I have the secret to happiness. And it is just one simple thing. Although it is simple, it isn’t always easy and most people aren’t taught this in school or even at home. What is it?
Well ok, two. Self-love and self-compassion (but really they go together).
That’s it. Love really is the answer!
Simple? Yes! Easy? Not always.
Self-Compassion Isn’t Always Doing the “Right” Thing
When I have compassion for myself and I really get it, I stopped feeding myself food that is bad for me. Or if I do eat something, I notice that it didn’t feel good or serve my higher good (or goal of being healthy). I feel great compassion for the part of me that wanted the chocolate obsession ice cream. Then, maybe the next time, I make a different food choice or make the choice consciously. The more times I consciously and compassionately watch what I am *really* doing, the less likely I am to make the same choice. I chose chocolate obsession. Yes, there it happened. I felt physically crappy the next day and really I was just tired. I don’t beat myself up and I don’t feel bad about it. I notice *and* I love myself anyway.
When I love myself, I don’t stay in relationships that are unhealthy. Or if I do, I notice how I feel and notice that there may be another possibility where I could respect myself. I become really curious. Why am I here with this person? Is this relationship serving me? Is this how I want to be treated?
When I love myself, I don’t overwork. Or if I do, I notice what lead me to overworking– like feelings of being an impostor or wanting someone else’s approval. I notice how overworking makes me feel (tired, cranky, overwhelmed and stressed) and I make a plan for more self-care, or to look at the underlying emotions. Why would I treat my true love (that’s me!) poorly? Well for years, I didn’t see the connection between what I was doing and what it meant about my relationship with me.
Your Essential Self
When you are loving yourself, you are listening on that deeper level to who you are and what you want, and what you need. You are listening to your heart. Dr. Martha Beck calls it your essential self, or Dr. Wayne Dyer calls it your inner voice. Dr. Kristin Neff has conducted some fascinating research on self-compassion. She even has scales available to measure your level of self-compassion! Amazing. In the end, if we are kinder to ourselves, we are happier and often kinder to other people.
Unfortunately, not all of us are taught self-compassion and self-love. But we can learn. I believe self-compassion is the real secret to helping others find what they are so desperately seeking. In fact, self-compassion is one of the core principles of my own spiritual practice, and in my coaching practice. And it is what I’ve found to be the secret to happiness. One self-compassionate and self-loving moment at a time.
Peace and Self-Love,
Now it is your turn! Tell me your best techniques for learning self-compassion, or maybe where you get tripped up. Or had you even noticed that self-love was lacking? Comment below or jump on over to Facebook!
P.S.- Want to learn more? Self-compassion is a foundational component of the 4 week Instant Relief program as well as to my new program, Five Steps to Healing Stress and Fear. If you want to learn more about how to incorporate self-compassion into your own life, sign up here for a free compassion chat. No obligation, just compassion. Don’t wait another minute to add self-compassion in your life.
P.S.S.- I’m looking for beta testers of my new program Five Steps to Healing Stress and Fear! A six-week program incorporating the magic of coaching, yoga, breath work, and mindfulness. Schedule and information call by June 2nd to learn more!