Saturday, October 7, 2017

Happier Thanksgiving


Recently I came across an article with a phrase that I keep at the forefront of my mind at all times now. It really has caused a paradigm shift in my way of thinking and so I thought that on this long weekend of feasting and giving thanks here in Canada I would share it with you.

The phrase is "self-compassion".  Think about it for a minute or two......what does it mean to you? Don't confuse it with "self-pity", that's a different kettle of fish altogether.

I don't think it was a coincidence that I encountered the phrase shortly after my aborted trip to Scotland. I was being pretty hard on myself for not pushing through the pain and the injuries which in retrospect don't seem that bad now.

Showing myself compassion has always been difficult for me to do. Family members and friends (which includes my wonderful readers) showed me a lot of compassion and understanding and NO judgement after I came home.

So why am I so hard on myself? Is that a female trait? Is it just me and my particular set of circumstances? Don't I love myself? Speaking recently with a sister I wondered why I'm not more compassionate to myself? Why do I set myself such big challenges? How can I show myself compassion instead of punishment?

My first action in being more compassionate with myself was buying my new car. Why was I making my life so difficult when it didn't have to be?

Then I ordered myself a full-size Yamaha keyboard and am anticipating it's arrival with great joy! I took lessons for years and years and was my piano teacher's top student. It was during a search in a used bookshop in Bracebridge that I came across some sheet music that I thought my brother would love and which I bought for his birthday. That compelled me to dig out my big box full of piano books that my siblings and I shared over the many years we took piano lessons. That was quite a teary trip down memory lane looking at those books so I decided to give myself the gift of music which always soothes my soul  :)
Self-compassion.

I am going to try to be more self-aware and treat myself with compassion accordingly. Last night the first of my toenails fell off; several more to go. I can't imagine how I would have survived hiking another 150kms with my feet in the shape they were so I will ease up on myself and accept that that journey was not meant to be but there are more trips and adventures in my future.

Being thankful for my life can't be celebrated in just one weekend. It has to be on-going the whole year through.  Everyday when I wake up I immediately lay down on my yoga mat and through my practise I feel such a sense of well-being. Instead of only directing those good feelings towards others I must remember to also direct them inwards. Finding ways to show myself compassion everyday won't be easy but it is a necessary and worthwhile cause.

All through the year I march and protest for others...now I will march for myself.  I hope you will join me.


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