Self Compassion Paves the Way For Self Help

The only sustainable path to achievement and happiness is to cultivate self compassion. Nick Wignall, Clinical psychologist

In writing a self help book about mother loss, I’m asking readers to consider ten steps to help them move forward after loss. Pursuing self improvement by reading books, attending groups, or watching youtube is a noble pursuit.

However, as Wignall says, cultivating self compassion must go hand in hand with self improvement. In order to have lasting growth and change, we must learn to be gentle with ourselves, participate in positive self talk, and treat ourselves as we treat our friends.

Affirmation: I travel the road to self improvement by being gentle with myself.

Coaching questions: In what ways do you embrace yourself as you pursue change in your life? How can you improve your inner dialogue? 

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Keep Your Bucket Full

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly. Unknown

There’s a new children’s book out entitled Fill a Bucket by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin. The idea is we all have an invisible bucket which holds good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. When someone does something nice for you, you do something nice for them, or you do something nice for yourself, you fill your bucket. 

I’ve used the bucket analogy as a Life Coach for years. I’d notice my client’s bucket was empty by how they sounded or what they said then I’d ask them, “What will you do this week to fill your bucket?” During the holiday season, it’s easy to deplete our own buckets while working hard to fill the buckets of others. This month, keep tabs on your bucket, notice when it’s getting low and either fill it yourself (a nap, a massage, a walk) or ask someone to help you fill it (please clean up the kitchen, take me to dinner, drop this off at the post office). As we fill the buckets of others, the joy in our buckets goes up but we need to watch the balance. 

Affirmation: I have a full bucket.

Coaching questions: How’s your bucket doing? Is it full or empty? What can you do this week to fill up your bucket? 

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Mental Vitamins

Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily. Tia Walker, American blogger and founder of A-List Diet and Fitness

Yesterday I received an email from a good friend that was an affirmation with enough “mental vitamins” in it to last me for several weeks. He wrote, “Just finished catching up with your blog. I’m always left speechless….and to write such beautiful and deeply meaningful prose.” I can’t bring myself to delete the email yet…his words give me additional energy to keep writing.

I give you, Dear Reader, a daily dose of mental vitamins because I’ve witnessed the power of affirmation. Whether the words come from you to you or from another to you, the power it there. In the climate of our world today, we all need our daily dose of mental vitamins, positive energy, more than ever before.

Affirmation: I have the power and will to affirm myself.

Coaching requests:  Create one affirmation for yourself today…post it for a week. Send or speak an affirmation to another today.

About A Body

It’s really pleasant to be with, familiar, faithful, complaining a little, continually going about its business, loving to lie down. Lillian Morrison, poet, excerpt from her poem, Body, taken from When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

Getting back to the gym recently after nearly a week away reminded me that it is an uphill battle to stay “in shape” as we age. I feels like it involves two steps forward, three steps back. But this portion of the lovely poem, Body, reminds me how fortunate I am to have this old, familiar body that complains only a little and generally goes about its business.

As a motherless daughter of a motherless daughter…both dying in their 30s…I’ve always felt that, for me, all the years past 35 are gravy. So as I approach a healthy, happy 73, my life is better than gravy, it’s a second helping of mashed potatoes with the gravy.

Affirmation: My body is “pleasant to be with”.

Coaching questions: What’s your motivation to keep your body healthy? How’s that working out for you? How do you view the years following the “anniversary” year of being the same age as your mother when she died?