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323: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (with Dr. Shauna Shapiro)

Vibrant Happy Women | Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (with Dr. Shauna Shapiro)

Self-love and self-compassion are not easy things to develop. Somehow, we can treat others with compassion, but when it comes to ourselves, we are our own worst enemy. But small, consistent changes over time lead to big outcomes, and through a repeated mindfulness practice, we can train our brains to show ourselves more self-compassion.

Dr. Shauna Shapiro is the presenter of the well-known TEDx Talk The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger and is a bestselling author, professor, clinical psychologist, and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness and self-compassion. She has spent two decades studying the benefits of mindfulness and compassion and joins me this week to share how we can all apply more of these in our lives.

In this episode, hear some mindfulness tools and practices that will help you show yourself more compassion and love yourself a little deeper. Shauna shares her “Good Morning, I Love You” practice and how it helped her to learn to truly love herself, and why loving ourselves can enable us to create deeper connection, compassion, and love for other people.

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What You’ll Learn:

  • How Shauna got started in the areas of mindfulness and self-compassion and what she has learned.
  • The best times of day to practice mindfulness.
  • How Shauna recognized true love in her partner by recognizing self-love and inner emotional safety in herself.
  • How to handle and develop a practice of loving yourself.
  • Why shaming ourselves doesn’t work in getting us to change our behavior.
  • How Shauna started studying the concept of shame, and what she has learned from it.
  • The key to making the change you want to make in your life.
  • How to engage in mindfulness and self-compassion as a mom, with your body image, and in your relationships.

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. I’m Dr. Jen Riday. On this episode we’re talking about self-compassion, specifically developing self-love in the face of shame, feeling like you’re not good enough as a person, as a mom, having body image issues. All of these areas where we really could use some self-compassion. So, stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.

Hey my friends, Jen Riday here. I’m so grateful you’re here. This podcast is the place where you can reflect and hear what other women are doing to be their most vibrant and happy selves. This episode is exciting for me. We’re talking about self-compassion. How to handle and develop a practice of loving yourself. Now, there is a piece in this interview with Shauna Shapiro that really blew my mind. I have to think about it. You’re going to hear that place. I’m going to give you a hint, it has to do with self-love being related very strongly to emotional safety.

Shauna shares her story of developing that self-love and that feeling of personal inner emotional safety and how she recognized true love in her new partner by recognizing that emotional safety from him. Mind blown. So, there is so much more you’re going to learn, tools and practices that will help you love yourself just a little bit deeper. And as Shauna suggests, when we can love ourselves we can recognize that same feeling in our relationships with other people, all perpetuating deeper connection and compassion for ourselves and each other. Well, I am super excited. Let’s dive in.

Jen: Hey, everyone. I am so excited to be with Shauna Shapiro today. She is the presenter of the really well known TED Talk, TEDx Talk, The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger. So let me tell you a little bit more about Shauna. Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a bestselling author, professor, clinical psychologist and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness and self-compassion. She has spent two decades studying the benefits of mindfulness and compassion, publishing tons of papers and three critically acclaimed books.

So, I love your TEDx Talk, Shauna. I am super excited to talk about this topic. And I have to ask you, being there in Texas, do you know Kristin Neff who also talks about self-compassion?

Shauna: Absolutely. So, Kristin is a really dear friend of mine. And in fact, we met in Canada, we met at a conference in Toronto. And she came up to me, it was my first time ever giving a talk at a conference. And she said, “You’re the first person that used my self-compassion scale in a research study.” And we became close friends ever since, yeah.

Jen: That’s so, so cool. So, she’s been around, she’s kind of the go to expert and then you’re building on her work. It’s amazing that it’s moving forward. Well, welcome. I’m so glad you’re here. How did you get started in the topic of mindfulness and self-compassion? I always feel like there’s a journey that leads people there.

