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Author: Marjorie

Active Hope – The Cairn of Mourning practice

I am currently following a training with Chris Johnstone & Madeleine Young to facilitate Active Hope Circles. This training will come to an end before the summer and it is my intention to start hosting regular Active Hope Circles in Amsterdam in the near future .

I shared the “Cairn of Mourning” practice together with one fellow trainee last week.

This practice in essence consists in spending some time (ideally outdoors) reflecting on the following question: What is being lost in our world that you mourn for?

As strange as it may seem for the uninitiated, having a space to mourn and share our pain for the world is perhaps the most powerful way to wake up and feel our interconnectedness, to start healing individually and collectively and to free us to take meaningful action or to continue doing so without burning out.

In this post, I wish to share with you some of what came up for me in this particular Cairn of Mourning practice I did recently. Sharing this is a gift to the Life within and around us. So here goes, prepare the tissues …

I mourn the loss of fresh air, clean water and healthy soil. I mourn the loss of purity of air, water, earth that we as humans have caused through our industries adding toxicity to all that is offered to us, sustaining our Life. I mourn that instead of appreciating and taking care, being guardians of these amazing elemental offerings we suffocate Life including our own human bodies made mostly of water, air and earth. I mourn the loss of vitality, the destruction of habitat, the disappearance of species happening at an unprecedented rate, almost 1000 times quicker than before we humans appeared. I mourn that these species aren’t properly mourned, that they disappear in a huge silence in the midst of our frenetic lives often unfolding in corporate towers through all sorts of digitalised devices.

I mourn that our activity and way of life has destroyed most wild mammals, 83% are the latest statistics I remember. I mourn that our once beautiful oceans are now overfished and full of toxic plastic that will linger there for hundreds of years. I mourn the loss of over half of the world’s colourful and magnificent corals due to the warming ocean, the loss of 90% of big fish and countless others.

I mourn that we spend more time on screens than outdoors. I mourn that we are so busy and disconnected that we barely take the time to pause and feel deeply what is happening to our world. I mourn our loss of freedom, we have become slaves to systems and modes of consumerism that do not serve us and are largely destructive. I mourn the many humans who suffer the consequences of “modern” lifestyles, the poor, the oppressed, the displaced, the indigenous people, the victims of climate change, of conflict, of discrimination.

beginner'smindI mourn the loss of wilderness, the loss of untouched natural spaces where one can go and not hear a human sound or the sound of some human-made machine for days. I mourn the melting ice, the flooded regions, disappearing under the rising oceans, the many lush and ancient forests being burned away, the desertification of so many regions losing their natural fertility due to rising temperatures, the loss of habitats, the loss of beauty, the loss of softness, the loss of feminine values, the oppression of the feminine, the disrespect of women who are sacred givers of Life, the loss of value we place in care and nurturing, the loss of treading lightly on this beautiful planet that is our mother, the source of all Life. I mourn the loss of life, the destruction of Life that we are causing directly through violence and wars or indirectly through the modern industrial lives we have created and come to think of as normal.

I mourn with all the fellow humans who have the courage to stop, to feel how much they really care. I mourn the loss of intimacy and community and places to mourn as well as places to celebrate, give thanks and rejoice through song and dance.

I mourn that we suppress and numb feelings of helplessness, despair, fear, sadness grief when faced with the state of our world. These feelings are natural and healthy, they make us human. Feeling them allows life intelligence to flow. It takes a lot of energy to suppress and numb then and cuts us off from our power to respond appropriately to the challenges we face.

I mourn the loss of meaning of what it means to be alive, to be a human at this particular time, to belong to this world.  

What is it that is being lost in the world that you mourn? I would like to hear and receive that and make space for your process. I know how much moving through our pain opens us to Life.

Our mourning is natural and healthy. Our tendency to resist pain is dangerous. Through numbing our pain, we cut ourselves from our life energy and our ability to respond appropriately to the challenges we face.. It is very draining to suppress difficult emotions & overtime causes dysfunction and disease.  When we allow ourselves to feel it all, Life flows again in us and all around, our hearts break open, we get in touch with the depth of our longing and from this incredible creativity can arise.

