Why Mindful Self-Compassion Matters
By: Dorsey Standish, RYT & Julianne Schroeder, LPC, NCC
As a mindfulness teacher and therapist duo, our ultimate mission is to help others help themselves and create inner peace and acceptance. We often encounter clients who are so invested in the well-being of others and have to remind clients to take care of themselves in order to take care of others. This sentiment is echoed by both the airline safety videos (“Secure your mask before helping others”) and thought leaders such as the Dalai Llama:
“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others… If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not capable of developing compassion for others.” —Dalai Lama
Unfortunately, the practice of self-compassion is underrated and underutilized in today’s society. It even seems in fashion to beat yourself up about not practicing self-compassion. We hear clients guilt themselves by saying, “Well, I should make time for myself but there is just so much I’ve got to do…” or “I should try meditating, but I’m so busy and I probably wouldn’t be able to meditate the right way anyhow…” That limiting, self-effacing language is a perfect example of how we beat ourselves down instead of building ourselves up.
Beginning to treat yourself with care & compassion is a gentle & continual process. Try not to “should” all over yourself. Change your internal dialogue so you can change the narrative. You are actively creating your life and your reality around you. And the more kindness, care, and compassion you offer to yourself, the more love and dedication you can offer to what brings you meaning.
Kristin Neff, professor and researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, outlines three components of self-compassion practice:
- Mindfulness: Awareness of self in relation to outer environment/life circumstances; awareness of thoughts and feelings without becoming immersed in them
- Self-Kindness: Treating yourself with love, support, and understanding
- Connection: Making contact with supporters around you… understanding everyone makes mistakes and you are not alone!
Neff’s three-pronged self-compassion approach is correlated to increased emotional intelligence, wisdom, overall life satisfaction, and connectedness. Practicing self-compassion even combats anxiety and depression and other mental illness.
We so believe in the importance of helping others cultivate self-compassion and would love for you to invest in yourself with our upcoming workshop that will include guided mindfulness meditation, gentle yoga poses, essential oil therapy, compassionate journaling, and group connection practices.
Much love to you all. Remember, “Loving yourself is healing the world!” Jamie Gerard
We offer workshops throughout the metroplex for more information please contact us: