Have you ever found that you mindfully tune into the tension in your body (for me: neck and shoulders) and then NOT so mindfully beat yourself up about it? I do! I attempt to ‘let it go’ and then proceed to subtly (or not so subtly) put more effort and more tension into getting rid of the tension! NOT very effective!
Only this week I was reminded that Mindfulness is to bring curiosity to the present moment non-judgementally. That it is not about changing what is there but instead observing what is there but this can be really hard to do!
A few days later I came across a reading by Gil Fronsdal in my Mindfulness Study Group and he states how important it is for us to give ourselves compassion if we are to also feel compassion for others. To really feel compassion for our own suffering as well as for other’s suffering! Just reading this helped for some tension from my shoulders to go!
And then in lovely synchronicity I came across a small booklet by Ajahn Sucitto ‘An Introduction To Insight Meditation’ and on the last page it recommended for tension while meditating:
‘You may be trying too hard – this is not unusual! – so lighten your concentration…..move your attention to the breath at the abdomen.
Generate the energy of good-will and direct it towards to area of tension.
What a great idea, to not only wish that others are well and safe but also to send those wishes to those parts of us that are struggling! And to shift the focus! I’ll give it a go and I’ll let you know if it works!
Are there any other strategies that you are aware of? I’d love to hear them!
4 thoughts on “Mindful Compassion For Ourselves”
I often marvel at how much effort and mindfulness it takes to relax into the body. What helpful (and non-judgmental) words: ‘You may be trying too hard – this is not unusual! – so lighten your concentration…..move your attention to the breath at the abdomen. This so lovely. thanks!
Thank you, I found those words when I really needed to read them…..and good for me to revisit them today too! How hard it is to be gentle with ourselves! I’m glad I am finding others who are on this journey too!
Yes, that non-judgmental part is tricky. I’m able to let it go, but it’s quite temporary—it always seems to sneak right back in, unnoticed until I consciously notice it again—it’s just how it is. I just keep practicing.
I’m glad you stopped by my blog, as it led me to yours. Cheers!
Mmmm I’ve really been struggling with that non-judgemental part and no expectations……glad to hear I am not alone and its practice, practice, practice ( gently of course!)