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Weekly Wellness Word: Self-Compassion

Monthly Theme: *Self Responsibility & Love*

This week’s word is *Self-Compassion*

It's hard to start learning something new. Imagine a baby taking her first steps. Wiggle, wobble and plop. Down she goes on her butt. Usually she figures out that if she grabs onto something, the couch or mom's hands, it can be helpful in trying to steady herself. Over time, her confidence grows as does her courage to try to walk away from that stability and into open space. Repetition is the key. Not giving up until she can walk wherever she wants, whenever she wants.

This week's word is Self-Compassion. The encouragement this week is to try to be gentle with yourself in the things you are learning in life. You are not a failure, just a beginner. Mastery will come with repeated effort and openness to accepting help from your environment and the people around you. Take a moment to write out one or more new skills you are trying to learn. Jot down the things or people that are helping you learn that skill. What will it look like when you master it? If you are feeling frustration in the learning process, try breaking the learning curve down into actionable steps. Make them small steps, reasonably attained as you progress from one step to the next, and sustainable over time. What can you do today, this week, this month to move forward in your learning process? Block out some time on your calendar to give undivided attention to your learning process.

*Quote of the Week*

"Self-love is flexible, kind, giving, compassionate, and understanding. It is the basis for all the love we give to and share with others. When we love ourselves, our minds, bodies and spirits are in harmony and express a high-functioning physiology, both physically and emotionally.

True self-love is always present; we only need to remove the disharmony that is preventing its expression. Nothing has to be different for us to be whole. It is a matter of changing our perspectives and perceptions.

One of the easiest ways to begin is to start to pay attention to yourself. Attention is the act of applying the mind to something with awareness - you, in this case. Listen to your inner voice and to what you are saying to yourself. We often speak more negatively to ourselves than we ever would to anyone else. Usually, we criticize ourselves more than we praise ourselves.

Learning to love yourself, however, doesn't mean that from then on everything will always come up roses. Difficulties will persist, and sometimes they become even greater. The sign of our growth is not the absence of difficulties but the way we handle them. The superhealing that comes from loving ourselves softens our negativity, loosening its grasp. We take responsibility. We make conscious and unconscious choices of how to respond to any situation.

Self-love is the portal to superhealing, which comes not from us but through us. The portal leads to a pathway with no ultimate destination, since there is no endpoint to your optimal health and wellbeing. Like a blossoming flower, it continuously unfolds from the center of your being and occurs in its own way and own time.”

- Superhealing: Engaging Your Mind, Body and Spirit to Create Optimal Health and Well-Being by Elaine R. Ferguson, M.D.

*Next Step*

For a deeper dive into self-compassion, try the Self-Compassionate Language exercise attached developed by the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. More exercises like this one are available at the link provided in the Further Information section.

*Further Information*

For a deeper dive into self-compassion, click on the link below for additional Meditations suggested by the Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Have a GREAT week!

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