Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Practicing Self Compassion…

There is a reason they call it a “practice”!!!

I may have mentioned before that I am participating in Leo Babauta’s Sea Change Program, where ever month there is a small behavior change that you commit to incorporating into your life. For the month of May, this tiny habit that we are attempting to incorporate is self compassion. Seems like an easy enough endeavor… but I’m here to tell ya… it’s trickier than you might at first imagine!

What I’ve noticed is that, despite my initial compassionate, loving words to myself, I immediately follow said compassion with a smidge of negative chatter that is like adding a “yeah, but” to my attempts at self-healing. I yelled (spoke sternly is probably more accurate, but it might as well have been yelling with the tone and the eye rolling that accompanied) at my son the entire drive to school this morning. I was very irritated because he made me re-tie his shoes 3 times due to the laces not being the correct amount of “tight.” I was explaining (do you like how I’ve relabeled the yelling to explaining now?!) how he needs to take responsibility for being on time to school and that, at the ripe old age of 9, he really shouldn’t need me to be tying his shoes… let alone insisting that I retie his shoes numerous times in one morning.

When I finally dropped him at school, he slammed the door and never looked back. I can only imagine what was going through his head. I’m pretty sure it was not along the lines of, “thank goodness I have such a great Mom who helps me understand the error of my ways.” In the great irony of a good day, I realize that the very thing I told my son he needed to do, which was to take responsibility for himself (from my viewpoint, this meant getting out the door on time), he was actually doing (from his viewpoint, making sure that his shoes were tied in a way that worked for him). Funny… that whole irony thing.

Anyway… back to self compassion. After a bit of verbal self-abuse, I did manage to remember the habit for the month. I congratulated myself for having the presence of mind to remember that beating myself up over the events of the morning was not actually going to rewrite the events of the morning for the better. Instead, I took a moment to acknowledge how difficult it is to be a Mom who is trying to balance consciousness and reality! I am, in fact, very thankful for this month’s sea change habit of self compassion. I think it is an easily overlooked habit that can have the potential to hugely impact our lives for the better. After spending numerous moments today offering myself compassion, I have to say that it feels pretty good to be loved… even if, and maybe especially if, it is by my very own self.

Wishing you gobs of love and self compassion!    ~Rashel

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2 thoughts on “Practicing Self Compassion…

  1. Hi Rashel, why don’t you give yourself one of those unexpected self hugs. You know the kind, you’re really busy doing something and you just come along and hug yourself out of the blue. You try to keep doing what you’re doing, fake annoyance, but you’re kinda stuck in a self hug, until finally you just have to break into a beaming smile and enjoy it! Surprise yourself, try sneaking up behind yourself when you don’t know you’re there :-)

  2. Hey Jerry… I don’t think I ever responded to your post… my computer is being weird and keeps redirecting me to this random site when I click links sometimes. Anyway – I’ve redirected and found myself in an actual reply field!! I just want to say thank you so much for that suggestion of self hug… hallelujah! Exactly what I needed… and continue to need especially in these last few weeks. I was so taken by your advice… “until you finally have to break into a beaming smile…” and “try sneaking up behind yourself…” Amen! Sometimes it really does take trickery to work our way into self acceptance and love! Thank you for the reminder and continued support on this ever-evolving journey. Hope things are good on your end! Just commented on your most recent blog… love it! ~R

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