Like anything transformational, self-compassion only comes alive through practice. Here is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing self-compassion authors Tara Brach, Kristin Neff and Kelly McGonigal, plus bits and pieces from a lot of EWLive speakers who know their self-compassion stuff.
Step 1: Do a body scan.
Take 5 minutes in the morning and evening to sit quietly, close your eyes and simply breathe. As I breathe, I notice my body and take inventory of places that feel contracted or even painful. And I just sit there, noticing and breathing until something miraculous happens – those places loosen up and I start to feel a tenderness toward myself.
Step 2: Feel the pain, feel the love.
Yes, this happens. Just like when you see a child skin her knee, and you instantly feel compassion toward her and want her to feel better. When we discover pain in our bodies and we simply recognize it, our human instinct for compassion sets in and BOOM – we start to send loving thoughts. If you want to kick it up a notch, physically and gently place your hand on the places of contraction in your body – it will feel… lovely.
Step 3: Hands on the heart.
This is Kristin Neff’s most powerful technique for instant relief if you are trapped in a cycle of worshipping your unworthiness. Put your hands on your heart – that’s it! Kristin’s version is more elaborate – but I am usually tight on time, and just this simple gesture can turn everything around in an instant.
Step 4: Recognize the change.
Perhaps the most important part of my practice is to witness, feel and record the outcomes from this practice. Recognizing the positive change that ensues when we are tender and forgiving with ourselves will reinforce the practice, and soon our impulse to worship our unworthiness will be replaced by an impulse of self-compassion. Rad.
Remember, the mind’s instinct to blame and shame is powerful, so you have to hit these practices hard one hard. I’m serious – hands on the heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.
Share Your Self-Compassion Practices with the tribe in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
What are 3 communication mistakes that you can easily avoid
The real meaning of self-compassion and how it differs from self-esteem
Messy or tidy — which is better for creativity?
At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:
1. Well-Read Women: Gorgeous Watercolor Portraits of Literature’s Most Beloved Heroines via Brain Pickings
The New-York-based painter and fashion illustrator Samantha Hahn is celebrating women in fiction. This book is a fascinating collection of expressive watercolor depictions paired with a memorable quote, of such literary icons as Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Holly Golightly, and Clarissa Dalloway.
This is quite impressive. Al Mansour’s first feature film called Wadjda, is the first movie to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia, and Al Mansour is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker.
“There are opportunities for women now, and you have to be able to stand up for yourself, for what you believe in. And the culture is opening up and there are pockets, windows for women. But a lot of women are shy to take them because the culture will not accept women working in a mixed environment; they don’t want women to travel alone and study abroad. It may compromise women getting married quickly. It is very much like America in the 1940s, but it is more [conservative]; women have to be completely covered.” — Haifaa Al Mansour
Tara shares with us a super easy way we can play big this year. Learn how to avoid 3 common communication mistakes, and how to build your voice to be strong, determined, non-apologetic.
“Our words are our opportunity. That opportunity is bigger than ever before because women are more literate than ever before and have access to technology — from laptops to email — that amplify our communication.”
This episode’s guest is the inspiring Kristin Neff. Kristin is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas, Austin, and she has practiced Buddhist Meditation since 1997. In addition to authoring numerous academic articles on self-compassion, she has written a new book titled “Self-Compassion,” released by William Morrow in 2011.
In this episode, Kristin Neff and the host of Grace & Fire, Chantal Pierrat spoke about:
The real meaning of Self-Compassion and how it differs from Self-Esteem,
The masculine and feminine aspects of mindfulness and self-compassion,
The researched results of self-compassion and what the findings mean for leaders, and women leaders in particular,
How self-compassion takes us from recognition, to action, and the power creating a practice of self care and love,
And finally, Kristen offers sage advice for those women on the precipice of their own emergence.
Historically, the evidence has favored the tidy spaces. But then the obvious question surfaces: “If messiness is so bad, why do so many people tolerate, and even embrace, it?”
Kathleen D. Vohs, from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, with two of her colleagues, conducted an interesting experiment and came to the conclusion that physical order produces healthy choices, generosity, and conventionality, whereas disorder produces creativity.
