Began the day with a self compassion session

A guided meditation by Christopher Germer. A simple self-care exercise and a soothing way to begin a day. ‘May I be safe. May I be happy. May I live with ease’. ‘May all people be safe, may all people be happy, may all people live with ease’. Expanding out to include us all. It suffuses this situation in care, care for all and definitely including myself now.

These are early days with this, and yet it is having a revolutionary effect on how I live my every breathing moment. So while each day for me starts and ends with a formal mindfulness exercise (usually lying down in bed), there is a very important practise done throughout the day – many many short moments.

Taking a short moment of open awareness whatever I am doing. I am very grateful to the BV organisation for introducing me to this exercise of short moments taken throughout the day. I watched this video from them on self-love and self-care earlier and it was another reminder of the truth. I love taking in truth in from a variety of sources while not getting too involved with any particular group.

Devotion to one teacher and one group is not the way for me at the moment, and in BV, their founder and leader, evokes such enormous displays of devotion, worship almost, that I just don’t share. I have some other reservations too, but they dont matter enough to explain. I have benetted from their support. With the breakthroughs I was having a couple of years ago I felt I was falling apart, and by attending the online group calls and courses I saw that we all have our various thoughts, feelings and sensations, some easy and some very hard. That is one of the beauty’s of being in a group, to see that you are not alone, and that others are going through their shit. It also helped me to become more honest about what I was feeling, and going through and less ashamed.

Yes, thanks so very much C, you have given a great gift and opportunity to the world and I very much appreciate how I and others have benefitted from your life’s work.

I am particularly grateful to BV for helping me to realise that whatever is being experienced is allowed. They just call it all ‘data’. It is actually okay, the good AND the ‘bad’ AND the ugly! and doesn’t need to be changed, replaced or denied or micro managed in some way.Just keep taking short moments over and over of the open awareness that we only really notice between thoughts, but that is there constantly.

There is no shame in just allowing it all. Then these experiences are seen for what they are – a continuous dynamic and changing flow, thoughts, feelings and sensations. We just allow it all, we can face it all without fear, though this takes some getting used to. I am personally used to feeling afraid of my feelings, afraid of being overwhelmed and out of control.

So short moments. A pause in the stream of thought, a few seconds suspended in inner silence, aware, awake, actively doing whatever I am doing, but present in it. Instead of off on some little train of thought into a story, which causes me to split of from my present moment and into the imagination.

And my imagination can sure create some ghouls and monsters! I’m an expert at scaring myself by believing thoughts of impending doom and destruction. What a relief to suspend that for a moment or two, breathe and relax with whatever is happening. Immediately there is a lightness, and I can see the imaginary ghouls for what they are ‘Oh there’s that scary thought again, hello scary thought’. I can see the thought and I don’t become merged with it, as if it is real. It is not real. They are passing viewpoints which arise and disappear and arise and disappear in in a constant unpredicatable, uncontrollable flow.

And if there are persistent stressful thoughts Byron Katie’s ‘4 Questions’ process will soon sort them out I have found. Mostly I don’t have to go into examining thoughts that much, but at times if I’m stuck with a recurring stressful thought, I look at it closely, examine its truthfulness using the 4 Questions approach.

The more I continue with this new self compassion approach, the more aware I become of the layers of shame, guilt and fear that have been holding me in their vice grip for much of my life. Each of these painful feelings and memories are actually an opportunity now for self-care and compassion. As they arise I give myself a little loving kindness ‘ oh my dear, compassion for your suffering’ as the lovely Chris Germer suggests.

Whew so what now? Out of conceptual thought and into what is actually happening. I’m sitting here at my desk, feel my bum supported by the seat, hear the traffic in the distance, the boiler humming away. I am aware of my breath, and of the vast open expansiveness that is the ever-present backdrop of stability for all our dynamic ups downs ins and outs of living. And it’s all okay 🙂

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