The word “kindness” has always felt great to me. Loving Kindness to others is amazing and feels so good. But a wonderful thing has been happening for me lately … SELF kindness has been soaking into me … being exceptionally kind and gentle to myself with self forgiveness, self acceptance and self compassion .. and treating myself how I would treat my very best friend.
I’ve been addicted to self help and self improvement for 30 years, and my bookshelf can prove it to you. And at the core of this was self rejection. I was not happy with who I was and on a mission to fix and improve myself.
My journey of self kindness started with looking at my shadow parts (The Dark Side of Life Chasers bok by Debbie Ford). Seeing, welcoming and accepting those traits, beliefs and actions that I’ve wanted to reject and hide away. I brought them out and gave them a big hug and thanked them for the part they’ve played in my life, the job they were trying to do to HELP me. Part of my new life affirmation is “I accept and embrace all parts of me”.
I realised I can make my life heaven or hell by WHAT I SAY TO MYSELF! I have been addicted to stress and stressful thoughts, but my new plan is …
1. Notice my thoughts have turned fearful or nasty.
2. Be a non-judgmental witness (ie. don’t beat myself up for having these thoughts)
3. Take 3 deep breaths into my heart
4a Say KIND words to myself silently – I forgive you, I know it hurts, I am enough, I know it feels bad, I am the light, I know it feels hard. I’m here for you. I am lovely just as I am.
4b If I’m not driving, I pat my arm as I say these words (my kids love to be patted to sleep, so I’m trying it for me)
It’s a work in progress, but it has been helping to shifting from stressful thoughts to self kindness, self love and compassion.
I love everything Geneen Roth writes (it is her quote in the photo above). This came in my inbox today ” … nothing you can give or receive is more important than what you give yourself. The kindness and tenderness. The forgiveness. A constant remembering – daily, hourly – of the feast that is already your life. Even if you have lost your home or your retirement account, even if someone you love is dying. There is enough room for sadness, grief, loneliness in the hugeness of your heart. At every moment the feast you are waiting for is closer than your own skin. Be the gift you already are. Start now”
Amen, Geneen, Amen.