Loving-kindness and compassion practices give a boost to positive thoughts.
Self-compassion practice develops the sense of security and wellbeing that enable us to turn towards others with greater capacity.
Cultivating positive emotions like compassion for ourselves and others not only increases joy, interest, and contentment at the time of cultivation, it also becomes a platform of experience for individuals to rely on during times of distress and mental unease.
We soak up the positive in much the same way a sponge soaks up water. Soaking up simply means really savoring the positive, really being mindful of ourselves, the people we love, and sending well wishes to ourselves and others.
When we practice compassion, we intentionally sending kind thoughts or wishing happiness for ourselves and others. Whether we are wishing happiness for ourselves, for our loved one, or for a complete stranger, it is our own internal experience of happiness and kindness that spreads out to affect those around us!
In heartfulness practice, we’re strengthening kindness. We are running down the same track of certain thoughts and intentions, again and again, to make them stronger. We’re carving that neural groove deeper in the mind. So that, over time, instead of defaulting to stress, or being so hard on ourselves, our mind will naturally tend towards being kind.
Having compassion for ourselves has healing power. We practice being our own best friend, treat ourselves with compassionate love, and accept ourselves just as we are. The same way you have empathy for your best friend when she needs you, have that empathic love for yourself.
Self-compassion will increase our confidence, our creativity, and our well-being.
We have always been taught to be nice to others since our early age, but we have rarely taught to be nice to ourselves, to be our own best friends, to notice our feelings, thoughts, and emotions with care and kindness.
Having compassion and love for oneself doesn’t mean being obsessed with oneself, or being selfish, it simply means being kind to oneself and appreciate yourself for who you are at this moment. Treat yourself with love, kindness, and respect.
Self-compassion practice increases our capacity to stay positive and gives us a sense of self-worth and confidence that we are already complete and enough. We are powerful and smart, we are that!
When we practice self-compassion, we become fully present in our lives, fully present with our challenges and our joys. Manage the challenges easier and enjoy more pleasure from our good times.
“When we treat ourselves with the same love and kindness that we offer a good friend, we are practicing self-compassion.” Kristin Neff
Here is a short self-compassion practice that you can do anytime:
Find your posture – comfortable and upright. When you’re ready, gently close your eyes (or gaze down in front of you).
Feel the weight and heaviness of your body, that grounding downward force of gravity. Feel where your body touches the chair or the ground and let everything sink down through there. Just relaxing. Maybe even saying the word “Relax, relax.” silently to yourself, Let any tension or tiredness drain out of your body.
Take a few deep breaths, feeling any ease or relaxation as you exhale. Take a few moments to notice your whole body sitting and breathing.
Now let’s do some heartfulness. Picture someone in your life that you see regularly who makes you smile. It could be a grandparent or parent; an aunt or uncle; a friend, it could be your baby brother or sister, or a pet.
See their face in your mind. Imagine them looking at you, smiling. See the warmth, the kindness in their eyes. Now imagine them sending these wishes to you. Hear their voice, or just imagine they’re thinking these thoughts and sending them to you: “May you be happy… May you be healthy… May you be peaceful.”
Repeat the phrases (or your own) slowly. Hearing them sending these wishes to you. See if you can let their friendship and caring in. “May you be happy… May you be healthy… May you be peaceful.”
Notice how you feel inside, receiving these wishes. Now, let’s offer some of these good wishes to ourselves.
“May I be happy… May I be healthy… May I be peaceful… May I be kind to myself, and accept myself just as I am.” Repeat the phrases silently, sending these good wishes to yourself. If your mind wanders, that’s okay. When you notice, gently let go and bring your attention back to offering those good wishes again.
When you’re ready, you can let your eyes open slowly. Look around the room and notice how you feel right now.
Love & Blessing