Whew. Some weeks are harder than others. After coming off of my recent MCL knee injury, I was made to rest for approximately 6 weeks. I had to learn things all over again that I worked really hard to teach myself when my body was so wracked with pain I could barely move.
How did I create self-compassion for myself and how did it allow me to actually heal in a more complete way?
I was working not to trigger those thoughts of pain, and in those first days, it was a struggle to practice everything I teach my group to do…which ended up being a blessing in disguise. I learned now that I have those skills in mindfulness, which I previously did NOT have in my tool box, that I can get through the pain much easier.
In our society, we are taught that bashing ourselves is not only okay, but it gets people’s attention. Unfortunately, research has proven that this leads to consequences in the thought processes that actually perpetuate anxiety, depression, and of course lowered self-esteem.
Wait. Where’s the good news? Psychologist and author Kristin Neff, has said that cultivating self-compassion really centers around three things: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. I had actually been practicing all three in my journal therapy and wasn’t even aware that it had been “studied” and researched. I just knew intuitively that I had a knack for getting to the root of the problem thus helping others to heal as well.
Strategies for Creating More Self-Compassion
If you are working through emotional triggers and trauma, this part is a must do in your self-care routine. I will kick your butt if you try that lame excuse of not having enough time. Wake up at least 5 minutes earlier, put your sticky note on the calendar to journal and/or try one new thing a day for 30 days, etc. Most people who tell others that they don’t have enough time are really saying Hey, I hear ya. Taking care of myself right now isn’t a priority.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~H. Jackson Brown
Just saying. ^^^
Now that some of you are pissed at me for telling the truth, let’s move on to the strategies. By the way, if you don’t know who is writing this, read this link later. <<< You might be less inclined to be mad at me. I have been there.
- Acceptance is key. Thus the truth-telling. I used every excuse in the book, blamed whatever I could, but the truth was, I needed to learn to love myself pain and all. I needed to accept that I might not ever be well, and that my friends, was a bitch. That was the other part of me that I denied.
- Dig deep. Somewhere, deep inside of me, was the part that was hardest to make peace with. It was the me before all this happened. You know what, she didn’t ask for this. Okay. Got that. But how would she feel knowing that I was staying stuck in my pain? She’d be pretty pissed at me. It is time to make peace with the old me, and become who I was supposed to be.
- Watch how the language changes. I remember my dad. Sigh. He is still alive, don’t worry, but it was the way he dealt with this situation (bless his heart). As someone who is highly sensitive to others emotions, I could feel his sadness. He felt so sorry for me. NOT helpful. It was not his fault you see, but still not helpful. As part of the parents who both gave me the hereditary condition, they both, in some small way, felt responsible. Okay, so it is important to recognize who is around you when you speak to yourself as well. You might be so programmed by your parents or others that you continue this woe is me…I am not worthy…I am so __________. Insert your negative perception of yourself.
- Get out of your head!! I am now great at this, but I was NOT for many years. As a matter of fact, I have been practicing this now for 3 years and it has really changed my world. In yoga, I mention this frequently as I teach my class this one thing. Drop back into your body. That sounds easy to do, but let’s try it right now. Touch your scalp. Feel your hair follicles come alive as you give yourself a scalp massage. Touch the top of your ears, all the way down to your ear lobes. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply for a full round of three. Say “I am worthy.” With each breath feel the worthiness come into your being. Now open your eyes. You have just soothed your parasympathetic nervous system. Ta-dahhhh (you basically help the fight or flight response calm down).
Whew. I don’t know about you, but I feel better just exploring how these tips really helped me change my life. In creating my journal therapy content each month, there is so much more that goes into it. I created a group where people like me could heal in a supportive environment and work through this “stuff” that truly gets in the way of our healing. Never before had I ever, in 18 years, found a group that was working on healing the Head|Heart|Health of the matter. Quite simply, I created what brought me back to life.
I hope this has helped you today and if you want to be included on my newsletter, the sign up is on the side of the blog. Feel free to use the social sharing buttons if this article resonated with you!