This blog has now moved to my sister site, "The Kindest Thing."
As I announced in a recent newsletter, my focus for the next two years (at least!) will be on self-compassion—living it and teaching it. My new blog at www.TheKindestThing.com will focus on this.
I thank you for being such a loyal reader over the years and hope you will join me at "Self-Compassion Matters" at its new location.
The new blog is all set for you to subscribe there by e-mail.
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With metta (loving-kindness),
Being at home, at ease, within ourselves is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves. And to be able to cultivate this presence of body, mind and heart wherever we are—at home, at work, even standing in line at the market—is a powerful practice and example of self-compassionate care.
At Home Wherever You Are
Excerpted from Portable Peace: A Weekly Guidebook by Janice L. Lundy
Begins May 9. Please join me and love yourself more.
"There is a beautiful truth deep within you. It has been your truth since before time began and will remain your truth through eternity."
Do you know what this truth is?
I had the privilege of exploring this truth with a dear friend, a wise spiritual guide, Kenny Brixey, while talking about his new book Discovering the Divine Within.
Discovering the Divine Within is an inspiring and informative resource for anyone on a spiritual path, anyone who wishes to deepen their connection with the Sacred as they understand it. Inter-spiritual in scope and flavor, Kenny presents essays, guided meditations and affirmations for stepping into the truth of your being—the Love that you are by birthright and destiny.
(The interview is 25 min.)
Or download here for later listening.
About Kenny Brixey
Kenny Brixey is the Spiritual Director for Divine Connection-Center for Spiritual Awareness; a New Thought community in Van Alstyne, Texas. He is an author, an experiential speaker and creator/host of "Life's Tool Box" radio show on Empower Radio. He also serves as a coach and facilitator for individuals, couples and organizations that desire to reach their full potential by realizing their own infinite greatness.
You can learn more about Kenny at his website:
Discovering the Divine Within can be purchased through Amazon or Create Space.
It may seem countercultural to "take it slow," but when we find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed by the pace of life, it may the perfect remedy for what ails us.
Slowing down is the most self-compassionate thing. Though it is something I have often struggled with as someone who, by nature and upbringing, is a "worker bee" (as my husband likes to call me). I can push through and get things done with the best of them, but doing so does not always honor my inner rhythm (nor my health) which likes a steady, more consistent pace of life. Moving too quickly has often resulted in low-level anxiety, and, on rare occasions, panic. You?
I have to remind myself again and again to slow down, to take it easy, to take my time. To not press on or strain myself to get tasks accomplished. I've resisted this, yet, over the years, I've finally surrendered to the compassionate wisdom of taking it slow. And I've experienced healing and improved health as a result.
I hope you will enjoy this short recording/reflection I made about why this mindset/lifestyle is important, how it might enhance your health and well-being, and how you can actually begin the process of slowing down. (And still get the job done!)
Listen here: (4.5 min.)
"Taking It Slow" is one of the 52 practices for deep calm which are featured in my book, Portable Peace: A Weekly Guidebook.
There is nothing more self-compassionate or healing than being at peace within ourselves—whatever we're doing, wherever we are.
Available in both paperback and e-book formats.
One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to trust our life journey.
It's also kind--and wise—to trust the pace of our inner growth. Whether it's rapid or slow, it's all perfect and things are unfolding as they should.
The early days of spring never fail to remind me of this truth.
You will come into fruition in your own season.
Patience and kindness begin with you—for you. Living this way makes the journey so much easier ...
Explore how the soul season of spring is calling you home to your best self with our Spring Sadhana. Bloom where you are planted! Begins Sunday, April 3.
We live in tenuous times, no doubt about it. But then life on earth has always been challenging, even frightening. This being human is not for the faint-hearted.
One of "the kindest things" I can do for myself when I am anxious or afraid, especially when it comes to matters of the world—this week, for example, more terrorist bombings—is to drop into my breath and bring my awareness to my calm center. Being calm in the face of fear is definitely the kindest thing for me, for all of us.
