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Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Have you ever been harsh or critical with yourself? My guess is the answer is “YES”.  Did you know as humans, we are much harsher on ourselves than we are with other people? Think about it, have you secretly blamed and then beaten yourself up with negative self-talk. We do it so frequently, that we go on to autopilot. The criticism,  blaming and hash self-talk starts to flow. Before we know it, our mind filled with toxic thoughts.

If you can relate then I would love to let you in on a little secrete. One of the best ways to calm the harsh self-talk is to practise kindness and self-compassion.

Trust me! By being, kind and showing yourself, compassion will profoundly change your life. The more we practice being kind and compassionate with ourselves. The more we will develop the habit of self-compassion.

Here are a few tips on practising self-compassion to get you started.

Create Self Compassion time

We hear about the importance of self-care and the many benefits, but have you ever consider creating a self-compassionate time? Here some of my favourite ways to create self-compassion time in my day.

It only takes 10 minutes and it can make a huge difference to your emotional and mental health.

Self-soothing practices  

We can do simple practices such as self-soothing rituals like breaths in and say “

“I treat myself with love, kindness and compassion”.

Then breathe out. Repeat for five breath cycles.

Self-compassion break

 Take a self-compassion break. –It’s just like taking a tea break. A quick break in your day to show yourself some self-compassion. Step away from daily task and take 5 minutes break to show yourself some self-compassion. Do one kind thing for yourself during your compassion break. Pop a reminder on your phone or in your calendar. Then you have your self-compassion time scheduled. There no excuses for missing out on taking 5 minutes to be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Morning Routine

Another way to create self-compassion time is to start a morning routine that includes compassion.

This may be a morning meditation practice. (Check the link below for a free self-compassion meditation).  As part of your routine, you may like to include saying some compassionate words to yourself or give yourself a compliment. A great way to implement this is to write out your compassion words on a post-it note and stick it on the mirror.  Then when you’re getting ready in the morning, it’s right there on the mirror as a reminder. The perfect way to show yourself a little love and compassion in the morning.

Taking a self-compassion break helps you to care and nurture yourself. It allows you to open your heart and be kind to yourself.

Self-compassion practice for difficult emotions

When difficult emotions arise, we often experience feelings of overwhelming. When in this heightened state it is the perfect time to show yourself kindness and compassion to bring about emotional calm.

First recognizing the emotion without judgment or attachment. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself it’s normal to have an emotional reaction when life is difficult. Be gentle and nurturing with yourself. Give yourself the space to work through the emotions. Be open and ‘make room for thoughts and feelings. Allow feelings to flow through you. Don’t try and fight the feeling , push them down, or control them. Validate your experience through kind self-talk. Practice accepting difficult emotions when they arise.

When we accept that, it’s a normal part of being a human to have uncomfortable thoughts feelings and emotions is an act of self-compassion within itself.

Compassionate exercise when difficult emotions arise.

Pace your right hand on your heart, and then place your left hand over the top of your right hand.

Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself –

Close your eyes – Repeat this affirmation Slowly 10 times.

“I am ok”.

Self-compassion through writing

Writing is a great way to express emotions, improve your well-being and show kindness.

Try to incorporate self-compassion into your journal writing. This will make practising self-compassion even stronger.

In your journal, be open and honest with yourself. Write about anything experiences you had during the day. Did you feel bad about anything? Or judged yourself harshly? Was there a stressful situation? Write anything you want to allow yourself to reflect on your experience. From this experience, explore ways you can show yourself self, more kindness and compassion

I find using kind words such as:

I’m doing the best I can.

I’m learning and growing from my experiences.

I forgive myself

I reflect and look for ways to be my best self

I’m kind and gentle with myself

You may like to write you on self-compassion phrases, which feels good to you.


Self-compassion letter

Another writing exercise is to write a self-compassionate letter to yourself. In your letter let yourself know that you care about yourself. Be gentle, and reassuring towards yourself. Write yourself some kind, comforting words. This exercise is helpful in difficult times when you need to show yourself some love and kindness.

Compassionate Self-touch

This is a simple practice but is a powerful way of showing kindness and compassion.

Find a comfortable position.

