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Self-Compassion In Action

Updated: 5 days ago

This past Monday, I sent my monthly newsletter as I do the first Monday of each month. I love creating the newsletter. It is a combination of my own content and resources created by others, about topics relevant to leading with integrity and wholeness. (If you don't already receive the newsletter, you can sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/yc2jxrtf).


The April 2024 newsletter was about the human skills needed for meaningful connection in how we work. I wrote about Vulnerability, Empathy, and Self-compassion. 


About self-compassion, my writing leaned on the work of self-compassion expert Kristen Neff.  


". . . connecting with the human experience of distress and suffering is compassion. We can also turn compassion inward. . . self-compassion is mindfulness, kindness, and shared humanity. Instead of avoiding the pain or allowing distress to hijack our lives into victimhood, we can engage with it as part of our humanity. . . we can be kind to ourselves."

 

I did not know that the evening of that newsletter going out I would need to lean hard on self-compassion. 


That same evening, my 11-year-old puppy Mia Valentina LaBrado passed away unexpectedly. If you know me, you know that my dogs are my world. And my world is now a blur.  





I am leaning on vulnerability, empathy, and—especially—self-compassion to walk through this time. I can't even try to resist the temptation to "tough it out" because there is no tough in me right now. Being vulnerable, I reached out to family and friends to share the news. I also took some time off from work and shared why with my team. I am allowing others to show empathy because they understand my pain and support me.  


Self-compassion has been so helpful, moment by moment. Instead of distracting myself from the swirl of grief and related emotions, I'm mindfully stepping through it. I'm trying to be kind to myself, lowering my self-expectations for what I will do and by when, and allowing space for when I need breaks. I am being mindful and kind in how I use my energy, choosing key meetings in my corporate work and coaching engagements over other work-related activities that can wait. And, although I hate to think about others feeling the way I feel now as I miss Mia, I understand that what I am going through now is an experience that others have. I am not alone. 


Sidestepping grief is unhealthy and impossible. There are moments when I want to make it all go away. But I can lean on vulnerability, empathy, and self-compassion to step through it. These skills are also helping me to lead with integrity and to show up with authenticity to where I am now. With time and skills, I will feel better and adapt. 

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