A Year of Self-Compassion

By Brigitte Shipman | April 23, 2021. | Autism, Mother Guide, Self-Compassion, Self-Love

As Mother’s Day is approaching I have noticed that I personally am in another beautiful life transition. My two sons are grown and living on their own. They will not be celebrating Mother’s Day with me this year. This could be a time of sadness, but I have decided to approach it as an opportunity. An opportunity for growth.

In the past, I have enjoyed celebrating and honoring my mother and grandmother along with celebrating being a mother myself. It has always been about gifts, luncheon, dinners, and family gatherings. I cherish these beautiful memories, but now life has transformed into new traditions and ways to gather.

I have heard that change is certain. We can count on changes in our lives. Some are welcome and some are not. How we shift and move with change is what is essential. I choose to see spending this holiday differently, with joy.

I have decided to dedicate this next year on expanding my self-compassion to a deeper practice. When I was a teacher in the public school system, my intention was to teach the “whole-child.” This meant that when I taught a subject I included lessons, practices, and discussions to encompass the mind, body, and spirit. This idea of deepening my self-compassion will be to include all of me. My whole self. My mind, body, and spirit.

To begin, I want to share what I believe the definition of self-compassion to be. This is my own personal interpretation. It is to show myself more kindness, be kinder to myself. To offer myself more understanding and forgiveness when I do not show up as I have hoped I would. To nurture myself where I need it the most each and everyday. To listen to what my spirit is craving and feed it.

How will I begin my journey of deepening my self-compassion this year?

  • Listen to my self-talk. Over the years I have been hard on myself. So, how do I speak to myself? If I notice negative speech to myself, then I will notice it, and change it to a positive one.
  • Nurture myself. This can be self-care which is under the self-compassion umbrella. I would like to deepen this in listening to my mind, body, and spirit to care and nurture whatever feels like it needs care. If my body is exhausted, I will give myself permission to rest it. This has always been a challenge for me. I do believe this is essential for my whole-self.
  • Intentionally be kinder to myself. Forgive myself if I did not handle any or all situations the way that I had intended. My mantra of Know Better, Do Better will guide me.
  • Give myself space to play. Some refer to play, as adult recess. I am going to play as if it were recess time. I am going to reteach myself how to play an acoustic guitar. Ride a bike. Be outside for no reason :)

This feels like a good place to begin. Take a few moments and define in your own words what self-compassion means to you. Then make a short list of how you would like to improve your self-compassion with a short list of intentional goals.

Now, Let’s go a bit deeper with answering these questions:

  • Do you love yourself? List the evidence of your self-love.
  • On a scale of 1-10 rate your level of self-compassion. (10 being the highest)
  • How do you feel about your self-compassion rating?
  • Where would you like the rating to be a year from now?

These reflection questions will offer you a deeper understanding of your own journey of loving yourself. Find a quiet place and take your time answering the reflection questions. My hunch is that you will discover your self-compassion and see it in a totally different way.

Include self-compassion in your day, every day, and notice how you begin to see and receive the world.

I am looking forward to deepening my self-compassion this year. I hope you join me.

Cheers to a year of self-love!

Autism Guide Brigitte Shipman Coach

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