A moment of reflection with Kuan Yin, Chinese goddess of compassion
Are you your own worst enemy? Is it possible that you’re the person holding yourself back from reclaiming your own health, creativity, spirituality, femininity, sexuality, peace, or mojo? How many times do you stop yourself from doing something you want to do because you convince yourself that you’re too small? That you’re not smart enough, wealthy enough, strong enough, young enough, healthy enough, pretty enough, creative enough…but enough already. You are enough, just as you are. Right here and now.
We loving, peaceful creatures of the world preach the tenets of non-violence to others. We tell our children that war is not the answer. We abhor the murders and rapes and abuse that happens in the world. And yet, are we applying these same tenets in reference to ourselves? (I see you all bowing your heads out there, sheepishly. I know this, because I am doing it too, peering out from beneath my bangs, hoping no one notices that I’m preaching, but I’m a total hypocrite, since I like to beat myself up as much as the next girl.) What if we declare a moratorium on beating ourselves up today? Let’s make today National Be Compassionate With Yourself Day. How ‘bout it? You Pinkies on board?
Here are a few words on this subject from my guru, Dr. Joanne Perron, an OB/GYN, yoga instructor, and Pink Mentor/Goddess:
I think that the ability to change negative thought patterns requires awareness of one’s intent. To get there, you must be brutally, but compassionately, honest. You have to deal with the wounds face on to get true healing, right? Debriding a life. (It’s doctor lingo for scraping away all the dead tissue). You examine the zits and tits and shits, and then you debride some more until the PINK healthy tissue shines back.
Being aware of your truth happens when you quell the chattering monkey mind. Everybody gets to mindfulness and awareness differently. For me, it’s through yoga and meditation. For others, it may be making art, walking in the forest, or playing the guitar. Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment practice and requires discipline. Sure, it’s easy to follow the minutiae in your head. Your ego loves that. But it takes a concerted, persistent discipline to be mindful. And it takes the same to stay compassionate. We are born compassionate, but trained to be judgmental. Awareness and mindfulness can retrain a person to be compassionate.
Yoga talks about the principle of ahimsa, or non-harming, and I think most people understand it with regard to other people. Getting them to understand how they look at themselves is more difficult. Women are better at reading the pain of others than they are at tapping into their own. Again, it comes back to training yourself to be mindful and aware. What does a thought or action feel like, and what effect might it have? For example, do I eat this piece of chocolate for its sensual taste, or do I eat it because I’m lonely? Do I listen to gossip because it’s fun or because it makes me feel better about myself? When someone cuts me off in traffic, can I find compassion in my heart that allows me, instead of getting pissed off, to wonder about what that driver might be feeling that made him or her choose to cut me off? When I interpret someone’s action as annoying or hurtful, can I check my normally reactive ego and think that maybe the other person’s intention wasn’t about me at all? Maybe it’s more about their own necrotic scar tissue that needs to be debrided.
This is how we begin to show compassion for ourselves. We seek our truth, become mindful and aware, and then love ourselves because of, or in spite of, the truth.
Wow. See why this woman is my guru? Are you being compassionate with yourself lately? Here’s what I propose. Today, pay attention to every negative thing you tell yourself. Keep your journal with you, and jot down every evil thought you fling at yourself- the I am ugly, I am stupid, I am fat, I have no self control, I am lazy, I am worthless, I am weak thoughts. Write down the “I’ll never be able to do that because…” thoughts. Take note of the “Maybe other people might but I can’t” thoughts. Try to replace them with blessings and affirmations. How can you practice the principle of ahimsa, or non-harming, towards yourself? How can you start Owning the Truth?
Please, share your stories. How have your negative thoughts inhibited your Pink growth? What have you done to demonstrate compassion for yourself? What might you be able to do if you start showing yourself a little compassion? Give yourself a break, Pinkies, starting today.