A big thank you to everyone that joined for the women's yoga group this past Friday. What a lovely night it was! It's amazing just how much movement and dancing can uplift us.
We are in the midst of our 3-month exploration of the 3 components of self-compassion. Last month we talked about mindfulness, this month we talked about self-kindness, and next month we'll talk about common humanity.
Here are some take-aways for this month's theme of self-kindness:
Why self-kindess is worth it:
Build up your worthiness from the inside out: By practicing self-kindness you are consistently giving yourself love and acceptance, and thus you begin to embody the idea that you are worthy of love and acceptance. This is really important. Even if in the past you've had relationships that have made you feel unworthy in some way and left you struggling to find your worth, you can repair this and rebuild your own worthiness by practicing self-kindness.
Become less of a perfectionist: Brene Brown tells us that everyone has some tendencies of perfectionism. She also tells us perfectionism is "a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgement, and blame" (The Gifts of Imperfection).
How to practice self-kindness:
Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend: Self-kindness is "actively comforting ourselves, responding just as we would to a dear friend in need." It is recognizing that you are hurting in some way and telling yourself: "This is really difficult right now. How can I care and comfort myself in this moment?" (Kristen Neff, Self-Compassion).
Hugging practice: In times when you are feeling insecure, doubtful, fearful and when your self-critic is on, take just a few moments to hug yourself. Embrace yourself and caress yourself as you offer kind words. This will trigger the release of oxytocin - the love and bonding hormone - which will sooth you and make you feel safer. You can also do the more extended body blessing practice that we've been doing at the beginning of our gatherings - sliding hands throughout the body while touching the body with kindness.
Listen to your body: One of the most popular parts of our gathering this month was the final visualization exercise we did where you asked your body what it needs. You can get the link to an audio recording of the exercise here.
Use a cue card to practice self-kindness daily: In times of distress, kind words are more likely to come to mind if you are practicing them daily. Place the pink cue card you wrote on Friday somewhere where you'll see it often. I placed my card so that I may see it as I wash the dishes.
There you have it. Those are the take-aways for this month's theme of self-kindness.
Connect with the group:
A little something more:
Practicing self-kindness - offering yourself a kind and soothing inner dialogue - might seem like something that would not motivate you to push through some challenges. It might make more sense to be hard on yourself sometimes so that you can motivate yourself to push through challenges and accomplish what you want.
But that's not the case at all. Research shows us that being kind to ourselves is actually very motivational. You can read more on how to Stay Motivated with Self-compassion here.
That is all for now. May you enjoy the warmth and sunshine of Spring.
So grateful for you.