Self-Compassion, Self-Care


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Compassion

What is compassion to you? Is it the simple practice of opening your heart? Of appreciation and gratitude?

To me, compassion and self-compassion are the practices we humans use to turn suffering into gold. We can weave golden thread between us, connecting us. Suffering - missing the mark, bad luck and other unhappy events, are actually needed in order to practice and in order to make that gold.

Self-compassion is the first step to practicing compassion - if you begin inside yourself, the flowering out flows more easily - naturally.

According to Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), compassion is an awareness of another’s suffering, recognition that we are all the same and connected, and the spark of desire to alleviate another’s suffering.

Self-compassion is taking that good wish - and circling it back to yourself. So, it focuses specifically around when you are imperfect or are suffering in some way.

When you practice self-compassion, you refrain from being critical and instead choose to be kind. A key is recognize that rather than being isolating, your own fallibility connects you to the human condition. In self-compassion, we meditate on - that. We wish ourselves well on this journey of life, filled with highs and lows.

So, let’s apply self-compassion to self-care. Why? Two reasons - to alleviate our own suffering, and this practice makes it easier to take better care of yourself.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is anything you do in order to care for your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Self-care is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. Self-care isn’t a selfish act. It’s about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, and so are able to take care of others as well.

Let’s Practice

So, how do we practice self-compassionate self-care? Here are 6 tips:

1. Begin where you are. Imperfectly. Forgive yourself for not eating perfectly, not moving enough, whatever ways your self-care is just not quite...even...well... What is the kindest thing you can say to yourself about your self-care?

2. Understand that no one practices a perfect lifestyle, and for us to watch too much TV and eat too much comfort food is...so very human! Welcome to the human condition - you are like everyone else, and everyone struggles.

3. You might, for the next week, dedicate your morning practice to your own self-compassion. Acknowledge the spark of wanting to care for yourself as positive energy. Desire! Breathe on that spark to help it jump to a flame.

4. Practice not perfection. Start with the basics. Start nice and slow, enjoy a meal, enjoy a walk. Spring is the perfect time to reconnect with movement and health. Every single time you do something to support your self-care, celebrate it! Be your strongest ally, your own coach.

5. Mindful awareness - paying attention and experimenting with food, constructive rest (like adequate sleep and meditation), movement and resilience/stress management will help you slowly over time find the patterns of self-care that work for you.

6. What if you spent the first 20 minutes each day doing self-care - moving, meditating, doing your morning routine mindfully, eating well.

Be well, friends. Enjoy the season.

Annie B Kay, MS, RDN, E-RYT500, C-IAYT is an integrative dietitian, yoga therapist and shamanic plant alchemist who directs programs and retreats at Kripalu and internationally. She has a telehealth private practice in Western MA. www.anniebkay.com

This article was republished from Annie B Kay’s email newsletter which you can sign up for here.

See also:
Bhakti — The Path Of Love
Self-Esteem Might Boost Our Egos, But Self-Compassion Opens Our Hearts

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November 13, 2019

During the wee morning hours the Moon enters Gemini. Curiosity is piqued and tongues are ready to wag. The focus on ideas and information is intense today. Retrograde Mercury slips into a sextile with serious Saturn and a trine to dreamy Neptune…
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November 2019

No matter how broken or damaged you may feel, there is a deep well of stillness inside of you that is always there! Connected. Whole. Unchanging and Ever present. Yoga Nidra or Conscious Sleep...

Cost: $20 each session

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
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VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
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Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
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A beautiful collection of messages from Jeshua Ben Joseph (Jesus) that will transform your life, as it did his. Coming together to study these teachings, to ponder, to savor, to deepen our...

