Compassion : A quality of the heart, grounded in awareness – Roger Gabriel “Sunday Compassion” Chopra App
When I was sick with Covid, one of the greatest lessons learned, was that you can’t help others, if you’re struggling yourself.
Up until June 2020, my life mission had been to look after others. I had chosen a career in health care and poured my energy into my work and raising 3 lovely daughters. I had never given much thought to self – care and in all honesty, totally associated the term with selfishness.
Over the past two years, I have come to the realization that there’s a huge difference !
self·ish ˈsel-fish : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. : arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others. a selfish act, – Miriam Webster Dictionary
Self-compassion : “…emerges from the heart of mindfulness when we meet suffering in our lives. Mindfulness invites us to open to suffering with loving, spacious awareness. Self compassion, adds “be kind to yourself in the midst of suffering.” Kristen Neff, PhD, Christopher Germer, PhD – The Mindfulness Self-Compassion Workbook
Et voila !
So where to begin ?
Brene Brown has created a tool she refers to as “Dig Deep”. Based on her research, she discovered that people who live wholeheartedly, dig deep. When they are exhausted and depleted they get :
Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviours through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions;
Inspired to make new and different choices;
Going. They take action.
According to Brown, “when we become more loving and compassionate with ourselves ….we can embrace our imperfections. It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts : courage, compassion and connection.” ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ – Brene Brown , Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Over the past few years, I have learned to “Dig Deep” and the impact has been life changing.
I have gradually incorporated various practices into my daily routine that cultivate self – compassion.
“A moment of self compassion can change your entire day .
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
– Christopher K. Germer
Gone are the days of running around aimlessly and surviving on peanut butter sandwiches for lunch !
Body awareness, breath work, meditation, yoga, nutritious meals, communing with nature, relaxation, massage and vagus nerve activation are all essential ingredients that contribute to my sense of well being.
“Radical self-care is about balancing the system and bringing yourself into alignment.”- ‘Radical Self Care-bring yourself back into balance with sacred healing’ by Kristin Vukovic’Wellness : Living & Travel Organic spa Magazine The Complete Wellness Issue
Roger Gabriel reminds us to make sure we include self -compassion in our daily routine :
- Be kind to yourself
- Be mindful of how your body feels- energy level
- Don’t be overly critical of yourself
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Remain committed to your own spiritual journey
Here is a simple exercise to activate your compassion from within :
Step 1 – Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes
Step 2 – Observe how your body is feeling
-Have compassion for any discomfort
-Resist nothing ( feelings both physical and or emotional)
-Accept what is and be with it
*You will discover that everything is impermanent – easy come , easy go
Step 3 – Breathe and allow your body to relax
Step 4- Observe what is happening in your mind
Step 5- Let go of all thoughts and judgements and focus on your breath
Step 6 – Move your awareness into your heart centre – the home of compassion and breathe slowly
Key takeaway today * Be grateful for all the good things in your life and remember….it takes a full cup to overflow !
Finally after all of this time, my cup runneth over .
One of my goals for 2023 : Recommit to selfless service
Remember ….one act of compassion can change sometimes whole day 🙂
So simple. So effortless .