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121: Mindful Self Compassion with Kristin Neff

We can be so hard on ourselves, feeding our mind a constant string of negativity and criticism. But when we learn to be compassionate with ourselves, talking to ourselves as we would to a friend, the way we show up in every aspect of life will change for the better.

What You'll Learn in this Episode:

  • The difference between self esteem and self compassion.
  • Why you need to talk to yourself as you would to a close friend.
  • How self compassion is related to increased motivation and resilience.
  • How we as mammals are programmed to respond to physical touch.
  • Why your breath is an anchor for self compassion.
  • And much, much more.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Kristin:

Between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend. ~Naomi Shihab Nye

“Self compassion is a combination of mindfulness (being present with what is), responding to ourselves with kindness, and motivating ourselves to get through a situation constructively. How do you treat your close friends when they’re struggling and how do you treat yourself? Having the shadow of kindness follow us wherever we go especially when times are difficult. It makes a huge difference in our ability to cope and to be strong. Be a good friend to yourself when you are struggling.”

“Self compassionate people are more motivated. Here’s the big thing: it is not selfish because the more resources you give to yourself, the more your state of mind is filled with more loving connected presence as opposed to self pity and shame, right? You are actually going to be able to give more to other people. When you are in a state of self pity and loathing, you have no resources to give to anyone. And also the people you are interacting with is in a sense of shame and loathing, it just doesn’t help them. Whereas, when you are in a state of loving connected presence, everyone who interacts with you actually benefits by your own presence. I really think that being self compassionate is one of the biggest gifts we can give to others. I have a lot of research to support this idea, I really believe in self compassion based on my own life experience. It makes a huge difference. It helps yourself; it helps others.”

“‘The curious paradox is, the more I accept myself, the more I can change.' (quote from Carl Rogers). The more you become a compassionate mess, ironically, that’s going to give you more resources to be able to do the best you can. You won’t be perfect, but maybe you can in this calmer mind-state make more creative solutions to your problems. It actually does help you be your best person, but it comes from this unconditional sense of unconditional acceptance as opposed to, ‘I’ve got to get this right in order to accept myself.' It’s powerful stuff! Love, kindness and appreciation, all those things are amazingly important.”

What does it mean to be a Vibrant Happy Woman?

“I’m so fulfilled in what I do – my work is so tied to my values. Having the gift of being able to help people by the work I do is so fulfilling. For me personally, I get the greatest joy and fulfillment from the work I do. I feel very, very blessed in that.”

A Challenge from Kristin:

“The next time you notice you’re struggling, just pause, notice that you’re struggling and ask yourself, ‘How can I be a good friend to myself? What would it be like if I did it differently? What would I do for a good friend going through this?' and try it for yourself.”


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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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