Our calm demeanor is not insignificant. It matters. Lao Tzu, the great Chinese sage knew this. That's why he wrote:
If there is to be peace in the world,
It is my responsibility to make the peace we wish to see in the world a reality. It is your responsibility, too.
If my thoughts are fearful, wary, or angry, all I am doing by harboring them is perpetuating volatility. Turbulent thoughts and feelings can cause ripples of tempestousness. Ripples become waves, waves become tsunamis, and tsunamis, whether they be watery or emotional, can cause horrific damage. Thoughts and feelings convey energy and because we "inter-are", everything and everyone around me can be impacted by how I am being inside myself.
As Lao Tzu taught, this peace (or lack of it) will pervade my home, neighbors, city, nation, and world. Peace begins with me. And you.
Come back to center. Breathe. Follow your breath down, down, down into a more kind and welcoming space within you when you are worried or afraid. Rest there.
May we all rest there.
My motivation in writing Portable Peace: A Weekly Guidebook was to provide you with my favorite (and most effective practices) for staying calm no matter what is happening in your life or in the world. There are 52 of them, one for each week of the year. Inner peace is easy when you implement one new method each week. Day by day, the calmer and better you'll feel. Guaranteed! Learn more.
Self-compassion is not just about being nice to yourself. It's so much more than that.
Often we confuse self-compassion with pampering or indulging ourselves—like getting a massage or eating that extra cookie because we "deserve it," or taking a bubble bath.
While those activities are nice and they feel good (they relax the body-mind, decreasing cortisol while amping up oxytocin), they are only the bandaid for the hurt that lies beneath.
When I began my inner journey, I didn't know what self-compassion was. I thought it was "self-nurturing" or "self-care." I did a lot of that in my early years because my body-mind required it for stability. I'd done some real damage to myself because of harboring too much stress. I required gentle activities to heal. I received my first massage, got a facial, went on retreat, took naps and gave myself treats. What I didn't give myself was a break.
Meaning, beneath all of the stress and overwhelm (to which I applied band-aids) were stories I kept telling myself about who I was and how I was supposed to be. Lots of stories! Pampering and self-indulgence worked to relax me but they didn't release the stories that kept me stuck in what I thought I needed to do to be a worthy human being; to be loved; to be successful.
Self-compassion came onto my radar screen years later when I realized that many of my life choices had been based on what people told me when I was a child, role modeling, and old patterns I'd developed to stay "safe." Not until I was ready to take a good, long loving look at these was I able to begin to free myself of things like perfectionism, over-achieving, self-doubt, self-criticism, co-dependency and diminishing my own needs in difficult times, just to name a few. Many of us hold these stories deep within us. In fact, I believe most of us do!
Indulging myself, which provided temporary comfort and healing, did not get to the heart of the matter.
Good self-care could be thought of as "Self-Compassion 101." It addresses the basics and meets our immediate needs. And it's an excellent place to start! On a deeper level, though, there is a story to be uncovered: the story of why we don't care well for ourselves, or don't give ourselves permission to do so in the first place.
Self-compassion requires profound self-awareness and willingness to grow. It also demands absolute honesty and transparency. The path of self-compassion is a bold path. It requires courage and perseverance. It invites us to explore what keeps us in suffering (and sometimes self-neglect), deep into the truth of who we are in our essence. Self-compassion allows us to live more authentically with ourselves in good, loving, kind ways.
So while I do enjoy the occasional indulgence (especially taking long baths and eating chocolate chip cookies), what I really love is feeling at peace within myself, confident that I know how to, thoroughly and honestly, tend well to my whole self (body, mind, heart and soul).
Self-compassion helps me know that I am doing the best I can in any given moment to meet life head-on with courage and grace.
Dive into self-compassion—lovingly and gently!
