Have you ever noticed how your heart feels when you open up to the feelings of gratitude? When we meet our brain’s negative bias with the gratitude of the heart, we change everything. We feel abundance and joy and grace and if we stay with this feeling of gratitude a little longer, say holding a heart-opening pose in a yoga class, we may notice that we feel positive and full of abundance and hope. Another option is to put your hand over your heart either sitting up or lying down. When you feel the warmth and caring coming through your hand from your kind touch, the heart can receive the kindness and take it in. We call this self-compassion, or kindness that we give to ourselves.
I offered this up in my women’s yoga class today and as I practiced, I could feel the warm feelings generated from this heart-opening and soothing to allow more compassion to go out from my heart to others and for me to receive more love and compassion coming in. Gratitude is the door to the receptivity of compassion both for ourselves and others. Imagine what it might be like in this world, if we met the fear and pain of refugees, of displaced and lost homeless, of fearful politicians and world leaders, with this compassion? Can you generate some gratitude this Thanksgiving for yourself and others and move your heart’s warmth out a little farther into the world?
I just completed a training for Mindfulness Self-Compassion (MSC) which I am bringing to all aspects of my practice because it is the tool that brings me to the closest I’ve ever gotten to loving myself — warts and all. The MSC practices developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, and through their careful research, bring relief by generating kindness towards self with the understanding that we are all flawed and struggle as human beings. Instead of striving and bullying and judging ourselves to achieve more, their research shows that self-kindness more effectively motivates us to achieve our goals. So when you meditate or take a mindfulness moment, try putting your hand over your heart and see how that changes how you feel towards yourself. That is the feeling of self-compassion being generated….now see if you can feel it and let it go into your heart and deep into your painful parts inside of you. These practices will be offered in my upcoming groups in 2016. I hope you can explore some of these with me and with other women as we learn how to bring more compassion into our hearts and then out into the world.
Come and explore Mindful Self-Compassion between now and my next group which starts February 15, 2016. Rebirthing the New Authentic You is for any woman who has been in transition for a while and is struggling with identity and self-worth. Join other women just like you learn how to re-awaken those powerful young parts of you that have been hidden or blocked. Discover your passion and purpose again and complete the transformation out of grief and into the Authentic New You!
Donna Roe Daniell, LCSW
Balance Your Life Coaching & Psychotherapy
5412 Idylwild Trail
Boulder, CO 80301