of air on your skin. Stay with this until you feel present and centered.
- After completing “How Would I Treat a Friend,” please get out your journal.
- To begin, simply free write. What’s on your mind about your participation in the CDP course? Allow it all to emerge. You might wish to give voice to uncertainty, fear, excitement, curiosity, and anything in between. Allow enough time and space for the quietest thoughts to arise, then set them free in your journal.
- Once you feel you’ve said everything you wish to say, go back over your writing and underline any words or phrases which pop out and seem like they could benefit a kind response. Perhaps a fear expressed, or ambivalence, or an element of self-doubt.
- Next, staying deeply present to what you discovered in “How Would I Treat a Friend,” please write a compassionate letter to yourself in response to anything that came up in your free-writing. Use your most self-compassionate voice as you write the letter. You might even begin your letter with a term of endearment.
- Here are a few things you could include in your letter to yourself:
- As if writing to a good friend, speak to any of the difficult feelings that you identified and underlined in your free-writing.
- What do you need to hear as you venture out on this journey?
- Knowing that all experiences shift through periods of difficulty and ease, open and closing, what might support you personally along the way?
- What resources can you draw upon during your time in the program that will help you stay committed to taking care of yourself?
- If you wish, you may choose to submit a copy or photo of your self-compassionate letter to Aimee and Bal via email, and we will print it out and send it back to you in the post when the moment is right as a gentle reminder of your own voice of support.
- If you find that you are deeply moved by music, choose a song that is motivational and captures your loving self talking to you. Share it with the group if you wish, and let us know what about the song touches you.
- As you write, be present to any joy or excitement that emerges.
- If fear or doubt emerges, is there one small, tender step you can take to soothe yourself?
- Now that you’ve written this self-compassionate letter, can you think of any specific actions you can take to set the stage for a truly deepening experience in your life?
- If you wish, feel free to share about your discoveries on the Creative Activity Wall.