11 Tips for Self-Compassion

From the time we were children, our parents taught us how to behave in our family and in society. That’s a good thing when it leads to high-esteem that is coupled with skills to get along well with others.

However, most of my S.M.A.R.T. clients don’t enter adulthood bubbling over with self-worth.

We’re hard workers, but during conflict we may not know how to take care of our selves and meet others’ needs.

We’ve been taught that we should …

1) excel and be conscientious,
2) care about what the neighbors think,
3) stop being selfish and self-centered.

That’s good parenting, don’t you agree?

I agree to some extent, but not when it means losing our sense of identity.

When we think about others much more than we care about ourselves, it leads to unhealthy decisions. We work too much. We over-commit to our favorite causes. We feel guilty if we say ‘no’ when others ask us to help.

In the beginning we may have plenty of energy, but sooner or later we feel exhausted, like we’ve just run a marathon. Our body aches.

We can get by with being run-down once in a while, but this pattern has become a way of life for many of us.

We feel driven. We don’t get enough sleep. We don’t get proper exercise. We don’t schedule breaks to meditate. We don’t take time to prepare healthy foods. We don’t drink plenty of pure water.

This is where self-compassion enters the picture.

If we don’t take good care of ourselves, who will? If we’re not healthy and balanced, it’s difficult to give others quality attention. We can’t think well. We forget things. We get scattered. We get grouchy and critical. We withdraw. We become emotionally reactive.

If we don’t care for our health over a long period of time, we invite severe illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Our self-care … or lack thereof … impacts our families and our work in major ways.

Have I provided enough evidence that it’s a wise idea to develop self-compassion?

I hope so. However, setting a goal that is motivated by getting away from negative consequences won’t be enough to sustain long-term change. We’ll yo-yo back and forth like people who lose weight and gain it all back.

Self-compassion as a lifestyle begins with a commitment to proactively move toward what is most important to you.

I encourage you to adopt new values and beliefs. You can re-parent yourself right now. Put an “X” by the following statements that appeal to you.

1. Self-compassion is just as important as compassion for others.

2. I am as important as everyone else. No more and no less.

3. Setting myself on fire is not required to prove my love for others.

4. I am worthy of love and attention, just like everyone else.

5. God loves me, even in my brokenness.

6. My body is the temple of my spirit. It is important to take care of it.

7. The only real moment is “now.” I want to be as present as possible for my loved ones and myself. To do this, I need to be well-rested.

8. Good quality sleep and meditation are essential to physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health.

9. I choose to develop an Inner Guardian to ensure that I take good care of myself.

10. I choose to share my values about self-care and self-compassion. It is good for us all. I’ll say to my friends and co-workers, “I need balance in my life, and I support you to develop balance in your life. Let’s help each other develop healthy routines and be accountability buddies.”
11. I choose to co-create win-win solutions, rather than swinging between winning and losing.”

This is a great start. If you’re saying to yourself, “Easier said than done,” you’re right. Many of us have good ideas we don’t implement. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Counseling helps transform the unconscious blocks that perpetuate self-defeating patterns. Life Coaching helps you effectively implement your good ideas so you flourish.

Here are a three ways to receive more education and support:

1) Join me for a “Self-Compassion” workshop on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Good Shepherd Church, Hayesville North Carolina. There are three presenters and the program runs 9:30am-3:30pm. My part of the program is 2-3:00pm. Lunch is included. Contact Good Shepherd Church for details.
Phone: 828-389-3397. 495 Herbert Hills Road, Hayesville, NC 28904

2) Schedule an appointment with me for professional counseling or life coaching: in-person at my office, on the phone or video-conference from your home.

3) Attend the Highly Sensitive Person Retreat: May 19-20, 2018.

Contact me for a complimentary 10-minute call to see if my services are a good fit for you. Click here to complete the Contact Page.

Benita Esposito, MA is a licensed professional counseling, life coach and spiritual counselor.

Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.

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9 Steps to Creating a Truly Meaningful Life

Start your new year with your best foot forward. Take time to reflect on what is working well in your life and celebrate it. Then look deeper and ask yourself, “Am I living the most meaningful life possible?” When you take time to reflect, you begin the process of creating an abundant life. Read more

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Success Skills Retreat

One Saturday, December 31, 2016.

9:30AM-5:30PM

Early Bird: Save $39.00 by 12/12/2016

Have you begun to contemplate your goals for 2017? I have. Read more

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The Meaning Of Work for Introverts

SuccessIf you are an introvert who wants to have a successful business, you can’t do it the way an extrovert does. I want to help you accelerate your learning curve. That’s why I’m sharing the following article written by a marketing expert for introverts. If you are not an introvert, please forward this to your friends who are introverts.

Benita Esposito’s personal challenge to launch her business, shared with Marcia Yudkin, marketing expert:

Dear Marcia,

Your article (below) on how introverts love being their own boss describes me to a T. I never wanted to work for a corporation because I dislike politics. Starting a business of my own was a huge risk. I had no idea how to do it way back in 1982. I floundered for four years, trying to figure out how to attract enough clients. I hated attending crowded networking events where everyone was making small talk. I disliked making cold calls to doctors who might become referral sources. I had to discover a marketing strategy that would work for me as an introvert.

