Every day is an exciting opportunity to start afresh with new practises of self compassion and of finding ways to incorporate self kindness into daily living. I see it as a sort of reparenting of myself, of showing the care and attention I did not get as a child. It can feel a bit alien at first but once we start to experience the supportive effect of self compassion, it becomes a whole new way of life.
Life becomes a whole lot less scary when we realise that soothing is available from ourselves anytime of the day no matter what we are experiencing. We can gently nudge out and replace old self destructive or self neglectful tendencies with new self nurturing practices.
I read once that if you wish to replace an old habit find something that you want to do even more instead and replace it with that. Now that I have discovered the energising and uplifting effects of self compassion, I am excited about bringing more of it into my life.
Habits of self criticism and neglect and even self hatred thoughts still reappear regularly, and without judging them or chastising myself for having them, I can often simply notice them, embrace myself with kindness and let them go. More persistent stress producing thoughts can be questioned using methods such as Byron Katie’s The Work.
Here is my list for today.
- I am remembering to breath deeply with my whole body regularly. My old tendency is to shallow breath unconsciously. Deeply breathing and consciously allows me to arrive in this moment and move attention from the random thoughts in my head to my body and so to being here and now.
- I have set 12 random mindfulness reminders via an app on my phone. They say things like ‘How do you feel in your body right now?’. This helps to interrupt any head trip I have become lost in.
- I gave myself permission to stay in bed as long as I wanted, and I fully appreciated the luxury and comfort of not having to get up for anything.
- I cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes! This may seem very insignificant to some, but I am not inclined to housework and the place can get messy. However I now take time to keep my environment clean, and as I am doing it I am conscious that it is an act of self love. I love walking into a beautiful sparkling clean kitchen!
- I will extend that and have a general tidy and make my space as beautiful as possible.
- I can have patience with myself, especially when old thought habits take hold or I find myself feeling afraid or angry. I can even give myself a nice gentle embracing hug!
- I am going to see a new client today. I can be conscious not to offer any unnecessary discounts. Even if they ask I can say no with dignity and lack of apology. I have a habit of giving myself away at every opportunity, as if I don’t matter. I have done this all my life and it has been a stubborn one to budge. It can be terrifying to me to tell people how much it costs and I have a peak of stress when it is time to talk money. I am so very grateful for the constant stream of clients who give the opportunity for me to try out new ways of behaving. Each experience helps me resist my old life script of undervaluing myself and my talents.
- I may buy myself some more potted flowering plants today. I am loving having the colourful blooms on my table and perhaps this should be a permanent feature.
- A walk in the park. I have recently increased the distance to just under 2 miles a day and I am feeling the positive benefit of more exercise. Walking in nature is also gentle on the body. I walk slowly and I notice the beauty of the trees and hear the birds.
- I remember to feel grateful that I am willing to undergo such big changes with all the uncertainty and feeling of risk that accompanies change. I thank myself for having the determination and courage to face the unknown.
- I send love and compassion to others I know who are going through difficulty, from close friends to those in war torn parts of the world.
- I will make a new boundary with one particular friend who does little else than moan or complain to me. I will be gentle very direct with him about it for the first time. It does not serve him to provide an outlet for constant complaint and it does not serve me to be the recipient.
- Perhaps the most valuable thing I can do today and every day is let each and every moment be exactly as it is. Without trying to change it, improve it or resist what is happening in any way. If I am feeling pain of any kind physically or emotionally, I can rest and allow, breath, relax and accept what is happening.