Self Compassion

Oct 19, 2021

And now about Self Compassion…. My intention was to have a blog a week.  My old go to was to get down on myself because my last blog was October 7th.  I am 12 days overdue of my self-imposed deadline.  Of course, demonstrating that I cannot do anything right, will never be able to follow through, was busy, was disorganized, didn’t have anything important to say, yada yada yada.

Notice how that inner critic in our mind (try to remember we are not our mind, and we are not our body, if you want to release your suffering) can just go wild.

In reality, none of that is true. I chose to manifest some continuing education training gigs to support social workers (one of my passions) and now I have FOUR I have scheduled and need to finish writing LOL.  I also met with colleagues to brainstorm how 2020 will role out regarding workshops, etc. and visited family three time zones away (still dealing with jet lag).

So, I HAVE mastered the art of self- compassion HAHAHA.  At least, I have stopped catastrophizing.

What does the expert, Kristen Neff, PhD say?  “Self-compassion involves responding in the same supportive and understanding way you would with a good friend when you have a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself.” 

There are three elements of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. We will talk about the first one in this blog.

“Self-kindness : Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.  Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism.  When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.” I INVITE YOU TO JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND BREATH THAT IN J

Try this exercise:  (Come on now, you can take a minute to take care of yourself)


Please find a posture in which your body is comfortable and will feel supported for the length of the meditation. Then let your eyes gently close, partially or fully. Taking a few slow, easy breaths, releasing any unnecessary tension in your body.

  • If you like, placing a hand over your heart or another soothing place as a reminder that we’re bringing not only awareness, but affectionate awareness, to our breathing and to ourselves. You can leave your hand there or let it rest at anytime.
  • Now beginning to notice your breathing in your body, feeling your body breathe in and feeling your body breathe out.
  • Just letting your body breathe you. There is nothing you need to do.
  • Perhaps noticing how your body is nourished on the in-breath and relaxes with the out-breath.
  • Now noticing the rhythm of your breathing, flowing in and flowing out. (pause) Taking some time to feel the natural rhythm of your breathing.
  • Feeling your whole body subtly moving with the breath, like the movement of the sea.
  • Your mind will naturally wander like a curious child or a little puppy. When that happens, just gently returning to the rhythm of your breathing.
  • Allowing your whole body to be gently rocked and caressed – internally caressed - by your breathing.
  • If you like, even giving yourself over to your breathing, letting your breathing be all there is. Becoming the breath.
  • Just breathing. Being breathing.
  • And now, gently releasing your attention to the breath, sitting quietly in your own experience, and allowing yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling and to be just as you are.
  • Slowly and gently opening your eyes.

NAMASTE ~ Look for my next blog, maybe in a week or two 


-Kate Usaj


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