Mini-Programme Week 2
SELF-KINDNESS IN ACTION
BEFORE YOU ENGAGE WITH THESE PRACTICES, please ensure you have read the guidance note on the main Mini-Programme page.
Developing a self-kindness practice takes a lot of time and patience – and it’s worth it! In the long-term, it enables us to discover what I call emotional confidence. Most of us have to start small with this practice, and find ways to work with barriers and resistance that tend to arise (which is quite common, you may be reassured to know). This week’s content offers a very small starting point with this area of practice, and a focus on self-attunement.
What do I mean by Emotional Confidence?
Life inevitably includes discomfort and challenge at times: it’s hard being human. From a very young age we may have developed habits to help us cope (which can be mental, emotional or behavioural). Though once useful, these strategies can eventually become limiting.
In order to release ourselves from limiting habits, we need to create a new set of resources. I believe that self-kindness can be an extremely powerful resource, which helps to build emotional confidence. This is how we bring mindfulness of emotions into the fuller picture of mindful living. We become less driven by unconscious patterns, and more able to stay steady and resilient in the face of difficulty.
For a little more about this, watch this week’s video ‘Softer But Stronger’:
You can also find the video at my youtube channel here.
Once you have watched the video above, you might like to explore the following reflection (please do watch the video first to give you some context).
Over the course of this week, you could look out for any feelings that you tend to judge as bad, wrong, ‘negative’, or that you feel you shouldn’t have. Be kind to yourself while observing this: nothing different has to happen, there’s no need to rush yourself into change. You can make notes in your journal if it feels helpful, and you may spot some repeating patterns, which can be very useful. If you like to use a prompt for journalling, you could try ‘I judge myself for feeling…’ (or adapt as you prefer, for example if you find easier to notice thoughts rather than feelings).
If you are currently feeling overwhelmed, you might choose to skip this reflection for now, and return to it at a later stage in your journey. If you would prefer some reading instead, you can find blogs about this aspect of mindful living in the ‘Self-Kindness’ category. In the video, I mentioned some info about seeking additional support, which is on my About page if you need it.
1-minute mindfulness practice
This week’s suggested 1-minute mindfulness practice is ‘Change Pace’, and can be done several (or more) times throughout each day. This practice can help you to increase self-attunement and responsive self-care – in a practical, embodied way. It is described in the video below, which is called Feel Balanced (again, if you feel more drawn to one of the other practices I outline, go with that instead).
This video can also be found at my youtube channel here.
If you want to do some meditation this week, you might like to choose one from the self-kindness collection of my Meditation Recordings, such as ‘Imagining Compassion’ (which is 7 mins long).
At the end of the week, take some time to reflect on the practices you’ve explored, or any reading you’ve done. What emerged that was helpful? Did you notice anything that seemed important?
When you’re ready, you can continue to week 3 here.