“Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan (a frequent scenario for most of us), the stronger and more resilient our compassion muscle becomes.”
Here are some of my favorite self-love finds and suggestions:
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
Dr. Neff is the self-compassion Queen and I am so thankful for her work and research.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
This is where I first learned self-compassion is the antidote to perfectionism and I got serious about practicing.
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer
A great resource that was published in 2018 based on their eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program.
Rooted in Love: A 40-day practice of growing self-compassion in your life and planting seeds of compassion in the world by Lee Ann Hilbrich
These are inspiring stories from my personal journey with self-compassion and tangible ways to support your practice.
Dr. Kristin Neff’s Compassionate Body Scan (20-minute audio)
This is just one of Dr. Neff’s amazing free Self-Compassion Guided Meditations and Exercises, but it is one of my favorites.
Self Love Yoga by Yoga with Adriene (50 minute free yoga class)
Yoga with Adriene will always hold a sweet spot in my heart and she is super kind and funny (please note this picture is of me, not Adriene Mishler :)
A Guided Tapping Meditation to Support You in Befriending Your Body with Jessica Ortner (16-minute audio)
I am a big fan of tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Just as with any meditation, know this could bring up unpleasant emotions.
Self-Massage! Whether you use warm oil (Abyanga) over your whole body, a jade roller on your face and neck, or just give your hands and feet a massage some love at the end of the day, physical touch is so important in increasing oxytocin and jumpstarting self-compassion.
As a doTERRA Wellness Advocate these are my favorite essential oils for self-love, along with their emotional properties according to my favorite essential oil resource, Emotions and Essential Oils (new editions now being published as Essential Emotions):
Magnolia (the oil of Compassion)
Rose (the oil of Divine Love)
Bergamont (the oil of Self-Acceptance and also a photosensitive oil)
Grapefruit (the oil of Honoring the Body and photosensitive as well)
Ylang Ylang (the oil of The Inner Child)
I can help you purchase Certified Therapeutic Grade oils here and I also have a blog post with helpful learning links and resources.
Chocolate Meditation with Wei of Chocolate
2 minutes a day meditating with “Chocolate that's good for your body, mind + spirit”? Yes, please! And I love ALL the flavors so I definitely recommend getting an assortment!
Loving and Listening to Yourself Audio Meditation by Sarah Blondin (available for free on Insight Timer, 23 minutes)
Kundalini Meditation for a Calm Heart
You can do this meditation for as little as 3 minutes to help you get out of the critical head space and into the compassionate heart space. According to the site, “Emotionally, this meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others.”
Guided Meditation for Tara Brach’s practice of RAIN (both written instructions and a free 20 minute audio guide)
“Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nurture with self-compassion.”
Write “I Am A Gift” or any message you need to see on a daily basis on your mirror.
Dance (maybe even try naked) in front of your mirror. And might I recommend with my free Self-Compassion Spotify Playlist. Try hitting shuffle seeing what serendipity surprises you with.
Try talking to yourself in the mirror for 11 minutes for 11 days. Seriously! I learned about this in Kundalini Yoga Teacher training and tried it and it was very powerful for me. From The Aquarian Teacher™ Level 1 Textbook it says, "...the best way to improve your communication is to stand before a mirror and talk to your image. Then you respond back on behalf of the image as if it were a separate personality." Let me know how it goes for you.
Keep a Self-Compassion Journal. Kristin Neff explains how to review your day in writing using her Self-Compassion Break components.
A personal journal practice I have is menstrual charting. Just by noting a few things each day about my mood and energy, I create a map that can help me be more understanding and compassionate with my hormonal cycle. Red School is a wonderful resource if you are interested and this blog post on The Map of The Inner Seasons is a great place to start. And even if you are a non-menstruating woman or a man, you can still bring awareness to your own unique cycles and needs within each season, or let the moon be your guide.
Write a love letter to yourself and put a reminder on your calendar to re-read in one year or on a special/hard day (like Valentine's Day).
Write daily permission slips. So great for us recovering perfectionists.
Daring Discoveries' Annual Self-Compassion Saturday.
A mini-retreat to practice self-love and the 5th annual one will a virtual experience on 8/29/20.
Self-Compassion September: The Creative Meditation SoulCollage® Series
Combing two of my favorite compassion practices, Kundalini meditation and SoulCollage®, this is a special series you won't want to miss.
Live Online Mindful Self-Compassion. This is an online version of the 8-week course developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff.