Monday, 30 September 2019

Learning to be kind to yourself

We are often told to “Be kind to yourself” or “Love yourself”, but this can feel harder to do than to say. A client asked me recently “What does it MEAN to be kind to yourself? I try, but either I don’t know what to say, or I don’t believe what I say”.

This simple exercise had a transformative effect for her, so you might want to see what changes for you as you do it:

Think of someone who has been kind, supportive or loving to you in the past. Step into their shoes, and imagine you are them. How does it feel to see yourself through their eyes? What do they feel or know about you? What would they say to you, and how would they sound as they said it? How much do they know that you deserve this support? As your supporter, feel what it feels like to feel this compassion, love, acceptance and kindness towards you.

Then step back into yourself and hear what they have just said. Let it in, both what they said and HOW they said it (the non verbal communication which makes all the difference). How does that feel different from usual?

Another way of experiencing kindness and support is to imagine how you would talk to a friend or family member, and talk to yourself in the same way. So you can try this too.

What would it be like if we all treated ourselves like kind and supportive people treat us – or, as we treat other people? I would love to hear what you learned about kindness from this exercise.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." Dalai Lama

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