Self Kindness. What does it mean to be kind to myself? I think it means many things and comes in many forms and evolves and changes over our life time.
Here’s my ideal Self Kindness: Self Kindness for me comes down to nurturing my mind, my body and my soul. I nurture my mind through reading, writing, experimenting with a recipe and helping my children with math (not my strong suit!). I nurture my body by playing tennis with my friends, swimming, practicing yoga, teaching yoga, eating and sleeping well. I nurture my soul by listening to my intuition, making sure I get time to be alone, spending time with my girlfriends, snuggling or playing with my kids and getting quality time with my husband. This is the ideal. I do attempt the above and in many ways I succeed, however, I still feel like I need more kindness, thus this blog, this adventure and this journey through kindness.
Okay, so here is the reality, some days I am actually kind to myself, but many days the negative behaviors take over. Negative self-talk, self-doubt, gossiping, self-judgement and judgement of others. I could write an entire book about self-doubt and indecision, but I don’t want to bore you! (I’ll save it for another day). Gossip, the big one. I have to say I love to gossip. I try to justify it, by telling myself that I like to figure people out and to be fair, I do like to “figure people out”. I like to think about what makes a person tick, but sometimes it just boils down to gossip. I try to remember the difference between discussing opinions and full-blown gossip. The tell for me, is whether I feel bad after talking with a friend about another person. Ideally, I wish I would stop and think, is this kind, is this necessary?
Judgement is basically the same thing as gossip. It’s what we do while we are gossiping, we are judging! My therapist used to warn me about judging others, she said for every outwardly judgement I made, somewhere deep inside me, I was actually judging myself.
Oh, and one more way to cultivate self kindness, is to let kindness happen, let people help or give compliments. For some reason, I have a very difficult time accepting compliments. If someone pays me a compliment, 9 times out of 10, I will have a witty come back that puts me down or an excuse as to why I’m not deserving of the particular compliment. I’m not sure what purpose this serves? I have even had people point this behavior out to me. So, why can’t I accept a compliment? What is it or what happened that makes me not worthy of a compliment. Low self-esteem? Bad habit? I don’t think I struggle with self-esteem at 38. Sure, I have my bad days, maybe once a month, but I’m happy with myself and have learned to accept me as I am. But for some reason, I just cannot accept compliments.
How can I cultivate more kindness in my life and in myself?
What are my 4 acts of kindness today?
How can I go deeper? How can I feel kindness and pass that onto my children?
Let me know how you create self kindness.