Practices for Cultivating Compassion
Compassion can be seen as a very big practice - something we have been thought ever since we were kids, but maybe harder to know how we can practice having compassion in our lives, in everything we do. Compassion can be seen as such a big and intimidating, not only do we need to have compassion for the people around us, animals, mother earth, strangers, but most importantly compassion for ourselves. It can be hard sometimes to really know how to do it, how can we have compassion in all part of our life, and for everyone? Today we are going to break it down for you one in for all!
What is Compassion?
To start, for us to practice cultivating more compassion, we need to understand what compassion actually is. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary compassion can be defined as "a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and wish to help them." In other words, it is our willingness to help others in need and to help people who are suffering. Not only people - but also mother earth or animals for that matter.
Kindness and Compassion or People Pleasing?
For us to create a practice for cultivating compassion it is important for us to always stay true to ourselves. When you practice compassion you must understand that what you are doing - and make sure it is actual people-pleasing which I think many of us can be guilty of - even myself. But there is a huge difference between actual people-pleasing and compassion. You just need to be careful and make sure that your kindness comes from the right place.
Many of us women who become perfectionists also end up being people-pleasers, which means that we try to help people and always be there for other people for us to get the approval we are looking for. The love we all are seeking. When we do that we often end up being far away from ourselves to live up to other people. But kindness and compassion do not mean that you are selling out yourself for you to make someone else feel good, or please them. While people-pleasing often comes from a place of seeking some type of love or approval - Compassion comes from the heart, a loving and pure energy when we are being our true authentic self.
It all starts with you
That is why it all starts with you. We often forget about having compassion for ourselves. But the truth is that this is the most important thing for us to cultivate compassion. We often end up setting other people first and ourselves second, but that is now going to change. We all have that ego inside, or the voice who keeps criticizing us in everything we do, we all have traumas that we try to heal from. But we need to understand ourselves and our imperfections and our journey for us to have compassion for others. When we constantly try to be there for other people all the time and put ourselves second we drift further away from our true selves and our authenticity. YOU need to love yourself first to love others and it is the same with compassion - you need to have compassion for yourself before you can have compassion for others.
Imagine what a great friend, stranger, human, or mother you would be if you would start having more compassion for yourself - would it make it easier to then have more compassion for others if you are in a good place yourself?
Set time for YOURSELF
So for you to have more compassion for other people - make sure that you give time for yourself. Give yourself time to connect with yourself. A time when you give yourself permission to have true compassion for yourself - be kind to yourself and let you know that you are doing great! This can be done in many ways like journaling, speaking to yourself, or even saying a prayer. Whatever way you like to express yourself.
A good way to start can be to set a morning and an evening routine that you every day come back to. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour in the morning and in the evening to check in with ourselves and give the compassion to your inner child that it has been seeking for so many years. This way you will end and begin the days in the best possible way - being your authentic self and thereby have more compassion for other people throughout the day.
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