Mindful self-compassion and backdraft

As discussed previously, mindful self-compassion (MSC) is the art of being your own good friend especially during times of pain, loss and frustration. This doesn’t come easily to many; as well as being a learned behaviour, self-recrimination and denial form part of our survival instincts – we dare not do anything to lose the acceptanceContinue reading “Mindful self-compassion and backdraft”

Love languages – which one(s) do you speak?

Have you ever noticed that slight disconnect that comes from having unmet needs? You know; that feeling of receiving a gift or a compliment from someone when what you really want is to spend quality time with them? If the gift or compliment, no matter how sincerely offered, is just not hitting the spot, itContinue reading “Love languages – which one(s) do you speak?”

The evolving self

My new role as parent has given me the opportunity to think about my son’s social, psychological and emotional development as he grows. Of the many theories of psycho-social development,  I think Erik Erikson’s resonates with me the most. This theory suggests that during each of its eight stages, an individual is faced with aContinue reading “The evolving self”

Cultivating equanimity

Equanimity is one of four divine qualities of the heart (traditionally known as brahma-viharas) taught in Buddhist practice, along with loving kindness, compassion and appreciative joy. The four brahma-viharas represent the most beautiful and hopeful aspects of our human nature. They are mindfulness practices that protect the mind from falling into habitual patterns of reactivity which belie our bestContinue reading “Cultivating equanimity”

Sympathy, empathy, compassion (oh my!)

Sympathy. Empathy. Compassion. While difficult to untangle at first, these concepts are actually quite different to each other, if one is willing to examine them a little more closely. Shame and connection researcher Brené Brown  discusses the difference between sympathy and empathy in this short animated video. In short, sympathy is acknowledging and/or feeling sorry about another’s difficult experience, but with someContinue reading “Sympathy, empathy, compassion (oh my!)”

The great cognition imposition

Humans are highly susceptible to error, and the mind – our strongest tool – is quite often the architect. To my way of thinking, this is not in spite of the mind’s strength, but rather because of it. Our minds are capable of tricking us into believing many things are rational and, therefore, a true representationContinue reading “The great cognition imposition”

The Consciousness Series – healing through art and mindfulness

Though he doesn’t know it, Australian musician Ben Lee inspired this series. In July 2013 I attended an event hosted by the Conscious Club, an organisation that promotes mindful and authentic living. In addition to performing some of his music, Ben shared his experience of living more consciously. He urged us to ‘make our ownContinue reading “The Consciousness Series – healing through art and mindfulness”

Book review: I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) – Brené Brown

I first came across Brené Brown’s research into shame resilience and living wholeheartedly while reading this interview. At the time, I felt the enormous weight of my own shame and, because I didn’t understand it, the more I tried to move away from it the more pronounced it became. Reading the interview was like aContinue reading “Book review: I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) – Brené Brown”

Anger: road-sign or road-block?

I’ve already written about emotions in general; however, I thought it would be useful to discuss anger in more detail. While positive emotions make us feel good (known as positive affect) and help us move towards pleasurable things, difficult emotions generally make us feel bad (negative affect) and usually lead to avoidance or withdrawal. AngerContinue reading “Anger: road-sign or road-block?”

A handy guide to navigating emotions

For many people the world of emotions is a terrifying place. The combination of unpredictability and intensity can make even the most emotionally-literate person feel helpless. If feeling your own and witnessing others’ emotions leaves you confused, then help is at hand. In a similar way to primary colours, primary (or basic) emotions form theContinue reading “A handy guide to navigating emotions”