To have compassion for others we first need to find it for ourselves. Can you send yourself all the loving kindness, empathy and forgiveness that you so freely give to others? Can you come back into your own heart and allow yourself to receive all that you give out to others? Do you feel worthy of receiving from yourself? Just some thoughts to ponder…

Pema Chondron explains that Maitri, a Sanskrit word for unconditional friendship with yourself is the basis of compassion. Often we are so hard on ourselves, always pushing, striving, judging and criticising ourselves for not doing enough, or being enough. We live in a society that perpetuates this and conditions us to be more, do more and want more. This sets us upon a never ending treadmill, with the pace getting faster and faster.

So ask yourself, can you let go of the should’s, could’s, would’s and be kind to yourself? Can you find acceptance when things don’t work out as planned, or as you thought they should have? On the tough days can you relax with yourself and give yourself the loving kindness that you would give to friend in need?

In a world that is busy and frantic, and particularly now as we are on a downhill slope towards the end of the year it is so important to give back to yourself, even just a few minutes a day. Keeping yourself replenished and topped up means you will have more capacity to give to others and you will be able to do so without depleting yourself.

Meditation for cultivating compassion within

Sit for a moment and close your eyes, place your hands on your heart centre. Breathe into your heart, drop down into your heart. Feel your heart opening and expanding with each breath. How does your heart feel? Expansive? Constrictive? Tight? Open? Heavy? Light? Happy? Sad? Is there space in your heart or does it feel heavy and full?

No matter the feelings in your heart allow them to be there without judgement or criticism. Give yourself space to feel.  Stay here for a few moments and breathe.

Now start to visualise a golden flame within the center of your heart. This is the flame of Divine Love. It is a part of you and always flowing through you, always available to you. Breathe into this flame, igniting it, feeling it get bigger and brighter until it fills your whole heart center with golden light.

Now send this golden flame of energy into every single cell within your body until your whole body is shining with golden light.

Send it into your energy field, imagine a golden bubble of light surrounding you. Rest here in this energy for a few moments receiving all the love and energy that you need in this moment.

When you are ready slowly bring yourself back, feel your feet on the floor and visualize them sinking into the earth, grounding yourself, bringing yourself back to the present moment.

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