Self-compassion is a powerful practice that can bring peace & healing to our hearts.
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is the act of being kind, understanding, and forgiving towards ourselves; just as we would do for a loved one. Self-compassion is the antidote to our inner critic.
Often, we are our own harshest critics, holding ourselves to impossible standards, and we end up berating ourselves for our mistakes and shortcomings. We may think that being tough on ourselves will motivate us to evolve. However, in reality, it only adds to our pain and suffering.
Self-compassion allows us to acknowledge our mistakes and flaws without judgment or self-blame. Instead of beating ourselves up for our imperfections, we can offer ourselves the same warmth, support, and encouragement that we would give to someone we love.
Self-compassion is not self-indulgence or self-pity. It’s a deep sense of love and acceptance for ourselves, all parts of ourselves, no matter what. It’s the recognition that we are human, and that being human means making mistakes, experiencing pain, and facing challenges.
When we practice self-compassion, we are able to let go of self-judgment, blame and shame. We can embrace our imperfections and vulnerabilities with tenderness and compassion, and find the strength to move forward with courage and grace.
Dr. Kristen Neff is an internationally renowned educator in self-compassion. In the video below she explains the 3 core components of self-compassion.
A Simple Self-Compassion Practice
I want to offer you a simple integrative self-compassion practice that you can practice daily to fuel your inner compassionate self and quiet the voice of the inner critic.
Step 1: Ground yourself through your body
We can offer ourselves love and compassion through touch. Offering our bodies a sense of tenderness through touch can be grounding & soothing for our system.
I invite you to place one hand on your heart and the other on your abdomen. Do it with the intention of sending love and compassion toward yourself. If there are particular parts of your body that might need a loving touch, I welcome you to bring your hands to those places as well.
Step 2: Find calm through your breath.
Often when the voice of our inner critic is loud, our stress response can get turned one. We can use our breath to calm our system, so we can drop into the part of us that hold compassion.
An effective way to access a state of calm is to lengthen your exhales. First, begin by paying attention to your breath. Take a deep inhale followed by a long slow exhale. Pursing your lips can help you extend your exhales.
Step 3: Compassionate Affirmations
Through the conscious mind, we can shift the voice of the inner critic to the voice of our compassionate self. Below are 3 affirmations to amplify the voice of the compassionate self.
“I am doing the best I can with what I have.”
“I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.”
“I am human, therefore I am worthy.”
So if you’re feeling down or struggling with self-doubt, remember to be kind to yourself. Take a moment to offer yourself words of comfort and encouragement, and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can in this moment.
You are worthy of love and compassion, simply because you exist. So take a deep breath, and let the healing power of self-compassion wash over you. May it bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of well-being.
With love and compassion,