When was the last time you noticed your inner monologue?
Listen in right now. Take a moment.
What are your thoughts saying to you?
When we stop to listen to our thoughts, we are looking often into the wilderness. Our thoughts are often not what we think they are--rational, or linear. Instead, our thought patterns typically are jumpy and reactive, both to outside sensation "I'm cold, but it's too far to walk to get a sweater", or to inner conditions "I hated the way he spoke to me this morning" or to worries about the future "I really should...(fill in the blank)".
When we notice our thoughts as simple observers, I find myself shocked at the "monkey mind" nature of it all, and sometimes even shocked at the negative "voices" that arise.
Those can sound like "You aren't good enough" or "You should look (fill in the blank)" or "Why did you do that? You're so stupid" or "You're not (fill in the blank) enough."
These are shaming thoughts that affect our mood if we don't watch them. They are often based in old patterns from ancient painful past memories that get "stuck" in our inner hardware.
How do we change that hardware?
We install new software--which, over time, becomes new hardware.
Self-Compassion is a practice that re-wires our brain. It isn't necessarily natural for most of us, to tell ourselves encouraging, self-loving and caring thoughts and mantras to ourselves. Yet over time, with practice, those thoughts become more easily accessible and push out the negative ones. With a new, self-compassionate script, we are able to move from self-criticism to self-love, from self-doubt to growth and feeling purposeful and powerful.
Some awesome self-compassion resources to get you started:
RAIN--self compassion through thought observation:
Loving yourself into healing:
What is it like being you?
In Health and Self-love,