Imagine just for a moment the amount of energy you expend in being lost in brooding over the future, in obsessive planning, in ruminating about the past, in comparing yourself to others, in judging yourself, in worrying about what might happen next. That is a huge amount of energy. Now imagine all of that energy gathered in, returned to you, available to you.
Here are some ways to care for ourselves, help us to receive love, to believe we deserve to be happy, to focus on that which we wish most deeply for ourselves:
1. Spend some time consciously reflecting on the good you’ve done, or a good quality you have.
2. Remember a time you made a mistake. What qualities help you learn to act differently? What qualities stifle the creative urge to change?
3. If you see anger, fear, or similar states arising in your mind, and you find yourself reacting to them as “bad” or “wrong,” purposefully translate that response to “painful” or “suffering.” See what changes.
4. Devote some time each day to self-care. Can you spend 15 to 20 minutes doing something to be kind to yourself?
5. Develop and practice loving kindness meditation for yourself.
You an also repeat phrases that reflect what we wish most deeply for ourselves in an enduring way. Traditional phrases are:
1. May I live in safety.
2. May I have mental happiness (peace, joy).
3. May I have physical happiness (health, freedom from pain).
4. May I live with ease. (May the elements of daily life–work, family–go easily, not struggle.)
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Sharon Salzberg. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from The Force of Kindness, by Sharon Salzberg (Sounds True, 2005).