Practices for Self-Compassion with Rhiannon Kim Sunday 12:30-3:00 January 6, 2019
mindfulness practices, self-compassion and self-absorption mindfulness-based practices rooted in practices that support betterment of the self so that the self is better able to support their community and the world around them. recent Western studies have indicated that people in Western cultures who meditate and practice yoga are more likely to be self-absorbed and are more prone to self-righteousness.
this makes sense to me. there are apps for us to meditate by ourselves. there are books upon books and innumerable articles on how to take care of ourselves. Kristin Neff’s book on self-compassion offers many ways in which we can take care of ourselvesand soothe our inner hurts.
i love all of this. i love that we are recognizing that our emotional and psychological health are important and that there are ways we can bolster our health.
and, i do not enjoy that this crucial piece is missing: betterment of the self so that the self is better able to support their community and the world around them.
Kristin Neff’s book uses an example of how to use self-compassion. the scenario is of a person who was unkind and rude to a server. the server took longer than expected in bringing the bill. the person in the scenario did not leave a tip and stormed out of the restaurant.
the solution provided in the book is that when you see your unkindness toward another, offer yourself self-compassion, get out of the shame-spiral, and look at the context for which your behaviors erupted (stress, needing to get to an appointment, etc.). beautiful. i love all of that. self-shaming is corrosive and toxic to the body, heart, and mind.
in this example, i see only the betterment of the self . the server was subjected to unkind behavior and a lack of a tip. there was no mention of apologizing to the server and holding oneself accountablefor the leakage of stress and anger onto someone else. that server does not deserve the burden and weight of our emotional distress. in fact, depending on their place of employment, their life and livelihood depend on tips. we do not know the suffering of nor the context surrounding why the server was late bringing the bill.
invitation: bring self-compassion into all aspects of your life. and don’t stop there. don’t hold onto that self-compassion as a treasure to be hidden. harness the strength of self-love and self-acceptance to motivate you into looking honestly at your patterns and to take steps and actions to remedy hurts for which you are responsible.
how often do i take out my stress/irritations on others?
do i usually “punch-down” and act out these behaviors on people i view as “less valuable than me”?
why do i view people as having less value than me?
where do these beliefs come from?
who can i reach out to for some honest conversations to deepen my understanding and change my behavior? *note – do not put the emotional burden on those you have hurt, especially someone who identifies as a POC, LGBTQ, non-binary, and other marginalized groups. instead, apologize thoughtfully and then change your behavior. that’s a better apology than applying more emotional labor onto them.