Shauna: So when I was a teenager, I was about 17, I had scoliosis. And it hadn’t really impacted me up until that point. But when I went in for my routine check-up my orthopedic surgeon said that my spine had progressed, the curvature so intently that it was going to puncture my lungs. So, we had to operate pretty immediately. So pretty much overnight I went from being this healthy, active volleyball player, captain of my team to lying in a hospital bed unable to walk.

And it was during those many months of rehabilitation and a lot of physical pain, and just didn’t have the tools to cope as a teenager. And so, I was reading a book about mindfulness that my father had given me. And just everything seemed to click. It was like there was a possibility that I didn’t have to stay stuck in my pain, that there was kind of hope. And as I continued to ready about mindfulness, once I was recovered I went to Thailand and Nepal to actually study meditation and to experience firsthand what it was like. And it kind of set me off on this 25 year journey.

Jen: So cool. I love how mindfulness and meditation, it seems like it is the topic that can bridge eastern and western, and in a way that it’s even coming into the research, solidly, in the research. So, I’m really grateful for researchers like you who have found the science behind all of this so more people can believe in it and try it. So, first things first, what is your personal mindfulness practice?

Shauna: Well, for me the most important time to practice is the morning. That’s always been the time that I was able to practice. It was a little harder when my son was young. There would be times he would wake up before me and there was not much I could do. But now that I have a little more control over my schedule, my morning practice is really the most consistent one. And then what I would say is typically in the afternoon I’ll do a short practice just to kind of reset and then right before bed.

And what’s interesting is that your mood in the morning and your mood in the evening are the best predictors of your physiological health. So, they’re an important time to protect which is why it’s a wonderful time to practice. Your mood actually in the morning and evening predicts the length of your telomeres and the health of your mitochondria which is the body’s energy battery. So, it’s pretty significant, yeah.

Jen: So, if it’s that important, what are the factors that play into our mood in the morning and the evening that are creating that for us? You think, I didn’t sleep well, we don’t know.

Shauna: Right, it’s a pretty surprising finding, only discovered two years ago at UC San Francisco. But what’s interesting is, I am a scientist, I’m a professor. And so up until two years ago people would say, “Well, when should I practice? When is the most efficacious?” And I would say, “Whenever it works.” But now we know that the morning and evening times are pretty important. So, I recommend people practice then if they can. What’s also interesting about the morning is that your brain is in a theta state which is highly trainable. It’s highly suggestible.

So instead of grabbing your smartphone, or scrolling through news, or social media, to intentionally train the mind towards peace, or towards gratitude, or compassion is really potent.

Jen: Yes. I love this. So, first thing, your feet hit the floor, meditate or mindfulness.

Shauna: Yeah. And for me actually what I notice is, if my feet hit the floor sometimes they keep going. So, I often do my practice in bed which most meditation teachers will not tell you to do. And I do have right next to my bed, I’m looking over at it, a little zafu and zabuton.

But often for me when I first wake up, I’ll just put my hand on my heart and kind of do my good morning, I love you practice, which has been one of the most powerful. And what I find is I’m almost in sleep wake but it’s this really beautiful way to start my day where there is a moment of kindness and a moment of kind reawakening in my body.

Jen: Tell us the specifics. I think we all want an I love you practice just like yours, so what does it look like?

Shauna: So, here’s what I’ll say. So (a) mine is not perfect, (b) there is no perfect, and (c) self-love is a big one. It’s not an easy simple thing to develop. And that’s why I call it a practice. It’s not about perfect, it’s about practice. And for me, the good morning I love you practice really developed because of a lot of shame, a lot of guilt and a lot of just anxiety about kind of being in my own body. And not being comfortable with how things were in my life. I was going through a very difficult divorce. My son was three years old.

