Compassion and Kindfulness.
This is a huge subject that certainly is not going to be covered in one blog.
So just for today I wanted to share with you a practice that I have been doing. This is from the training of Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer. It’s a self compassion journal.
Firstly to tell you a little about the word Kindfulness. Which I have to say right now: if I have to go back one more time to change it back to kind… instead of it automatically changing to mindfulness, I think I may cry.
Anyway spelling aside. My advanced mindfulness course was called kindfulness and the reason for this is that it is using mindfulness in a kind way. The whole course was about self compassion, common humanity and mindfulness, which was wrapped up in one word; Kindfulness like the book that was written on the same subject by Ajahn Brahm.
Self Compassion Journal
For those that have been following my journey notes for a while now, you will already know my thoughts on the benefits of journalling. The ease of expression without having to directly share your thoughts and feelings, when this is not necessarily appropriate or you just are not ready for this.
So a self compassion journal suits me perfectly. Its a reflection tool. It’s the opportunity to reflect on the day. An opportunity to recognise any negative thoughts or any feelings that may have caused distress. This could simply be snapping at someone and feeling guilty and ashamed afterwards. Or it may be much more. However small or however big, see if you can treat this with the same energy.
The second part of this exercise is to simply observe. Try to write about the feelings and thoughts as an observer and try to be both accepting and non-judgemental. This is not to say that you are diminishing any responsibility, it is simply not fuelling or being over dramatic.
Acknowledge the imperfections that make us human. Observe the sequence of events that with thought, time and space may be handled differently. And acknowledge that you maybe reacted rather than responded. Recognise that with a little space may have different choices and outcomes.
The last stage of this daily process is to show yourself some kindness. What would you say to a friend that may be told you this story. You potentially would say that we all make mistakes or that anyone would have reacted in the same way in that situation. Take a little time to write yourself words of comfort and nurture. Let yourself know that you care.
I would really encourage you to give this a go and do this every day for at least a week. Then notice if there is a change in your internal thoughts. Notice if you are gentler with yourself or finding it easier to offer yourself support.
Be gentle and kind with yourself
Best wishes for now