Cost: $25 per class

Where:
Heart and Soul Holistic Healing Center
130 Massapoag Avenue
Sharon, MA  02067
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Sponsor: Heart and Soul Holistic
Telephone: 781-258-9942
Contact Name: Barbara Ann Strassman
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Cost: Free

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Center
Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd
Devens, MA  01432
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Sponsor: Yoga Anita
Telephone: 978-227-8297
Contact Name: Anita Perry
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2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
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646 Central Street
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Leominster, MA
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Cost: Free

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RMS Residential Mortgage Services
465 South Washington Street
2nd Floor
North Attleboro, MA  02760
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Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
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Cost: Donation

Where:
Peaceful Creations LLC
382 Boston Turnpike
Suite 102
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Peaceful Creations LLC
Telephone: 617-208-3333
Contact Name: Rebecca Resnik
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Free Evidence-Based Holistic Health Education Program at Wilbraham Senior Center The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation), created and instructed by Michelle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
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The Wellness Roundtable Holistic Practitioners Network creates an environment for wellness practitioners to inspire, educate and support one another, while building community and encouraging...

Cost: $20 (Drop-ins are welcome)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman St
#108B
Westborough, MA
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Sponsor: 01581
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
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Cost: $15

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Awaken Holistic Counseling Services
2 Liberty St., Unit 2L
Newburyport, MA  01950
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Sponsor: Awaken Holistic Counseling Services, LLC
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Contact Name: Kerri Morrison
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Cost: Reg includes supplies $40 per person or $35 more than one

Where:
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68 Stiles Rd
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
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Cost: $45

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
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Cost: $35

Where:
Peaceful Creations LLC
382 Boston Turnpike
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Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Peaceful Creations
Telephone: 617-208-3333
Contact Name: Rebecca Resnik
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Facilitator: Peyton Pugmire Fridays, 9/20, 10/18, 11/15, 12/20, 9:30am–10:30am Everyone leaves with a powerful message to inspire their weekend!  Join Peyton Pugmire,...

Cost: Pay What You Wish

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Creative Spirit
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Four week series for girls ages 11 and up with Leigh Sloss This series of classes will focus on some of the most effective yoga and mindfulness skills for reducing stress and anxiety.  In a...

Cost: Series: $75; Drop in rate $20

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
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Learn the facts about Lyme Disease and how to protect yourself and your family! The Central Mass Lyme Foundation will host its 4th Lyme Disease Conference....

Cost: In advance: $30, at the door: $40

Where:
Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center
366 Main St.
Exit 9 off Mass Pike
Sturbridge, MA
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Sponsor: The Central Mass Lyme Foundation
Contact Name: Michele Miller
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With Ross J. Miller, psychic healer, medium, regression therapist. In this unique, experiential workshop you’ll learn how to identify your guardian angels and spirit guides by name and...

Where:
Newton, MA


Telephone: (617) 527-3583
Contact Name: Ross J. Miller
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Instructor: Peyton Pugmire Ages 16+/Adult Like meditating with a paintbrush!  Come re-connect with yourself, your heart and soul, and your divine intuition—one brushstroke...

Cost: $120 (includes all supplies)

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Telephone: 781-797-0389
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Cost: $35 preregister; $40 at the door

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Medittaion Studio
30 Lyman Street
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Westborough, MA, MA  01581
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Sponsor: Pat Lebau Yoga
Telephone: 508-393-5581
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Journey back into the experience of peace, harmony and inner power through this unique meditation practice. Explore the power of your thoughts and how they can bring you inner harmony and help you...

Cost: Free of charge as a community service, contributions welcome.

Where:
Inner Space Meditation Center and Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA
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Sponsor: Brahma Kumaris
Telephone: 617–547–1110
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Reiki Master Teacher Libby Barnett, M.S.W., integrates her healing skills with past experience as a medical social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital. 38 years experience. Reiki...

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Weston, MA


Telephone: 603-654-2787
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Psychics, mediums, angel readers, spirit art. Reiki, chair massage, IET, Gaiadon Heart, crystal healings, etc. Sign yourself up for a few appointments and bring your friends! Appointments...

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118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA
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Telephone: 508-230-3680
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Learn to overcome spinal tensions through therapeutic postures, designed to decompress your spine and relieve pain. Taught by a certified yoga therapist, classes bring you through poses...

Cost: 5/$50

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484 Bedford St
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Telephone: 508-331-3564
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