Working with Self Compassion
How hard are you on yourself? Do you find yourself constantly judging yourself for the ways that you think you fall short?
We offer a virtual writing retreat, exclusively for clients who are in our Amplify pre tenure program or our Elevate post tenure program, and those who sign up for our Navigate program during our Thanksgiving week launch.
If you’ve never experienced a virtual writing retreat I think you might be surprised how effective it is. There are so many upsides to a virtual writing retreat, and we really had a great time. The theme of the event was compassionate accountability, emphasizing compassion, self appreciation, dealing with rejection, and pouring into yourself. We decided that this workshop that coach Thea presented was too good not to share with the world! So today we present, “Working with Self Compassion,” delivered by Thea, one of our coaches. Enjoy!
Working with Self Compassion with Coach Thea
Sometimes self compassion can be as simple as taking a moment to breathe and enjoy the nourishment that the breath brings into our consciousness.
“Anytime you are scrambling, make yourself remember to stop and breathe.”
- We are incredibly hard on ourselves: academia encourages it
- Being hard on ourselves doesn’t actually make us better at what we do: it makes us tired, unhappy, burnt out, and steals our joy
- A practice of compassion makes it easier to show up for ourselves and others
- Self compassion recognizes you are not a machine, but a whole entire person connected to other human beings in community
“Compassion practices bring back the humanity into our work.”
Compassion is by definition, relational. It is to locate ourselves within what others are experiencing. In some cultures we place such a high value on the individual that we forget that all of this is also relational.
“What’s impacting the one impacts the whole.”
These networks of relationality are part of what it means to be human, and in the culture of academia, it’s not set up that way. We are set up to raise ourselves up instead of recognizing our common humanity.
If you are practicing self compassion, you become aware of your own suffering and you also set the intention to relieve it. In doing so you recognize that you are worth the investment of time, effort, and energy. We have been conditioned to believe that if we practice kindness towards ourselves, it will make ourselves lazy, self indulgent, and unproductive but actually the opposite is true.
“Self criticism never actually helps productivity.”
Self judgment holds us back. Instead of getting mad at ourselves and judging ourselves, hold self judgment with gentleness and understanding. The more you feed yourself self judgment the more it will grow.
What types of things do you judge and criticize yourself for?
“One of the things that shame does is tell us that we are the only one struggling.”
Take out a piece of paper and jot down specific things you are judging yourself over. When you are done, do this guided meditation:
- Be present, and feel the sensations in your body
- Nourish yourself with your breath, and notice where the feelings are in your body.
- Where do those sensations live in your body?
- Direct kindness and self compassion. Place your hand somewhere (arm, heart, cheek) and feel the warmth and self acceptance and give yourself some compassion
- Visualize a place that is safe and welcoming; pay attention to the space and the sights and sounds around you
- What does it feel like on your skin?
- There is not judgment, you don’t need to perform, posture, or impress
- Exhale all of your breath forcefully
- Mental and physically take your piece of paper and find a place to discard your list
- Visualize yourself leaving behind the shame and the pain that these things have caused you
- Physically rip up your paper, and experience your safe place
- When you are ready, return to your present moment
“There is no wrong way to experience your feelings, and there is no wrong way to be you.”
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