Mindful self-compassion week 2
This week was week two of my mindful self-compassion course and the theme of this week was practising mindfulness.
One of the core meditation practices that we practised this week was a practice called the affectionate breathing meditation.
I include a version of this meditation here if you would like to give it a try:
Mindfulness was encouraged as a way of cultivating awareness of the present moment, a way of making the mind less likely to wander. In order to bring compassion to ourselves we need to know that we are suffering!
We all explored ways in which we normally resist our suffering, maybe avoiding feeling physical sensations that we don't like, or unpleasant, overwhelming emotions.
This resistance can take many forms:
Zoning out, dissociating
Keeping busy, e.g. over-work, over-exercise.
Mindfulness can also provide a bigger container to hold our emotions and help with a feeling of equanimity, avoiding swings between emotions.
Mindfulness can also help us to stay with our suffering, not judging the experience, or becoming too over-identified with it and allowing the experience to unfold. I certainly know from my past experiences of using mindfulness to work with my chronic pain that it helps me to sit with my pain. Acknowledging the pain for what it is and then allowing the rest of my life to continue alongside it. It is very freeing and very expansive to work with pain in this way.
I really like the following image about self-compassion:
Another video that I would like to share with you is the Samurai and the Fly. Some of you may have already heard of what you resists, persists. I found this video to be extremely powerful, and how many times have I fought with myself, resisting pain, or thoughts that I didn't want and they keep coming back! I would love to know what you think:
I would like to leave you with this poem. It was such a powerful, poignant poem and one that I will definitely be returning to.
Stations | Audre Lorde
Some women love to wait for life for a ring in the June light for a touch of the sun to heal them for another woman’s voice to make them whole to untie their hands put words in their mouths form to their passages sound to their screams for some other sleeper to remember their future their past.
Some women wait for their right train in the wrong station in the alleys of morning for the noon to holler the night come down.
Some women wait for love to rise up the child of their promise to gather from earth what they do not plant to claim pain for labor to become the tip of an arrow to aim at the heart of now but it never stays.
Some women wait for visions That do not return Where they were not welcome Naked For invitations to places They always wanted To visit To be repeated.
Some women wait for themselves Around the next corner And call the empty spot peace But the opposite of living Is only not living And the stars do not care.
Some women wait for something To change and nothing Does change So they change
In my next blog post I would like to explore the concept of back draft. This is the negative feelings that we may experience when opening up our hearts to compassion. Much like the explosion of fire that comes from opening the door of a burning building and letting the oxygen in!
I hope my sharing of some of these ideas will be useful to you. If you want to find out more about the course that I am doing I am very happy to pass on the details of the course teacher to you. You don't need any prior experience of mindfulness, or compassion in order to benefit from this course.
Until next time,