Now bring your mind to something you have been struggling with, it could be an internal struggle or an external struggle. Sit with this struggle for a moment. You may want to consider how this struggle is affecting you, how it is affecting your life. Notice what difficult thoughts and feeling are arising.

Become aware of within the body where you feel the feelings that are arising. Be aware of the part of the body that is hurting the most.

Now bring your attention to one of your hand. Within this hand, imagine that you hold someone that is very kind and caring.

Then place this kind and caring hand gently on whichever part of the body that hurts the most.

Send warmth, care and compassion inwards. Through the palm to the place that is hurting.

Imagine the body softening, relaxing and making space. Allow kindness and compassion to flow through your body.

Continue with this kind of self-touch for as long as you wish. (You can download a guided recording of this practice) here

Only through practice, we become better at showing ourselves compassion. It may feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first but, the more kindness and compassion we are with ourselves. The better we become at handling life’s ups and downs.

Forgive yourself be gentle with yourself and recognize that you are a human.

You make mistakes.  You do not have to be perfect. You are learning, growing and doing the best that you can.

So, next time you are harsh or critical of yourself. Take a moment to pause and draw upon one of these practices. Show yourself kindness and compassion you are worth it.

You are worth of self-compassion

You are worthy of kindness

You are worthy of self-love.

And remember:

You can search the entire universe for someone who more deserving of you love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love affection, kindness and compassion. – Budda

I would love to hear how you feel about this topic and how you are bringing more self-compassion into your life Leave a  comment or get in touch here.

You may feel inspired to start your journey of self-compassion. Please click here. To find out more about how I can support you.

Listen to a free self-compassion meditation here.

A Journey of Self Reflection

A Journey of Self Reflection

 

Recent events have touched us all in a deep and profound way. We have been forced to slow down and withdraw from our fast pace way of life.

The life we once knew of filling every minute of every day with busy busy … came to a grinding halt.

Without the busyness to fill our every waking moment. It gives way to more time and space to go within and explore a little deeper.

For me, this time has made me question, contemplating and reflecting. I guess you could call it self-reflection, trying to understand the internal struggle of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Questing my place in the world, am I on the path a want to be on? I am I following my dreams. Where do I fit in? What do I have to offer?  All these questions have been a wakeup call. It has given me the opportunity to look in the mirror and ask myself the important questions about my life.  This time has allowed me to embark upon the journey of self-reflection.

Are you ready you to go on your own journey of self-reflection?

Self-reflecting is not necessarily an easy journey to face. However, I will promise you this. It is one of the most valuable journeys; you will undertake for your personal growth.

“The Journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life” (Iyanla Vanzant)

Self-reflection is the process of taking the time to go within and analyse our inner self a little deeper.  Through this analysing we able to gain insight into who we are, what we value, out thoughts, actions, desires and motivation.

In this self-reflective process, we come to understand our true selves. By looking inward, we tale off the mask we wear for the outside world.  It allows us to connect with our true selves and grow from this self-reflection experience. Self-reflection is a powerful process and it will have a positive effect on your life.

Let’s go on a journey of self-reflection

Here are ten practices that will help you go within and self-reflect.

1.Write

Journaling for self-reflection

Journaling is a beautiful way to deeply self-reflection.

It can be as simple as writing a daily self-reflection sentence about anything you want to reflect on.

Another way to journal is to reflecting daily on three things you are grateful for and why.

If you feeling you want to go a little deeper. Then write a longer journal entry about something good or bad that you experienced.

Explore and reflect about the event, your thoughts feelings or emotions that are coming up for you.

Try not to censor what you write, allow the words to flow. Then read over your journal entry. Reflect upon what you have written, you will be amazed about the insight you get from your writing.

There no wrong or right way to journal. do what feels right for you and will help you to reflect inwards

2. Question Yourself

Asking yourself the tough questions is a vital part of the self-reflective These questions can feel uncomfortable, however, by asking these questions and answering honestly, we able to hold a reflective mirror up to your lives and yourself.

Reflective questions:

Who am I?

How I am I behaving?

What are my values?

What are my desires?

Is my life heading in the direction I want?

What motivates me?

What makes me happy?

