{Thrive} Mindful Monday: A Month of Self-Love Part One: Compassion

 

YOU ARE NOT A DROP IN THE OCEAN

Translation: You are amazing and you deserve a whole lot of Love. Yes, love. Considering this is the theme of the month I figured we should kick it off with a hearty dose of self L…O…V…E…LOVE! I’ll admit, the mere thought of self-love used to seem utterly impossible to me. I would shudder at the idea. I had a tough time embracing my self-worth and often found that the critical, really nasty voice in my head won most of the time. I share this because I know how it feels to constantly judge yourself and I know how difficult it can be to change that cycle of negative self-talk. I also know that you CAN do it. You can truly love yourself. Here is the first step. Compassion. You know the way you treat your friends when they are down and hurting? That is the same way you should treat yourself. The opposite of self-judgement is compassion and you are in luck…it can be learned. I used to think that I was being self-indulgent if I was compassionate with myself. I was wrong. I learned to be gentle with myself. I learned to listen to my emotions. My needs. Most importantly, I learned to talk back to the a-hole that lived in my head and the result was I gained strength and learned this little thing called self-respect.

Try This:

{warning: this may feel uncomfortable at first}

  • Place your hand on your heart. You know, smack dab in the middle of your chest. I want your hand to make direct contact with your skin. Many of us know that babies thrive through skin-to-skin contact. well, you do to!
  • Pause and simply think about the way this feels. How does it feel to place your hand on your chest? To comfort yourself? Calm yourself? This action, in itself, will likely evoke some powerful emotions. It reminds me of when my mom would rub my back or stroke my head. Something as simple as her touch would make me feel like everything was going to be okay. You are, in a way, doing this for yourself.
  • Move your hand in small circular motions, rubbing your chest. Pretty calming and loving, right? It might feel funny at first. You may way to cry. Part of self-compassion is allowing yourself to feel any emotion that may pop up. Do not categorize your emotions as good or bad. They are neither. Just feel them. Let go and let ’em flow.
  • Okay, this is the hard part. Say “I love you” to yourself. I had a really tough time doing this for a LONG time. I simply didn’t believe myself. That a-hole voice used to chime in and scream, “No, you don’t”. If this happens, don’t freak out. Pause. Breathe. Rub your chest and then you get to harness your inner badass and tell that a-hole to leave you alone. It won’t be easy as that voice has lived with you for a long time but that doesn’t mean you should surrender. Focus on your breath. Focus on your own nurturing touch.
  • Choose your words wisely. You may find that a subtle change in the words you use can make a huge difference in your ability to trust yourself and what you are saying. For example, if “I love you” feels weird you can try “you are loved” instead. You might find using your name helps as well. While this seems silly, it can make all the difference.
  • Lastly, you can combat most negative self-talk with gratitude. Yes, my favorite word, gratitude, pops up again. It’s truly the golden ticket! When that a-hole starts screaming lies like “you’re a failure”– your best defense is listing all of the reasons why that just isn’t true. This can be really hard! It feels very self-indulgent to remind ourselves of our many positive attributes but let me tell you–there are more positives than negatives when you give yourself the chance to recognize them.

Love you, Mean it!

Katie

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2 thoughts on “{Thrive} Mindful Monday: A Month of Self-Love Part One: Compassion

  1. Thank you dear Katie, this is a wonderful practice in opening one’s heart to self love! And it “feels sooo right!”

    BIG LOVE,

    Suzi – Highest Soul Self

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