Our sister company Get a Better Life wrote a great piece on a compassion meditation, that I would love to share with you!
Meditation is known to enhance the flow of constructive thoughts and positive emotions. Even a few minutes spent meditating daily can make a big difference. Meditation is a practical means for calming yourself, for letting go of your biases and seeing what is, openly and clearly. It is a way of training the mind so that you are not distracted and caught up in its endless churning. Meditation teaches you to systematically explore your inner dimensions.
Many have a hard time with letting go and are tough on themselves. A common reason people are hard on themselves is because of their own high, or unreasonable, expectations and goals. We don’t like to ask others for help and we overthink things constantly. We feel extra badly if we make a mistake and we worry. Worry causes us to miss out on the present joys of life; it becomes a mental burden that can even make us become physically sick.
So what can we do? Meditate some self compassion! The concept of mindfulness and self-compassion has been around for over 2500 years, and is rooted in Eastern traditional Buddhistphilosophy and Buddhist meditation. In Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness and compassion is considered to be two wings of one bird, with each concept overlapping one another but producing benefits for wellbeing. Read below on some advice how to go about a self compassion meditation!
Think of an event in your life that is causing you stress, such as a health problem, relationship problem, or work problem.
Choose a problem in the mild to moderate range, not a big problem, as we want to build the resource of self-compassion gradually.
Visualize the situation clearly in your mind’s eye. Who is saying what to whom? What is happening? What might happen?
Can you feel unease in your body as you bring this difficulty to mind? If not, choose a slightly more difficult problem.
Now, try saying to yourself: “This is a moment of suffering.” That’s mindfulness. Some other options are: This hurts. Ouch. This is stressful.
Now, try saying to yourself: “Suffering is a part of life.” That’s common humanity. Other options include: I’m not alone. Everyone experiences this, just like me. This is how it feels when people struggle in this way.
Now, offer yourself the gesture of soothing touch that you discovered in the previous exercise. And try saying to yourself: “May I be kind to myself” or “May I give myself what I need.”
Perhaps there are particular words of kindness and support that you need to hear right now in this difficult situation. Some options may be: May I accept myself as I am. May I begin to accept myself as I am. May I forgive myself. May I be strong. May I be patient.
If you’re having difficulty finding the right words, imagine that a friend or loved one is having the same problem as you. What would you say to this person? What simple message would you like to deliver to your friend, heart to heart?
Now see if you can offer the same message to yourself.
There are many different ways of incorporating mindfulness and compassion in your life. Choose what works best for you. Please don’t overthink this. Personally, setting expectations for meditation never works. Be free, feel and love!