So, this month on the blog and the podcast we have been exploring the theme of love, including loving yourself and loving others. ❤️
Self-love is a HUGE part of my therapy and coaching work, so it is something I talk about and practice pretty regularly. I believe that one of the most important first steps for a self-love practice is to have our hearts open and ready to receive love in the first place – and this means engaging in practices that open up your Heart Chakra. Check out this post to learn more about Chakras and why they are important, as well as for tips on how to open your Heart Chakra to attract and maintain the love that you want in your life.
But THIS post is focused specifically on the practice of self-compassion.
Because while it is important for us to be open and available for love from others, it is also just as important to be open and available to loving ourselves.
What is self-compassion?
It is definitely a component of self-love, but let’s explore what this word means a bit further. I found this definition from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and I really like it because I think it explains the concept really well:
“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.”
Essentially, it is being able to hold space for yourself in the same way that you do for others.
- It is the ability to tell yourself it’s ok when you make a mistake.
- It is cheering yourself on even when you don’t achieve a goal or outcome that you wanted.
- It is forgiving yourself when you do or say something hurtful.
- It is allowing yourself to engage in self-care techniques when you don’t feel well.
- It is being kind to yourself when you are suffering.
- It is practicing loving acceptance of your flaws and humanness.
Self-compassion is practicing radical self-love and acceptance.
I recognize this can be hard when we are so used to being hard on ourselves, have a very loud Inner Mean Girl, and have maybe suffered from negativity and abuse from others in the past. So I wanted to provide 3 simple ways you can begin practicing self-compassion on a regular basis so that it becomes easier and more intuitive.
- Affirmations. I have written a LOT about affirmations because I think they are SO valuable in self-love and manifesting. The practice of creating and reciting powerful statements that elicit the energy and feeling that you want for yourself is such an amazing way to practice self-love. I believe in them so much that I even wrote a guide on how to do them – grab that HERE.
- Meditation. Learning how to be quiet and still and tuned in to your body is an act of love in itself. It is sitting with all the things, good and bad. It is taking time to tune out from the distractions of the external world and be present with your true self. There are lots of meditation practices out there. I recommend trying apps like Insight Timer to explore different methods. And if you are a total newbie, I recommend starting with basic breathing practice – here is one that I created for you.
- Find a therapist or certified life coach. One of the best ways you can practice self-compassion is allowing yourself the space to explore the depths of your inner world in a safe and supportive environment. Allowing a qualified professional to hold space for you is an incredible way to heal, grow and move towards a place of self-love. (If you are interested in working with me, let’s talk!)
And finally, if you have any favorite practices that you want to share, or want to explore this further in a community of like-minded women, come join us over in the Be Your Best Self Facebook Group – we would love to hear from you!