Most of us were raised to love and show compassion for other people. This is a good thing – we need to feel connected to survive and thrive in this world. But a lot of us didn't get taught to show compassion to ourselves, too. So we wind up as adults that need approval, love, and compassion from others because we're not sure how to give it to ourselves first.
You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode #207. We’re talking all about self-compassion. Stay tuned.
Hi, I’m Jen Riday, and 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.
My friends, I am so happy you’re back, because we’re talking about self-compassion. We’ve talked about self-love and boundaries and intuition and authenticity over the last few weeks. Today we’ll talk about self-compassion.
Now, many of us feel like we need more love from other people. We need other people to nurture us, and admire us, and appreciate us, and adore us, and those needs are baked in from childhood. They help us to survive, because we are looking for that love and approval from our tribe, from our parents.
That’s important and necessary for our survival. However, as we become adults, we can learn how to give those things to ourselves, and that becomes a powerful place because when we know how to show ourselves self-love and self-compassion, we don’t have to seek it from others.
When we’re seeking it from others, we’re always needy for love and approval. We need them to appreciate us. We need them to validate us. We need them to do things for us, because we haven’t learned to give it to ourselves.
Well, self-compassion is an excellent first step. Dr. Kristin Neff, the self-compassion expert, the biggest, most well-known self-compassion researcher from Texas teaches that self-compassion is loving, connected presence. Ooh, I love those words. Loving, connected presence.
So, if you are feeling loving and connected and present with a friend, how would you interact with them? It would probably involve listening carefully, looking in their eyes, being square-on with your body language, facing them, maybe leaning forward a little bit, listening so carefully with empathy, displaying a sense of understanding using compassionate and loving words, gestures, touching them on the shoulder, hugging, whatever that entails.
It’s beautiful. It’s loving, it’s connected, and it’s present. Now, let’s turn that to ourselves. What would it look like to exercise loving, connected presence, or self-compassion, for yourself, to be your own best friend? Now, thinking again of how you would interact with a friend in that loving, connected, present way, how would that look for yourself?
Last week, we talked about listening to your intuition, your inner self, your authentic self. Stripping away any thoughts, feelings, or sensations that don’t serve you, and just really listening. “What’s going on in there? What am I thinking and feeling? What feels aligned? What is my next best step?”
What if you gave yourself that gift every day to be loving, connected, and present? This is the foundation of juicy, deep self-care. It’s not about mani/pedi’s or talking with a friend, although those are amazing and important too, but are you making that time every day to be loving and connected and present with yourself?
And even extending that to be loving and connected and present with whatever’s higher than yourself, collective consciousness, the universe, source, God, intuition. That connection, that oneness with yourself and with everyone else out there, all that energy out there, whatever it is, it feels amazing. Once you’re in that quiet space, it’s beautiful. You can meditate, you can do a BOLD meditation.
That’s all fine and good, but how do we consistently engage in this loving, connected presence when we are facing our day? Those stressful moments come, and your toddler has a meltdown, or maybe you’re a nurse working at a hospital, and you’re on your 11th hour of a 12-hour shift, and you have nothing to give, and you know you’re burning on fumes. How do you do it then?
One of my favorite ways, and I want you to do this now, is to place your hand on your heart, notice how that feels. Maybe close your eyes and feel it. If you’re driving, obviously not. Take a deep breath with your hand on your heart. Just that act of touch causes a release of oxytocin within yourself.
Oxytocin, as you may know, is the love hormone, the bonding hormone, present at birth, present during sex, present during connection, present during eye-gazing with other people. You can give yourself the same gift of love through self-compassion or compassionate self-touch, placing your hand on your heart.
Maybe you extend that and place two hands on your heart. We are each wired differently to experience love through ourselves in different ways. Try rubbing your own arm right now. How does that feel? Giving yourself a hand massage. This form of compassionate self-touch is releasing that oxytocin, helping you to be loving and connected and present, or self-compassionate with yourself.
Maybe you give yourself a hug on both sides. Maybe you cradle your hands on your own face. Maybe a scalp massage feels the best for you. Find that gesture for yourself that helps you feel nurtured the same way you would show love and nurturing for a friend who needs you. Be your own best friend.
In addition to compassionate self-touch, what would it look like to engage in compassionate self-talk? Well, we talked last week about BOLD, B-O-L-D, Breathe, Observe, Let Go, and Dialogue. That’s the easiest way to figure out what you’ve been thinking.
Maybe, if you’re like a lot of people, you wake up and think, “Oh my gosh, not another day. I want to stay in bed. Oh, my gosh, do I have to face this day?” Well, observing your thoughts, you can start to replace them to generate a feeling that will get you a better action and a better result. Beautiful.
