The topic of loving kindness is incredibly empowering, though challenging for many of us. To love ourselves unconditionally takes work, dedication and commitment to work on the relationship we have with ourselves.
Compassion is having an awareness of suffering and a sympathetic concern and response to that suffering. We are much better at being compassionate towards others than towards ourselves.
Self-compassion involves being kind and understanding towards ourselves when confronted with suffering, perceived personal short-falls as well as honouring and accepting your humanness!
The three elements of self-compassion are:
- Self-kindness versus self-judgement
Warmth and understanding when we suffer, fall down or feel inadequate versus self-criticism and punishment.
- Humanity versus isolation
Recognising tough times are part of life and the shared human experience versus thinking we are all alone in our experience and isolated.
- Mindfulness versus over-identification
Observe thoughts and feelings with openness and nonjudgement versus indulging and over identifying with them, getting caught up in limited views.
The second act of loving kindness we’ll touch on this week is forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about condoning a behaviour that doesn’t align with your values, it is a way to release the negative feelings of anger or resentment you may be harbouring towards a person or about a situation. Forgiveness is essentially a healing act for ourselves.
Loving kindness mantras and meditations can also be used to work through ‘blocks’ in relationships with people who you have a complicated relationship with. Just as we can train a growth mindset to perceive life stressors and situations in a different light, so too can we use mantras to see people in a different light.
By now you will be really familiar with the practice of gratitude, following the daily practice as prompted in your journal. The benefits of gratitude are endless. Helping to attain a high vibration of happiness and love as we reflect on those people, places and situations in our lives that fill our hearts. Gratitude also helps us to attain a growth mindset, to see opportunity in the future and lessons in our day-to-day and past experiences. The practice of gratitude helps us to accept what is without judgement.
Human instinct is generally to avoid negative (or potentially negative) experiences. Acceptance is the alternative to this instinct. It is the active choice to be aware of and allow the occurrence of processes, experiences or conditions without trying to avoid or change them. It also involves learning and adopting techniques that help us be mindful, and manage how we react to our thoughts and feelings rather than being caught up in them. Acceptance is not about being a door mat, rather it is being equipped with the skills to accept negative thoughts and feelings.
In our final workshop, we will discuss these core wellbeing practices and ensure you have a sound plan for moving forward with them in your day-to-day life following the program.
Can’t wait to see you soon for a cuppa and a chat!
‘Own Time’ activities
Refer to Your Empower Journal.