Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Serving Up Self-Compassion

Yesterday I felt like I was swimming through mud.

I was feeling judgmental and self-critical and everywhere I turned, all I could see were barriers and road blocks.

During my morning meditation (the one thing that usually always cleans my "lens"), the negative thoughts kept coming, dancing across my radar like annoying contestants from The Price is Right.  It seemed relief was nowhere in sight!

My saving grace? I knew my thinking was off. At the same time that I was stewing in "not good enough" chowder, there was a level of discernment happening--thanks in large part to a presence coach I began working with almost 17 years ago that introduced me to the principles author/therapist Richard Carlson taught relating to thought and mood.

Even though I was having a hard time pulling myself out of this funk, I knew I was responsible for feeling yucky. I was the originator of these negative thoughts. These pesky, multiplying “tribbles” (remember these on Star Trek?) were having a field day at my expense. And yes, the quickest way to change my mood was to change my thinking, but yesterday morning, this task looked as daunting as climbing Mount Everest.

So I acknowledged where I was. I stopped trying to change things. And, I stepped back and looked at the big picture (I had been woken up at 3:00 a.m. by my husband's snoring, I was swamped at work and I was getting over a cold). I gave myself a break and reached out and asked for some support. I kept my expectations low around my work output.  I tried to laugh at myself (“You’ve got to be kidding ….you think I’m going to believe THAT?!). And I drank a tall glass of self-compassion as I sat with the  reminder that this too shall pass.Tomorrow is a new day.

A part of me--what I call our "Wise Self"--knew that this state of insanity was temporary, like clouds passing overhead. I am not my negative thoughts.I was just entertaining these unwanted house guests.

We're all guaranteed of one thing--the thoughts (good, bad and ugly)-- will keep coming. As long as we're human, we'll keep experiencing both high and low moods. And occasionally, when we're lucky, we'll get to watch our naysayer thoughts float on down the river while we wave from the banks. Or we can wrap ourselves in a big soft blanket of self-compassion and tenderness when instead, we're on the raft clinging tightly to them.
INVITE: Interested in learning how to cultivate self-compassion and be more accepting of where you are right now? Join me Oct. 19-21 for our New Way of Being: Women's Self-Renewal Retreat at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga and Wellness.

I love to hear from, connect with and meet The Journey readers at our events. I invite you to:
  • Find Your Tribe: Join or learn to facilitate Personal Renewal Groups for women
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  • Take Action: Contact one of our career or life balance coaches for 1-on-1 support; receive an initial complimentary consultation
  • Empower Others: Schedule Renee for a private workshop or retreat for your company or organization
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Photo at top: One of our Self-Renewal Retreat attendees creating a piece of self-compassion heart art.

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