There are many ways to talk about what self-compassion is. I think of it as a willingness to be present with and responsive to your experience as it is. As I noted above, you might find it easier to be present with and responsive to your joyful experiences, or you may find it easier to meet and respond to challenges. Each of us is unique and we all have habits in how we relate to ourselves.
Whether you tend toward bypassing challenges or getting stuck in them (or some combination of the two), the Roses and Thorns practice gives you a chance to see that you have room for a fuller range of your experience, and that a positive experience does not cancel out a challenging one. Nor does a challenge need to take away your joy.
This practice also gives you a chance to cultivate curiosity. I often talk about curiosity as a potent form of kindness, and it can also be an accessible form of compassion when you feel more aware of your challenges, and less in touch with the resources available to you in a given moment.
For this practice, you will want a notebook or tablet, or you can type a memo in your phone. You just need a place to record your observations and truths. I suggest that you experiment for a week by ending each day by recognizing and naming your roses and thorns.
As you're winding down for the evening, take a few moments to sit quietly. You might want to close your eyes and take three slow breaths.
Reflect on what you are grateful for (roses), and on what feels challenging (thorns). Write down what your roses and thorns are on each day. If it feels easier to name what you appreciate, start there. Or, if you feel clearer about what is difficult right now, let that be where you begin. It's important not to force yourself to produce a rose or a thorn that doesn't feel authentic. Just be as honest as you can with yourself.
You can choose a specific number of roses and thorns to name (maybe three or five), or you can let yourself list as many as come to mind. Also, you can experiment another day by starting with what is less familiar to you ~ if you typically start with roses, try starting with thorns.
After you have written or typed out your roses and thorns, try closing your eyes and taking three breaths. Notice how you feel having let your experience register this way ~ both the joys and the challenges; recognizing that there is room for all that is true for you.