Sometimes, you’ll notice, you’re thinking thoughts like, “I can’t do this because I’m not good enough. I’m a terrible mom. I’m a loser.” Stop those thoughts through observing them, and then replace them with something more compassionate.
What would you say to a friend? Maybe it’s a thought like, “You’re doing the best you can,” or, “Sweetie, you’re amazing.” What would it look like if you said to yourself right now, “Honey, I love you. Sweet girl, you’ve got this”? Those little terms of endearment, those words are powerful.
We can not only use them with ourselves, but adding those sugary, beautiful words to interactions with our family, wow, powerful. Who knew words were that powerful? Experiment for yourself. Say those words to yourself.
“Sweetie, you’ve got this. Sweet girl, you’re a rock star. You’ve got this, honey.” Use those beautiful, compassionate words additionally. “You’ve got this. Go for it. You are the best. You’re a rock star.” Cheer lead for yourself. Okay, another cool thing you can do is mirror work.
I mentioned that looking in someone’s eyes causes a flood of oxytocin, the love hormone. Well, a cool way to be self-compassionate is to look in your own eyes in the mirror. Now, many people who have been through my programs in the Vibrant Happy Women Club or other programs, say, “This is hard.”
Looking in your own eyes can be hard because you haven’t trained yourself to have loving, compassionate feelings for yourself, so look in your own eyes in the mirror. Maybe now, if you’re in a car, do it, or walk in the bathroom and try it, and then say these words, “I love you. I really love you.”
This exercise was created by Louise Hay and it’s amazing. If you do this every day and every night for about 30 days, you will completely change how you feel about yourself. I’ve seen this happen with so many women I work with. Look in your own eyes in the mirror and say the words, “I love you. I really love you.”
It might not feel true at first, but you’re rewiring you’re brain and replacing those self-loathing thoughts with self-loving thoughts. And maybe while you’re looking in your own eyes, you put your hand on your heart and try it again. “I love you. I really love you, honey.” Add those sweet words, those loving words, that loving touch, and you make it even more powerful.
Well, those are just the tip of the iceberg. We’re going to be talking all about this in the Club this week, those of you who are in the club. Self-compassion is something you can do for the rest of your life and it’s a powerful way to build self-love. We’ll also be talking in the club about emotional detox work, EFT tapping and EMDR.
EFT tapping stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, and EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. We’re going to be talking about how you can use those tools in your own life to build those neural pathways of nurturing self-love. I love it.
Now, I want to end by sharing the thought that self-love is your birthright. You deserve to feel confident, to have positive thoughts coming to mind first, and we do that by training our brains. You deserve to give in your relationships rather than being needy for approval.
You deserve to give yourself the love you need rather than needing others to give it to you. And when you love yourself, you are way more equipped to love others, and that leads to greater happiness. Remember, self-love is your birthright. You are worthy because you were born.
Now, a final announcement. As you know, a couple of weeks ago I was at the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat. We had a blast. Well, that room was almost full. I looked at the number of tables where we meet, the number of spots and spaces, and I have added a few more spaces beyond what we had last year, and now the retreat is open for enrollment.
If you would like to be a part of this beautiful, four-day self-love, confidence-building, relationship-boosting adventure of connection and friendship with other vibrant, happy women, go sign up now. The spots are absolutely limited. Until I find a new venue, this is what we have, and I would love for you to have one of those spots.
Remember, self-love is your birthright. Confidence and happiness in your relationship are absolutely yours for the making. You just need the steps. This intensive four days together, with other vibrant, happy women, doing the work, engaging in the exercises to build that self-love and that confidence, and to understand your priorities, and to heal your heart is so, so, so worth it.
I want to extend that invitation to you. You can learn more and grab one of those spots at Jenriday.com/retreat. Jenriday.com/retreat. Those of you who have already signed up, can’t wait to see you again in February of 2021. Can’t wait to give you a big hug.
And those of you who are not yet there, go sign up. I’m going to hug you so big. I am so grateful that you’re there listening, and I want to know you in person. One last time, Jenriday.com/retreat.
Well, my friends, thank you so much for listening. You are worthy because you were born, and self-love is your birthright. It’s up to you whether you’re going to make that happen. I want to challenge you to place your hands on your heart several times today and speak endearing, beautiful, loving words to yourself and watch your self-love grow. One tool out of many, but so, so powerful.
Thank you for listening, and I’ll see you again soon. Until then, make it a vibrant and happy 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 Jenriday.com/join.