And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth
by Raymond Carver
It was another day of connection, courage, and insight as we explored the nature of self-compassion in our lives. We revisited the concept of self-compassion, which has three components: Self-Kindness vs. Self-Judgement, Common Humanity vs. Isolation, and Mindfulness vs. Over-Identification. After, we looked at how each of those components are reflected in our own lives. We also considered some small ways to re-/introduce more of each component into our lives starting with small, accessible, self-compassionate actions. We also took a deep dive into some of our remaining misgivings about self-compassion, noticing that for a great many of us, our analytical, “head” understanding of self-compassion and its benefits to our wellbeing often bumps against long-held beliefs about what it means to be kind to ourselves. A ripe area for continued inquiry!
Next time we meet, Feb. 14, we’ll be joined by Steve Hickman, who will invite us to consider our current meditation practice in“Refreshing Our Aim: How to Reconnect With Formal Practice if it Starts to Feel Empty or Rote.” This fourth meeting also marks the beginning of our focus on mindfulness and the introduction of specific formal meditation practices into the CDP.
- Reminder that we have a rest week next Wednesday, Feb. 7., so we will not meet formally.
- If you have any specific questions for Steve during his guest presentation on Feb. 14, please place them on the Discussion Board, and we’ll pass them along in advance. Steve has taught and written quite a bit on meditation, so check out his page on Mindful.org if you’re curious to learn more about him or his philosophy of practice.
- Please add Self-Compassion Break (Audio by Kristin) to your current practice three times per week. On the 14th, we will turn our attention to formal practice and add more structure to our home practice with the help of the CDP Practice Makes Imperfect Journal. Stay tuned!
- OPTIONAL Creative Invitation: If you would like to further explore how the various components of self-compassion are represented in your life, I invite you to play with the related Creative Invitation, which is an elaboration of what we did in class. This is your first C.I., so it is typical for there to be both excitement and a bit of fear around trying something new like this. However, I strongly encourage you to read about how to approach C.I.s In a nutshell, remembering that the exercises aren’t so much about outcome — rather, we’re focusing on process and what arises as we work with our materials. Also, you may think as you read the C.I. that you can predict what will unfold. Perhaps. And, if you can approach this with an open, don’t-know mind, unexpected insights could arise. This is one of the unique beauties of the C.I.s. We’ll have time to share about these experiences in class.
- Five Myths of Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff in Psychotherapy Networker article on Misgivings
- Self-Hate and the Battering Cycle from There is Nothing Wrong with You (pp 63-67) by Cheri Huber, below. Be aware that while Huber’s lens is decidedly Zen Buddhist, it is a thoroughly accessible and lucid peek into how we abandon ourselves time … and how we can work with it (page 90).