Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) in everyday life
Session Details - November 21st, 2016 - MSC in everyday life, keeping it workable and flourishing.
A compassionate body scan was then followed by an open awareness practice with the emphasis on the compassionate quality of allowing.
Our shared discussion was on what is working for us to keep bringing MSC into our everyday life to help feel into balance.
Living a balanced life: - Jane O'Shea
‘I know that point of balance, I swing past it all the time.’
We started with the gift that a simple pause can bring to our ability to choose how we respond to life's ebbs and flows of comfortable and uncomfortable, light and dark, hard and soft, joyful and sad moments.
Mindfulness is being in the present moment, as an act of friendliness and non- aggression. There are many doors to the present moment the breath, thoughts, sound, sight, taste, touch and movement. The following three steps come in the shape of an hourglass; opening – narrowing – opening. The mindful pause allows for a fresh start - ‘growth & freedom’ as Viktor Frankl said.
1. Opening to all that is happening, allowing and letting be
2. Narrowing the focus to come to one of your senses
3. Opening afresh to all that is
MSC 5-steps to greater ease:
Mindfulness is being in the present moment, allowing it to be spacious – self-compassion evokes that sense of mindfulness swimming and breathing in the warm attitudes of; ease, gentleness, acceptance, kindness, curiosity and patience. These attitudes foster connection – guiding us not only into our common humanity, but also our interconnectedness. These 5-steps may assist:
1.Practicing mindfully inhabiting your body
2. Noticing your self talk – who do you listen to?
3. Writing yourself compassionate letters
4. Creating SC phrases and practicing them
5. Practicing generosity, gratitude and savouring
We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. - Dryden, John
On first waking in the morning, before you get out of bed, bring your attention to your breathing, aware of the breath just ‘doing itself’. Warmly say ‘good morning’ to you!!
When you hear a phone ring, a bird sing, or any other sound allow it to remind you to come fully into the here and now. Really listen, being present and awake.
Before you eat or drink something, take a mindful breath. Bring awareness to seeing your food, smelling your food, tasting your food, and swallowing your food.
Notice your body in movement, pay attention to the contact of the ground under your feet. Feel the air on your face, arms and legs as you walk. Are you rushing to get to the next moment? Even when you are in a hurry, be with the hurrying, notice the hurrying; check in with yourself to see whether you are layering the situation with additional unhelpful thoughts or emotions.
During difficult moments – pause to notice which inner voice you are listening to, who is running the show? Offer yourself word of understanding and encouragement (words you would give to a friend).
Bring awareness to listening and talking. Can you listen without having to agree or disagree, fall into liking or disliking, or planning what you will say when it’s your turn? Can you just say what you need to say without overstating or understating it? Can you notice how your mind and body feel? Can you notice what is conveyed by your tone of voice? Is your speaking an improvement on silence (or not)?
When you find yourself waiting in a queue, use this time to notice standing and breathing. Feel the contact of your feet on the floor and how your body feels. Bring attention to the rising and falling of your stomach. Are you feeling impatient? What other things could you bring your awareness to in your environment (with openness and curiosity) whilst you are waiting? Perhaps notice how a slight change of mind feels.
Be aware of any points of tightness or tension stored in your body throughout the day. Check your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw or lower back. See if you can breathe into them, and as you exhale, let go of any excess tension or tightness.
Connect with gravity – getting down on the floor to do some stretches each day.
Bring mindfulness to your daily routine activities – such as brushing teeth/hair, preparing food, doing the dishes or the washing. Noticing how a small adjustment to how you approach an activity may change how it feels to do it.
Smile, happiness for no apparent reason may well be a blessing in itself.
Nature, be awake in the wild, allow nature to connect you to the here and now.
Warmly challenge yourself to find joy in really simply things – make it a game, notice how it feels.
Before sending an email or answering the phone take one slow breath.
Before you go to sleep at night, take a few minutes and bring your attention to your body, your breathing and perhaps reflecting on gratitude for aspects of your day. Warmly bid yourself goodnight.
What’s your tip????