Paula Azevedo, PhD
Mindful meditation: A practice of compassion
Welcome back to the Cultivating Self-Compassion series. This is the final post of a five part series about inviting and practicing mindful practices that develop our capacity to be more compassionate with ourselves and others. In the last four posts I talked about intentionally including positive moments during your day, developing a gratitude practice, how to investigate and be really curious about the “shoulds” we tell ourselves, and how to practice fierce self-care. In this post I’m going to share with you my final strategy to cultivating compassion, which is mindfulness and meditation.
One of the underlying themes throughout this series has been mindfulness. Mindfulness practices are opportunities for us to pay attention to our state of mind, emotions, bodies, and our surroundings. It’s about noticing this moment, this breath, this thought, or emotion and being curious about how these states arise and fall. Much of the work with compassion starts with noticing and being really intentional about our thoughts, but also allowing ourselves to be curious about our habits with non-judgment.
I started this series with the definition of compassion and I’d like to revisit that definition. Compassion is to show concern and kindness when someone is facing a difficult challenge or is in pain. And self-compassion is simply showing that same kindness to yourself when you’re in a difficult situation or are in pain. But, we all know that practicing self-compassion can be the most challenging.
When I’m facing challenging thoughts, emotions or pain I like to practice mindful meditation. Not as a way to escape the issue, but rather as a way to lean a little more into it while also finding space for self-compassion. This mindfulness practice is about taking a moment to pause and genuinely recognize the difficult, and yet having the courage to say to yourself “sweetie this is really hard and even painful, but you’ll be okay.”
I’m going to share with you a brief self-compassion guided meditation. The practice may be challenging for some of you, I know it’s one of the more challenging meditations for me to practice because self-compassion is really hard, but try it and be curious about the practice. And remember it’s a practice. There’s no right or wrong.
Watch or listen to the video below where I guide you through a 15 minute meditation that will support you in cultivating self-compassion.
Well I hope you enjoyed this mediation practice and the Cultivating Self Compassion video series. It’s my aim through the practices I shared the past five weeks to give you the tools to practice and experience self-compassion.
If you’re ready to learn more about mindfulness, start your own practice or deepen an already existing mindfulness practice. Be sure to check out my online course called 30 Days of Mindful Moments. In this course I guide you through various mindfulness practices for 30 days. The lessons and practices were designed for busy people like you.
Also, I support practitioners in their mindfulness practice in and outside of the classroom through my coaching services.
But, if you’re not ready to commit and want to learn more about mindfulness be sure to check out my the free resources on my website. There you’ll find blog posts and free guided meditations and resources to guide you on your mindfulness and self-care journey.