I felt terrible that I was ruining his life, my life, my husband’s life. And one of my teachers suggested I start practicing a little more self-compassion. And she said, “I want you to try saying, “I love you, Shauna” every day. And I was like, “No way.” It just felt so inauthentic and contrived. And so, she suggested I start practicing just by saying, “Good morning, Shauna.” And putting my hand on my heart and just greeting myself with a moment of kindness instead of this avalanche of shame, and stress, and fear. And so, I began practicing and it was kind of nice.

There was this moment of good morning that kind of instead of going down a certain pathway of anxiety, I went down a pathway of kindness. And as I continued to practice I started noticing little shifts, a little bit more gentleness with myself, a little less harshness. And about three months later, it was actually my birthday, and it was the first birthday I had ever been alone probably in my life. My son was with his father. I was completely alone. And I woke up to do my good morning practice.

And this image of my grandmother came to me, my nana I called her, she’s my person. And she had died a few years before. And so, it was really special to have this image and to kind of feel her love. And before I knew it, I said, “Good morning, I love you, Shauna.” And it was as if the dam around my heart burst and this love came pouring in. And I felt my grandmother’s love, and my mother’s love, and my own self-love. And I wish I could say every day since then has been this bubble of self-love and that’s not true.

But the pathway, I believe the neural pathway was established and I have been practicing it every day since then. And most days it feels pretty good now because I have established the practice but some days it feels awkward. And some days I feel numb, where I just am going through the motions. But I think the key is practicing. And so, what I invite people is to kind of set a very small goal, I call them ridiculously unambitious goals, ones you know you’ll meet. And then just to practice because even just shifting 5% has huge impacts in your life.

Jen: Every thought results in an emotion really. And I love that idea, people will lift weights, they know they need to exercise and eat healthy. But what about creating the right pathways in your brain, messages that become more and more automatic. I love that it’s called practice but sometimes I wish it was called mind training.

Shauna: Yeah. Well, I do often call it mental fitness training, that we all have kind of understood this concept of physical fitness. And everyone agrees it’s good for you. But we haven’t totally embraced the idea of mental fitness, that there are practices, exercises, training we can do to make our mind more mentally fit which I would say is more flexible, more open minded, more compassionate both with other people and with ourselves. And that there are specific science based practices to help us do that.

And I think for me one of the most important discoveries over the last 400 years is neuroplasticity which shows that through repeated practice, we can rearchitect the structure of our brain. And I think what’s key for people to know is (a) this is possible, you’re never stuck, it’s never too late. And (b) it takes practice, that it’s small changes over time that lead to big outcomes.

Jen: Absolutely. It’s not the huge changes, it’s the small ones with consistency. It’s always so tricky to do those small things but they do add up. Well, you mentioned shame, that feeling of not good enough. And I have a theory that everyone has that kind of a thought somewhere in their psyche. So, you created your I love you practice with your nana’s help. How is that going? How has that shifted over the years? Can you reflect on the before and the after of that practice?

Shauna: Yeah, absolutely. And here’s what I’ll say, I agree with you. I think the majority of people do feel a certain degree of shame or self-judgment in a constant sense, like I’m not good enough, I’m not doing it right. And I remember when I came back from Thailand I’d had such a profound experience that I want to study meditation scientifically. And so, I started working with a lot of different people. I got my PhD. I became a clinical psychologist.

And I was working with people that were from very different walks of life, so women with breast cancer, and veterans, and high level executives, and parents. And everyone I worked with was talking about the same thing, this sense of shame, this sense of I’m not good enough. And so, I actually started studying shame. What happens when we shame our self? Is it helpful? Does it make you lose weight, or exercise more, or become a better parent? And the answer is no, shame doesn’t work.

When we shame ourselves it actually shuts down the learning centers of our brain. It actually keeps us stuck. It keeps us stuck in the very behaviors we want to change. And so, one of the things that is so powerful about mindfulness and compassion is that when we treat ourselves with kind attention, kindness, we turn on the learning centers of the brain. It actually bathes us in dopamine and oxytocin, dopamine turns on the learning and motivation centers, oxytocin makes us feel safe so we can take risks and try new things.

