sit close by

to listen from inside

The great protector of habits lies in their automatic, unconscious nature: we do not fully realize we are repeating the habit yet again. But mindfulness can bring that unthinking repetition into awareness, where we can recognize the pattern and once again have real choice about how we react in that moment. The antidote, then, works by bringing this process into awareness- that is, by making us mindful where before we were mindless. “Problems of all shapes and sizes come up all the time in life,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn. “The challenge here is to meet them with inquiry, in the spirit of mindfulness. It would mean asking, ‘What is this thought, this feeling, this dilemma? How am I going to deal with it?’ Or even, ‘Am I willing to deal with it or even acknowledge it?’ ” Such investigation can make our feelings more accessible to an experiential understanding. Because mindfulness offers us attention with equanimity, it lets us enter that otherwise forbidden zone of painful emotion that lies hidden beneath. Staying with our feelings mindfully allows us to penetrate into that forbidden zone, to at the emotional source and so release stored-up feelings.

~Tara Bennett-Goldman

the tiniest of threads gather us toward each other…..

inquiry for today~   your increasing depth can be witnessed….fold into your own knowing and then hold someone you love…..

your beautiful mind

So why is self-compassion a more effective motivator than self-criticism? Because its driving force is love not fear. Love allows us to feel confident and secure, while fear makes us feel insecure and jittery. When we trust ourselves to be understanding and compassionate when we fail, we won’t cause ourselves unnecessary stress and anxiety. We can relax knowing that we’ll be accepted regardless of how well or how poorly we do. But if that’s true, why should we try working hard at all?

Many people assume that self-compassion is just a feel-good warm fuzzy- a way to coddle ourselves and nothing more. But healing and growth are not served by such superficial treatment. Unlike self-criticism, which asks if your’e good enough, self-compassion asks what’s good for you? Self-compassion taps into your inner desire to be healthy and happy.

If we want to prosper, we need t face up t to ways we might be harming ourselves and figure out how to make things better. We don’t have to be cruel to ourselves in this process, however. We can be kind and supportive while engaging in the difficult work of change.

~Kristen Neff

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