Fostering self-connection, acceptance and compassion while being in a group
It gets tricky to be learning together with people for prolonged periods of time. Self-judgements and self-criticism emerge and personal self-care time tends to be reduced, people can get triggered by ordinary things. Invite them into simple practices that bring back not only self-awareness, but also kindness and gentleness towards self.
Self-compassion practices may be introduced as mini-breaks or a full session where participants dedicate their time, thoughts and effort to take care of their bodies and minds in a compassionate manner. Some examples would be; inviting participants to close their eyes, focus their minds on finding three things to feel grateful about in themselves; sending loving thoughts to their bodies; repeating certain phrases like the ho’oponopono mantra to self, “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” or the Buddhist metta (loving-kindness) meditation sending loving thoughts to self, “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free from suffering.” Self-compassion can also be an invitation to give oneself a light face, scalp or shoulder massage, or a walk where one appreciates all senses and abilities to walk, to be, to see, to experience. Even five minutes spent journaling all about the things that are flowing inside. All practices intended to assist kind self-connection, so that you can move forward as a group with a more centred and compassion-filled presence.
You can choose a single activity that lasts for a minute.
You can create a series of exercises that encompass meditation, moving and writing.
You can create self-compassion mini-breaks which participants take off the screen to connect to themselves.
Compassion is a word that people may not relate to very well, so you can also present this as self-care practice and level and adjust the practice to your group.
Having practiced self-compassion mini breaks for several days, participants may already notice some benefits. And there is a greater chance that what begins being practiced during the course, will become a home practice for many and will guide them through difficult days.
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