And so, the key to change is this kindness. And yet it’s almost paradoxical. When I tell people, “Well, if you want to change, try self-compassion”, they kind of roll their yes. They’re like, “No, that’s just going to make me a couch potato, sitting around eating Oreos all day long.” And so, you asked what changes have I noticed? So, I’ll give you a very simple example. A couple of weeks ago I was moving a big chair, and fast and I dropped it on my foot. And I went, “Ow, sweetheart, that hurt.”

And then I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so nice to myself.” Instead of being like, “You stupid”, or, “Why did you do that?” I was like, “Ouch, that hurt”, just like you would if your dear friend dropped something on their foot. And yet somehow we are able to treat others with so much compassion but ourselves, it’s like we’re our inner enemy. We’re just constantly judging. And so that’s a small example. I’d say the kind of biggest example is I think for me after my divorce I felt like I was damaged, or I’d failed, that I would never get married again.

I didn’t even want to get married again, I was terrified of love and intimacy. And I think learning how to love myself when I’d just four years ago met my now current husband, but there was such a wellspring of I’m okay no matter what. And sense of safety in my own body, I’m at home in myself, that when I met him and I felt safe and at home I was like, “That’s what love feels like, I know that already.” And I think I was able to recognize him. People say, “Did you find him because you found self-love?”

And I wouldn’t say found, I’d say I just recognized him. And I think earlier in my life I wouldn’t have because that’s not what love felt like to me.

Jen: Wow. So, I have to just recap this because it kind of blew my mind. Self-love to you feels like emotional safety. And because you were able to develop that you recognized love as emotional safety with your current husband. And that makes me wonder, what kind of feelings do a lot of people have that they think are love that aren’t and they’re recognizing something different? I don’t even know if that’s something you’ve pondered but that’s what I’m going to have to be thinking about, yeah.

Shauna: Absolutely. If we’re treating ourselves in a certain way all day long, and our parents treated us in a certain way, things are familiar then we call them love. Sometimes we call love, excitement. Sometimes we call it – for me it was almost painful. It was like if I was anxious, that’s what I called love because the energy of it and I think earlier in my life I didn’t recognize that, this sense of peace and sense of home was love. And as I started to build a home inside of myself, it was like, that feels similar.

It's been something very unexpected, I wasn’t practicing self-love to discover love again. But it’s been one of the greatest blessings.

Jen: Wow. Wow, yeah.

Shauna: Yeah. Goop just published an essay last week on this story because they were interested. My TED Talk ends with my divorce, my book ends with my divorce. And everyone was like, “Well, what happened?” And it’s funny because I remember after my divorce I drove straight to my grandparents’ house. I didn’t really have anywhere to go. And I remember my son was three, he was in the back seat in the car seat, and I pull up at my grandparents’ house and I’m sobbing and crying. And my grandparents, I mean true love, married 70 years, I think the happiest couple you’ve ever seen.

And I said to my nana, I said, “How do you do it? What’s the key?” And she said, “Self-love.” And I was like, “Self-love, what do you mean? You guys are the most generous.” The way they loved each other was so generous, it didn’t feel like self-love, it felt like giving love. And that was ages ago that she said that, now 10 years ago.

Jen: Yeah. You know the feeling and then you start to generate it with another person, wow, this is big, I love this. This is my meditation practice tomorrow and tonight. I’m going to think about this one. So, shame, it’s a huge topic. During that part you said you were able to feel comfortable in your body, let’s talk a little bit about the body. This is coming out spring, the edge of summer. How do we have self-compassion toward our bodies at a time when we’re worried about fitting into our bikini or bathing suit and being out in public in that way?

