We are a culture that does not emphasize self-compassion. Let’s face it, we are hard on our selves.
I believe it is because we lack compassion for ourselves. We go so fast throughout our day that we rarely remember to give ourselves a pat on the back or recognize a job well done (no matter how big or small). But we so easily remember the things that didn’t go as planned, that we think we failed out, we remember the job not-so-well-done. We find it incredibly hard to take a compliment and way too often dish out statements of self deprecation. Imagine if someone said to you the things you say about yourself when you are being self deprecating – you probably would be totally insulted right?
This week, let’s try to put away the self-deprecating talk and put into practice a simple exercise to cultivate self-compassion. Try this practice when feeling lonely.
Start by sitting in a quiet place free of distraction.
Set a timer for 5, 7 or 10 minutes depending on how much time you have to give.
Light a few candles. Begin taking long slow breaths.
Gently place one hand on your heart, and the other on your belly.
With your eyes closed, begin to imagine yourself as a child.
Imagine that child represented as a beautiful brilliant light. It doesn’t matter what the color is.
Now imagine that light filling your body.
Breathe into that light. Inhale and the light shines brighter. Exhale and the light grows bigger, taking up more space in your body.
Either silently or aloud say the words, I love you, as you inhale.
As you exhale, simply allow yourself to feel whatever feeling arises.
Keep repeating until your timer goes off.
If you have found that your thoughts wandered during this practice. That’s OK. DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. Keep at it. Remember this is a practice. Keep practicing.
You are a beautiful bright light, my love. Give yourself the time and space to cultivate the appreciation for all that is you.
For other practices to guide you on your path try these:
ps – if you are just starting out with your practice and are having trouble finding a comfy way to sit, try this beautiful mediation pillow