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Mindful Compassion

A woman approached me, her face tight and anxious, her eyes flickered to meet mine, I smiled and she smiled back. I smiled again and her face started to soften and relax. Her hands swept a stray hair behind her ear as I asked, "hello dear friend what can I do for you today?" her brow furrowed as she thought.

"Can you listen while I talk to you? Can you be non-judgemental and say, 'hey that's fine' and when I am tough on myself can you still be my friend?"

Mirror, mirror of course.

Self-compassion, it's where we plant those seeds of mindful understanding. Simply being a loving home to ourselves.

How do we cultivate self-compassion? We observe ourselves, looking at ourselves deeply with truthful understanding. We offer ourselves a smile, love and in doing so, we nourish our seeds of kindness - so they grow in to a colourful flower garden, a verdant green woodland or a desert of magnificent cactus. Each of us has the potential to bloom, to flourish.

Fight, flight or freeze - self-compassion and heightened self awareness can help us respond to the 'mud and grit' of life because well life is ... life! As we develop the skill of listening to our selves with friendly ears, a quiet smiling face and an open heart we can find the true causes of our anger, fear, despair and anxiety. Tough or seemingly trivial, the 'mud' and 'grit' can weigh our feet down, clog up the wheels as we try to move forward. By toning and soothing ourselves our reactive self may transform in to compassion - fierce, loving, active and calm. Compassion is all this and more.

In the first course of Mindful compassion I'll be introducing a few daily techniques for you to use, coming home to the breath, observing your koshas* in action and then skillfully put a balance into play.

*The Kosha layers of being:

Annamaya - The physical body (or 'food body')

Pranamaya - The Breath body (vital life)

Manomaya - The thinking mind (intellectual mind)

Vijnanamaya -The emotional self (knowledge and wisdom)

Anandamaya - the bliss body.

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