 

 

 

The Great Turning Towards Life – Summer Solstice Gathering on 20th June

The Great Turning is the name for the essential adventure of our time : moving away from an Industrial Growth Society that is incompatible with life on this planet to a Life-sustaining Society. This shift is happening and gaining momentum through the actions of countless individuals and groups around the world.
photo credits : Noah Buscher
We invite you to join us and celebrate this turning towards Life together at this special moment of the year. During the Summer Solstice, Life is at its peak and nature is abundant. Our own projects may be showing signs of blossoming or perhaps our motivation to create, serve and take action is rising substantially.
During this evening we’ll hold a nurturing space in which you can explore where you are called to in this Great Turning, honouring your unique longings & gifts and deepening your contributions. This vibrant time of year invites us to rise fully into who we are, who we are becoming and what wants to be born through us.
Our intention during this evening is to offer a space for support, celebration & inspiration as well as community sharing to nourish and empower us as we move forth into the Great Turning.
We (Marjorie and Suzanne) have connected through this beautiful course we are both following at the moment “The Great Turning Experiment” from the Findhorn community. The Great Turning Experiment. All the precious learnings and community received there have energised and inspired us to host this evening together, share our own journey and insights from the course.
Marjorie draws her inspiration mainly from the work of Joanna Macy (The Work that Reconnects) and Suzanne from the teachings of Michaël Derkse (pioneer and expert in transformation, founder of Pulsar Visie). We’ll be weaving some foundational practices from these sources into our evening together whilst bringing our own unique flavour to these.
You can expect an empowering and inspiring evening with:
• Deeper insight into your own journey and contributions to The Great Turning
• Celebrating the Summer Solstice and abundance of life and light
• Space to explore as a community our grief and concern for the world. Moving through these feelings opens up the door to deep connection and creativity.
• Connection & community as you navigate through this Great Turning.
“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying our world – we’ve actually been on that way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millenia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other. This awakening makes the Great Turning possible.” – Joanna Macy, Coming Back to Life
Practical Details
Registrations : send an email to marjorie@experiencemindfulness.nl
Date: 20 June 2022
Time: 17h30 – 22h (including a potluck dinner, everyone brings something)
Location: Embodied Empowerment, Christoffel Plantijngracht 6,
1065 DA Amsterdam Nieuw-West
In the spirit of conscious contribution, as well as openness through hopefully accommodating diverse social groups, we are offering this evening on a sliding scale.
• €90 support fee (enabling us to offer student/low income fee)
• €60 standard fee
• €30 student / low income fee,-.

Spring Equinox Spiral – The Work that Reconnects

 

Note : This workshop is offered in English language. Both facilitators also speak Dutch if occasional translation is needed or you are more comfortable expressing yourself in Dutch.

What will we do

To celebrate the Spring Equinox and the transition into Spring, we will immerse in a full day journey of the Work that Reconnects.

This work is based on the vision and teachings of Joanna Macy and supports us to develop our well-being & vitality, our inner resources and community in the face of uncertainty around social and ecological transition. The Work that Reconnects offers a rich variety of profound psychological and spiritual practices inspiring a shift in consciousness and transforming our denial or helplessness into empowered, creative and collaborative action. These practices are interwoven in a dynamic Spiral structure across the following 4 stages:

1) Coming from Gratitude,

2) Honouring Our Pain for the World,

3) Seeing with New and Ancient Eyes,

4) Going Forth.

During our day together we will propose a series of practices that are an invitation to explore these four steps through our imagination, intuition, emotions and creativity. This will help us to restore our sense of belonging to nature so we can find the strength and clarity to better define the role we can and wish to play in a social and ecological transition.

Benefits

Join us for a day of deep connection with self, others and Nature, which will leave you feeling resourced, energised and inspired to live in a balanced and harmonious way with all of Life.

For whom

For everyone who is concerned with the current state of the world and wishes to put their energy towards the creation of a life-sustaining society.

Everyone is welcome, whether you are familiar or new to this work, engaged with social and ecological work, aspiring to engage, or simply craving some time for yourself to recharge your batteries.

Facilitators Marjorie Lumet & Annette Wijbrans

This work was passed on to both of us during a Work that Reconnects facilitator training in the fall of 2021 by Roseaux Dansants & Transalquimia; two organizations that continue the Work in the same line as its root teacher, Joanna Macy.

Marjorie Lumet

I’ve been facilitating mindfulness trainings for 8 years, guiding others to awaken to the fullness of each moment. As a nature lover who feels rising concern around the ecological crisis, I was however missing a more engaged form of mindfulness. I also became well aware how much being outdoors in a mindful way was so essential to our vitality & well-being.

The Work that Reconnects is a deep work that encompasses all these dimensions of mindfulness, nature connection, meaningful community as well as engagement in service of Life. It is a real honour to be able to share this beautiful body of work around me.

