At this time of year, our thoughts and actions often turn to giving. Tradition, family, religion, media all push messages of compassion, selflessness, generosity. But the truth is, compassion for others first requires self-compassion. We can’t wholly give to others when we haven’t first given to ourselves. Just as energy creates more energy, the kindness and acceptance we give ourselves explodes our capacity to care, compassionately, for others.


"But I can’t be nice to myself; beating myself up motivates me to do better!” Really? Do you motivate others by kicking them when they’re down? On the contrary, plenty of research shows compassion is a far more effective way to motivate. Giving yourself a break displaces the stress and anxiety often brought on by life’s challenges. Compassion craves and creates well-being for ourselves and others. This holiday, is it you who needs compassion? You are your greatest source. Be your greatest ally.


Self-compassion is also more than self-esteem, says Kristin Neff, a pioneering researcher, in The Five Myths of Self-Compassion. Speaking, thinking and listening with compassion – for ourselves and others – is the topic of “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg.


“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” --Dalai Lama


Simple Intentions is hosting our first Holiday Open House, and you’re invited! If you’re in the Seattle area December 2, please come check out our cool new office, browse our gift collection and celebrate with us. Details and RSVP here.
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