Skill Exercise: Mindful Awareness of Self Compassion
Skill Sheet: Grain of Sand
In order to be mindful, we need to utilize skills to separate thoughts, emotions and physical sensations.
How are you doing with shifting your thoughts? When you think about those nagging thoughts, what does your body feel right now? Is your heart pounding? Heart racing? Muscle Tightness? Stomachache?
Do you have emotions that you can’t identify? Locate a strong feeling that you can identify from the recent past. Think back to the situation you were in at that moment. Visualize it if you can. Think of every detail that you can recall…sights, sounds, smells along with what was happening. Keep recalling until the feeling you had matches the feeling you have right now. To the degree you can, stay with the feeling until the feeling changes. This exercise will help you to turn the power back on to conscious regulation and bring you “to the present”
Through mindfulness, we accept the situation for exactly what it is. We even accept the body aches and pains as temporary as we work through the situation with rational thoughts and healthy emotions. This gives our consciousness room for self-compassion in our caregiving role.
At this time, we are going to shift the focus of our mindfulness to the practice of self-compassion. I will continue to introduce advanced mindfulness skills through a focused lens of self-compassion.
Psychologist Kristin Neff was the first person to measure and operationally define the term “self-compassion.” She describes self-compassion as kindness toward the self, which entails being gentle, supportive, and understanding: “Rather than harshly judging oneself for personal shortcomings, the self is offered warmth and unconditional acceptance.” In other words, being kind to ourselves in good times and bad, in sickness and in health—and even when we make mistakes. Having self-compassion means being able to recognize the difference between making a bad decision and being a bad person. When you have self-compassion, you understand that your worth is unconditional.
Think about a mistake you made recently. Where do you go? Emotion Mind? Rational Mind? Or Wise Mind?