Put yourself on the path of self-compassion with this directed retreat--a gentle "day in," learning to care for your whole self in nurturing ways. And to unravel a story or two!
"The Kindest Thing" self-paced, at-home retreat is a soulful exploration and experience of "Self-Compassion 101."
Through videos, audios, and self-nourishing activities, Jan will personally guide you through your retreat so you feel the transformational power of your own loving-kindness.
Learn more and download your retreat today!
Can you look at another with Jesus' or Buddha's eyes?
Can we see the Divine Spirit in each person who comes into our life?
Can we offer them unconditional love and understanding
as our Higher Power does for us?
This may be one of the most difficult lessons on the spiritual path because
it requires us to cast off our human vestiges of
judgment and expectations of perfection.
Spirit entreats us instead to cloak ourselves with celestial garments
of acceptance and love,
to strive to see the world and our fellow travelers with sacred vision.**
This is a beautiful sentiment, isn't it? To see one another as the Divine sees us? To witness someone's innate perfection, as well as the unique way each person is beautifully made? And, to view them this way, rather than focusing on all their flaws and the things you don't like about them, including the poor life choices they may make.
To view others through "lenses of love" is a "non-negotiable" on the spiritual path, but how do you actually do that? Some people are not easy to like, much less love, so how do you get around that real fact?
First, it requires a mental shift about who we are and who we are to one another.
Second, it requires engaging in regular practices that teach you how to do this; to retrain your brain (in terms of perception) and to open your heart (in terms of spiritual principles). Make sense?
You can't think your way to non-judgmental, compassionate boundless love. You can only get there by practicing it and over-riding the way you've been taught to think and feel about it.
I'm all about spiritual practices, as you must know by now, and "Being Love" begins as a spiritual practice. In time--with intention, attention, and even MORE practice--Love Itself will take over the transformational process and lead the way.
Give yourself wholeheartedly over to walking the Path of Love and be amazed at how the Divine will step in and show you how. But willingness is key, and we must be willing to let go of everything we've been taught about love to embrace a completely new model of how we can be with with one another.
** From Awakening the Spirit Within by Jan Lundy. © 2000, Heart to Heart Press.
"Being Love," a 14-day period of intentional spiritual practice on how to put on "lenses of love", will begin Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Learn how to change the way you experience love with others--through your spiritual identity rather than through your personality (ego-identity)—and transform your relationships with others, even hard-to-like people. Connect with and gain unconditional support for your "Being Love" journey in our private conversation community.
Learn more and register.
As a recovering perfectionist, sometimes it's still difficult for me to admit that I just can't get everything done that needs to be done. Proof positive that each of us is a lovely "work in progress" when it comes to our habits and mindsets.
For weeks I've felt rather "guilty" about not posting here. It's not wise or fruitful to host a blog and not write anything! But there's only so much you can do.
When I am teaching online (as in our current Winter Sadhana), traveling around the state teaching in-person (like here), or crafting inspirational/supportive resources (like these), I find that my creative energy is limited. No surprise there! How much can one person create or write in a given day?
But the perfectionist part of me still gets loud and snarky, peskily reminding me that because I am a capable and smart woman, I "should" be able to do it all.
Fortunately, there is a wiser part of me who knows that it's alright to say "I don't think so," or "Enough for one day." She is the voice of self-compassion who recognizes that the old stories and habits die hard. She reminds me that I am a human BE-ing and not a human DO-ing.
She encourages me to do what I can do and to let go of the rest. She invites me to stop and take little breaks during my work day. (Yes, I do put in a real 40-hour work week. I am disciplined that way, having been self-employed for 30 years.) She invites me to end my day early when I need to, or take a power nap, or simply sit and gaze out the window at the beautiful landscape when my mind feels muddled.
The voice of self-compassion always invites me to do "The Kindest Thing" for myself.
So, in the last few weeks, the kindest thing for me was not to blog, and to know that is was alright not to.
