Clearing oneself of negativity requires the same dedication as shedding those extra pounds…take these exercises to heart, and feel yours begin to burst with compassion…
This post comes to you from our friend, healer and soon-to-be-momma, Nina Endrst.
Some days it’s hard to look in the mirror and really face up to what we see. We’re human, which inevitably means we’ll say and do things we’re not proud of. We are flawed, and that’s OK. This work of being a mindful human requires us to meet our edge and keep going. So much of life we cannot control, which is beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. I’ve found my practice is a balance of letting go and focusing on what I can control; the quality and tone of my thoughts, words and actions. I lead mostly with love but I do find myself stuck in judgment at times and this is my work — pulling myself up and out of a toxic place and standing firm in love and compassion. I hope these exercises help you to release judgment and bring us closer to each other.
Be willing to be a student, forever!
I can only speak for myself but, when I peel away the layers, I find that the judgment I feel toward others stems primarily from fear. Fear that I may not measure up in some way, or that the “other” is smarter, faster, stronger, sweeter, whatever! Um, who cares? Everyone is here to do their own thing their own way – so let’s try and learn from each other.
Practice: Start with respect. Next time you feel a pang of insecurity or feel intimidated or by someone – try getting to know them, ask a few questions. Everyone is a teacher on our path and it’s up to us to pay attention and seize these opportunities. Try your best to quiet that little voice telling you to tear them down and let yourself be taught. I find it so rewarding to learn from those who I respect and admire.
Yes, we are different but we are all the same.
Leading international retreats has allowed me to meet people from around the world — all with unique and beautiful stories and often traumatic wounds that run deep. Everyone is different yet the same because at our cores we are love. Making a snap judgment about someone we think is “different” without getting even a glimpse into who that person is or what he/she has endured is detrimental to our overall wellbeing.
Practice #1: Next time you are frustrated by a stranger, take a deep breath and say to yourself internally, “I am them, they are me.” Watch the aggravation dissipate.
Practice #2: Try striking up a conversation with someone who on the surface seems completely different from you. Or perhaps someone you’ve labeled this or that but never actually taken the time to get to know. Open your heart and mind and connect.
Compassion starts with you.
It’s impossible to love someone if you don’t love yourself. This I know to be true. So, let’s start there. How do you show yourself love, what do you do to take care of you? How do you speak to yourself when nobody is listening? How much time and energy do you spend judging yourself? Most of us are doing the best we can and that’s more than enough.
Practice: Write down all the nasty things you say to yourself and sit with it. Then burn the list. Next, commit to being nice to yourself. Start with a personal growth plan – What are you doing to take care of yourself currently? What makes you feel good, energized and close to your highest self? How can you invite more of that into your life?
When in doubt, compassion is always the answer.