This week’s topic is a SUPER important (but tricky) one… self-kindness and self-compassion.
Mindful Eating Moment #4
Self-kindness goes hand-in-hand with non-judgement, because self-kindness is the ultimate act of non-judgement on so many levels!
When we engage in behaviours (including eating behaviours!) which come from a place of self-love, kindness and compassion, then we know we are being true to ourselves.
Self-kindness is the ability to recognise that we are NOT being selfish or indulgent for engaging in acts of self-care. It is also a part of a much bigger picture… Self-compassion.
Self-compassion is seeing and treating ourselves the way we would a dear friend. Self-compassion is something which, thanks to diet culture and the thin ideal, many of us have lost. We are all too quick to use negative self-talk, shame ourselves for the food choices we make, and scrutinise every inch of our bodies until we are convinced of our lack of self-worth.
Self-kindness (and self-compassion) calls on us to not only see ourselves without judgement, but to also see ourselves with acceptance, compassion, kindness and love.
Self-compassion is deeply intertwined with mindfulness, and in the notion of “common humanity”: we are ALL ONE – we are all THE SAME – we are ALL WORTHY – we are NOT ALONE.
This week, let’s bring the spirit of self-kindness and self-compassion to your everyday experiences, and your eating.
– Be mindful of negative self-talk when it arises – do so without judgement, and just observe these thoughts and the impact they have on you physically. Does your heart race? Do you feel hot and sweaty? Do you get restless? Do you feel sick in the stomach?
– When you find yourself engaged in harmful self-talk, ask yourself this: “What would I say to a friend (or my child) in this same situation? What would I do and say to lift them up, and show them they are loved and respected?”
– A soothing touch is often a simple, effective way of showing ourselves some kindness. Simply placing one hand over the other, a hand on the belly, a hand on the heart, or even giving yourself a big hug is a beautiful reminder of the fact that you are YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND.
– There are beautiful self-compassion mindfulness meditations out there if you would like to practice more formally. Check out the work of Kristin Neff, Tara Brach, and also Rebecca Scritchfield (The Body Kindness Podcast and book) for some guidance and inspiration, or have a look here.
Enjoy exploring self-compassion – it is truly life-changing!