This holiday season, we’ve been tasked with attempting to celebrate and connect during a pandemic. The good news is that a mindful compassion practice can help us to remember, that by slowing down, we have the ability to navigate this time with care and kindness.
Meeting this moment starts with remembering that compassion and kindness are still available to us in moments of difficulty and uncertainty. Compassion and self-compassion is about being a friendly presence in the face of difficulty. Compassion allows us to be with what is here, the good and the bad, and to meet it like an old friend. It helps us to turn towards life, not away from it, which helps us to meet challenges with skill and to experience some joy.
Compassion reminds us of the strength that we already possess. And when we turn inwards we create the space needed to embrace whatever comes our way. Whether that’s a pandemic, celebrating over yet another zoom call, or any of the difficult and unpleasant emotions that tend to crop up during the holidays.
This holiday season, as you go about your days, preparing for the holidays, or making plans to actively not celebrate this year, notice where compassion arises naturally and where you might need to cultivate a little bit more.
3 practices to help bring compassion into focus
- Loving Kindness. This practice involves opening our heart to the person we are the hardest on – ourselves. When we open up and bring some love and kindness towards ourselves we can connect in to the compassion that is present inside and the belief that we deserve love just as we are.
- The Welcome Mat. This practice teaches us how to greet what is here in the moment as an old friend. With kindness and compassion we invite in our feelings of anger, sadness, grief and fear. By making friends with these emotions we are showing ourselves kindness and compassion in a powerful way.
- Gratitude Practice. This holiday season (and everyday) we can tap into our feelings of gratitude as a way of reminding ourselves of the good that exists even in the midst of difficulty.