Annette Wijbrans

I’m a member of the scouting association ‘les Eclaireurs de la Nature’, in Grenoble, France, where I live and organize nature outings and summer camps for children and young people, with the goal of helping them find a way to live comfortably in Nature, find their place in the world and to learn mindfulness.

I’m also a student in the realm of medicinal and edible plants, which for me is a way to profoundly connect to the natural world, through reciprocity and gratitude. Practicing the teachings of Joanna Macy in daily life helps me find the strength to sustain the gaze of the suffering in our world and helps me to strive for a more life-sustaining direction of our society.

Practicalities & Price

In the spirit of conscious contribution, as well as openness through hopefully accommodating diverse social groups, there is no fixed price tag for this event. Decide for yourself if you are able to pay 30, 60, 90 euros for this full day event. Part of your contribution will go towards Voedsel Park Amsterdam to support organic local food, local nature and biodiversity, check it out here  Home – Voedselpark Amsterdam, more information will be shared on the day.

There will be some snacks on offer but please bring your own lunch and anything you wish to share with the group.

 

Indigenous Wisdom – Gratitude to all that sustains us as a way of life

“Every being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our mother earth from whom all life comes” – chief Leon Shenandoah
photo credits : Noah Buscher
In The Work That Reconnects, we start our journey through the Spiral with Coming from Gratitude.
To be truly grateful, to live in appreciation firstly we need to be present and actually pause to feel the many gifts that the moment offers. Gratitude opens us to receive these gifts and allows us to remain grounded and stable in uncertainty. Gratitude is a deeply nourishing state that strengthens our capacity to rise to the many challenges we face.
In many indigenous cultures there are important rituals and practices to cultivate gratitude. Something that is sadly mostly lost in our modern industrial society relying to an extent on human chronic dissatisfaction and greed to fuel consumption and economic growth (largely detrimental to the natural world).
In the Haudenosaunee Native American culture, gratitude is at the essence of their way of life. Before every meeting or gathering, the Haudenosaunee give thanks to everything that surrounds and sustains their wellbeing. Animals, trees, plant life, medicinal herbs, water, etc. are all considered as part of their extended family and referred to as Mother Earth, brother Sun, Grandmother moon. Every day is thanksgiving and words of thanks are “the words that come before all else.”
Awe
Here is a version of this Thanksgiving address published by the Mohawks
“The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are One.
The Earth Mother
We are thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks, Now our minds are one. “
In the Autumn of 1977, The Haudenosaunee travelled to a UN conference to share both a prophecy and warning referred to as “Basic Call to Consciousness”. In this address the following paragraph was contained : “The original instructions direct that we who walk about on Earth are to express a great respect, an affection and a gratitude towards all the spirits which create and support Life. We give a greeting and thanksgiving to the many supporters of our own lives : the corn, beans ,squash, the wind, the sun. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end.” …
– text adapted from Active Hope by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

Awaken Your Potential Retreat

Would you say your living and expressing your potential daily? Most of us aren’t even close. We can spend so much of our lives doing what we think is right, what we believe is expected of us, belonging in some way or another that we lose touch with our inner wisdom, our gold, our spark. But it is always there, waiting and longing to be ignited. That’s the reason we are here.

I invite you to join me and Anne Gélébart, CPCC, PCC, life and career coach, to do just that: ignite your spark.

Check out our short video here where we talk briefly about our 2-day program ‘Awaken Your Potential’. Our 2nd edition is coming up on October 8th & 9th, face to face in Amsterdam.

Through a combination of coaching, mindfulness, conscious movement and plenty of group work we’ll guide you to break open, awaken the fire within, get in touch with what matters, bravely and lovingly overcome challenges and embody what is yearning to come alive in you. You’ll leave inspired, deeply connected with purpose and clear goals to align your actions with your vision.

Living your potential is joyful : you experience greater flow, clarity & confidence as your life unfolds.

Register now to secure a spot or get in touch for any questions. Looking forward to this journey with you.

#coaching #mindfulness #consciousmovement #aliveness #purpose #embodiment #joy #flow #fulfillment #awakenyourpotential

Keeping your mindfulness practice alive on the holidays can be challenging …

Here I am in the Swiss mountains trying to meditate on snow “à la Wim Hof”…honestly, I didn’t get too far with that apart from a wet bum:)

Do you find it challenging to keep up your daily meditation or exercise practice when on holiday?

Well me too definitely. During the holiday period or when my routine is shaken I often fall short of my meditation practice.

