Patanjanli’s Yoga Sutras
The mind is like a brilliant gem. Over a lifetime, it gets dusty, dirty and coated over by conditioned thoughts and experiences, which causes us to lose touch with our inner brilliance… Our true Self…The Light in the heart.
We develop thoughts and patterns of behavior that are self-defeating and destructive. We erroneously think that we are bad, flawed, broken and the way to change is to deprive, shame, drive hard and insist on change…immediately.
When we take this self-critical approach to change, we are incorrectly understanding or interpreting our behavior (avidya) and falsely identifying with who think we are (asmita). We mistake our behavior for who we are (i.e. bad/flawed/broken), instead of seeing that we have a pattern or habit that is not serving our highest good.
Kristin Neff, Phd who studies self-compassion, found that people who are hard on themselves are less resilient after a set back and are more likely to develop anxiety and depression.
(Neff) “Self compassion has an active element of caring, of wanting the best for yourself, saying to yourself...’I want to…
…creating a supportive environment necessary for change.”
So what do we do when we have a habit that doesn’t serve our highest good (i.e., snapping at others, addictive behaviors, not standing up for ourselves)? We accept that this is a part of us (our conditioned thoughts and life experiences), douse it with self-compassion and patiently, without judgment begin to observe our behavior and make conscious choices that are more in-line with our true Self.
Self Compassion Tips:
· Be present and mindful to what is going on
· Treat yourself like you would a friend
· See your undesirable actions as behaviors/habits/symptoms vs. being a bad person.
· Observe your inner critic. Be curious and choose a compassionate response (“Does this feel good? Safe? What can I do to respond more kindly?)
· Acknowledge all your feelings without judgment, pause, observe, then act compassionately.
Quotes for each pose:
(1) “The next time you feel alone or afraid remember…how you speak to yourself changes everything” ~Unknown
(2)“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. “ ~ Chistopher Germer
(3)“Don’t try to win over the haters, you are not the jackass whisperer.” ~Brene Brown
(3)“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete” ~ Jack Kornfeild
(4)“When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives” ~Kristen Neff
(5) “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening” ~Lisa Hayes
(6/7) “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of light.” ~Brene Brown