The Yin and Yang of self compassion
Let’s revisit self compassion. And let me add some dimensions.
When I first learned of self compassion, it was a kind, caring, supportive type of energy. That is what Kristen Neff taught in her first book. And it was great and helpful and healing.
I have now come upon some of her more recent work on self compassion which delves into it in more detail. This has been so great for me, I wanted to share it with you all.
What I am about to share comes from her audiobook The Yin and Yang of self compassion. Please check it out for more details of her research and teaching.
Yin self compassion is the kind, tender, supportive energy. Yin self compassion is feminine. Yang self compassion energy is masculine. It is strong and protective. We truly need both types of self compassion. We need both these energies.
She created some gestures to help us access these different self compassion energies. I will share them now. I have found them truly catalytic to help me access these different supportive energies.
Yin self compassion – place one or both hands over your heart while saying kind, supportive words to yourself. Things like “I am so sorry. I know this is hard. I am here for you.”
Yang protect – make a fist with one hand. Place that fist over your heart. Say “no” or “I will protect you.” That is yang protect energy. Now take your other hand, place it over your fist on your heart. This is now combining yin support with yang protect energy.
I LOVE this one. I find myself using it often. I find it so invigorating yet calming. It is very grounding to me.
Yang provide – place both hands on your solar plexus. This is the area just below your ribs. Your stomach area. Say to yourself, “I will provide for myself. ” Then take one hand and place it over your heart. This is now yang provide energy mixed with yin support energy.
I find this one also very soothing.
Yang motivate – give yourself a thumbs up gesture or pat yourself on the back while you say “I can do this!”
Sometimes women can have a challenge accessing the more powerful yang energy. Sometimes men can have a challenge accessing the softer yin energy. Each of us needs both. So practice both for the best outcome.