5 Warning Signs that You Need Self-Compassion

  • pointing fingerYour Inner Critic is beating you up by saying all kinds of mean things about you.
  • Your Inner Judge accuses you of wrong-doing. The gavel comes down. Boom! Guilty as charged!
  • The Self-Hater is making you feel like sh-t.

Quick!  Take a large dose of Self-Compassion. No negative side effects. Repeat as often as needed.

Sometimes it’s obvious that you are in need of the warm embrace of self-compassion. The warning signs are like flashing neon lights in Times Square.  You feel really bad, and you know you need relief. At other times, the signals are more subtle. Or, maybe you are just so used to hearing those harsh inner voices that you don’t even think about them as calls for compassion. I’m noticing that the more inner work and healing I do, the more I’m able to sense a very faint signal of distress that’s at the very root of the ego: A basic sense of “not ok-ness”.

Consider these 5 warning signs, so you can be more aware of your need for compassion, whether the signals are loud and clear or faint and muffled:

1. Feeling “not enough”. “I’m not __________ (fill in the blank) enough.”  Not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not loving enough, not dedicated enough… The list could go on and on.

2. Should-ing on yourself. “I should be doing __________ (fill in the blank),” or “I shouldn’t be doing __________ (fill in the blank).”  In either case, the voice tells you there’s something wrong with your behavior.

3. Attacks on your body: Criticizing how you look, how your body feels, or how it’s functioning. “My body is too __________ (fill in the blank).”  Too fat, too skinny, too wrinkly, too stiff, too tired, too achey…

4. Guilt and shame: “I am a bad person because __________ (fill in the blank).” I hurt someone, or I was hurt by someone else, and I deserved it.

5. Awash in uncomfortable emotions: anxiety, sadness, loneliness, grief, fear, anger…heart in clouds

It may not be immediately obvious what thought or whose Inner Voice is making you feel badly. Sometimes it’s just a sense of feeling blue, heavy, tense, or off center. If you inquire into what’s behind the subtle feeling of “not ok-ness”, you may discover one of the 5 warning signs is being lit up. But even if you don’t dig down to see what’s underneath the feeling, you can still benefit from applying a good dose of Self-Compassion. Take another dose as often as needed.

Don’t know how to give yourself compassion or want some support?

Listen to this 18-minute guided meditation designed to help you practice Self-Compassion.

 

 

 


Opening to Aquarius: Great Space

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

One of my favorite things about living in New Mexico is the big sky.  Seeing this vast space all around and above me is a constant reminder of the spaciousness of my Being.  Well, it’s not really “my” Being, it’s Being, itself.  Your Being…our Being…Being.  Who we are is way more than our bodies.  We can’t be contained by the body.  We’re too big for that!  Even our thoughts are too small for who we really are.  The mind, too, is like a big open space, in which thoughts arise and evaporate, like clouds moving through the wide open sky.  Have you ever watched as a cloud floated above you, high in the sky, and then dissolved into space?  Our thoughts are just like that: ephemeral and insubstantial.  Although we think of our bodies as solid and dense, physics tells us that “solid” matter is mostly space.  So, on this Aquarius New Moon, I’m celebrating spaciousness…will you join me?

The archetype of Aquarius (an air sign) can help us attune to our True Nature, which is spacious, unlimited, transparent, open, free, deep, and empty.  You could also say that our True Nature is “Love”, or “Peace”, or “Pure Awareness”.  Each of these descriptors is a way of pointing at our True Nature.  But no words, and certainly no one word, can truly describe our Being.  It is beyond words.  For now, let’s invite the Aquarius energy to enhance our awareness of ourselves as “space”.  I’m not talking about “give me space”, I’m talking about “I am space”!

Here’s a short breathing meditation, for the Aquarius New Moon:

Take a breath.  Fill your lungs with air, and feel the expansion of your inner space.

Take another breath and imagine you are breathing into every cell of your body.

Now, imagine that when you breathe in, the breath comes in through the front surface of your body. The exhale can flow out through the back surface of your body.

Sense your entire body as permeable, with the breath coming in and out, through all of the surfaces of your body.

As you “watch” the breath flow in and out, allow it to dissolve your body boundaries.

Now there is simply “breathing”.  No container.  No walls.  No “inside” and “outside”.  Just breathing.

Allow your sense of self to be the wide open space in which the breathing is happening.

Be the space.  Be spacious.  Simply Be.

Ahhhhh……

 

Want to do more Space exploration?  Here are some resources:

HAPPY NEW MOON!