3. Cultivating time for Stillness

Do you make time in your day for stillness?

As it only from being still and silent.  We are able to go within and deeply connect with ourselves and reflect. With stillness, we get to know our true selves.  We take a deep inward journey and slowly peel away the lays. There is nowhere to hide in stillness. You are complete with yourself. Disconnected from the external world that distracts us from our true selves.

Reflect:

How can you cultivate time for stillness? It can be a simple as a 5-minute mindfulness practice being still and present in the moment.

Or a beautiful meditations practice. That brings you into stillness

Here are some mediations have created to get you started click here

 

By creating time to be still it allows the space to do the deep reflective work we need to connect, grow and learn about ourselves

4. Get in touch with your feelings-

Reflect on your feelings and get in touch with how you feel. This is confronting work. For many of us, it is easier to push our feeling aside or tell ourselves that what we are feeling is not valid. Do not dismiss how you feel. You have the right to feel the way you feel and not to push your feelings aside.

By reflecting on feelings, and understanding them. It gives insight into your emotional and mental wellbeing.

Try this practice:

Take a breath

Pause

Reflect:

Go within and ask how do I feel?

Why am I having these feelings?

How are these feeling affecting me?

If you need support with exploring your feeling, more. Enlist the help of a professional counsellor or coach.

5. Reflect on the story

Reflect on the story you are telling yourself. The inner critic what is it saying?

By reflecting on the story and the words, we say to ourselves. It helps to develop inner awareness. Generally the default story we tell ourselves it the I’m not good enough story.

Reflect:

Listen to what it is you say to yourself. Do you need to release the old story or harsh words you speak to yourself?

Stepping back and observing the story gives you the power to defuse the thought pattern. Develop a regular reflective practice of the stories and words you use. It will empower you to recognise when the story is no longer serving you and to replace it with the new and improved story.

6. Care for self

One of the best ways to care for yourself is to reflect on what your needs are and how you care for yourself

Reflect: .

How do I currently care for myself?

Do I spend more time caring for others than myself?

What do I need to feel cared for?

What do I need to feel my best?

Then from the answer to these questions create a care plan for yourself. A great way to put in place your plan, is to pick a time and day that you are committed to implementing care for yourself. I like to have time on Sundays. I call it my self-care Sunday!

7. Self-compassion and kindness.

Did you know that being kind to yourself has a great positive effect on your life? Think about it the way you treat yourself influences every aspect of wellbeing. We are with ourselves 24/7 and we can say some unkind thing to ourselves. Would you say to a friend the thing you say to yourself? The words we say to ourselves have meaning.

Reflect: Do I treat myself with kindness and compassion?

Do I need to be kinder to my self?

Try this : saying something that facilities kindness.

Phrases such as “I am kind to myself” “I am gentle with myself “. I treat myself with kindness.

Place you hand on your heart and say I hold myself with kindness and compassion. Experiment and reflect on what feels good and brings up a feeling of self-compassion.

8. Personal Growth

Do you ever stop and look at how much you have grown? The lessons you have learned along your journey.  By self-reflecting on your personal growth, it gives you a picture of where have you been and where are you going.

I am sure along the way there has been mistakes and challenges. However, think about all that you have gained from these experiences.

Reflect on: How much growth you have achieved

Reflect on the personal growth that has taken place over the last 5 years. What have you done? what have you achieved?

An important thing to look at is what learning has taken place from the challenges or mistakes I have made?

Growth can only come about from reflecting in where you once were to where you are today.

9. Permission to Dream

Do you give yourself permission to dream?

Dreams are important. They give your life purpose, direction, goals and meaning for your life.

Reflect upon the dream you are holding. What life do you want to create in the future.? Having a dream to look forward gives you a sense of hope, control and choice about your future.

Don’t give up on your dreams. By giving up on your dream, you are giving up on yourself. Give your self permission to dream and pursue the life you desire.

Reflect:

Do you have a dream? Do you think you are worthy of your dream?

Are you ready to give you self-permission to pursue your dream?

10. Holistic reflection

The connection between mind, body, emotions and spirit has been proven scientifically.

