Friday, August 19, 2016

Hobby of the Month: Self-Compassion

I recently realized I hadn't posted about my Hobby of the Month in a while! With the excitement of my new roommates (Carrie and Christian) moving in, and then my vacation with my mom and brother, and then trying to get motivation for work back after the vacation... I have not been focusing as diligently on hobbies. I've just been enjoying my evenings, with some of the best friends I didn't know I had! I've been friends with Carrie and Christian for a while, but living with them has gone far more smoothly and joyfully than I would have ever expected! We enjoy spending the evenings together, the three of us. I guess you could say that one of my hobbies of the month has been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (the animated TV series, of course - not the movie). We haven't quite finished it, but we're close. And now I'm in love with a bunch of animated characters.

BUT that's not what I intended to write this post about!

My official hobby of the month is Self-Compassion. I'm applying the research of Kristen Neff and Brene Brown. They put together an online class that I've been taking, and I've actually benefitted from it a lot. I've had a few short term therapists, and my most recent one (a couple years ago) highly recommended that I read Kristen Neff's work on self compassion, so I'm doing that now. I've enjoyed it and learned from it so far (I'm about halfway through). So far, my practice consists of kind touch and kind words. My friend Stephanie used to hug herself while exclaiming something kind, and I'm doing a similar thing. Sometimes I put a hand on my own shoulder, pretend I'm speaking to a close friend, and say what I would say to them if they were in my situation. Then I accept those words that I just spoke to myself; I accept the kindness.

It sounds really simple, and maybe more than a little odd. But it is helping me think of myself as my own friend - and that is an amazing and comforting feeling! I feel safe with myself, and it is quite a relief. I am making an effort to not belittle myself, criticize myself, or hurt myself at all.

But what about progression, you ask? (Because that was the question I asked!) How can you improve if you don't recognize your own mistakes? What about accountability?

And to that I now respond "How would you help a friend, a child, or a client improve?" Would you belittle them, criticize them, or threaten them into improving? And if you did...would it even work? Problems can be addressed, truth can be told, people can be held accountable - all without hate, anger, rudeness, or shame. We can be truthful, and also "show an increase of love afterwards, lest [we] esteem [ourselves] to be [our own] enemy."

As Thomas S. Monson has taught, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." And I'm learning what that feels like to apply it to myself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Awesome Roommates

Best roommate award to Carrie, who made me Peach Mint Strawberry (PMS) tea to get me through my PMS day. =)

I'm seriously blessed!