Practicing kindness towards other people can be hard at times. Interacting with other people on a daily basis gives you all sorts of chances to practice kindness towards others in a huge variety of situations. Other people can be in a bad mood or just unfriendly, short tempered or upset. So, it can be challenging at times to be kind to other people, but I still find it easier to be kinder to others then to practice kindness towards myself most of the time.
Why is it so hard to be kind to myself? For some reason, I expect more from myself than I expect from others. On a day when things aren’t going as expected, I’ll be critical of myself way more than I would be of someone else in the same situation. Instead of giving myself the chance to learn from a mistake, I’ll berate myself for not knowing more. I would never do that to a friend. Why do I treat myself worse than I would a friend?
There is hope for me and for you as well if you have the same issue. Through my yoga therapy practice, I’ve learned to be a little more gentle, a little kinder to myself. Now, when I get upset with myself for not getting something done right the first time, I have learned to pause for a moment. In that pause, I have the chance to evaluate what’s really happening in the moment. Bringing my attention back to the moment, let’s me take another look and usually gives me a different perspective.
I”ll give you an example. As I’ve been setting up my business, I’ve gotten frustrated with myself for not being able to deal with some of the technology that I’ve needed to use. For some reason, I expect myself to be an expert on everything, even when I’ve not had any training in that area. This is the part of me that is refusing to practice kindness towards myself.
When my rational side takes over, I pause, I realize that I need help and I ask for it. This is me practicing a bit of kindness towards myself. (When it comes to technology, most of the time I ask my 16 year old son for help. I have no idea what I’m going to do when he leaves for school.) Giving just a little kindness to myself, changes my outlook. I notice my body relax as I realize that I don’t have to do everything by myself. Help is okay. By the way, just saying “help is okay” is being kind to myself as well. See, I’m learning every day that there are so many ways to be kinder to myself.
Yoga therapy has given me such a gift. That gift is greater awareness. While this greater awareness can be a blessing and a curse at times, this awareness always gives me a chance to practice more kindness towards myself. When I practice kindness towards myself, I also learn to be kinder to others. I can share with others more freely that which I can use with myself. So, the gift that yoga therapy has given me, I get to share with other people. My kindness towards myself ripples outward with each day.
I learn so much when I receive a yoga therapy session. This knowledge that a little more awareness in a situation can lead to me being kinder to myself is an important lesson. I’ve learned many other lessons in therapy sessions, but this is a big one that I get hit over the head with each and every day. It seems that I’m still learning how to apply this lesson and I get presented with a new situation every day in order to practice this kindness to myself.
Remember, as with so many things in life, being kind to yourself is a practice. Some days it will be harder than others. Each day vow to practice kindness and see what happens. After all, if a friend, child or co-worker was in a difficult situation, I would do my best to be kind to them. I deserve the exact same kindness.
I’m reminded of something that one of my teachers, Judith Hanson Lasater, says when she makes a mistake. She says, “How human of me”. This reminds her that she is human and makes mistakes just like everyone else. She can still learn from the mistakes, but she doesn’t find it necessary to be so hard on herself. So, when something doesn’t go as you meant for it, practice kindness towards yourself. Maybe practice saying “How human of me”. Notice what happens when you give yourself the permission to be imperfect. Practice kindness towards yourself today.
If you would like to try a yoga therapy session, you can schedule a session with the following link. https://peachblossomyogatherapy.acuityscheduling.com/. I’d be happy to speak with you about whether yoga therapy would be a good fit for you. I can be reached at 864-558-5840.
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know how you practice kindness towards yourself.