This week we had a day to be nice to ourself, to be compassionate – probably one of the easiest tasks I thought, a day to spoil myself. So I did really well.
I had that second coffee, I had crumpets for breakfast and I cancelled a meeting I just couldn’t be bothered to attend (I had a longer lunch break, with extra chocolate). Smug, full and fizzing with caffeine I felt totally “compassionate” to all my needs (crumpets and coffee is clearly all it takes, I’m easily pleased).
What was harder was taking the thoughts that went whizzing around during all this… “Crumpets for breakfast, that’s not healthy enough”, “you know coffee doesn’t agree with you, why are you doing that to yourself, you’re so weak willed”, “you’re so slack you’ve not feedback on your blog in 3 days”. Blah blah blah *insert more negative self talk here.
My plan was just to fake it. Notice what I was saying and then replace anything negative towards me, *insert more negative self talk here, with a positive. It seemed to have a good effect, even if I didn’t always believe it.
Then I went to the theatre with a friend (Nell Gwynn – it was very good) and before it started I was thinking about how I was feeling half way into the 21D2H – and actually I was pretty good. Then, as the show began, I started to view it in different ways. I noticed how happy it made me, I appreciated how good the actors were and gave them my full attention. I gave gratitude for the experience, reflecting on how nice it was to meet some old friends at the theatre and how lucky I was to be there. I realised as a matter of course, I’d been digitally waking up with and going to sleep with Magical Marta (the stretches films and meditations, you understand) and had been setting myself daily targets of 9 and 10’s to be happy.
By the time Nell Gwynn had sung her final song, I felt great. Compassionately great, 9/10 great.
I even wrote this on the tube home. Maybe I’m not that slack after all.
My great respect for sharing those asterisks with us, Paul. When I write, I am tempted to make everything sound so positive and inspiring and not letting negative self-talk/criticisim slip in (that’s probably also the reason why I sometimes get stuck, with creativity of a dried-out salt lake)
Self-compassion seems to have layers. It is not that straight forward, is it? Do we feed our senses, or our soul? Do we indulge in little things that we normally refrain from or we satisfy our willpower? Do we feed the ego, or are supposed to actually give it a break? Whatever it is, it’ll be surely different for all of us.
and whether it is a day, dedicated to the self-compassion, or not, the asterisks stuff will always be there. It is, I suppose, the way we deal with it that defines what self-compassion is, or is not.
Very interesting post I’m so glad that being compassionate to yourself mentally as well as physically was so beneficial for you. Sounds like you, like me, are benefitting greatly from this experience.