collect a reservoir of compassion.

“Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect and to be kind and affectionate with ourselves.” – Brené Brown


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.

 

Happy Collecting,

-lisa

write yourself a Positive Review.

Being an avid book reader, I’m constantly scanning book reviews for new reads. (See my list of best yoga books for 2018 here.) If the reviewer spends her entire paragraph criticizing the characters and plot, then offers a backhanded comment on how it’s a pretty good book and worth the read, I’m not into it. If the reviewer praises the book overall and offers poignant suggestions for improvement to the author, however, I’m on my way to the library.

I’m all about the Positive Review.

The great thing is, in my life, I’m the Reviewer. And every single day I can write a Positive Review about my life. Sure, I could spend hours reviewing all the things that aren’t going well and are stressing me out (the vrittis of the mind will spiral continuously if I let them) or I could treat myself compassionately and practice non-harming by writing a Positive Review.

Ahimsa, which means non-harming and compassion, is the first yama and the most important tenant of Yoga Philosophy. We practice ahimsa every day by choosing self-talk that is compassionate and non-judgmental. Since our confidence is intimately connected to the quality of our self-talk, I think it’s really really important to spend time generating compassion by writing positive comments and reviews.

Sure, we can always pinpoint areas of our lives to improve and ways to grow; but today, practice a little more self-love than usual and write yourself a Positive Review.

You deserve it.

Happy Writing,

-lisa