Then the imposter syndrome kicks in and occasionally some guilt… “me a mindfulness trainer believing firmly in the power of meditation, failing my morning mindfulness routine, not practicing what I preach, seriously?”.

Yes it happens to me too. And sometimes I lose my routine to the extent that I ask myself why I meditate again. As soon as I commit to practicing, show up and take my seat, clarity comes rushing in.

Meditation allows me to connect deeply to what I feel, to what is most true and alive in me. After some grounding allowing me to inhabit my body fully, feel the sensations, the emotions, what wants to be known, I feel an opening of the heart, an expansion, loving life essence rushing in, aliveness. As I become more receptive, more can be felt and known. Possibility expands. I go from feeling numb sometimes to begin with to being grateful and inspired. Insights start pouring in, ideas, projects that motivate me, it is almost like I feel the connections happening in my brain as I meditate.

Through meditation I connect to the very essence of being human, to my deep essence.

Without the awareness cultivated through meditation I tend to fall too often into autopilot, of just going through the motions of my life without the spark, without really connecting to my intuition, my heart, vision and purpose.

Meditation, mindfulness, presence, intentionally coming back to the body and being still and receptive allows me to feel like I am actually living my life. I know it sounds weird, of course I am living my life. But that sense of livingness comes from embodiment through the practice of mindfulness. It can also comes from conscious movement, being in nature, dance, doing something I love like gardening which is all mindful but meditation is a super highway into that awareness.

#mindfulness #meditation #embodiment

2020 Gratitude & Reflections

Goodbye 2020!

Around this time last year I was enjoying Summer in beautiful, sunny & wild South Africa with my family sat on a terrace in Camps Bay with a gorgeous view on the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean and a sun about to set… as good as it gets!

Now, after having enjoyed a family walk in my nearby Vondelpark on this clear, sunny and mild Winter day, I am taking a moment to reflect on this challenging year in the comfort of my cozy home and feeling grateful.

2020 has certainly brought many mindful life lessons with it including appreciating more the everyday blessings: family, home, health, warmth, comfort, privilege, togetherness, savouring nature, being in the moment, going within, embracing not knowing, slowing down, letting go of planning and control, surrendering, being grounded and growing my resilience, and the importance of self-care, physical touch, community & connection.

What are you grateful for? What are your 2020 highlights?

Looking back at some of my highlights of 2020…

This year started for our family in Cape Town, South Africa on the top of Table Mountain!

We went skiing as a family in lovely Val Frejus.

We experienced home schooling our children and felt more grateful than ever to the amazing work teachers do.

I gave my first mindfulness and mindful birthing courses online which turned out much better than I could have imagined

I qualified as a Yin Yoga teacher and gave sessions in the Vondelpark

I supported 5 families as a birth doula

I became a Somatics Coach and took on my first coaching clients

I contracted Covid-19 and self-isolated for over a week in my own home, weird!

I didn’t travel to France and see my family ☹

We spent our summer holiday hiking in the beautiful Swiss mountains

We had some lovely overnights stays in the Netherlands and discovered new places including gorgeous Bergen aan Zee and surrounding dunes

I co-hosted my first city mindfulness & coaching retreat including an amazing ecstatic dancing session

Our family spent the first Christmas ever in the Netherlands

#goodbye2020 #gratitude #reflection #mindfulness

MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE WEEK 4: POSITIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING – MINDFULNESS OF THOUGHTS & POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS  

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this question reflects your outlook on life and ultimately how happy and healthy you are. Our thought patterns dictate the way we perceive and explain reality, including our relationship to ourselves and to the world. Yet when we look at these thoughts more closely, they are often inaccurate or only partially true.

The good news is there is nothing fixed about our brain and the way we look at things. We always choose our attitude to whatever life throws our way, the more awareness we have, the more this ability for conscious choice is activated. We really can reprogram our brains to an extent. Through mindfulness, cultivating non-judging and non-reactive awareness of thoughts, as well as working with affirmations we can significantly shift our mindset in a matter of weeks. Cultivating gratitude is itself a powerful way to see the glass half full so if you don’t have a gratitude practice check out last week’s post on gratitude.

