Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Self-Compassion and Resilience

Layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures , Kim Klassen, and DJ Pettitt, and collage elements from Art Tea Life.  (Getting ready for my newest eCourse.)

It started with an email about the Sounds True website, where they offered long clips from their new releases.  I was listening to Jack Kornfield's clip when suddenly before I knew it another one had started.  This was Colin Tipping's lovely clip on Radical Self-Forgiveness and I enjoyed that so much I decided to listen to The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain.  She had some very interesting things to say about self-compassion.  It seems that when we are compassionate with ourselves, treating ourselves with kindness and concern when we experience negative events. we tend to be more resilient.  Fain mentioned some interesting research by Adams and Leary (2007).  They asked college women to eat an unhealthy food (a donut) as part of an experiment, and were either induced to think self-compassionately about eating the donut or else were given no intervention. Participants were later given the opportunity to eat as much candy as they wanted while unobserved. Results showed that the women who were induced to think with self-compassion had reduced negative affect and consiquently the amount of post-donut candy eaten by them was minimal.  And of course the women with no intervention  ate more candy afterwards. So having compassion for mistakes and failures (like eating a donut) allows such lapses to be taken more lightly, without a lot of negative self talk.

This got me very curious about what else might be affected by self-compassion.  I found Kristin Neff's website Self-Compassion with plenty of material to keep me busy for days.  She has guided meditations, a self-compassion test, lots of amazing links, a wonderful reading list, lots of scholarly papers (bless you Kristin!), and even some power point presentations!

So applying this Self-Compassion idea to my Revo'lution*ary intentions for the new year, I think I will simplify Simplicity, Stillness, and Friendship into one word: Kindness.  I would like to amend my study of Simplicity, Stillness, and Friendship to study kindness towards myself and others.  I'm sure all kinds of wonderful things will grow out of that. 

What do I chose to do today, in this moment, to live a life filled with kindness?

Adams, C. E., and Leary, M. R. (2007). Promoting self-compassionate attitudes toward eating among restrictive and guilty eaters. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 1120-1144.

If you would like to play with ideas like this, art making prompts, and self care strategies, please join us in the Resilience, Transformation, and Art eCourse, starting next week.  For more information and discount look to the right of this post.

Layers and textures from FlyPaper Textures , Kim Klassen, and DJ Pettitt, and some collage elements from Art Tea Life.  (Getting ready for my newest eCourse.)


healingdolls said...

The subject of self compassion is showing up in my life and journals timely for me. Looking forward it.
Barb Kobe

Bill said...

Lani, I haven't even read your post yet but just had to say your collages are incredibly wonderful! I love that face and your colors. Looking at them make me feel happy!

Patti said...

you are so amazing - timing couldn't be better. chronic illness and holidays often produce a 'negative event' and my self-compassion is a bit rusty.
thanks, always, for being you!

Lani Gerity said...

My pleasure, believe me, Barb, Bill and Patti!!!

Anonymous said...

so beautiful! Merielsea