I’ve been learning mindfulness as part of my efforts to manage my own stress. It’s been about a year, but recently I’ve taken part of a couple of workshops lead by a psychologist and performance coach, and it’s deepened my understanding of the theory.
One of the great insights for me is the role of self-love. A big part of the theory is about being kind to yourself when you’re experiencing distress, just as you would to a friend. They also counsel you to be a friend to yourself in other ways. Being grateful for the little things you do ‘right’. Delighting in your best qualities and your best efforts.
How much time do you spend beating up on yourself? Chastising yourself for things you forgot, or messed up? Talking yourself down, or out of? Saying you ‘should’ be doing more, eating less, being better? If you’re anything like me, you have endless capacity for it, and you’ll find time for it, day or night, no matter what’s going on. But how much time do you spend delighting in yourself? Or delighting yourself?
It’s quite a radical thing to look yourself in the mirror and delight in what you see, or to look at your life and delight at the things you achieve, rather than worrying about the things you haven’t. But it’s free, and it makes you feel good. Try it, I dare you.
If you’re interested in my political posts, check out this new essay: Privilege, politics and Pauline.