Category Archives: kindness

Embracing Radical Self-Acceptance

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One of my favorite DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) concepts is Radical Acceptance. It speaks to accepting something as it is, right now. Radical Acceptance reminds me of the title of an old movie ‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.”  It’s about letting go, not fighting against what is, and allowing things to be as they are.

Self-acceptance is like that. Letting go of shame, judgement, and self-doubt and embracing tolerance, trust, and forgiveness is the work of self-acceptance. It is recognizing that I cannot do everything or be everything to every person around me. It is allowing myself to live in the moment and know that I am doing the best that I am able right now.

Celebrate You

Acknowledging your strengths balances out your perceived flaws. For example, I can relish my creativity and still recognize that I am not gifted in other areas. GPS maps were made for myself and others who are perpetually directionally challenged. Create your own list of your strengths, skills and character traits and begin to celebrate how these shape your life.

Turn Off Your Inner Critic

We all have a running soundtrack in our heads. The inner critic has absorbed every negative thing that has been said to us or about us. At any time, the inner critic can pull up words or images from years ago to “prove” that we are not enough. Prepare yourself with your own arsenal of positive self-talk starting with your list of strengths. Use affirmations to center yourself and stay in the moment.

Surround Yourself With Love and Acceptance

Take an inventory of the people in your inner circle. Who do you spend the most time with? Does your support system include people who love and accept you? Who are the most loving and kind people you know? Reach out to these people and strengthen those relationships.

Affirm Yourself

I am wholly wonderful. I do not have to be perfect for others to love me or to love myself. I accept myself as I am now, as I was yesterday, and as I will be tomorrow. I acknowledge my imperfections and am thankful for the journey I am on as I seek to love, trust, and accept myself more deeply each day.

 

Note: This post is part of the 2017 Kindness Challenge.

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A Cup Full of Self-Compassion: Kindness Challenge Reflection

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Is your cup half empty or half full?

More important than how full is your cup, is WHAT is your cup filled with? There have been times in my life where my cup has been filled with negative thoughts, poor self image, and painful memories. When our cups are filled with negativity, self-compassion is impossible. Anything can become a weapon to tear away at our spirit.

Anyone who has travelled by air has hear the flight attendants give the standard safety message:

“Should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss, stay calm and listen for instructions from the cabin crew. Oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose, like this. Pull the strap to tighten it. Please make sure that your own mask is on first before helping those seated next to you.”

The message is clear. If you don’t have anything to give, you can’t be of help to anyone else.

I have found that in order to give of myself to clients, family, and friends, I must consistently check the status of my cup and purposely fill it with love and compassion. Taking time to care for my body, mind, and spirit is a necessity. And so is forgiving myself for the days when I am not my best self.

Those days that I don’t get everything done that I thought I should or when I said something that I later regretted, aren’t who I am. Compassion includes gifting myself the same compassion that I would offer someone else. I acknowledge my strengths and my weaknesses. I forgive myself. I care for myself. And when I do, my cup is filled with love and compassion which can freely flow out to those around me.

Kindness Challenge

This post is from Week 1 of the 2017 Kindness Challenge. For more information or to view other participants’ submissions, please click here.

Kindness Challenge Reflection: Self-Love

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Self-love can be a difficult thing to find when you have spent your life feeling “less than.” A history of traumatic events can lead a person to erect a concrete wall around their heart. Love for others is difficult, but love of self can become nearly impossible.

Short of breaking out a jack hammer, how do we overcome the negative thoughts and emotions that hold us back from loving ourselves?

Get to know yourself

Who are you really? What do you like? What are you really good at? Imagine all the questions that you would ask a person you’ve just met and want to get to know better.

I am a writer, a therapist, a sister, a traveler, and an activist. I am friendly, funny, curious and sometimes silly. I like coffee (and tea), fluffy dogs, and the beach.

Take responsibility for your life

Wherever you are today is where you are today. While you cannot change what has happened to you in the past, you can take full responsibility for the choices you make today. Your decisions today are not the fault of your parents, teachers and others that shaped your early life.

Begin a path of healing by seeking out respected therapists, clergy, or healers who can support you in taking responsibility. Create a circle of friends who will hold you accountable to your choices.

Set and maintain clear boundaries

Loving yourself means protecting yourself. Teach others how to treat you by setting clear boundaries. Practice saying “no” to events, activities, or requests for help that don’t fit in your schedule or interfere with self-care or important relationships.

Nurture yourself

Most children have caring adults devoted to cuddle, nurse, teach, and play with them. These loving adult relationships fill the heart and nurture the soul. As an adult, the responsibility to receive nurturing falls on you.

Create a list of enjoyable and soothing activities to try. Some ideas? Take a walk early in the morning before the neighborhood wakes up, slip into a warm bath with scented bath salts, savor a piece of dark chocolate alongside your favorite coffee, or slip into your favorite pajamas and fluffy socks before curling up on the couch to read.

Manage your health

Taking time to manage your health creates more time to enjoy your life. Loving yourself includes taking yourself to the doctor and dentist, taking medications on time, eating healthy foods, and getting adequate physical activity.

Create personal affirmations

Like anything else, learning to love ourselves is a process. Affirmations are a beautiful way to help us remain focused on the path we have chosen. Create your affirmation by thinking about what you want to manifest in your life.

Not sure where to start? Spend some time writing in your journal about how you want your life to be. While you are working on your own personal affirmation, practice one of these:

  • I am deserving of love.
  • I am at peace with my past and enjoy a life of balance and harmony.
  • I love myself; I am growing and healing everyday.

Several years ago, I spent a day writing a personal affirmation. I had been on a retreat that inspired me to accept myself and begin to thrive. Each year since, I have revised the affirmation so that it continues to be my guide. Below is my current version:

My life is an adventure and I seek new experiences.

I do not put off doing something until “later.”

I live my life to the fullest everyday.

I am healthy, beautiful and fit: I spend time doing rather than watching.

I am a warrior: I control the direction of my life.

I can accomplish what I set out to do.

I love myself and deserve to be treated well.

Kindness Challenge

This post is from Week 1 of the 2017 Kindness Challenge. For more information or to view other participants’ submissions, please click here.

Seeking Kindness: 2017 Kindness Challenge

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Kindness Challenge The news media, internet, car radio and even the person standing behind you in the grocery store these days can be the source of anger, frustration, fear mongering, or hate.

I grew up hearing my grandmother admonish all of her grandchildren with “you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I never understood why I would want to catch flies, but I clearly understood my grandma’s intention: Be Kind.  A little kindness goes a long way towards lifting people’s spirits and easing difficult situations.

When I discovered The Richness of a Simple Life’s 2017 Kindness Challenge, I knew I was committed to this journey.  Below are a few of the topics we explore over the next few weeks. I look forward to walking this  path with you.

Week 1 | Self-love

Week 2 | Self-compassion

Week 3 | Self-acceptance

Week 4 | Kindness role model

Week 5 | Choosing kindness

Week 6 | Kindness without expectation

Week 7 | Grateful for kindness

PS: If you are interested in joining on your blog or on social media, click the link above and you will be routed to The Richness of a Simple Life’s blog.

Now, go in kindness