Are you Kind to Yourself?
I mean do you put your needs before anyone else's most of the time? Do you take that nap when you could really use it? Get that massage when you're at breaking point? Go to the gym to ease your stress? Eat your lunch sitting down not on the run? Do you go out of your way to even inconvenience yourself to cater to another? Why the hell do we do this?
I know why. Because it's easier to hear what others are saying and be accommodating. It's easier to tell yourself you're being a kind person and you know, karma. Have you tried sitting with yourself? Just stopping and tuning inside and acknowledging what's going on in your head? I believe that a large portion of people don't do this. I know, I've asked them. Sitting with yourself is uncomfortable and you demand quality and action from yourself. If you listen to these voices, you have to take action. If you don't listen and push them aside, maybe they'll go away and leave you alone. Nope. They don't go away. You might suppress them, but they are there. I love my voices and even name them and have given them elaborate characters. Why not.
Have you heard about your inner child? Think about yourself when you were 8-11 years old and how you were. What you thought and did. Most likely you were pretty carefree and present - because you didn't know any other way. You didn't worry because you were busy playing and didn't know what being present meant. Then as we grow older we start to become even more aware of ourselves and this child gets neglected and suppressed. We stop listening. We stop playing.
It's taken me almost 50 years to acknowledge that I'm finally really kind to myself. But I've only adapted in the last 5 years and it's taken hard work. When we do silly things and know better, but still do them, why do we beat ourselves up? Of course we learn from trying different things and stretching our comfort zone, but why are we the first to call ourselves on this behaviour?
I realised how often I put other friends and family needs before my own and did things I didn't really want to do because I didn't want to offend them. I've been doing this all my life and once I realised this (a few years back) I let them go. It was the most liberating feeling to give to those around me who reciprocate and give back to me because they value me and my space. They don't want anything from me and I don't want anything from them. I love being wildly authentic and present as much as possible and see what magic unfolds. I'll have an amazing connection with a new person or long lost friend and it feels so empowering. Being kind to myself, and my inner child (her name's Sally by the way) feels right and is an amazing baseline to have as she'll always have my back.
Don't know where to start being kind to yourself? Go to the beach or just get into nature and look around. The wonder will grab hold of you and you won't need to worry about being alone with yourself. You'll just be doing it and you won't be in your head. Distract your conscious self outwards and the magic will flow inwards. Before you know it, you'll be watching your thoughts like clouds come and go and you won't cling to them, but you'll acknowledge them and realise a bit more who you are. We all want to know who we are and it starts inside.