Posts Tagged ‘self-compassion’

The Journey

spiritual-journeyAre you willing to pause, and listen, and re-connect?

“…And there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world…”

Mary Oliver – The Journey, in DREAM WORK (1986)

Read Full Post »

I recently finished reviewing The Diet Trap: Feed Your Psychological Needs & End the Weight Loss Struggle Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. The title alone is a mouthful!

DietTrapCF.inddIt’s been interesting to contrast this book with The Weight Escape, which is also based in ACT as well. I’d definitely recommend both books for individuals who are hoping to implement healthy life changes, although each book adopts a slightly different stance that might be a good fit (or less so) for its readers. Here are my reflections, based upon an initial review: (more…)

Read Full Post »

thinking-person-hiYou’ve seen this before, right?  And another: “Don’t believe everything your mind tells you.” Easier said than done. Especially if your mind is telling you that you are stupid. Ugly. Bad. Yep, the yucky stuff – the kind of messages we’d like to silence or ignore.

As I make my way through “The Weight Escape” book, I’ve found it helpful to review some of the principles and exercises from the Acceptance and Commitment
Therapy (ACT) model once again. To think about ACT principles, like how we all try to control our internal experience (and how that doesn’t work); how easily we can become fused, or caught up in our thoughts; and the value of living more fully in the present moment (if we’re willing). During a training, I heard one ACT expert say that we are trying to move away from a “feel good” agenda to a “feel your feelings well” agenda.  This can be hard, right? I know when I have a painful thought or feeling, I still want to run away! (Although I’ve gotten much better at recognizing this impulse, and staying, when it is in line with my values.) (more…)

Read Full Post »

back to school message

Read Full Post »

“But ICute Little Girl With Her Teddy Bear HD Wallpaper-1280x720-cutelittlebabies.blogspot.com want to be a kind and generous friend,” my six-year-old daughter says, sniffling from the back seat. Underneath her unruly mop of curly hair, her big brown eyes fill with tears.

“But honey, how did you feel when Tommy insisted on taking your bracelet, even though you said no?”

“Bad!” She begins to cry, clutching her scruffy bunny to her chest.

This morning, I had an opportunity – albeit a painful one – to discuss the idea of “being a good friend to ourselves” with my daughter; to suggest to her that saying “No,” and learning how to stand up for ourselves, can be part of cultivating self-compassion.

It’s a tough ride, this thing we call life, and we all can get a little banged up along the way, adults and kiddos alike. But through the practices of self-compassion, a balanced, kind approach to the experiences we encounter as part of daily existence, we can ease our suffering, respond more skillfully, and feel more connected with ourselves – and others – as a result.

For more self-compassion resources and research from several of the pioneers in the field, check out Dr. Kristin Neff’s website or the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, which was developed by Dr. Neff and another esteemed self-compassion researcher, Dr. Christopher Germer.


Read Full Post »

advocacyIn one of my psychotherapy sessions, I found myself saying, “I’m your body’s advocate!” to a woman who was struggling to balance her need for food with the other urgent to-do tasks of the day. I wondered, aloud, how we’d all become so far removed from such basic elements of self-care, when feeding our bodies (and spending a few moments to think about the optimal choices) seemed an inconvenience, one we were eager to rush through and get done with, rather than a valued action.

But I get it, really I do. Even though I spend much of my professional life counseling others on how to “come home” to their bodies, and how to reconnect and respond with compassionate care. Because I’m also a cautionary tale, a “workaholic-in-recovery,” who spent 5+ years of doctoral training saying things like, “When I graduate, I’ll….” (take care of myself). “After I get licensed, I’ll….” “After I become a mother, I’ll…” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Today, I woke up in pain, lots of it, after attending a second yoga class at a new studio. I’d felt hopeful and proud that I was committing again to regular practice, even if I was a little skeptical about whether the studio was a good fit. Because here’s the catch: because of previous injuries, anmountain-pose-400x400d due to years of benign neglect, as I pursed academic training and attended to many things, but not, in particular, my body, I still forget (or deny) that my body  needs extra care and support. This process requires loads of patience, and self-compassion, and also, ideally, a skilled teacher who understands my struggles, who doesn’t look at my body and quickly say: “You can do that…” or “you should…”

The best teachers are those that are invested in our process, not just in making sure we attain a pose or goal. They meet us where we are at, and provide encouragement, especially when the going is hard. Sometimes, we need them to help us become more grounded and strong, before we are ready to take the next step.  Sometimes, we need them to stay with us in our place of vulnerability and fear, so that we feel a little less alone along the way. In our society, we’re often congratulated for appearing self-sufficient or independent, but less often so for seeking help. Even if pulling back from something that might over-extend us, or asking for more support, is the wisest, bravest (and hardest) thing to do.

While each of us identifies those wise, skilled teachers to help us along our journeys, we can also practice standing by ourselves. Standing BY ourselves – as in, not alone, but instead, befriending: Acknowledging and Allowing our experience to be what it is, whether it is easy or hard; not Over-Identifying with the story of what this “means” about ourselves or our possibilities; and offering heaps of Self-compassion, along the way.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »