Kindness Challenge Week 2. Self Compassion.
I've been thinking about compassion all week. It's a strange word, compassion. Even considering compassion in relation to another person, to me it brings up thoughts of religious life, of forgiveness, benediction and of suffering. People guilty of a crime ask compassion of their accuser, leniency in carrying out the sentence. Not to be brutal and unforgiving. It comes from the Latin and literally means to suffer with.
In Niki's Kindness Challenge for Week 2 she asked us to look at compassion for ourselves and posted a wonderful video - it's worth checking out. Putting ourselves first is not wrong, in fact the opposite is true.
This week I've had plenty of opportunities to practice kindness to myself and build on week 1. And to me self compassion has to involve patience. As well as getting rest and some sunshine. It's been about being forgiving towards myself and accepting limitations. It's been about realising that you'll never be perfect but there's no harm in striving to be better and it's about practicing what I preach - in my case that's about daily practice in my music and singing - when I give that up due to illness or distraction or depression or self doubt, then everything collapses and your worst fears are realised.
One of the frustrating things I find in our life here is finding uninterrupted stretches of time to focus on finishing up songs or projects - at the moment that's about focussing on the new album. It is so hard to do at this time in our lives. A few weeks back we had 5 recording days, broken up with one sick day, then 4 days looking after my mother taking her to appointments, then various other appointments of our own, a funeral, classes to teach, another 2 day Mum visit, a day in Dublin - and the upshot is that it has taken us a full three weeks to get back to where we were at. It has been frustrating and keeping me awake at night. But time passes and there's not a lot you can do about it, especially when energy is low.
As Niki suggests, I've been trying to consider how I would speak to a friend were she in this situation and I'd be saying this:
Things happen in the right time and in the perfect order. Relax and let things go at their own pace and at the moment that pace may be slower than you'd like, but you know what, it'll all work out ok in the end. Everything will get done and you'll look back and wonder why you were worrying.So, I'd better pay attention - no choice in the matter :)
Niki also suggested making an affirmation, or recording a tape of things that would stop the endless chatter in our heads. I use affirmations on and off and realise that I had forgotten the practice in recent months. So while I didn't record myself saying positive statements, I did remember to give myself some positive talk where I could. Thanks for the reminder Niki.
How was your week?
Are you taking part in the Kindness Challenge? It is very interesting. There's still time to sign up and play along if you'd like. You can sign up at the link above and also read the reflections of others taking part.
So, on to week 3.