We are more than our thoughts. There is an undeniable connection between mind, body, emotion, and spirit.  This holistic connection makes us who we are.

Reflect:

How do I care and connect with:

My mind?

My Body?

My emotions?

My spirituality?

Reflecting on the relationships, we have with the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual self. Allows us to nourish and connect with ourselves fully.

You may want to choose one self-reflection practice and try each day over the next 10 days.

The journey of self-reflection has so many benefits for our personal growth. Taking time for self-reflection can be difficult and challenging. It is confronting to step back and reflect on yourself. Yet, there are so many benefits of self-reflection. It allows you to connect with yourself, gain perspective, lean and grow.

Wishing you all the best on your self-reflective personal growth journey.

If you curious about diving deeper into self-reflection you can learn more here

 

 

 

 

HOW TO RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF

HOW TO RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF

Developing a sense of connection to ourselves is about having a stronger sense of awareness of who we truly are.  Our unique strengths, gifts, and ideas.  It means going within and not looking outside of ourselves to fill the sense of connection. Often we look to the outer word to fill the void we are feeling within.

We are so busy, distracted, stressed, overwhelmed. We connected to our phones, our email, social media. We are living in a world of information overload. We are looking externally for connection and validation. The external ways of connection are getting stronger and stronger. It can be easy in these times to feel a loss of connection to ourselves.

Take a moment to disconnect from the busy world around you. Stop to ask yourself to do you feel connected to yourself. Do you go within to connect to who you truly are?

If you feel an urge to reconnect with yourself read on! I got five practices for you to get you back on track and feeling more connected to yourself.

Connect with you
A simple practice to use to reconnect with yourself:
Place your hands and your heart and take a few deep breaths.
Close your eyes and go within.
Come back into balance with you. Feel yourself in your body.
Feel the connection with your mind and spirit.

Allow yourself to breathe for a moment.
Reconnect with yourself relax and allow yourself to have this moment of connection to you.

Ask yourself:
What I am feeling at this moment? Just noticing as you become aware of how you feel in the moment.

Asking How does my body feel at this moment? Again, just noticing the body in the moment.
Taking some time to breathe and connect with yourself, your soul, the deep sense of yourself.

Connect with your mind

Becoming aware of your thoughts is a powerful way to reconnect with your mind.
Are you filling your mind with useless thoughts that get you nowhere? Become aware of the thoughts that are going through your head.
Connect and listen to the constant chatter of the mind.

Lately, I have been setting a reminder in my phone to check in with my thoughts 3 times a day. I have become more aware of the useless through that were going through my mind. Once I connected with my mind and become more aware of my thoughts it’s easier to start replacing the thought with more useful ones.

Try it for yourself.
Put a reminder in your phone connect with your thoughts 3 times a day.
Just listen and be aware of what you are saying to yourself.
Then start replacing the negative thought with a more positive thought.

I love to replace my negative thought with complete opposite positive thought.

Connect with your feelings.
It’s easy in our busy lives to push our feelings aside and not be aware of our true feeling. We distract ourselves with the external that often we can forget to check in and feel what is going on inside of us.

To connect with your feeling try this.
Find a quiet place to take some time for you.
Become aware of your feels. Connect with how you truely feel.
Allow yourself to feel and be aware of what you are feeling.
Notice where you feel the feeling in your body. Notice how it feel in your body.
What emotions are you feeling?
Connect with all the aspect of how you feel. Go within and feel what you need to feel.

Now breathe deeply and allow yourself to release and let go.

Allow your body to release the feeling through the breath.
Allow the breath to calm the emotions.
Allow the mind to become clear with the breath.
Just keep breathing deeply until you become aware of the feeling moving through the body and releasing.

Connect with the breath.
Connecting with the breath is a powerful way of reconnecting with yourself, it’s your life force.

Try this simple practice to connect with the breath.

Place your hand on your abdomen.
Start by observing your breath as you feel your belly rise and fall.
Breathe deeply – drawing in energy in through your navel.
Feel your abdomen expand and contract as your breath.
Feel your chest rise and fall.
Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Paying attention to your breath.
How does the breath feel?
Allow yourself to breathe deeply to connect with the breath- your life force.
Breath and feel the connection.

