Self-Compassion

A Beautiful Challenge for the New Year

I am going to give you a beautiful challenge for the new year! Are you ready? I challenge you to cultivate affection for your meditation practice! Did your face scrunch up a little as you wondered how affection and meditation could possibly go together? After all, isn’t affection better left to the realm of romance? Not anymore! Affection can be defined as “a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.” If you dig a little deeper, you will find that affection is also associated with words such as devotion, sympathy, caring, warmth, and tenderness. Take a moment to imagine the sweet …

A Beautiful Challenge for the New Year Read More »

Why I Need Self-Compassion

“Love, not judgment, sows the seeds of tranquility and change.” —Danna Faulds I love my family, I really do, but when we all get together during the holidays, it feels like we just climbed out of a time machine. I could swear that my grown sons start to look and act the same way they did twenty years ago and then, so do I. I always forget to buy something for someone, and I’m sure I’m the only one who ever forgot a gift. My husband and I trip over each other in the kitchen, and candle wax drips all over …

Why I Need Self-Compassion Read More »

“What If We Were Already There?”

What would life look like if you were actually present for the experience? One of my students shared this lovely story with me about her vacation in Japan: “My friend and I were rushing all over Tokyo in search of the perfect restaurant, perfect store, perfect whatever…and my friend stopped me in my tracks. ‘Kathleen, how about if we just say we are already there?’” That was a profound moment for her… she realized how much she had missed by being so busy moving to the next thing and not enjoying the experience as it unfolded. Does that sound familiar? …

“What If We Were Already There?” Read More »

Meeting Difficult Emotions With Compassion

Read an updated version of this blog post here. Life is just hard sometimes. We get sad, angry, frustrated, lonely, and afraid. If you’re like me, you will do everything and anything you can to avoid the pain. Have a glass of wine, get lost in Facebook, go shopping, or eat ten doughnuts. If only all those tactics worked—but they don’t. The feelings don’t go away; they just get buried for a while, take their vitamins, and get ready to erupt in a Mount Vesuvius kind of way. Usually, it happens at the worst time. Another way to meet those …

Meeting Difficult Emotions With Compassion Read More »

3 Essential Elements of Self-Compassion

“Sweetheart. You are struggling. Relax. Take a breath, and then we will figure out what to do.” I love these words from long-time meditation teacher, Sylvia Boorstein, for two reasons: 1) They challenge me; and 2) they contain the three essential elements of self-compassion. Let’s start with the first reason. I am challenged to the core by the word sweetheart! Who in the world refers to themself as “sweetheart” when they are struggling? Not me! In fact, the thought of it makes me cringe and causes my chest to tighten up. It seems I share this response with many others. …

3 Essential Elements of Self-Compassion Read More »

My Life with “Sheila,” My Inner Critic

“If you don’t change direction, you’ll end up going in the same direction.” —Yogi Berra I love this quote by Yogi Berra, because it reminds me that I actually have to do things differently to get a different result. As the old adage goes, “If you do what you did, you get what you got.” That’s the story of my relationship with “Sheila,” my inner critic. Why Sheila? I don’t know, I just figured that I had to give her a name so that I could create some space between her and me. It was a way to remind myself …

My Life with “Sheila,” My Inner Critic Read More »

How to Feel Your Feelings

“The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings.” —Gita Bellin I love this quote because it truly blows my mind! What does that mean? How do I feel my feelings? How does that lead to freedom? Although my mind doesn’t entirely understand, my heart feels an immediate sense of relief. Oh. I just have to feel. I don’t have to fight or resist or push anything away. Just feel. I start to breathe a little easier. Naming Basic Emotions It is important to get both heart and mind on board together when learning new things. And so I …

How to Feel Your Feelings Read More »

Scroll to Top