If you could focus on one thing in 2014 that would change your entire life, what would it be? What if you decided to spend the next year doing a deep dive into it?
That’s what I’m doing. For me, it’s self-compassion.
I have known for a long time that I would benefit from having more compassion for myself, but when the Ripple Revolution model evolved to include the Heart Base at its core, I knew it was time to do a deep dive.
The Heart Base is about love and compassion, both for ourselves and the world around us. The idea is for love and compassion to form the foundation for everything else in our lives.
I knew I wasn’t walking the talk on the self-compassion front. So it was time to give myself an opportunity to dive deep. The result is The Self-Compassion Project, my year-long project focused on, you guessed it, self-compassion.
No doubt it will evolve over the course of the year, but here are the components as I see it just now:
I’ll be reading bucketloads on the topic, as well as listening to talks and podcasts by subject matter experts. I have already found that it’s a little like surfing the web. Start poking into one thing and suddenly there are a dozen more to explore (e.g., neuroscience, mindfulness, etc.).
Over the course of the year, I’ll be sharing what I learn here on this blog. I’ll also share my experience with what I’m learning, both positive and negative.
While the above two aspects certainly offer a satisfying intellectual playground, they don’t really mean much when the rubber hits the road. I also need to experiment with what I’m learning.
I use the word experiment intentionally here (as opposed to applying what I’m learning, or taking action, or even just doing it), because I want to create as much of a feeling of openness and curiosity as I can, rather than feel attached to achieving a specific cause-and-effect result.
Doing all of this in my own head is a great way to create an echo chamber with a less-than-stellar effect. I suspect an important part of the equation will be talking about it with others. That will include sharing my experiences, learning about others’ experiences, getting and offering advice, etc.
Guarding against inertia
One challenge that I can already feel is that I have a whole lot of inertia conspiring to keep me mired in self-criticism and it’s non-self-compassionate cronies. I’m also aware that there’s a risk of, “Oh, I tried this and I still don’t feel self-compassionate – screw it! This doesn’t work.” Or a variation on that theme, “I’m a failure at this.” I suspect that Brutal Bart (my inner critic) would love nothing better than to be able to bludgeon me for failing at self-compassion. Ironic, I know, but pretty common I think.
So the project isn’t just diving in and splashing around with ways to develop more self-compassion. It’s also to stay conscious of the things that prevent it and work to keep me where I am.
What about you? What would your year-long project be?
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