The gift of Self Compassion, by Mirjana Power
“Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead.” (Brené Brown, dare to lead).
I would like to add to that: Self-compassion matters. Leading from the heart matters. Connecting our mind and heart to work as a team matters. How we show up with ourselves matters. How we show up with others matters.
The outside is always a reflection of our inner state and vice versa. For example, if we judge others we really judge ourselves. If others judge us it is an expression of their own judgment of themselves. In order to be compassionate with others we first of all need to be compassionate with ourselves.
We need to nurture the awareness that compassion as well as self-compassion is an innate ability that we are born with and that like many other innate abilities has just been covered up by the mud collected throughout our lives. All we have to do is start clearing the mud.
In the mindfulness training we practice self-compassion. Research has shown that the amygdala, the part of our brain that is responsible for fight, flight and freeze reactions changes after only 8 weeks of mindful self-compassion practice. Instead of allowing the inner critic to continuously make us feel guilty, feel shame and blame, feel useless, worthless and many other things we learn to be compassionate towards ourselves. We have kind and caring thoughts for ourselves. We acknowledge that experiences in our lives are tough and that we have had a bad day. When we are able to do that for ourselves, we are much more able to do that for others as well, for people who we love as well as for people who challenge and trigger us. We stop acting and reacting and start responding mindfully and with compassion.
In my Tamalpa life arts® practice I have learned that everything has a right to exist and has shown up for a reason. Rather than suppressing our anger, sadness and other emotions we acknowledge them. We can move them through dance. We can draw them or write about them. We can talk about them. If you can name it you can tame it. This helps release the emotion in a creative way and leads to change and growth. As long as we are stuck in our emotions we cannot open our hearts and be compassionate.
Self-compassion also means to nurture ourselves and to take the time to be just with ourselves in stillness and observation and reflect as well as to experience joy and laughter and play. This is also an important skill for leadership and self-leadership. How are we going to lead others if we can’t lead ourselves?
When we are aware of what we need to nurture ourselves and when we are connected to our own wants and needs we are much more able to nurture others and connect to their wants and needs. They might not always be in resonance and harmony but we at least can communicate mindfully what we need and want and also be compassionately present with other people.
Compassion is one of the 23 dimensions that are used within individual as well as organizational assessments offered by BEING at full potential. The definition for the dimension compassion is described as “the ability to open our hearts and see the world from another person’s perspective”. This ability increases substantially when we have an open mind and an open heart for our own experiences. When our own hearts haven’t healed from past traumas, when our own programs created by fear and pain haven’t been dealt with then we end up going into resonance with the other person’s programs instead of staying in our hearts and being compassionate. Our own fears get triggered.
Another program that can interfere with showing up with compassion is ego consciousness. We fear showing our vulnerability as well as lack the courage to address issues and conflict in a mindful and compassionate way. Courage from the French word coeur, which means heart, sits in the heart field. The electromagnetic field of the heart, which is measurable, is 5000 times bigger than the electromagnetic field of the brain. So you can imagine what importance our heart has and that we haven’t even discovered its true power and full nature yet. Mark Vandeneijnde recently wrote and article about AI and how our BEINGNESS and with that our COMPASSIONATE BEINGNESS play a crucial role in influencing the future of AI which is inevitably knocking on our door.
When we have the experience of being truly heard, seen and felt in our lives we are much more able to see, hear and feel others. We are aware of our own and other people’s wants and needs. This will reflect in employee engagement as well as leading to more loyal customers. A purpose based culture and management spreads throughout the organization as well as our individual lives.
BEING fully present and listen actively and with empathy to what others have to say is a skill that every coach requires. To simply be present with the whole connected and aligned BEING. From a resonance perspective the speaker or client feels energetically when the listener or coach opens up that field of compassion (but also feels it when it comes from ego, an intuitive ability and also explainable through physics). This in return leads the client to open up to the coach with vulnerability as well as trust and the coach can take the client into much deeper states of awareness and consciousness when that happens. When the armors are dropped and when a heart to heart connection is established we experience bliss. An organization with that approach bases its management and culture on being in service.
The more we change our BEING state on an individual level the more it will change within the organization, within our family, with our partners and with the world in general. It is not big companies and politicians who hold the true power. This is merely a false perception. The true power comes from within, from the heart, the mind, the soul and from every cell, which creates our unique BEING.
The true magic happens beyond the comfort zone. No matter what state and consciousness we are in we always have to step outside that comfort zone to move to the next state. It is quite a courageous journey to go from fear based over ego to bliss consciousness and to go from being sympathetic to empathic, from suffering with somebody and trying to rescue them to being compassionate and empowering people.
The real adventure starts when we have reached a state of awareness that goes BEYOND our limiting belief systems. When every state and every dimension becomes a true existence and full embodiment of our BEING and when our doing comes from the truly connected and aligned being with body/heart, mind and soul, the collective and the universe.
When we understand that separation is an illusion and that the other person’s world is also my world. When the individual and collective purpose are synchronized. When we understand that every person and situation that comes into our lives is an opportunity to be in service, to connect, learn and grow and be compassionate, no matter what the experience is with that person, situation or organization.
When we are aware that all the answers lie inside us and our true BEING is an infinite source of love and light as well as magic. As a coach and facilitator it is my purpose to take people and organizations into that state of BEYOND where compassion is innately expressed as a natural state of BEING. Please join me on that magical journey! Peak experience leads to peak performance…