Give yourself a Self-Compassion Break

One of the most popular things I teach is called ‘mindful self-compassion’. We give ourselves compassion not to feel better but because we suffer. If you’re having a bad day, if your felling sad, overwhelmed or stressed-out this is the moment to you’re your wee self some compassion.

Self-compassion is not selfish, it’s wise because its only when we are feeling ok with ourselves that we can really help others.  If we’re feeling out of sorts we’re not going to be much use to our colleagues, friends or family.

The practice is really simple but it does take a lot of courage to give it a try – when you do you will be amazed an our effective and profound the results can be.  There are 3 steps in the self-compassion break.

This exercise was devised by Kristen Neff from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Step 1. Awareness of Suffering

When you are aware (mindful) of difficulty or suffering in your life you recognise and acknowledge it by saying to yourself something like: ‘This is a moment of suffering or ‘this hurts’, ‘ouch’, ‘this is stressful’.

Step 2. Common Humanity

Realise that suffering is part of life, that everyone suffers and other people have also or are also at this moment feeling how you are feeling.  This is called ‘common humanity’.  You can say something like: “I am not alone”, “We all struggle in our lives. This is how it feels when people struggle in this way.”

Step 3. Being kind to self.

Now put your hand over your heart saying to yourself: “May I be kind to myself” or “May I accept myself as I am”, “May I forgive myself”, “May I be safe”, “May I be strong.” Whatever words you need to hear that you find soothing and comforting.  If you find it difficult to come up with the right words imagine what you would say to a friend who was suffering in the way you currently are.

I’d love to know how you get on with this practice.

Beautiful Ballycastle

Blog post no.2 coming to you from BEAUTIFUL Ballycastle on what must be the BEST day of the year so far in NI!  It is truly glorious here – barely a cloud in the blue sky and the sea a deep blue too and gorgeous shades of green all around.  It’s just magical.  My heart soared at the very idea that we are ACTUALLY gonna have a Plum Village retreat here in two weeks time – it really is a fabulous place LOVE it.  Please pray for this nice weather to return on 27 – 29 March 🙂

The Davey Village, Corrymeela where most people attending the retreat will be staying is just great – lovely, modern and the room where we will hold the main meditation talks etc is perfect.  Matt the guy who organises things is super helpful – he is going to provide a little-raised platform/stage for Sister Insight and flowers.  He asked me what kind and I said doesn’t matter but then I remembers Sister likes orchids so he’s gonna get some of them – no extra charge 🙂 I said he can keep the for his office after and he said win-win.  They’re all  lovely up in this part of the world :).
Everything seems easy and straight forward which is what we want keep everything simple and zen like 🙂
The cooks said are you SURE you want vegan as people are likely to ask for meat i said NO CHANCE that it is definitely a vegan retreat!  Apparently people say they’re vegan and then ask for a wee bit of chicken! Anyone who knows me, know this won’t happen with anything I’m organising 🙂
I went for a walk to make sure it will be ok for walking meditation with the Sisters and honestly i can report that its GLORIOUS!  The wild noise of the crashing ocean waves and the scenery is amazing 🙂
My only worry is that it will rain… but surely not!
There are still a few places left if you haven’t booked yet…  if you have booked please be excited its gonna be AWESOME 🙂 x x x