“karuna” -Compassion for ourselves and those around us. This concept comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra I.33.
Let’s make 2017 the year of kindness. We often think of compassion as something we do for others. In order to have compassion for others we must first show compassion towards ourselves. Self-compassion or kindness starts with awareness. It is only then that our attitude can shift. We are often hypercritical when we make a mistake, judgmental in our opinions of others and we sometimes lack compassion toward our own suffering. Perhaps a starting point to understanding self-compassion is to notice when we ignore pain, or keep pushing when we are tired, or have a short temper at the end of the day. There are simple ways we can be more compassionate to ourselves.
It starts with setting an intention. You might decide that you are doing too much and don’t have time for yourself. You keep saying yes when asked to do something or help out. Try saying “let me think about it” before you commit. Then you can check your schedule and see if you really want to add more on.
Receiving kindness can also be hard. But it is being kind to yourself to receive it. We think we can go it alone but really, we all need each other. The person giving gets just as much as the person receiving. We need to be willing to receive that kindness and being kind to yourself is the first step.