Compassion, Curiosity for Monsters.

Do you ever fall into patterns of negativity, self-doubt, or rumination on past or present?

Do you ever slip into states of discontent with no apparent way out?

I’ve recently found that curiosity and compassion have been two indispensable tools for seeing and releasing monsters I otherwise keep inside.

“I see you. I hear you. It is OK.”

mantra of compassion

Using this mantra helps when I find myself engaging in negative self talk. This monster seems to come out when I perceive that I am disappointing others, or my own self-determined expectations. By shining light on this monster, sharing my perceptions with others, it allows me to be kinder and gentler. Allowing this monster to be and express itself is Ok. For if I instead trap the monster in the dark, berate it for showing up, it only complicates the healing journey.

“It is OK to be here now. I notice the urge to be doing and giving more, or less. It is OK to give yourself time to be.”

mantra of curiosity

Another tendency I’ve noticed lately is the urge to be doing something qualitatively different than my current state or activity. “Do more” might sound like:

I’m not writing right now. I didn’t write yesterday. What if because I’m not writing right now, and don’t WANT to write right now, it means I’m no longer a writer.

Being patient with myself, I notice and remain curious about this voice. I share this frustration with a trusted friend. And when another friend serendipitously asked me “did you just come from writing?” and I instinctually said “yes” (even though I hadn’t) I then found myself writing for the first time later that day, and really enjoying my experience.

“This curiosity allowed me to approach writing like an old friend. Curious and gentle. Open and present.”

dedicated practices remain alive, even while seemingly dormant

By remaining curious about the call to do more, or the negative energy around doing less, I’m allowing myself time to be with what is.

Breathe in the “isness” of now. Sense the aliveness all around. Notice any calling to change what is. Release attachment to judgements of good or bad. This is the practice.

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