One Minute Practice: Cultivate Peace Within

Being kind even in the face of mistakes other people make is something many of us strive for. But how many of us can be that kind to ourselves?

Being kind to oneself is not only good for emotional health, but good for the whole organism. The tissues of the musculature become softer and more at ease when supported by kindness. Kindness is sustenance for peace within.

Pause right now and check in with your latest self-talk. Notice if you have been harsh or gentle.

Now give yourself a few seconds to sense your body and its weight and your breath. Notice your jaw and face. Can you any release tension there? Notice all the places where your body is touching the chair. Notice the way your clothes feel on your skin. What other areas of your body might benefit from some release? Let yourself soften.

Say something nice to yourself, as you might to a good friend who needs your support.

Try this: “Wow you’ve been doing a lot lately. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve done everything you need to, kudos for all you have accomplished.” Or, “Procrastinating is human. Give yourself a break. Maybe you just need some time to zone out.” Or, “When stressed, we all make mistakes.”

Let the kind words land in your body. Where do you feel them?

Allow your breath to move easily in your torso. Allow your face and jaw to un-do another layer of holding. Allow your head to float easily on top of your spine.

Now, say something kind to yourself that supports a positive attribute.

Something like, “You have been so helpful to the kids you work with.” Or, “You always keep the big picture in mind.” Or, “I appreciate how clear you are about what you want.”

Let the kind words land in your body. Where do you feel them?

Give yourself another few seconds to allow ease and spaciousness in yourself. When you catch yourself being harshly self-critical, allow yourself to be moved by your own pain or suffering, knowing that your experience is part of being human. Give yourself a moment to feel into your body and say to yourself a few kind words.

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