This voice of self-compassion invites me to stay self-aware, enough that I can take good care of myself on all levels, including saying "No" to some things and "Yes" to others. There is no tried and true path for knowing what is the kindest thing to do in any given moment. It varies with each of us and we need to honor that. Your "Yes, I can do that," might be my "No way," and that's alright.
As much as I love being in touch, ultimately, when it comes to this blog, I'll post when I will and I won't when I don't feel it's the kindest thing for me. I'll keep listening to the voice of self-compassion and trust its wisdom.
I wish the same for you. May you remember that there is only so much you can do and that the rest will just have to wait for another day. You and your well-being are the most important thing.
This morning I was reading from Jack Kornfield's wonderful book, Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are. I've been focusing on the chapter titled," Spiritual Maturity." In it he writes:
"Fruit falls from a tree naturally when ripe. After due time in spiritual life, the heart, like fruit, begins to mature and sweeten. Our practice shifts from the green hard growth of seeking, developing, and improving ourselves to a resting in mystery. It shifts from reliance on form to a resting in the heart."
This is precisely where I find myself these days. To me, the world feels unstable and what's happening in it (caused by my fellow humans, of course) beyond comprehension. And Kornfield's words also give voice to where I find myself in terms of my spiritual life. I desire more than anything to live in the landscape of the heart. I pursued spiritual practice as a means of self-improvement for many years; to be more this or that. Today, spiritual practice for me is not much more than a sweet roadhouse, a place of awareness to drop into that promises no cure or answers, just rest.
Resting, as Kornfield affirms, not struggling. Not caught in fear and worry. Not lost in sadness or anger. Not imprisoned by apathy or hopelessness. Resting in the "heart-mind" as my teacher Ram Dass calls it allows the world to be its crazy self, but frees me from feeling crazy too.
Resting in this place of love and peace allows me to hold myself compassionately when I am shocked, saddened and frustrated by world events (or even the "unwanted" events that have presented themselves in my own little life). It enables me to hold others in my loosely mended heart so that I stay in touch with the suffering of others, yet not paralyzed by such hardship.
How do you get to the place of being able to rest in the heart-mind or "spiritual heart" even in the midst of adversity? You practice. And you dedicate yourself to intentional periods of practice, to Sadhanas, as often as you can.
The Sadhana I propose for this purpose looks like this: You sit, you breathe, you listen to all that arises, but then you set those thoughts and feelings aside briefly, just for a few moments, so you can remember your true nature (goodness, peace, calm, love); so you can get beyond ego-based living and the limited confines of your personality; so you can hold the drama of the world differently and, ultimately, be of good use in the repair of world.
You do a Sadhana like this as often as you can for as many days as you can until it becomes a habit. You do it anytime, anywhere. You may do it around certain themes, like compassion, love, or peace. In time, with dedicated effort, you'll begin to feel the events of the world roll out at your feet and discover that you're able handle whatever has shown up with grace.
Why is having even a short, 5-minute a day spiritual practice non-negotiable? Because it provides a path for you to follow when you're struggling to stay steady. A Sadhana is one very good way to stay sane amidst the chaos and craziness of life.
©2015, Janice L. Lundy
Join me for 31-days of inter-spiritual practice beginning Friday, January 1. "Holding the Light," a dedicated period of Sadhana will guide and companion you as you go deeper into your own spiritual heart. Learn how you can stay steady amidst the chaos of life in as little as 5-minutes a day. Harness your inner good for the good of all beings everywhere this January. Here's how.
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are: beings of unshakeable peace, boundless compassion, and deep joy.
Weekly videos, retreats, & online programs for how to live more kindly and gently with yourself.
Take the "Self-Compassion Plunge" beginning May 9.
New book! 52 inner peace practices for body calm, mental clarity, and heart wisdom.
From 2008 - 2012 Jan blogged at her previous sites websites:
Meditate Like a Girl
You can find hundreds of posts to read there.