When we are compassionate towards ourselves we are more likely to keep trying and keep moving forward. The opposite is also true when we are hard or more critical towards ourselves, we are more likely to want to give up in despair and stop trying.
Over the years of searching, listening, reading and observing different teachers and concepts I have come to uncover that self-compassion and kindness is one of the biggest and greatest things we can learn to do not only for others but also ourselves.
Compassion leads to empowerment, learning and even helping to build our inner strength.
The kindness we give to others isn’t always the kindness and care that we give to ourselves.
For some of us, it can be easier to give this compassion to others and not ourselves.
It is a process and like anything we can learn to give that same care and support towards ourselves.
No matter what we happen to observe about ourselves or others if we can keep in the back of our minds to remind ourselves to be compassionate.
We are human at the end of the day and we all make many mistakes before we learn from it. We are not alone in this and it is a part of human life. If we learn in the end, it isn’t a mistake and it becomes a valuable lesson. I like to say there is no such thing as failing we just try again and perhaps try a different approach. When we are more compassionate we don’t meet failure with despair we see it as a learning opportunity.
We are all doing the best we can no matter what. Sometimes our best may not be the best we are used to but if that is what we are capable of at that moment it’s the best we can do.
Life has many different challenges and we are often more critical of ourselves more than anyone else. When we criticise ourselves notice if it makes us want to continue with what we might be doing? If we keep bringing ourselves down there’s only going to be so long before we throw our hands in the air and call it quits, unless we have built up a lot of resilience within ourselves. Life is challenging enough at times without us adding to that by beating ourselves up time and time again. We are all in some way struggling and again it is a part of life so if we can remind ourselves of that when life gets hard or we come across others that are struggling as well.
This isn’t to say that we aren’t going to have days that we aren’t harsh on ourselves but once we have that awareness we can learn to just accept that is a part of us also. When we have come to a place of acceptance then we can choose if we wish to choose to replace that with something else or stay the same.
It has also been shown that the more critical we are towards ourselves, it activates our sympathetic nervous system leading to increased stress hormones. Stress is the leading cause of many illnesses and diseases. Compassion, on the other hand, gives us a sense of greater well being.
Here are some great ways to incorporate compassion into our day to day lives:
– Develop a self-compassion mantra
– Acceptance of self/forgiveness
– Gratitude practice making a list of 5 things to be grateful for
– Write a letter to yourself
– Nurture your body/mind/soul
– Making time to do what you love
– Putting ourselves first / setting boundaries
“Can you honor all as sacred? Can you honor yourself as sacred?” – Deborah Adele
Larissa is a yoga, meditation and sound facilitator who currently hosts our Wednesday to Friday retreats. Her mission is to hold a loving and nurturing space for others to be themselves and to become comfortable in the uncomfortable, real and vulnerable.
Larissa is an advocate for not trying to recreate ourselves but to discover how beautiful we already are. She says “to meet oneself we must be willing to face the truth, our fears, our traumas, and our internal world. We must take responsibility for our lives and not blame it on others.”