Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

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hummingbird
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Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by hummingbird » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:51 pm

I've been working with mindfulness and self-compassion practices for awhile now, learning how to be gentle and kind with myself as I move through my days. Being present to myself and my thoughts, feelings, and physical being is helping me feel grounded and safe. I'm finally finding real comfort and rest.

I'm learning to turn toward myself and my deep shame and pain. I'm practicing paying attention to what's happening and to what I need, which is mostly my own gentleness and tender loving care.

Mindfulness has helped me gradually stop blocking my grief with patterns of anorexia, bingeing and purging, and self-loathing. I'm finding the way to hold myself in love when my introjected, harsh inner critic gets activated. My inner critic has attacked me nonstop since childhood. My parents were relentlessly critical and rejecting. I'm learning to catch and stop the critic and to turn toward my own nurturing inner voice.

Just reading or hearing the words, self-compassion, soothes me a little! I hope to keep posting here about what happens as I continue to practice.

I often feel that others are against me or that I will be abandoned if I somehow displease others or speak up for myself. Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion has helped me avoid outbursts in the present that were really triggers for emotional flashbacks that are based in the past.

I'm not sure I'm making sense here, am pretty sure a flashback is starting now as I speak up by writing this! I'm going to post it anyway, but a sense of terror is rising! I want to be here for myself right now, stay on my own side, and BE KIND to myself no matter what!

richbee
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by richbee » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:38 pm

Hey,

I listened to some lectures this weekend, that i really liked. I hope I dont break any rules by posting this, its a teacher called Mark Coleman - you can google him.

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hummingbird
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by hummingbird » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:19 pm

Thank you, richbee! I'll listen to the talk.

Couragetoday
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by Couragetoday » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:39 pm

Hi hummingbird,

I too have been practicing mindfulness and self compassion. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences.

Self compassion felt very wrong and foreign to me initially. As the days roll by, I am starting to see just how healing extending that kindness towards ourselves can be.

One of my favorite teachers is Tara Brach. She has loads of free talks online. She has one in particular that talks about meditation/mindfulness and trauma. I found this talk very helpful.

Thank you again for sharing how mindfulness and self compassion have made a difference for you. I hope things were manageable for you after posting. :D

hummingbird
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by hummingbird » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:11 pm

I love Tara Brach! Her books, blog, articles and podcasts are a real support for me too.

Other authors/teachers who support me are Kristin Neff (Self-Compassion), Christopher Germer (The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion), Jack Kornfield and Mary Nurriestearns (Yoga for Emotional Trauma).

Pete Walker, though, is my go-to guy! His website and books are my guides through the grief, rage and pain I'm dealing with. He discusses working mindfully and self-compassionately with the inner critic, inner child, grief, anger, emotional flashbacks and - most importantly - being absolutely on my own side!

Couragetoday
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by Couragetoday » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:16 pm

hummingbird-

Another Tara Brach fan!

I've read and/or listened to many of the others you referred to. I have not heard of Christopher Germer however. And I will definitely have to look up Pete Walker, as I've seen his name many times now and heard such good things about him.

I hope you do keep posting about your experiences with mindfulness and self compassion.

Thanks for the leads. :D

hummingbird
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by hummingbird » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:40 pm

I had a wonderful experience last night! I had been in a lot of emotional pain yesterday. I did my yoga practice, cried and felt more peaceful. My husband and I went to my daughter's home to babysit our 9-year-old grandson and out 6-year-old granddaughter.

We were playing a children's card game, Rat-a-Tat-Cat, when I had an experience of peace and calmness. I felt a deep sense of happiness and well-being! I thought, "Oh, this is what happiness feels like!" Needless to say, I savored it!

It didn't last long, but at least now I've experienced it and know what's possible. I'm very motivated to continue my mindfulness and self-compassion practices, as well as yoga.

I found a really great website, Mindfulness and Kindness, Inner Sources of Freedom and Happiness, (URL removed) . He has great info on mindfulness and self-compassion as well as info on the affects of child abuse and trauma. He cautions about being ready as we begin to practice mindfulness and self-compassion and how compassion is a way to engage with our pain.

For so long, I wasn't strong enough or at all ready to engage with my pain. I just wanted it to be gone! Now I'm more accepting of my pain and willing to gingerly engage with it, a bit at a time.

Tara Brach is one of the authors he recommends.
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Couragetoday
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by Couragetoday » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:37 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience hummimgbird! It sounds so hopeful, even knowing the pain will be present. Thank you for sharing the resource as well. I will check it out for sure.
Have you ever tried doing a 'pleasant event' calendar? It's a mindfulness tool to help teach us what pleasant experiences feel like emotionally, in out thoughts and importantly in the body. I have done it several times now, off and, for a week at a time. I never even realized that I did not know what an enjoyable event felt like in the body. I think this is likely common with many trauma survivors.
Kind wishes for the day & weekend.

Couragetoday
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by Couragetoday » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:10 pm

Wow hummingbird! Just read some of his stuff: What a great resource Jim hoppers website is for considerations of trauma in the context of mindfulness ! This is exactly the kind of guidance I have been looking for and addresses questions and stumbling blocks I've had for years! Thanks so much for sharing. So excited to keep reading and trying to slowly implement. :)

With gratitude,
CT

hummingbird
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Re: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Post by hummingbird » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:28 pm

Thank you, Couragetoday, for writing about the pleasant event calendar. I appreciate you sharing this so much! I'm only now really "being in my body" and knowing when I'm actually experiencing pleasure. I'm planning to use the idea you gave me starting now.

So glad you liked Jim Hopper's website. I go to the kindness section frequently as it's very soothing for me. I'm so glad we both found it!

May we enjoy our weekend!

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