Shauna: Yeah. Well, and I have to say, my body, I had a scar that was a foot long down my spine. It hurt a lot. It’s still a little bit crooked. I mean it was a lot of compassion for myself, instead of beating myself up and saying, “Why don’t you look a certain way”, it was more like, “Thank you body for being able to walk. Thank you body for these moments that I’m at peace and not in pain. Thank you body for the strength you do have instead of beating myself up for the weakness.”

Because I came from, you know, I was captain of the volleyball team. I was the most valuable player. I was an athlete. And I never played volleyball again. And my body changed radically. And to be able to find that compassion. And I will tell you to this day, it’s still hard. It’s not like I wake up every day and I’m naked in front of the mirror and I’m like, “I love myself.” It’s little baby steps and then there are setbacks where I fall into criticism, and judgment, and comparing mind which just leads to suffering.

But again, it’s always every day returning to that self-compassion and actually practicing it because my mind’s natural tendency as with most of us goes into criticism and shame.

Jen: So, scoliosis surgery, it’s massively invasive from what I understand. I have a friend who did it. Are there incisions on the front and the back or how does that work?

Shauna: Just on my back. It goes kind of from my neck all the way down to my lower back. And then there is a bone graft on my buttocks that’s a ragged scar. And then right after my surgery actually because I lost so much weight in the hospital because I had to stay in the hospital so long because I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. Anyway, I finally got home, and I was kind of emaciated. And I passed out and cracked my head open. So, I got 70 stitches in the ER, not with a plastic surgeon, but 70 stitches from an ER doc in the middle of the night.

So, then I had this huge scar in my eyebrow, and I was just about to go to college where you’re already so nervous. And then I remember my sweet dad trying to make me feel better. And I was like, “Oh my God, my scar.” He’s like, “I actually think the pimples on your chin are worse.”

Jen: That’s the best.

Shauna: I was like, “Oh God, dad.”

Jen: I love it. I love it. That’s cool. So, you just look in the mirror and then you said it’s still really hard. Do you have a phrase you like to say to yourself similar to your I love you practice?

Shauna: Yeah. I don’t have a look in the mirror practice. I probably should develop one. For me, physical touch is the most important thing. So, I have a practice of putting my hand on my heart. And yeah, you can do it with me right now. And what happens when you do it is, is first of all it releases oxytocin which I have mentioned before. It’s this kind of love hormone that creates a sense of safety. And so, for me when I’m either in shame, or judging myself, or scared, I just put my hand on my heart.

And there is a way in which I soothe myself. And when I’m speaking harshly at myself, I will do that. I will put my hand on my heart just to say no. I think of self-judgment kind of it’s like you’re grabbing a hot coal. And I just say, “No, that will burn you.” That’s not going to help you. And I think we almost have to reparent ourselves, that none of us, no matter how good our parents, we’ve got the kind of perfect attunement. And so, I think for all of us learning how to be on our own team and take care ourselves is essential.

Jen: What a tool. I have always known different forms of – in fact I attended Kristin Neff’s self-compassion workshop. And she had us touch ourselves in various ways.

Shauna: Right. She has you find your self-soothing.

Jen: Yeah. And so, mine is the heart for sure but it’s also the cheeks because my grandma used to do this to me. I had no idea that actual oxytocin was being released. So that’s a love hormone, it would help us love ourselves more, makes sense.

Shauna: A lot of times people think meditation is a mental activity but it’s an embodied practice. That’s where changes happen. But so often the pain or trauma that we experience in our life was before we had kind of rational mind development. Our prefrontal cortex probably wasn’t even developed at the time. And so, I do believe that meditation is really about bringing our senses back into the body. And really listening to kind of that intuition, that emotion, and that awareness and combining it though with the mind. It’s like we’re integrating all of it, no parts left out.

Jen: Yeah, the words earthy and primal just come up and they feel so gritty with that imagery. Well, so we talked about shame in our bodies. Another big kind of place where we could all use a little more self-love and positivity is parenting. It’s so hard. You said comparison equals suffering, something to that effect. As parents we see our kids and Sally and Johnny don’t have A's like their friends. And that other mom, she’s so fit. How do we engage in mindfulness and self-compassion in this very hard arena of being moms?

