Along my journey to be more self-compassionate, there’s been a lot of this:
🔥 ‘Ugh, dang it, I’m not being self-compassionate. There I go criticizing myself again. I need to be less critical!!’ 🔥 I try to beat back the inner-harshness with a bat. I try to out-criticize the inner-critic with more criticism. If I could just keep that self-ridicule at bay, I could finally be more self-compassionate, right??
The a-ha realization for me about self-compassion has been this:
🔵 Self-compassion is more like a widening of a circle than a slashing of a sword. I can widen my circle of compassion to include my tendency for self-criticism. I don’t have to change my behavior immediately. I can sit in the circle of space where the inner-critic is still spitting out hurtful words at and I can choose to wrap her in self-compassion. When I sit there, in that space where the warmth of self-compassion coats my hurtful inner-critic, I see that she’s just hurting, too. Perhaps she doesn’t deal with the hurt in such a loving and productive way, but she’s doing the best she knows how. And then I feel understood. I feel so much more whole.
… And then, the next time I hear my inner-critic, I start all over again. Sword, circle, repeat. Sword, circle, repeat.
It’s a process, but we are all starting somewhere. What does your circle of compassion look like?
1: Think of the last time you were self-critical or self-doubting 😖
Get back in that space. What were you thinking… feeling… doing? How did it feel in your body to be mad, frustrated, or disgusted with yourself?
2: Wrap it in compassion 🔵
Imagine wrapping that moment in a circle of compassion. Maybe it’s a circle around your body, or a circle around the entire situation. Wrap that irritated + disgusted voice in care. Go on and give it a try. When you’re done, go to step 3.
3: How does it feel? ✋
Now that you’ve wrapped that critical voice in compassion, how do you feel differently? Do you feel a difference in your body?
REFRESH + RENEW EVERY MONDAY WITH ILLUMINATE IN YOUR INBOX!
What could help remind you to ‘zoom out’ + wrap entire situations in self-compassion?
How does self-compassion feel different than optimism or self-esteem? Can you feel the difference in your body?
If you’re interested in learning more about practicing self-compassion, check out the Virtual Workshop for Self-Compassion I am hosting on May 7.It will be full of discussion, practice, guided meditation, and journaling. Please respond to this e-mail if you have any questions! 🙂
With truckloads of compassion,
Upcoming Virtual Events with Maria:
A Workshop for Perfectionists
Monday, April 8 | 5-7pm San Francisco time
$40/ $70 for two
Living on Purpose: What Is Your Noble Goal?
Wednesday, April 17 | 8-9:30am San Francisco time
Pay What You Can Afford
Loving Inward: A Self-Compassion Workshop
Tuesday, May 7 | 8-10am San Francisco time
$40/$70 for two
Illuminate is a weekly e-mail series that provides practical tips + galvanizing inspirations for practicing an emotionally intelligent life. In our time together, we’ll operate from the assumption that you have all the wisdom you need inside of yourself + that you have a purpose the world needs to see. We will explore the tools + techniques to illuminate your own inner wisdom and purpose. If you’d like to receive this free gift of goodness in your inbox every week, subscribe here.
Latest posts by Maria Jackson (see all)
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