June 8, 2016

Staying with Ourselves

John O'Donohue wrote, "Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless." When things get difficult, we flee into thoughts and judgments. Instead of feeling, we escape into the mind. Sometimes our thoughts are helpful: we gain insight or create a solution. But mostly our thoughts are harmful: rumination about the past, anxiety about the future, or harsh, separating judgment.

When we come home to our body, we begin to feel. And in this way we heal. Because our deeper awarenessthe part of us that knows it belongswants to feel. Withholding emotion causes pain. To be whole again, we must allow ourselves to feel whatever arises. This means staying with ourselves, just as we'd stay with a close friend. If things get uncomfortable, we stayembodied and aware. What's going on inside me right now? What needs my care and attention? Staying for just 3 breaths is a powerful practice. Gradually we build trust in our belonging, to both ourselves and the larger world.

Here's the last video in my series, "Healing with Self-Compassion." If you're interested but notice a tug of "not enough time," I encourage you to start the video and stay for just a little longer than feels comfortable. Notice what happens. Notice how you feel.

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