In the process of regaining your rhythm, there will be times that you will give away your time to too many meetings, fail to say “no”, skip your rituals and struggle with feeling overwhelmed again. While you may be disappointed and frustrated with yourself, in order to regain your rhythm again, one of the most important practices needed is that of self compassion and kindness. Join me as I share three ideas you can try when you are needing to regain your rhythm and practice self compassion.
We can be so hard on ourselves! I recently had a conversation with someone close to me who was frustrated about not engaging in the rituals she had hoped to implement throughout the summer and is realizing that summer is almost over. While being disappointed or discouraged is completely normal, we do not have to stay in that place. We can acknowledge and then try again with new rituals in a new season! One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from Lamentations 3:22-23, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This passage comes during a time of great lament and struggle and the reminder to begin again and lean on the love, compassion and mercies that God gives. We can start again – each day – or even in the middle of the day! Although we can make plans and have great intentions, many times things do not work as planned. As we practice being kind to ourselves and willing to restart, we will be able to move toward rhythm again and regain our energy.
Whether it is daily or weekly, incorporate pausing and reflecting as part of your rhythms of life. Spend some doing something that is nurturing for you that can help you reflect. This may include taking a short walk or turning on your favorite music. You may want to pray or meditate on what you know is true. When we reflect, we can recognize what did not go as planned or hoped but we can also give ourselves an opportunity to see new opportunities and new beginnings. In this reflection, we can also see things that we want to continue and practices that are life-giving. We can practice gratitude that can help us find self compassion when it may be difficult to incorporate in our lives.
Over the past two years, I have participated in several self compassion workshops and have learned to apply many resources. When I remember what I learned, I can practice it again. One of the self compassion exercises in the workshops included a meditation focused on what you would say to a friend who was struggling. If your friend told you that she was feeling overwhelmed, what would you say? Would you say, “Oh yes, that is because you are a failure and always end up overwhelmed again. You can’t ever seem to get it right.” No! You would find ways to be supportive and encouraging. Self compassion is giving yourself grace and listening to the advice you would give your best friend, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.
For additional resources and support in this area, I recommend checking out resources and practices from Kristin Neff as well as one of my favorite Brené Brown books, The Gifts of Imperfection. In our work as coalition leaders, we set the example and the tone for our overall coalition. When we practice self compassion, we give our staff, leaders and others encouragement to also practice self compassion.
So, what about you? What are you going to do this week to show self-compassion?
Check out my Escape the Overwhelm checklist for additional ideas that will help you show self-compassion.