I see being kind to yourself as the core of all aspects of kind living. For our purposes this week I want to focus on this idea of “self kindness” and am using the definition provided by Dr. Kristin Neff of the University of Texas at Austin:
Self-Kindness – Directing warmth instead of criticism at yourself.
So, yes, please consider this posting inspiration to do just that, directing warmth instead of criticism at yourself.
Inspiration Link : Dr Kristin Neff & Self-Compassion
Linda Taylor here. I am a long time participant in Kindness Classes but am pleased to be once again taking a beginning class, where the focus is on what I shall call “practicing” being kind. I did not really “pre-plan” the kind for myself, but the circumstances dictated that what I did was to take care of myself in a situation where I often do not.
We are in Salt Lake City for four months, a respit from rural Texas. My almost 70 year old husband is an expert snowboarder of some 35+ years. He climbs out of bounds peaks, prefers off piste, and most years puts in around 100 days a year. He really wants me to enjoy skiing as much as he does snowboarding, but that is just not possible. So frequently I feel very “PUSHED!” I have fairly bad arthritis, am cautious so as not to fall and get badly injured, thus I prefer easy blue trails or green ones.
Today we went to a new-to-us small area called Sundance (yes of THE Robert Redford.) I took charge of my own skiing in a calm but controlled manner. I had made it clear since it was only my second day of skiing for the season, that I intended to take care of myself.
Because he wants to go along with me, but also is so gung ho that he wants to explore trails he thinks I might like, it was a matter of saying, kindly, “I don’t want to do that trail, I want to go here!!! ” On the lifts I had to say “No, I am not ready to go to the top yet.” Well, you get the gist. Saying “No” to someone who is encouraging you to do something you don’t want to do is actually saying “Yes” to yourself, in the most loving way.” I was so proud that I took care of myself!!
Hi Linda – it’s lovely to “see” you as always 🙂 ♥.
I was really inspired by what you have written here. That’s a really wonderful way to interpret this week’s theme of being kind to yourself.
I’m interested to know how you felt after practising this kindness towards yourself?
For me, the kindness I gave myself was to mediate when I felt I needed it. Instead of putting it off, or finding something else I ‘thought’ I should be doing at the time.
Specifically today, I was providing counselling to a friend – via instant messaging – and found that I needed to take a break. I needed to regroup and recharge and just breathe. So I asked her to give me 10 minutes. I went and sat on the couch, and meditated, and re-centered myself.
Normally I would never have given myself that time, or indeed asked for it. It was a gesture of kindness to myself though to recognise what I needed, and give myself permission to ask for it.
Best wishes to you Linda, and everyone else in the class, Meg ♥
I love what you did for yourself Meg. Sometimes I feel we women and mothers do not take care of ourselves enough, so your act, which perhaps was a bit like mine, as you excused yourself from someone else’s needs so you could be more fully there was actually a “kind” act for her as well. I was surprised that I felt really good after my day of controlling my own skiing. I knew that my husband had been proud of how well I skied and we had a very good discussion about the benefit to me of staying on easier terrain – one being that I felt I could ski alone for awhile so he could go do harder stuff. The best benefit for me was that it made me want to go skiing again! Sometimes when it is too hard and requires too much effort on my part to feel safe, I think I am getting too old and may have to quit before I reach 70.
Another interesting little side note to my experience was that I gave into something which my husband enjoys tremendously, which is eating out. I also like to eat out and here in SLC there are so many different and new places we could literally eat out every day and not repeat going to a restaurant. My problem has been one of weight gain and not eating as well as I should, so after our morning of skiing, we went to the fancy restaurant at Sundance and I just made a decision that I would eat less but not say No any longer to the fun we both get from eating out, usually breakfast or lunch. A side confession – it was an easier decision to make because I do not really enjoy cooking. I ordered a wonderful bowl of potato leek soup and yesterday when we went out I ordered a salad with a grilled chicken breast on top. I felt really good that taking care of myself led me to decide to give him something back. We were both winners!
You write so well Linda – I adore hearing your thoughts on these topics :-). I feel like I could learn so much from you.
I love that you and your husband have such a strong relationship, and you can discuss these things and work together – and separately – to find happiness and kindness within yourselves.
I’m so thrilled today with the many opportunities I found to practice kindness. It’s like the more I did, the more I found extra that I could do. It was such a beautiful experience ♥