Self-compassion has been on the forefront of my mind as I prepare for my latest free workshop self-compassion workshop.
But what is self-compassion?
I have been devouring anything by Kristin Neff (the queen of self-compassion research!) to help me understand. The process feels a bit like preparing for an essay with the bonus of only having to write a few words in my newsletter instead of writing a 5000 word essay! win-win I say – I get the joy of exploring a new topic without the pressure of trying to squeeze out all.those.words!
I hope it is a win for you too.
Anyhoo, I digress. Back to the topic in hand, self-compassion.
I was hoping to skip onto Kristen’s website (self-compassion.org) and find a nice neat definition – No such luck!
So after reading her work this is how I would define self-compassion:
Self-compassion is acknowledging that you are suffering, responding towards yourself with kindness and honouring and accepting that this experience is part of being human.
Let’s put it in an example.
I walk along a busy pavement and I catch my foot on something and fall causing people to need to step around me. I now feel embarrassed and my knee hurts from the fall…
I have two choices…
I could berate myself “why weren’t you looking where you were gong?” “you idiot” etc
I could acknowledge my suffering – my embarrassment and my physical discomfort – and I could be kind to myself and accept that we are all human and we all make mistakes. Not a berating comment in sight!
When was the last time you showed yourself some self-compassion?
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