Write about it.
Journaling is a powerful way to connect with your inner self. By journaling allows you to connect to your inner thoughts and feelings.
Take out your favourite journal, notebook or a blank piece of paper.
Find a quiet place and give yourself some time to go within to connect with yourself.

Ask yourself what do I need to know?

Free write
Try not to edit or overthink.
Allow the words to flow out of you and on to the page.
If you can’t find the words, try drawing. You don’t have to be an artist. No judgement!! Just allows what needs to flow on to the paper to come out.

Enjoy this time to connect with your inner being.

A beautiful reminder about connecting to finish with
“Disconnect to reconnect”.
Let try to disconnect from the external world occasional so we can reconnect with ourselves.

I hope this served you and helped you bring more harmony into your life.

I have recorded a special gift for you on my resource page.
You can download you’re a free guide practice that will help you reconnect with yourself. Reconnect with yourself

How to stop your self-doubt from holding you back

How to stop your self-doubt from holding you back

We recently made the transition into the new season. If you in the southern hemisphere, springtime has arrived. A time for letting go of the old and making way for the new. With the change in the season it brings about a powerful new energy, things are opening and renewing. The trees are regenerating full of green leaves, the flowers start to bloom and the birds are singing once again. Spring allows us to reawaken from the cool winter. We can start to feel a shift in energy and things are being stirred up. Our energy starting to rejuvenate, the mind starts to reawaken to the beauty around us, and our body feels the need to move. The energy of spring allows us to start opening up to new possibilities.

As we start to think about the new it can bring up that voice in our head of self-doubt. We allow that persuasive voice in our head to talk us out of trying something new. We come up with all sort of reasons why we shouldn’t try something different.

• Comparing ourselves to other,
• We worry about what others will think is we try something new.
• We double our decision and if we are doing the right thing by trying something new.
• Or if we good enough to even try.

The list goes on and on….

We feel defeated before we even begin.

Most of us have experienced self-doubt when wanting to make a move to something new. Often we allow the voice of self-doubt to hold us back, take over and stop us in our tracks.

Once that voice of self-doubt takes hold, we take a step back from trying something new. We retreat back into the safety of our comfort zone. We allow self-doubt to win and we remain stuck in our old ways.

I understand that overcoming self-doubt when starting something new can be confronting. The butterfly in the stomach and fear takes hold. It can feel easier and safer to stay with what familiar and comfortable. But if we stay with what is comfortable we become stuck and dormant. We don’t regenerate and grow to our full potential.  In spring we have the chance to open up, just like everything around us.  Regenerate and embrace the new there are so many exciting possibilities that lay before us.

Once we feel ready to move forward to something new then we need to step up and overcome our self-doubt. Here are some steps to get you started.

What do you want?

The first thing we need to do is to be clear about what new experience we want and why. Do you want a new job, start a new business, relationship, new hobby or travel somewhere new? It’s important to be clear about what we want and why. Once we are clear about what new experience we want and why then we can use that as motivation to overcome that voice of self-doubt. Write down clearly what new experience you want and why you what that new experience.

Listen to the words of self-doubt.

The next thing to focus on is to start listening to the words that we say to ourselves. It can be easy to let the voice of self-doubt start planting the seeds of all the reasons why we can’t start something new. Then before we know it we retreated back and not taken the steps towards what we want. We need to start listening to what that voice is saying. What does your self-doubt say to you? Listen and note the words you say to yourself.

To overcome self-doubt, we need to be aware of how self-doubt is holding us back. Ask yourself have you been holding yourself back?
Is your self-doubt stopping you from trying something new? Once we have a clear picture of what we want and become more aware of what the voice of self-doubt is saying. We able to clearly see how our self-doubt is holding us back from all the new possibilities.

How does it feel?

Now that we are more aware we can start exploring how it would feel to try something new. To know if something new is right we can use our body as a guide. When you think about the new do you feel expansive or restrictive? Make sure that before doing this exercise you have pushed aside the voice of self-doubt. Then focus in on the new possibility. Became aware of your body and the feeling you get when you think about the new. If you feel expansive your body is telling you it’s right for you.

