As we continue our journey together, we began our re-exploration on nurturing our inner compassionate voice by re-considering our relationship with the self critic and looking deeply into what this critic might have to teach us. Noting that sometimes that voice is an internalized voice from earlier in our lives and has ZERO redeeming value. But that often, there is a deeper intention on the part of the self-critical voice to serve us well, as misguided and outright painful as its methods may be. Fortunately for us, the self-compassionate voice also serves us and is something we can intentionally cultivate, even if this has been a part of our inner dialogue for many, many hears.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll play with new ways of motivating with ourselves in our daily life. Remembering that as we nurture and develop our compassionate voice (in tone, felt sense, and in words), we do so both for ourselves and others. For those among us who care for others — whether we’re clinicians, teachers, parents, children of aging parents, etc.) this pathway to self-kindness may most readily accessed with this in mind!
- 20-30 minutes of formal practice about 5x per week. Special emphasis: Soften the inclination to fulfill an obligation, be a better student, reduce stress, etc. If you still find yourself striving/ “shoulding” on yourself, try to recall the reason that you’re sitting: a chance to invite in what you are feeling and accept yourself as you are, rather than as a self-improvement project. Not so much “Project Me.” 🙂 Visiting/Re-visiting your practice makes imperfect pages to support you in going easy on yourself.
- Continue weaving in LK for Ourselves in your formal meditation. Work with creating that inviting holding environment that Bill Morgan describes. Noticing how your LK phrases may wish to shift after a period of time.
- If meditation is feeling like a struggle, we encourage you to take a little breather and play with some of Bill Morgan’s meditations, freely available at his website and written about in Meditator’s Dilemma.
- Creative Invitation: Drawing your Compassionate Voice. Good news: you get to do this exercise with your non-dominant hand, so it’ll be easier to sidestep that judgement that can so often creep in. Please remember that it’s about what unfolds during the process, not the physical outcome of the process.
- Gilbert and Choden offer a different way of working with the self-critical voice in Mindful Compassion. If you wish to play with it, go to Exercise 17, pp 270 – 272. If you do not have the book on hand, you can read the exercise here.
- This week’s video recording: Password is “Motivating2018C3”