Welcome to Week Six of Reset Button's Online Mindfulness Course.
Week Six: Loving Kindness
Do you ever have thoughts that you are wrong for feeling what you are feeling?
That you are just not good enough?
Are you sometimes quick to judge others?
It can sometimes feel that life is a struggle, but could it be that the real struggle is with yourself?
During the previous weeks you may have noticed your mind’s tendency to turn against you. This can come in the form of self-criticism or judgment of yourself or of your experience. Perhaps you feel like you have been meditating 'the wrong way' or that you shouldn't be having the thoughts and feelings that have arisen for you.
When we are very caught up with our own negative thinking or suffering, it can be an isolating experience. We become very focused on what is going for on us, our sadness, our stress or our anxiety and find it difficult to connect with others.
If we can bring an element of compassion and kindness to our experience, a wish that we not suffer, then we can find a new kind of peace and happiness that comes from within. Allowing ourselves to feel self-compassion can help us to reconnect with those around us by opening up feelings of compassion for them too.
Conversely by connecting with our compassion for others we can understand what it might be to bring compassion towards ourselves. Try thinking about what you might say to a friend who was going through the same difficulty that you were. Would you judge them for what they feel? Would you say they were stupid for feeling anxious for example? Or would you understand their reaction and would you wish for them that they were feeling better.
At this stage of the course, you might have started to notice some changes. A slightly new perspective, a different way of dealing with things, a calmer feeling. However you might notice that you are still stuck in some ways or that there is still a struggle within you. Perhaps you are not able to let go of judging yourself or you are seeing meditation as just another thing to do rather than a gift to yourself. The new meditation for this week will add a new and very important element to your practice: kindness.
Week Six's Audio Session (8 minutes)
Please find a nice quiet place where you can listen to this uninterrupted. Relax and enjoy, as this is something you are doing for yourself.
Practices for Week Six
Body Scan, Extended Meditation & Loving Kindness
ADD IN EXT MED
ADD IN LOVING KINDNESS
Choose either Body Scan or Extended Sitting meditation meditation followed by Loving Kindness meditation and practice once every day for six out of seven days.
Our minds have a natural tendency to be critical and negative, so it can sometimes take time to connect to any sense of kindness or compassion for ourselves or even others. Be patient. If you cannot feel anything specific at first, do not worry, it is enough in itself that you are practicing. Just notice whatever comes up for you. If what comes up for you is judgment, just label it as such. Saying to yourself silently, "judgment". If what comes up for you is nothing, label it as 'nothing'.
Choose an activity that is a treat for you and that you haven't done for a while.
It might be curling up with a book, listening to an album that you feel uplifted by. Going for a walk in your favourite park, having a massage or catching up with a friend who makes you feel good.
It can be something that takes five minutes or five hours.
Don't wait until you feel like doing it, just set a time to do it anyway and see what happens.
Want to share your experience? Use #habitreset on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and share your pictures or feelings. Let us know any thoughts or questions on our forum. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM
The Three Components of Self-Compassion
Kristin Neff, one of the world’s leaders on self-compassion researchers explains what self-compassion is and how it can help us with our universal human experience of suffering.
IN YOUR JOURNAL
Write down three kind messages to yourself. If you are struggling with this, think about what you might say to a friend and say it to yourself.
Think of three judgements that you have about others and write down something kind or neutral about them. See how that feels.
Name one thing this week that you felt good about.
What do you feel most grateful for this week?
REMEMBER: Q&A FORUM FOR WEEK SIX - WE WILL CHECK IN AT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AND REPLY TO YOUR QUESTIONS. CLICK HERE TO GO TO FORUM