Challenge of the week : Work with positive affirmations either by tuning in to my affirmation practice daily and/or creating your own affirmations. Write down 1 to 3 affirmations that really resonate for you and repeat them daily as often as you like and try to remember to use these also in stressful moments after some practice. And of course share your favourite affirmation or words that empower you mentioning @experiencemindfulness and #moodboostingchallenge. Chances are someone else in your network really needs to hear them too and sharing them reaffirms them for you causing a ripple effect. Last but not least I may surprise you with a freebie 😊

More food for positive thoughts :

  • Working with Difficulties : Our mind doesn’t really make the difference between reality and imagination that is why our stress response gets activated not only by real physical threats but also by the imaginary tigers of our mind. The beauty is we can flip this around by imagining the best possible outcome and using positive affirmations as a counterbalance to our inner critic. Have a challenge coming your way? visualise the most positive outcome you can imagine, play it in your mind, connect with your senses – how does it feel? What do you see, hear, smell, notice? You can even play some music and dance to your success if that doesn’t feel too “up there” for you.
  • Negative thinking is toxic literally. Your every thought produces a biochemical reaction in the brain. The brain then releases chemical signals that are transmitted to the body, where they act as the messengers of the thought. The thoughts that produce the chemicals in the brain allow your body to feel exactly the way you were just thinking. So every thought produces a chemical that is matched by a feeling in your body.
  • Practice mindfulness of thoughts : We cannot control what arises to mind but by watching our thoughts we gradually become freed from their tyranny, gain perspective, space and have access to other ways of thinking about situations. Each time we recognize a thought as a thought when it arises and register its content, then let go of it and come back to our breathing and a sense of our body, we are strengthening mindfulness. We do not need to fight with thoughts, struggle against them or judge them. Rather, we can simply choose not to follow the thoughts when we are aware that they have arisen. “From thoughts come actions. From actions come all sorts of consequences. In which thoughts will we invest? Our great task it to see them clearly, so that we can choose which ones to act on and which ones simply to let be.” – Joseph Goldstein
  • Reframing negative thoughts : If you have a persistent, repetitive negative though you can write it down and rephrase it into a positive affirmation. And use that affirmation every time the negative though pops up again. Over time, we can begin cultivating new, more constructive thought patterns, new ways of seeing ourselves and the world around us.
  • Book Recommendation : The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

“Start listening to the voice in your head. The voice comments, complains, likes, dislikes and so in. It isn’t necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes, this is called worry. Sometimes the soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or “mental movies”. Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person’s own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness as well as disease. The good news is that you can ‘free’ yourself from your mind by listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive though patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years… watch the thinker, be there as the impartial witnessing presence. You will soon realise: there is the voice and here I am listening to it, watching it. This ‘I am’ realization, this sense of your own presence is not a thought. It arises beyond the mind. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. The thought then loses its power over you and eventually subsides because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking. When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream – a gap of “no-mind”. At first the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. There is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising deep from within: the joy of Being.” – Eckhart Tolle

How will this boost my mood?

Positive thinking is an ultimate mood booster. Essentially, when you think happy, inspiring, or positive thoughts, your brain manufactures chemicals that make you feel joyful, inspired, or uplifted. Positive affirmations can be used to boost self-esteem, encourage positive transformation or motivation. To be effective affirmations require regular practice for lasting long-term changes.  Research has linked affirmations to lower stress and rumination as well as to academic achievement. Positive thinking helps make us more resilient to difficulties when they arise.

MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE WEEK 3 : GRATITUDE

Challenge of the week : start a daily gratitude practice if you don’t have one already!  Share your gratitude journey, something your grateful for, to lift yourself & others up. Every time you share tagging me & mentioning hashtag #moodboostingchallenge you become eligible for a free ticket to the Mindful Circle, a self-compassion workshop or a private coaching session.

Gratitude is a simple yet powerful mood booster and the beauty is the more you are grateful, the more what you attract what you are grateful for. Really, don’t take my word for it, experience it for yourself.

How to practice gratitude? For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving you may have had a wonderful opportunity recently  to reflect on and share what you are thankful for. You can continue experiencing lasting benefits by taking this on as a regular practice. Take a few moments daily to reflect or preferably write down 3 to 5 things you feel grateful for. Research shows that the simple act of journaling 3 times a week about things you are grateful has amazing benefits on our well-being.

 

Extra Tips : And you can get more creative with your gratitude practice. Fill a gratitude jar with 1 thing you are grateful for a day. For families you can have a gratitude circle at the dinner table where everyone shares one thing they are grateful for on that day.

If you are practicing already, that’s amazing, please inspire us by sharing your gratitude practice or its benefits for you on social media using #moodboostingchallenge

If you are starting on your gratitude journey, it is not unusual that the practice can feel forced and unnatural. There’s nothing wrong with that, just carry on a few weeks with an open, non-judgmental mind and you will likely actually start feeling grateful.