Here are a few of their predictions that led to their experiment:
“Since tidiness has been associated with upholding societal standards, we predicted that just being around tidiness would elicit a desire for convention. We also predicted the opposite: that being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.” — Kathleen D. Vohs
We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Leave a comment below:
Emerging Women Live is for women entrepreneurs and creatives who share a vision to change the world by living the truth of who they are. These are women who are burning with desire to to fully express themselves through the work they do, while promoting a new paradigm of success that leverages the incredible power of the feminine: collaboration, community, intuition, receptivity, sensuality and heart. Join us!
Chelsea has over 10 years of experience in administrative and executive support. After her years of working in the legal and oil and gas industry, Chelsea has made it her passion to fill her life with creativity and incorporates that into everything she does. Her position at Emerging Women allows her to expand on that creativity and assist with empowering women around the world. She is a native of Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, bonus son, family, and friends. In her free time she loves painting, refurbishing furniture, and all things creative.
Online Business Manager
Michelle studied Marketing and received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her passion for marketing, combined with great attention to detail, and over 7 years of experience in the tech-world makes her a valuable asset to the team! In addition to Emerging Women, she is also a solopreneur and works with a number of different clients in the online business realm. She is an experienced Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant who specializes in marketing operations, project management and online course launch management. She is a Colorado native, mother of two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, and step-mother to an amazing little girl. In her spare time she enjoys live music, good food, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Power Circle Administrator
Jen comes to Emerging Women with over 25 years of experience in event operations and volunteer management. She has worked various types of events as a Volunteer Manager for Integral Life conferences and as an Event Coordinator for various large arts and sports festivals throughout Colorado. Alongside her passion for creating and producing events, she worked as a hospital administrator for over a decade in one of Denver’s largest hospitals helping make care affordable to hundreds of patients. Jen was born in Lima, Peru but has spent most of her life in Colorado. In 2016, a year sabbatical morphed into a life living abroad. Jen has been living in Cusco, Peru for the past four years and cherishes her life in the Andes mountains. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the world, playing capoeira, and deepening her yoga and meditation practices.
Director of Power Circles
For over 13 years, Nicole has been a producer and connector in the field of personal and professional growth and transformation, creating diverse content, life-changing curriculum, and exquisite live and online experiences. She loves to unite and facilitate people in their work to live more good, true, and beautiful lives. She’s honored to bring this diverse expertise to Emerging Women. For the past two years she has been the lead producer for Emerging Women Live, and now is bringing her extensive production, coaching and facilitation skills to EW’s Power Circles. Nicole works in private practice as a Certified Integral Master Coach™, through her company, Unabashedly You, and has worked with hundreds of women (and men) individually and as a group facilitator. She also creates programs and interviews fascinating teachers and wellness experts in her role as U.S. Content Producer for Conscious Life. She is the co-founder of Core Integral, an educational company offering a comprehensive and accessible approach to learning integral theory. Prior to this work, she owned a large and lively restaurant and brewery in Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively and worked alongside Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), Daniel Brown, PhD (Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Development, Attachment, and Positive Psychology), and Sofia Diaz (Hatha Yoga and Feminine Embodiment). She holds a Masters Degree from Lehigh University. She regularly delights in the sunshine and mountains of Colorado with her two dogs and her partner Clint, and is a new mama to her daughter Truly Golden.
Founder & CEO
Chantal’s mission is to increase women’s leadership across the globe. After earning an MBA from the University of Colorado, Chantal left a career in medical device manufacturing in search of work that would align her dedication to transformative leadership with her passion for living an inspired, impactful life. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that serves over 70,000 women worldwide and has advanced women’s leadership within Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle and more. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses, and to create a world where women have a strong voice in the shaping of our future. Prior to Emerging Women, for over a decade, Chantal served on the executive team as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company focused on spirituality, personal growth, and holistic living. Chantal is a sought after speaker delivering keynotes at The Grace Hopper Celebration, Wisdom 2.0, and many other stages where women’s leadership is critical to the conversation. When she is not dancing or working to empower women around the world, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.