A lot has happened since that decision to pursue training to teach Mindful Self-Compassion. After two trips to CA I completed the Teacher Training in February 2015. One of the things that has happened is I have been changed by this work. The practices continue to open my heart and give me more access to what I am feeling, more willingness to experience my feelings and then to care for myself when I am challenged. I have noticed that the majority of challenges (ok, possibly all) happen inside of me and my response to life circumstances.
Let me give you an example of how this works in my life. I often have opportunities to talk with groups to share this information. I always get anxious before these talks. I am basically an introvert and if my life was run by what felt comfortable, then I wouldn’t be teaching or sharing this information; other than maybe writing about it!
One of the basic practices is a self- compassion break.* What I have noticed is that I will use this practice only to discover I am trying to make the discomfort go away. The practice is about caring for myself when I am struggling. Kristin Neff says very clearly the idea is “care not cure.” When I realize I am trying to avoid the discomfort, I remember that part ofthe practice is to ask myself, “what do I need?” This question changes my focus to something I can do, which is offer myself care. Honestly I have very little experience with idea of caring for myself and usually my response to the question, “what do I need” is Help! In my world this is a prayer and I am asking for assistance from the Divine. I always feel calmer because I have stopped resisting what is.
In my next blog I want to talk about the idea of acceptance, which is an essential component of mindfulness.
* To learn about this practice go to www.self-compassion.org or Krisitn Neff’s book. “Self-compassion.”