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  • Writer's pictureClaire Sheehan

What would be different if you were kinder to yourself?

Maybe you're thinking about how you can be kinder to yourself or setting new year intentions. What does it look like in real life though, your life? I find it helpful to think about what it would actually mean on a day to day basis, how it may impact on what I'm thinking, what I believe and how I am choosing to live. When we start thinking about the detail it may come from a desire to change something that isn't working for us. When I started my Mindful Self Compassion course in London last year, I was hopeful as I'd done lots of coaching in the past but always felt like nothing I had heard had quite matched the anxious feelings I had within me or the way I felt like I was always looking for an answer just out of reach.

One of the things which has really stuck in my mind is that self compassion and learning tools for it is not about fixing what is broken - we are not broken and do not need fixing. I found this kind of a wow moment! But I have always tried to just not be anxious! Stop worrying so much said others (err, yeah OK, I will get right on that...). My head has always felt really full of worrying about things which don't even seem to be things for others! But being kinder to myself has helped me to see I am as I am, it is unlikely I will ever get a magic wand and go "Ta-Da! No more anxiety here, well done you are cured of being anxious and now just happy thoughts will crowd round you like angels!" (well, in my dreams maybe!) but I CAN learn tools and strategies and practice habits which will help me be a friend to myself rather than beating myself up or judging myself for that anxiety. And I can think about what other more useful approaches I can take rather than getting stuck in the morass of thoughts by building more AWARENESS of when I am in those moments.

So as I think about what could be different, I can start to think about what self kindness, what choosing to be kind to myself, what being compassionate to myself means in the day to day. What is it I do that I may like to do less of? What feelings would I like more of?

From here I can start thinking about if that is my intention, then what actions and habits will help support me as I start being kinder to myself, one small step at a time.

Journal: Take some time and think about these questions for you. What is behind your wish or aspiration to be kinder to yourself? Once you have what it is that you find challenging have a think about what intention may be useful to set instead, or what you'd like to experience instead. What would there be more of? What would there be less of? What would YOU notice about how you felt, and what may others notice as you became kinder to yourself?


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