Becoming Just a Little Kinder
When I think about what people really need to create the change they are looking for in their life, I don't think about action steps and habit tracking and motivation. What I believe it all boils down to is becoming just a little kinder to yourself. What does kindness generally look like in the picture of our relationships with others? Noticing others, being attentive to the needs and challenges of others, giving, helping, listening, making time, being open, smiling, saying nice things, supporting, being compassionate, not controlling or judging or manipulating... you get the idea.
But when it comes to ourselves we're often playing out the opposite of all of the above. We are hard on ourselves. Truly. People are quite mean, judgemental, and controlling of themselves. We rarely give ourselves time to express our true needs or desires, we rarely say nice things and support ourselves with words of encouragement during hard times. We're not very compassionate with our own struggles because we generally think we should be more, do more, or be further ahead with the areas of our life that we're not satisfied in.
So instead of recognizing and being compassionate that we've put a lot of pressure on ourself to do xyz, and that the pressure has manifests as overall stress in our life, we decide to push harder because we feel further away from our goal. We make more lists, we try to control ourselves, we notice where we're not, (we also notice who IS there already and then add jealousy or competition to the mix), and we become even stronger in our will to create change, or perhaps we choose the abandonment route, the 'I don't care, anyway'.
So what would kindness do? First of all, it would take off a layer of stress that self hostility adds to our lives. When you're in a state of stress, you become more hyper-focused, more rigid and more controlling. When we're in a place of neutrality and trust, maybe even relaxation, we see things differently. We get a larger picture of life, and are way more likely to see the next best step from a place of inspiration or true desire instead of control. Besides lowering the levels of stress in our lives, we would begin the makings of a real relationship with ourselves. We may ask ourselves more questions that may bring about more personal insight. We may begin being positively motivated by our own attention and support. We would possibly enjoy ourselves more and maybe even have fun, even though we haven't yet lost the weight, fixed the relationship, healed our health, found our passion, etc.
But most of all, kindness comes with awareness. It's that element of really noticing ourselves. Instead of being busy running away from the things we don't like, hoping to find them in some ideal future, we can stay with ourselves. We notice, we feel, we become curious. And in this curiosity and awareness, with this gentle hand, this lack of judging and shaming and bullying, we create a safe space of learning and listening and healing.
Step one of being a little kinder to yourself?
Ask yourself this question as often as you can: "Am I being kind right now?" And if the answer is no, follow up with, "How can I be just a little kinder to myself in this moment?"
I believe compassionate curiosity is the beginning of all change. If this sounds like something you need some practice and support with, you can book a free consultation call and we can start a conversation. Andréa.