Updated: May 30
What does it means Self-compassion to you?
Compassion, also known in Sanskrit as the term: ''karuna" in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism traditions, "Karuna" is the inherent human quality that arises when seeing someone's suffering, sorrow, loss or being tortured, and it has the intention to want it to help and ease their suffering. In Christianity the offering of Jesus's life to save the world, is an act of unconditional love and compassion for the christian community.
Like a caring mother wants to ease the pain of her newborn non-stop child, She will do whatever it takes to soothes and comfort her child; Seeing someone that you even don't know on the streets running into a fatal car accident, without thinking the natural response is to want to help, to offer your support in any way; In a state of emergency like the global pandemic we witnessed how our communities came together to offer unconditional help and support to alleviate the pain and to bring some sort of relief.
As conscious and mammal creatures, it is in our DNA, this beautiful natural quality to feel compassion for each other and want it to relief someone’s pain. However we are not prompt naturally to offer compassion to ourselves, so it takes re-programming old conditioning about ''not being worthy" "to get ahead you got to be stronger" "showing emotions it is for weak character" and any other form of denying our emotions along the same lines of thinking.
“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place.That’s where the light enters you.”~ Rumi
Tara Brach, Brach, Ph.D. is a meditation teacher, psychologist and author of several books including international bestselling Radical Acceptance.
She Created the method "R.A.I.N. for practicing Self-compassion, This is a 4 steps process to open ourselves to Self-compassion, I found it very useful to follow this meditation, when feeling that we are struggling with our emotions, challenging situations, when we feel powerless, in an event of physical or emotional loss, a tragedy, something we cannot control like the outcome of a difficult diagnosis. It offers us a safe place to enter in communion with whatever arises in a compassionate, not judgmental way, with curiosity, with a kind mind and gentle care.
R. Stands for Recognize what is going on: Take some minutes alone and connect mindfully to the sense that you are breathing, take 3-10 breaths. Ask yourself, What am I feeling right now? This step is to notice with open awareness with no judgement, you can mentally whisper and acknowledge your feeling: I know that this is a difficult moment in my life, I am feeling powerless, insecure, fear, sadness, guilt whatever it is, name it.
A. Stands for Allow the experience to be there just as it is: Allow this experience to unfold moment to moment, create the space to feel it, you may say : what I am feeling right now is worthy of attention, it's ok to feel this way, this pain or sorrow or suffering is a natural part of the human experience, this is disappointing, even though this is an uncomfortable feeling, this is not permanent, it shall pass, nothing is permanent, I will be ok. Spend a few moments here with the uncomfortable feeling until the feeling of breathing is easier.
I. Stands for Investigate with interest and care: Guide all your attention inwards into the body sensations, try not to rationalize but rather feel it in the body, you may ask : What do I need right now, what does this vulnerable part of me needs more attention?, wait and see what you can offer to yourself.
N. Stands for Nurture with Self-Compassion: This step is for nourishing ourselves with care taking a genuine self-care action, it might be whispering a reassuring phrase like I love you just as you are, I forgive you or I am sorry. Or take a glass of water, or moving gentle or going for a walk, or a form of self-care, or writing a positive affirmation, or hugging yourself. A hug is pretty powerful love gesture, it's believed that the human brain is not able to identify the giver, the release of the so called happy hormone oxytocin, that gives the pleasure and happiness sensation become available to us.
After the R.A.I.N. spend sometime bathing in your full presence, the energy of you soul with gentle awareness.
This is a process that takes some time to master and to be comfortable, so there is no right or wrong way. Practice putting aside all expectations and letting go of tendencies of perfectionism. It's something to offer ourselves from a place of unconditional self-kindness because we are worthy!.
Monica is a wife and mother of two teenagers. Passionate founder of Zazen Meditation & Self-care Studio. She is a firm believer in the physical and spiritual healing of meditation. Monica shares her passion by empowering individuals in her community, facilitating workshops in Mindfulness, Holistic self-care and Emotional regulation.
Under the umbrella of Mindfulness practices, Ayurveda Care, Yoga Therapy and Conscious Breath Work. Monica empower her clients by offering guidance to alleviate stress, regain physical, mental and emotional balance, facilitate recovery from life’s shocks.
Monica is trained in classical yoga , Ayurveda Care and Yoga Therapist, Restorative Yoga for emotional balance, Healing meditation and Mindfulness based stress reduction. Monica is a strong advocate for mental health in her community to break the stigma. She uses her voice to raise mental health awareness. Extensively collaborates with non-profit organization, Youth Mental Health Canada. She enjoys cycling, moon gazing and spending family time.