Shauna: Yeah. So, I would say that has actually been my greatest challenge is holding myself with compassion as a mother. That somehow other things I could be a little bit less harsh on myself. But parenting, every time I’d make a mistake I was like, “You’re the worst mom, how can you do this? You go and teach self-compassion in the world and then you’re a witch at home.” And it’s been a practice. So, my son and I as a single mom for almost 10 years, so that was a lot of time to be making mistakes by myself.

What’s helped me the most truthfully is coming back to my good heart, to realizing that the reason I’m angry at myself when I make a mistake is because I love him so much. So, if you’re feeling guilty, it’s like you can already tell yourself, “Okay, wait, I am already a good mom. The love is there.” And then what I realized, and this is, it’s that shaming myself locks me into repeating a certain pattern, whereas reconnecting with my intention and my love for him helps. Your intention actually, it’s really fascinating.

But intentions are a neuro chemical. So, when you set an intention it releases dopamine which motivates you and moves you forward. So, coming back to my intention, instead of going into shame, I would go back to my intention to love my son. And then I would make amends. And that was the biggest shift for me because the guilt would just keep me separate from him. It never actually changed anything.

Jen: I love that. Intentions are a neural chemical. How does this work? This sounds magical.

Shauna: It does sound magical, that’s why I love science. I think in some ways it makes magic real. So, intentions are a really beautiful thing. And for me in the model I created of mindfulness, intentions are the first step. That intentions remind you of what’s important. They’re your aspirations and your goals. And they can be spiritual and psychological of course.

But fundamentally they’re a neural chemical, that when we set an intention the forebrain kind of sets an emotion, it releases all these chemicals that sets an emotion, it says to the nervous system, “Pay attention. This is important.” And it starts with dopamine, then it turns into acetylcholine which helps make us alert and focused. And really after the age of 25 the only way to engage neuroplasticity which means the only way to change is to begin with intention. You cannot get anyone older than 25 to change unless they want to and are motivated to.

Jen: Wow, yeah. That’s, older 20 somethings, they have to want it, that’s true.

Shauna: They have to want it. Up until, zero to 25, neuroplasticity is relatively passive. It’s just pretty easy to learn things and it’s these very precious years. After 25, I mean not right on your birthday, but around then is it starts to shift, and it has to be active and intentional.

Jen: And it makes sense, that’s when people are fully adults. That’s interesting you say 25, that’s the age they say around there that people are done developing, so makes sense.

Shauna: It’s not a coincidence.

Jen: Yeah. Well, so taking this idea of intention to parenting I intend to create emotional safety. And until this very interview I’d never equated that with love. My mind is still blown. So, my brain works on that but then I make these mistakes. Tell us a little bit about how you use self-talk to talk yourself through that. I know Kristin Neff talks about, I think she talks about shared humanity, that always helps me. I’m like, well, we all suffer, so I made that mistake, my kids will get to heal from that on their own just like I’ve healed from mistakes my mom made. Go ahead, yeah.

Shauna: She calls it common humanity and it’s a beautiful part of self-compassion which is that the first step is mindfulness. The first step is you just name the emotion, I’m embarrassed that I handled my kids that way, or I’m scared that I did this, or I’m sad. You just name it. The second step is you bring kindness to yourself, you even put your hand on your heart. The third step which I think is extraordinary is you think of all the other people in the world right now who maybe made the same mistake, or maybe feel the way you do.

So, for me a lot of times I would go into shame and then I’d think of all the other moms that were feeling like they weren’t good enough. And I would just send them my compassion, may you trust your good heart, may this pass, may you repair with your child. And all of a sudden I wasn’t alone and isolated in my pain. I was part of this common humanity of moms who make mistakes which is normal. I think the key for this kind of positive self-talk is that it has to be authentic.

