By Teresa Waters|2019-02-22T00:37:35+00:00February 21st, 2019|Categories: Blog|Comments Off on Self-kindness Practice
Become a safe haven for your experiences of pain
1. When a situation is causing you pain, take a pause. (If you can’t, come back to it later. Call the stressful situation to mind and see if you can actually feel the distress and emotional discomfort in your body.)
We can be conditioned to push our experience aside or disconnect/dissociate without supporting ourselves. The essential part of this process is learning to notice when we are suffering. What does it feel like in our body?
2. Now say to yourself, “This is a moment of suffering.” You can also say, “This hurts,” or, “This is stress.” or “I’m in pain.” Use whatever statement feels most natural to you. This acknowledgment is a form of mindfulness—of simply noticing what is going on for you emotionally and somatically in the present moment, without judging yourself around how that experience affects you.
3. Next, say to yourself, “Suffering is a part of life.” Other options for this statement include “Now and historically, other people have also had this struggle,” This is a recognition of your common humanity with others. All people have difficult experiences– you are not abnormal or deficient because of your pain.
4. Now, if this feels right– put your hands over your heart, feel the gentle touch on your chest, and say, “ Right here, right now, I bring kindness to myself, as much as I am able in this moment.” You can also consider whether there is another phrase that would speak to you in that particular situation. Another example: “May I give myself the compassion that I need.” Also, “I take a breath of kindness for myself.” or “I bring some kindness a bit closer towards myself.”
If you practice it in moments of relative calm, it might become easier for you to experience the elements of self-compassion—mindfulness (noticing, being present with), common humanity, and active self-kindness—when you need them most.
The goal is not to eradicate the pain. Pain is a part of life. The goal is to hold our experience with kind presence. It is the prerequisite to showing up in life with authenticity, true courage, and compassion for others as well.