Tag Archives: compassion

Compassion starts inside

Shawn Carney Art - Open Hearts and RoadsIn a world that is rife with stress, obstacles, disappointments, and pain it’s often hard to find compassion when we need it most. Starting within and providing yourself with a generous level of self-love and kindness can create a transformative path through that suffering. It isn’t easy, but you can do it by consistently practicing these four steps.

The first thing to do is to take a moment and breathe. Don’t act, don’t react, don’t run, don’t lean in. Just focus as much as you can on your breath. Slow, steady, deep breaths.

Once you have your breath, look inside. Notice what you are feeling, physically and emotionally. Where is it manifesting? Your heart, your core, your throat, somewhere else? This often tells you something about the root of the emotion.

Finding the space to accept that emotion you are feeling, whether it is fear or pain, disappointment or anger, allows you to tolerate it. In that toleration, you can find acceptance. It is a feeling, it is not you. You move through it and it moves through you, but it is not you. Accept that it exists, separate from you.

Knowing this is a transitive experience that will soon pass can give you the distance to manage it compassionately. Most of the time, these emotions are remnants of old, ingrained patterns that are trying to protect you. Unfortunately, they are often so outdated that they cause you more pain than then prevent. Understand that it is trying to help. Believe that it has good intentions somewhere in its core. Speak gently to it and thank it and ask it to leave so you can make room for positivity. Being compassionate with your pain allows you to be compassionate with yourself, which allows you to be compassionate with the world.

Regular practice of these four steps towards self-compassion can help you to handle adversity with grace.

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4 ways you can become and stay open

Each of us has the potential to open our hearts and engage in a compassionate, fulfilling life. For artists, this openness is key to connecting with your audience. You are unique in the market because of your special story, so you need to be open enough to share it! Your story resonates with your customers because they want to share your joy.

Learning how to stay open, even when times are tough, can improve the quality of our lives and our businesses. Here are four ways you can become and stay open:

  1. Be focused. A personal mantra can be an essential tool that keeps you on track and reminds you what is important when things are difficult. Find a mantra that resonates with you and repeat it to yourself when times are tough.

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  1. Be present in the moment. If you are always analyzing what you should have done or what you want to do, then you are not open to what this moment holds. With an open and attentive heart, you can make conscious and mindful decisions about your life.

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  1. Be happy. We all have the potential for happiness, but often allow our fears and anxieties to get in the way of achieving it. Making the choice to accept happiness is possible by letting go of the habitual traps that make us feel bad.

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  1. Be compassionate. Everyone experiences love, fear and loss. At our most basic, we are more alike than different. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Be patient and loving with others and most importantly, with yourself.

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