It's not about putting on a mask and saying, “I’m happy, happy, happy, joy, joy.” It’s really about looking for what’s true and good, putting your attention there because your brain isn’t stupid. You can’t lie to yourself, and you shouldn’t. But there’s always something you can look at and bring in that can build this compassion and kindness authentically.

Jen: Yeah, I like that. That’s great. You said happy, happy, joy, joy, my brain went, Ren & Stimpy. I bet none of our listeners even know who that is. My kids certainly wouldn’t.

Shauna: That is how old I am, happy, happy, joy, joy, I love that.

Jen: Well, you have a journal, tell us about that.

Shauna: Right. I wrote a book after my TED Talk kind of reached almost three million people. They said, “Please write a book. There’s obviously interest in this idea of self-compassion, and shame, and this whole concept of good morning I love you.” So, I wrote a book and then I kept getting all of these emails saying, “Well, what do I do now?” And as I’ve mentioned, I study how people change. I’m a clinical psychologist. And what I know is that you can’t change by reading something. You have to change through practice, through repeated practice.

And so, I created this journal to be comprised of these very short science based practices that are in the morning and the evening as we talked about. These are the most important times to practice. And the idea was for people to be able to integrate all that we’ve learned from science, all that we’ve learned from these wisdom traditions in very simple to use practices. As I said, I was a single mom for 10 years. Now I’m a mom of four teenagers. So, life doesn’t slow down.

And what I realized is that people need simple practices that are also effective. And so, the idea of the journal was to give people access to this in just five minutes a day.

Jen: Yeah, five minute bath of oxytocin really.

Shauna: Five minute bath of oxytocin. And then once a week I have kind of a deeper dive practice. So, if people have time on a weekend or something and they want to go deeper there is both the science behind it and then a little short practice. But my goal was really to keep it quite simple and relatable without dumbing down any of the science or taking out any of the transformational parts of the meditation. And I think we did a really good job of that.

Jen: Well done. You have a gift, I love how you bridge science and real life, it’s just the perfect blend. And I am thankful you shared it with us today.

Shauna: Thank you so much.

Jen: So, tell us the name of your book one more time and where people can go to get it?

Shauna: So, the new journal is Good Morning, I love You: A Guided Journal for Calm, Clarity, and Joy. And you can find it at any bookstore. You can reach me at I always respond to emails so please reach out. And I have lots of free meditations, and videos, and articles there or on Instagram @drshaunashapiro.

Jen: Awesome. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Take care, Shauna.

Shauna: Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed that. I love Shauna. She has such good energy. I can feel her compassion for herself which radiates outward to others. Can’t you feel that earthiness about her? Just know this, as you develop your own self-compassion practice, your own feelings of self-love and emotional safety within yourself, it will radiate outward energetically, just like you feel from Shauna to your kids, your spouse, your loved ones. You become an emotionally safe space for yourself but for others to have a soft place to land and that feels amazing.

Now, self-compassion doesn’t mean you’re a doormat. It means you take care of you, and you take care of what’s inside of you. You do those oxytocin boosting practices. Oxytocin feels amazing. Just put your hand on your heart again here and feel that, or on your cheeks. So, I want to challenge you to try your own I love you practice in the morning. Maybe you do it looking in the mirror. Maybe you roll over in bed and put your hands on your heart like Shauna talked about and say, “I love you.”

And allow yourself to generate some of that oxytocin in your own body which will help you develop love for yourself and others. We spend so much of our lives generating cortisol, the stress hormone. What would it look like to add practices that allow you to generate that oxytocin? We all crave deep, heart-centered connection. What if mindfulness and self-compassion are the exact practices that will help you more easily connect to others? Try it out.

I am so glad you’re here. I love you. I feel compassion toward you, and I will see you again next week. Until then make it a vibrant, happy, and compassionate week. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at

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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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