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Mindful Leadership

Mindful Leadership in Action – Tip of the Week – Cultivate Self Compassion

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Self compassion is often over looked.  Like the topic of compassion in general, self compassion is equally misunderstood.  It is often interpreted as selfishness.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In order to be compassionate towards others you must first be able to be compassionate towards yourself.  Then from that place of self compassion, compassion towards others flows naturally.

Self compassion entails taking care of your needs.  One of the ways to see if you are doing this is to determine whether your actions come from a place being freely able to give or whether sheer will is the place from which you operate.  If you find that you are overloaded and don’t feel you have anything more to give, but time after time you rise to the occasion and put your needs aside, then you are operating from a place of “will” and / or duty.  Do this too many times and you wear out, become less effective and less happy. This is not being self compassionate and soon you won’t be able to be truly compassionate towards others.

A way to cultivate self compassion is to do something for yourself, each and every day.  It may be very brief and very modest, but it is exclusively for you.  Perhaps you enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the pleasure of your own company in total quiet, or you listen to a piece of music uninterrupted, or you go for a 10 minute walk.  Whatever it is, it should give you pleasure.  Do this every day and you will notice a different relationship with yourself.  Kindness towards yourself, like kindness towards others, goes a long way.

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