I invite you to take a moment and pause. Look back over your shoulder and notice how far you have traveled since those early days when life un-taught you self-acceptance. It’s been awhile. And is it any wonder that still, today, we find ourselves learning our way back home to kindness, connection, and acceptance of exactly who we are, as we are? Today, together, we have permission to learn slowly. To surrender what no longer serves us tiny bit by tiny bit. To hold our resistance up to the light and ask it tenderly, “Dear, what do you need right now?” This is a devoted and courageous path. And we are exactly where we need to be.
Today we re-visited the concept of self-compassion, and the group delivered a rich collection of definitions. Thanks to all.
Self-compassion is perceiving ourselves as human beings, just like everyone else is a human being and has inherent value.
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“Self-compassion is embodied by the image of this newly born baby. Seeing yourself as that innocent being that is entirely deserving of warmth and understanding. That image sums it up for me.”
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“It’s a holding environment for life. It’s expressed by things that you can’t put into words. It’s unconditional warmth and acceptance.
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To get to beyond the “wow” and have self-compassion be integrated, cultivating self-compassion has to be deliberate — making space to deliberately be mindful of the suffering that we have adapted to and accommodated in ways that look effective from the outside world, but that really if you stop for a minute, aren’t that helpful.
“My most lasting transformations happened in the subtleties, in those private moments of decision as to which path to walk. In every moment, there is a choice: Will I open, or close? Will I take responsibility, or blame? Will I download the learning, or deflect? Will I go to my edge, or fall back to safety? Will I honor my intuition, or listen to the world? Millions of moments of decision that inform who we become. Getting out of Unconscious Prison is a life-long journey. True path is built with many tiny choices.”– Jeff Brown
- Continue your formal and informal self-compassion practice. If you’re re-integrating formal practice, please try for at least 10 minutes a day, 3 days per week. And if resistance arises, lower the bar for right now and surrender to what you can manage. 5 minutes. 3 minutes. Any amount. Remembering your “why,” which may simply be “Sweetheart, I am here with you. Living is hard sometimes, and you are not alone.” If you have a steady practice already, please continue to practice as usual. And for all, wherever possible, let your practice time be comfortable, ease-full. We’ll move more into this after these foundational weeks of class.
- Creative Invitation: Exploring the Role of Self-Compassion in Your Life Now. Gentle reminder that these periodic CIs are optional; you can dip in and dip out depending on your need to open/close and your schedule. CIs are about the process (and how you relate to what arises), not the outcome. Finally, we will do most of our CI discussions on the discussion boards. However, we will also have a short period of time available for them at the beginning of class.
- Remember that if you miss a summary and resources, you can always access the lot of them here.
- This week’s video recording: (password is b3autifUL).
- 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).