If we get the feeling that the new is something we are ready to embrace, we can start focusing our mind on how the new experience will improve our lives. By focusing on the improvement the new will bring it helps quieten the voice of self-doubt. Once we start to quieten self-doubt we start building momentum towards embracing the new.

Now we have a clear indication of the new experience we want, why we want. We have quietened the voice of self-double by reassuring it. We are now feeling more open to the new possibilities, and ready to embrace it.

Embrace the new.

It’s now time to start thinking about one step we can take towards the new experience we want. List down one step you can take to move towards something new you want to experience. Then take that step towards what you want.

I have personally found one of the best ways to overcome self-double is to just start taking small action steps towards the new. By starting and taking action. I’m moving towards what I want.

Once we start to take action steps towards what you want the self-doubt slowly disappears.

Then we look behind and realizes how far we have come, by taking that one step towards that new experience we want to try.

So start that thing you have been dreaming about. Don’t let your self-doubt hold you back. Allow spring to remind you of the possibilities of the new and let go of the old. Be ready to embrace all the new and exciting experiences that are coming your way.

I would love to hear in the comment what new exciting thing you have started

If you have family members, friends, or colleagues that could use some support with their self-doubt, please share this post.

I hope this helped with creating more Harmony in your Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of Letting go

Season of Letting go

In the southern hemisphere, we have made the transition into the cooler weather. The morning air has become crisp and cool. The tree’s branches are bare of their leaves, almost a symbol of bearing their soul. The trees have let go of all their leaves and have allowed their branches to be exposed. They have let go of what they no longer need. Take a moment to look at the trees around you, they have let go of what they no longer need for the winter months. This transition of the tree can serve as a powerful lesson if you’re willing to see. Ask yourself: Are ready to let go of what you no longer need?

I know sometimes the process of letting go can seem scary and even painful at times. However, when we look at the trees for guidance it’s a natural process of change. There no resistance, or holding on. The tree just lets ‘s go and goes with the change.

If you are brave enough to face what is no longer serving you and let it go. You make room for the new expanded version of yourself. Look to the trees as it sheds it leaves baring itself for the winter months. Then making room for the new, that it knows will come in the spring. Just like the trees letting go of their leaves, are you ready to start letting go and making room for the new? As you reflect on the natural cycle of nature, it’s a reflection of the cycle of life. Once we let go of the old we make room for the new.

If you ready to start letting go and preparing yourself for the season of change, start with this simple practice of letting go. Be like the tree it does not shed its leaves all at once it takes it time gently shedding itself over time. Be kind to yourself just take it one step at a time.

A Practice For Letting Go.

1.Preparation for this practice.

Take out your journal or a clean sheet of paper. Get your favourite pen to write with.

2.Centre yourself

Take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth.
Take another deep breath in and out through your month making an “ahh” sound.
Take one last deep breath in and let it out through your mouth with an “ahh sound

3. Focusing on Letting go

Ask yourself, What do I need to let go off?
Try not to edit or overthink what comes up. Write down the first thing that comes to mind. This is usually the thing you need to hear and focus on the most.

4.Your answer

Once you have your answer to what you need to focus on:
Ask yourself I’m I ready to let go of this now?
It can be challenging to let go. Your mind may come up with reasons or excuses why you should not let go of this thing. If this happens, ask yourself: What is the benefit of holding on to this?
Write down your answer.

5. Imagine letting go.

Gently close your eyes for a moment take some deep breaths.
When your ready imagine yourself letting go of the thing you wrote down. Visualize what it would be like to let go. Go into what it would feel like to let go.
Then open your eyes. Write down in as much detail as possible about how it would feel.

6.The feeling of letting go.

Lots of different feeling can come up when letting go. Acknowledge what you’re feeling.
Let yourself know that it safe to let go and that you’re making room for the new.

7.Time for action

Write down one step you can take today to start letting go of this thing that you no longer need. What small step can start with today?

8. Making room for the new

 Repeat this practice in the winter months. It’s a time to retreat and let go. Be like the trees gently letting go of the old leaves day by day to make room for the new.

I hope this practice served you in letting go and creating more Harmony in your life.

Please share this post with friends or family if you found it helpful.

 

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