Spring is a time of new beginnings. A time of growth and connection after the long dark winter months. The daffodils are giving a trumpet call to the bees to awaken from their hibernation and to come forward and pollinate. New buds are forming on the trees and blossom is unfurling in a riot of colour. It is a time when the natural world seeks out a mate. Love is indeed in the air!
This got me thinking about the relationship that we have with ourselves. We are frequently very hard on ourselves. Our self-critic can often hold a megaphone to our ear. Creating a hard and unwelcoming inner world. During the hard winter months when the ground is frozen nothing much grows. It is only when the gentle spring rain softens the ground and the spring sun warms the air does life and growth begin.
A fundamental part of the mindfulness that I teach is the development of compassion. The Dali Lama defines compassion as sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a deep commitment to try and relive it. Most of us are very good at being kind and compassionate to others who then flourish in that warm attention. However, we are not so familiar at being kind and compassionate to ourselves.
Developing self-compassion involves learning to be caring to ourselves, sensitive to our distress, tolerant of our feelings, understanding and non-judgemental. It rests on the ability to be mindfully self-aware and is about bringing a warmth and kindness to what we see. As though we are a kind close friend to ourselves.
I am a great believer in the power and strength of kindness and compassion. If we look to the natural world nothing much grows in the harsh winter months. Yet in the spring when it starts to warm, and the ground softens life and growth spring forward. So, what might you become as you soften and warm your inner world?
This spring how about making a commitment to yourself to start a new relationship with yourself? A relationship based on kindness, warmth and compassion. After all love is in the air!
If you need a guide on that road to self-compassion, then I would be happy to walk a while with you. It is a road I have trodden and still walk so I am familiar with the terrain.