As the year comes to an end, the holidays arrive amid a pandemic that continues to unfold. Plans are uncertain, and while this season traditionally celebrates joy, peace and togetherness, you might not find yourself in a particularly cheerful or festive mood.
Mindfulness meditation teaches us to turn toward whatever mood we’re in and whatever experience may be happening. Mindfulness in meditation or in everyday life is simple but it takes practice. Habits of distraction and avoidance run deep – we’ve been practicing those for a long time! With some mindfulness practice, you can learn to notice and be more aware with kindness and less judgment.
I know when I’m struggling, I can feel isolated and long for acknowledgement, comfort and connection. It’s easy to overlook an immediate resource that you and I can call upon – the ally within ourselves. Available in every heart is a kind, generous human being waiting to be discovered any moment I’m a bit mindful. When I direct caring towards myself, this is self-compassion.
Take this moment, right now, to connect to that care. Reach out and take your own hand. Comfort yourself with warmth or soothing touch to awaken a felt sense of caring in your body. Can you show up for yourself with kindness? Can you begin to befriend yourself, right here, right now, no matter what you are feeling? Maybe you can offer an encouraging word or phrase. Listen to what you need and offer yourself support. Notice how being compassionate towards yourself feels. Does it feel awkward or unusual, or familiar and welcome? Can you love and accept yourself just as you would a friend?
As I practiced self-compassion, I became more accepting of myself. When I show up with kindness, I feel stronger and more accepting of the ever-changing nature of experience. As you and I grow in love and understanding of ourselves, this extends to our communities. Gathering in community, even online, can ease suffering and help us remember: each one of us belongs in this shared humanity.
Come discover and strengthen a deeper and kinder relationship to the person who has been waiting your entire life to be acknowledged, valued and loved. Please join JD Lloyd and I in the new year for the Short Course in Self-Compassion: The Short-Course in Mindful Self-Compassion – InsightLA Meditation
– Suzanne Smith