When gratitude arises in a daily moment bring your full presence into this moment. Notice how it feels, how the mind is at ease, the body relaxed and warm. Chances are the experience will become even more enjoyable through your presence. The more mindfulness we cultivate, open and full presence, the more gratitude arises.

Book recommendation : The Gratitude Project : How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good

Articles for further motivation on the benefits and science of gratitude 

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain (berkeley.edu)

Is gratitude the secret of happiness? I spent a month finding out | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian

How will this boost my mood?

Gratitude is really offering a perspective shift focusing on all that is right with us instead of what is wrong. Our minds have a tendency to focus and ruminate on things that are not as we want them to be.  We can tend to magnify our problems, blow them out of proportion. Gratitude helps restore balance and change our outlook on life.

Need more inspiration? Gratitude has tremendous benefits on health & happiness. A gratitude practice is associated with increased wellbeing, protects people form stress and depression, allows for more fulfilling relationships, better sleep and greater resilience. This is a powerful practice to increase life satisfaction, decrease worry and improve body image with long-lasting benefits.

 

MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE – WEEK 2 – SELF-COMPASSION

MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE : WEEK 2 – SELF-COMPASSION 

Challenge of the week: treat yourself lovingly, with softness & kindness & share a post about a self-compassion moment you tagging @experiencemindfulness with hashtag #moodboostingchallenge and win a chance to attend a free self-compassion workshop (value 35 euros).

Resources to support your self-compassion :

– Attend The Mindful circle (Tuesday 24 November at 19h) for further inspiration around self-compassion (email marjorie@experiencemindfulness.nl to join)

– Practice Self-compassion with 2 special meditations for the upcoming weeks daily and witness powerful change :

  1. Loving Kindness to cultivate feelings of kindness towards self & others. Loving-kindness has the immediate benefit of sweetening and changing old habituated negative patterns of mind.
  2. Dealing with Difficulty to learn to relate to ourselves with kindness in stressful times.

– Dive deeper into self-compassion and transform your relationship to yourself with this special self-compassion workshop series starting in January

  • Book recommendation: Self-Compassion : Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind – Kristin Neff

What exactly is self-compassion?

Self-compassion is all about being kind to yourself and treating yourself as a good friend especially in hard times. This is easier said than done as the way we talk to ourselves is often unkind and filled with self-judgments. When we are stressed, these harsh self-criticisms tend to strengthen and can make us feel unworthy, inadequate and incomplete. And where do they come from? Our overactive brain, our compulsive relationship to thinking. Guess where they don’t stand a chance? Your under-utilized heart.

Self-compassion entails three core components. First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering. Third, it requires mindfulness—that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it. We must achieve and combine these three essential elements in order to be truly self-compassionate.

Even in Buddhism which is all about selflessness, you actually have to care about yourself before you can really care about other people. Developing self-compassion is an essential first step to allow us in turn to become a more compassionate person and express this compassion increasingly outwardly. If we feel inadequate or insecure, we harm ourselves by beating ourselves up and we also tend to harm others around us, either by taking out our anger, irritation or frustrations on them, needing or expecting them to love us in ways that we are not able to love ourselves and if we suppress our feelings, we keep ourselves from really, truly connecting with others in a meaningful way as we are too absorbed with our own ill-being.

Mindfulness and self-compassion can free us from past painful and self-limiting beliefs and toward a new perspective of non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of who we are, just as we are. Learning to open our heart to the loving-kindness within us and in the world around us will eventually help us live more freely and fearlessly.

“PEACE

We cannot achieve world peace without first achieving peace within ourselves … inner peace. In an atmosphere of hatred, anger, competition and violence no lasting peace can be achieved. These negative and destructive forces must be overcome by compassion, love and altruism which are the essential teachings of the Buddha.” Tenzin Gyatso – H.H the XIVth Dalia Lama”

flower in adversityHow will this boost my mood?

Self-compassion is a powerful way to achieve emotional well-being and contentment in our lives, helping us avoid destructive patterns of fear, negativity, and isolation. The nurturing quality of self-compassion allows us to flourish, to appreciate the beauty and richness of life, even in hard times. When we soothe our agitated minds with self-compassion, we’re better able to notice what’s right as well as what’s wrong, so that we can orient ourselves toward that which gives us joy.

Like high self-esteem, self-compassion is associated with significantly less anxiety and depression, as well as more happiness, optimism, and positive emotions. However, self-compassion offers clear advantages over self-esteem when things go wrong, or when our egos are threatened. Self-compassion offers us the resilience needed to thrive in tough times.