My intention this year is to add some more free guided meditations to my website. Of course this was my intention last year too. Well, I'm off to a roaring start so far. Here is a short five minute guided meditation to cultivate self-compassion.
Kristen Neff, self-compassion researcher, breaks the practice of self-compassion into three steps:
1. Mindfulness - being able to feel what is happening in the moment and the physical experience of your big emotions and yet it knowing this suffering is not all that you are. “This hurts and yet it is not all I am.”
2. Common humanity - you are not alone in your suffering. Everyone suffers. Really, everyone does. "I am not alone."
3. Self-kindness - when we are suffering, we have a chance to check in with ourselves and inquire as to what might support us, rather than judge or abandon ourselves in our time of need. "How can I support myself?"
And my beloved friend and mentor, Alison Potts, adds the two following steps as well:
4. Removing blame - we can often turn the blame for our suffering inward, taking responsibility for things that are not ours to carry. "It's not my fault."
5. Honouring all of your emotions - in order to befriend ourselves, all parts of ourselves, our experience and our emotions need to know that they are welcome. "All my feelings matter."
May this short practice help you cultivate self-compassion and compassion for the world around you.