It’s surprising how quickly coin jars fill up. (My Ironman and I drop spare change in a glass jar in our kitchen which we joke is my tattoo fund– but really we end up emptying it for car washing and street parking the Adventure Van.) Miraculously, the jar is nearly always full even though it collects coins one by one, like drops of water filling a reservoir.
Compassion, too, is something we can collect and store up in our hearts little by little, one drop at a time. According to the yoga tradition, it starts by learning to befriend ourselves, speak kindly to ourselves, forgive ourselves and eventually love ourselves. Every time we treat ourselves with loving-kindness, we create a well-spring of compassion from which we can draw from and extend to others.
Compassion is conscious awareness of suffering and a desire to relieve this suffering through an energetic response.
And we can all agree: it’s hard to be compassionate towards other humans when we are tired, burnt-out, stressed-out and overall feeling gutted and empty.
So we start with a few moments of self-care every day. Start by resting, breathing, eating well. Start collecting compassion one precious coin at a time. Begin filling a reservoir by choosing self-care (remember this post about the elements of self-care?) so that you can better love yourself and others.
Collect 6 minutes of compassion today; here are some suggestions:
Practice a traditional Loving-Kindness Meditation:
Practice a yoga breathing technique: Extended Exhale Breathing
Go buy a healthy snack.
Take a walk in the sunshine.
Write yourself a Positive Review.