The more you nurture loving kindness, the happier and calmer you will be.
I am continually being reminded about the need to pay attention to where my energy and attention go. My mindfulness is my responsibility. I get to choose where my attention goes and redirect as needed.
I am in the midst of some amazing opportunities and projects professionally and aim to keep balance between my work life and personal life. I am learning—yes, learning—how to honor what I need in any given moment. During the work week, this means giving myself the opportunity to walk away from my desk (other than when I am seeing a client) and take a mental break. My personal time in the evenings and on weekends feel a little trickier to balance.
I have spent a decent amount of my adult life knowing what I need, but offering it to myself ONLY if it doesn’t impact my ability to offer someone else what they need. I easily slip into feeling guilty for taking care of myself or making choices that don’t align with what someone else wants from me. My ability to offer myself what I need is often lopsided compared to my ability to tend to somebody else’s needs. It’s quite an unwinding to make a choice for me and then be comfortable after making the decision.
I’m learning how to sow seeds of kindness to myself first and allow the kindness to overflow to others. I have forgotten (maybe never actually knew how?) how to show myself the respect I seek from others. I am learning how to set boundaries…and then honor them. I deserve to offer myself the kindness and gentleness I offer to others. I do quite well when I am in my own space, doing my own thing, but it shifts quickly when there are others involved. I lose my ‘me’ and concern myself with how others will respond if/when I choose me. It’s a habit that is currently being remodeled. 😊
Loving Kindness is a mediation practice in Buddhism to focus feelings of love to yourself and to others. One aspect of loving kindness is to “Imagine yourself experiencing complete physical and emotional wellness and inner peace. Imagine feeling perfect love for yourself, thanking yourself for all that you are, knowing that you are just right—just as you are. Focus on this feeling of inner peace, and imagine that you are breathing out tension and breathing in feelings of love.” (“How to Practice Loving Kindness Meditation” by Elizabeth Scott, MS https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-practice-loving-kindness-meditation-3144786)
As the meditation practice grows, the focus moves from you outward, to those you love, to those you know, to those who have hurt or wronged you, to the greater collective whole. It is a practice in learning to give and receive love. If each of us individually could offer loving kindness to ourselves, our own inner peace would increase, allowing it to pour over onto others.
I’m learning how to take care of my needs so I can be more fully present to others and their needs. I am learning how to sow seeds of kindness—free of guilt—towards myself and my choices.
How much do you really pay attention to how you treat yourself?
How hard are you on yourself?
How does that overflow onto how you treat others?
Walking together in light, love, and peace 🙏