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See Yourself as 'Walking Toward'

compassion for self Dec 07, 2020

 Video Blog Summary:

Things continue to be challenging as COVID cases increase and we continue to socially isolate.

One of my favorite skills in challenging times such as these is to see yourself as moving toward something you would like to have for yourself.

You may say, “It’s kind of tough to move toward things with everything shut down these days.”

I hear you. But keep in mind that there may be things you can do inside yourself to prepare for when things open up externally.

One way to approach this is to work with things under the surface. A useful metaphor is an iceberg with ten percent above the water and ninety percent in the ocean. Now may be a time to work on the ninety percent.

So if you have a business that is slowing down, you could work to clarify the business you want to do and how to market it. If you want a love relationship, you could work internally on how to allow more love and intimacy into your life.

Working on things beneath the...

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Valuing Yourself

compassion for self Dec 18, 2019

I describe our tendency to evaluate ourselves through external, culturally-based standards. In this video, I invite you to reconnect with your own core values and then to reevaluate your value and worth on the basis of those values, and how you actually affect the people and aspects of the world that you encounter.

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True Compassion Video Blog

compassion for self Oct 30, 2019

I discuss how to access the natural healing quality of true compassion. I differentiate compassion in which we empathize and feel with compassion that is more conceptual and intellectual. I also challenge the listener to drop down into the depth and vibration of true compassion to connect with the person you are interacting with.

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Insist on Respect Video Blog

compassion for self Aug 27, 2019

In this video, Michael Hoffman speaks about the necessity of insisting that people treat your open heart with respect. We ultimately choose how people treat us by what we allow and disallow in our interactions with them.

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As You Are

compassion for self Sep 26, 2015

People are either strong enough to accept you as you are or they are not.

If you found the courage to be yourself, they can find it in their heart to embrace you as you are. If they can't, it is not a good place to share your heart- at least that aspect of yourself.

In close relationships (romantic, family, or friendship), you are a package deal. Like everyone else, you have strengths and challenge areas. You may continue to grow and develop your challenge areas, but right now this is your best you. Are people able and willing to love you as you are?

This may seem strict. But do we really need to put ourselves through more conditional acceptance? It is too painful and destructive. You have worked too hard to be your best you.

You do not have to put yourself through the gauntlet what someone else needs you to be. This includes judgment, control, criticism, sarcasm, and "If only you were a little more... (something)."

And please keep in mind that if someone needs you to be something...

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Too Sensitive?

compassion for self Dec 11, 2012

Being sensitive often makes people nervous. They have to pay more attention to what they say around you. And more aware of how they affect you- and by extension how they affect other people.

Being called too sensitive usually means that the person is not comfortable with how sensitive you are. So it might be more honest for them to say, "You are too sensitive for me."

I always wondered if sensitive is feeling things deeply, how can you be too sensitive? Perhaps you can take things too personally, but technically that is not too sensitive.   

Someone saying you are too sensitive shifts the issue onto you. It implies there is something wrong with the way you feel.

You might point out, "It seems that you are not comfortable with me being sensitive." At least it clarifies what the issue is. And whose issue it is.

So keep being sensitive. Don't let anyone talk you out of it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling things. It is actually quite courageous. And...

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Emotional Responsibility

compassion for self Dec 13, 2011

Bart Anderson would challenge his students: "All of your feelings eventually do come out to play. You can either address them willingly- or on your hands and knees.”

People stress taking responsibility for all kinds of things these days. But what about being responsible for what you are feeling? The overall healthiest thing you can do with a feeling is to express it.

Feelings are energy. They work best when we experience (feel) and release (express) them. So it would follow that emotional responsibility is committing to whenever you experience a significant feeling, you find someone to express it to.

Think of it as being responsible to yourself.

It needn't always be the same person. One person may better accept one feeling and another person may more readily accept another. Discernment is essential when identifying someone to share your feeling with.

Their ability to accept the feeling you need to express is the most essential quality in choosing someone to...

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Finding Compassion for Yourself

compassion for self Mar 15, 2010

Our deepest issues are with ourselves. All anger, resentment, regret, and betrayal are ultimately self-directed- if we are willing to take them deep enough. Once we see and accept that it is us that let us down, true healing can begin.

This healing is accomplished by finding compassion for yourself. You have to go back when you let yourself, your children, or the people you care about down. You need to understand why you made that choice.

Regardless of the outcome, what was your intent? Were you trying to save your marriage or protect your family the best way you knew how? Did you not want to hurt someone's feelings? Were you not able to see other possibilities?

You did not have the awareness and understanding of the effect those choices would have at the time. If you did, you would likely have made different choices. Hindsight is 20/20.

It is brutal to yourself to judge what you did in the past based on the awareness that you have now. Give it a rest.

So... find some compassion...

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How Are Your Environments Affecting You?

compassion for self Jan 04, 2010

All things affect. Continuing with the seasonal theme of introspection and reevaluating our lives, it is essential to consider how the environments we expose ourselves to affect us.

Environments include our home, neighborhood, workplace, relationship, friendships, and social arenas.

One of the stories that we tell ourselves is that we live in a vacuum and the environments we experience do not affect much. We can handle it. We are tough and resilient. We have good boundaries.

The truth is that our environments have a huge effect on us and the quality of our lives. If we understood how much, we would likely be much more selective about what we expose ourselves to.

Environments either uplift us or tear us down. Truly uplifting environments are mutually beneficial in that everyone involved is uplifted. The best gauge is how you feel while you are in the environment.

Another indicator is if you are supported to be yourself- regardless of what you are feeling or what mood you are...

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Sacred Space and Keeping Yourself Intact

compassion for self Nov 18, 2009

What is sacred to us are the things that are most important to us. When we share these parts of ourselves we become exposed and vulnerable.

We have an emotional and spiritual need to share these sacred things with people. This is what intimacy and closeness are. I refer to this as allowing them into our "sacred space."

It seems that something so important and vulnerable as allowing someone into your sacred space ought to have some ground rules.

The number one parameter for someone in your sacred space is that they respect and honor what is sacred to you. This is not a place for them to criticize, make fun of, or disagree with what is sacred to you.

This is not about them. They are in your world now. They are either able to accept and respect what is sacred to you or they are not.

If they are not able to respect your sacred space, it is your responsibility to yourself to get them out immediately. I call this "keeping yourself intact."

They have lost the privilege to...

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