By Sally Bartolameolli & Kim Siongco,
There are so many gorgeous and brilliant women teaching about self-compassion today. Thank you to three of my teachers: Kristin Neff, Brené Brown, and Mary Magdalene (see book, Blessings From Mary).
As Shadow Work® facilitators and founders of LORA Bridges, Leadership, Openness, Results & Awareness, we have been teaching and facilitating deep emotional healing work for many years. Each piece of transformational work that an individual or organization begins with identifying the old messages that lack compassion.
In the transformational process, we return to transforming those old messages and behaviors. Here is how we do it:
We begin by identifying what self-compassion is not:
*Self-compassion is not making excuses for our behavior and letting ourselves off the hook.
*Self-compassion is also not measuring ourselves and our results through a lens of perfectionism.
*Self-compassion is not just acknowledging our effort, but includes taking responsibility for the results of that effort.
*Self-compassion is not over-focusing on others’ behaviors to avoid honestly assessing our own.
At LORA Bridges, we explore all four quadrants and seek practices that enhance and develop mature self-compassion.
Identifying what self-compassion is from each quadrant:
*Visioning-When seeking self-compassion in our personal and professional relationships, or within ourselves, we may notice our difficulty in finding our own voice and agency. We start here and create a vision.
What do I want to have happen for myself in this situation and what self-compassionate actions might I choose to engage here and now?
Pause – Breathe –Create a Compassionate Vision
*Honesty is the beginning practice for self-compassion in the Openness quadrant. Journaling with an unedited movement, keeping the pen or pencil moving on the paper for 5-10 minutes, being honest about our self-talk and what we are feeling about ourselves is essential.
From this place of honest self-expression, we can address what is blocking our self-compassion, (hint hint…it will be the messages we are telling ourselves). Often, it is emotionally painful to acknowledge these self-predating and negative self-talk messages. Still, our honesty and transparency empower us to meet them heart to heart – mind to mind – spirit to spirit in order to transform them.
*Results is the archetypal energy within LORA Bridges that focuses our minds on what we want to manifest. We observe our behaviors and actions, identifying what belongs to us, and releasing to others what belongs to them. This establishes boundaries.
In clarifying these parameters with healthful boundaries, we are free to concretely and symbolically distinguish what is ours and what is not. We focus on what we have the power to change. This can be done in our mind’s eye and writing in down on paper.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, when we have good boundaries and allow others the dignity of the consequences of their choices, it is an act of compassion for all involved.
*Awareness is the quadrant where we teach ARC (Awareness, Re-alignment & Commitment).
This is a technique and practice that transforms negative self-talk. This includes familiar self-shaming, perfectionism, imposter syndrome messages, and unhelpful criticisms.
- We lean into the self-loathing, self-rejecting messages that we are entertaining with our minds. Familiarity is comforting. Courage is required to honestly engage in awareness with the willingness to change.
- Ask yourself, what does this energy really want for me? Seek realignment and the most loving, compassionate internal response. You may connect with a spiritual source, your intuition, or your higher self.
- Next, stay connected with your intuition and higher self and commit to the most self-loving and self-compassionate action to take.
We return now to the Leadership quadrant. This is where self-compassion lives, however, we often visit the other energies to clear out and return to our high self-esteem and self-love.
We breathe into our sovereignty in Leadership, that benevolent teacher and leader, the one that bestows blessings and support onto others.
We give this to ourselves.
When we practice these tools and techniques from LORA Bridges, we develop habits that teach us that self-compassion begins with us. From this place of fullness within, we give to others.
“Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.”
~ Pema Chodron
At LORA Bridges we empower transformation for the purpose of building bridges.