I painfully struggled to develop the courage to do it my way, but I am so glad I stuck with it. (My theme song is “My Way” by Sinatra.)

Looking back, it has been worth every hour of labor, every minute of fear, and every sleepless night. I learned that success as a solo entrepreneur rests on good marketing. I have lots of expertise, but if enough people don’t know about my services, I won’t reach my goals. Your article reveals essential points every introverted entrepreneur should know. I wish I had read it 30 years ago. Thanks for your contributions to all us introverts. I appreciate you.

“Introverts: Labor Day Reflection”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day is “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” I like to mark it by reflecting on the meaning of work. This in turn always makes me give fervent thanks that I work for myself.

Only 11 percent of Americans are self-employed, in part because it’s viewed as the tougher row to hoe. However, for an introvert being one’s own boss is heavenly. We get to have a buffer zone between society’s expectations and our daily reality.

No one dictates our working hours, how we decorate our office (or don’t) or the extent to which we need to socialize with colleagues we haven’t chosen and don’t like.

Our freedom puts us out of step with others at times. We don’t nod our heads in agreement when someone complains about Monday mornings or exclaims, “Thank God it’s Friday!” We can take our days off when we please, and for introverts that’s probably not when everyone else is packing the roads and filling planes. And if we adore what we do for work and dig in at 5:00 in the morning or work on a day that’s supposed to be a holiday, that doesn’t really matter in the slightest.

Of course, we still need to get along with clients, but even there we have a lot of freedom, if we choose to take it. Like me, do you hate meetings? Simply create other ways to get projects done, and attract clients who appreciate no-fuss efficiency. Do you prefer to dig in deep with one or two clients at a time instead of short, superficial gigs one after the other? When you’re in charge of your own work life you can readily bend it your way.

If you’ve been floundering on your own or obeying too many “shoulds,” join my upcoming Introverts Action Group, which helps you understand the talents and abilities that make your soul sing and shows how to attract simpatico customers by being true to yourself.

You can sign up here: http://www.yudkin.com/innies.htm

Whatever your current employment status as we mark Labor Day, I wish you joy and fulfillment!

Your marketing mentor, Marcia Yudkin, Creative Ways

PO Box 305, Goshen, MA 01032

Website: http://www.yudkin.com/introverts.htm

To sign up for Marcia’s marketing tips for introverts, click here.

~ This article was reposted with permission from the author. ~

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Success, Love and Money. Can you have it all?

Does Wealth Create True Fulfillment?

Let me tell you a story about my friend, Jan Dahlin Geiger.  Many years ago when Jan was in her mid-30’s, she was an executive earning $100,000 per year. In today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation, that would be $300,000. She was ranked in the top 5% of all income-earners in the U.S., and the top 1% of all women income-earners. She had reached every goal she had ever set. Married with two young sons, you would have thought her life was idyllic, but she was not happy. Why? At first, she did not know why. Read more

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Managing Holiday Stress

When I asked the participants on one of my teleseminars to tell me christmas-decorationstheir most important questions regarding managing holiday stress, here are some of things they asked, along with my answers.

Q: “I am overwhelmed. I play the organ at church, which has 101 services (a slight exaggeration) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus we have both our families to see, not to mention working two jobs. I haven’t purchased or wrapped presents, or decorated the house.”

A: My heart goes out to you. You sound exasperated. You cannot be all things to all people.  I wonder if that is part of your life pattern, not just during the Holidays?

Start by examining your beliefs. Would God want you to be frazzled, letting yourself be pulled in 100 directions? Does God want you to feel guilty about not buying presents and not putting up decorations?  Pray to know your true worth, your true identity, the way God sees you.

Take a look at your priorities. What matters most in your life? Make peace with the fact that you cannot do everything. You have my permission to stop feeling guilty. Your worth is not dependent on what you do, or being good, or being good enough. Your worth is guaranteed by God just because you exist. You don’t have to do anything to deserve this love.

Take time to journal and meditate in God’s love in the morning and before you go to sleep. Soak up God’s love. Breathe it into your skin. People who truly love you want you to cultivate inner peace. If you are concerned about saying “no” to others, consider this: When you say “no” to take good care of yourself, you are modeling healthy behavior for others, even if they do not like it. Take a stand to be healthy. Let God’s love warm your heart, and say “no” at the same time.

Remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  That means to love yourself as much as others, not to love others more than yourself. When you fill up your own cup, you have more love and energy to give to others.

Q: “How do I stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas, i.e., the birth of Jesus and the significance of His coming? It’s a challenge with all the seasonal activities (shopping for or making gifts, wrapping them, addressing Christmas cards, etc., etc., etc.) layered on top of an already crowded schedule.”

A:  Everyone will have a slightly different answer, but here are a few ideas. Which of the following works for you? The more feeling that you evoke, the more likely you will repeat the daily ritual. What stirs your soul?

Start each day with a ritual and make it beautiful.

  1. Gaze upon a beautiful picture that helps you feel your Love for Jesus.
  2. Play a song, or sing a song … maybe your favorite Christmas carol.
  3. Remember the most special Christmas you ever had. Journal about what made it so special.
  4. Write a love letter to Jesus. Tell Him how much you appreciate him and what he has done in your life.
  5. Write love letters to people. When you express your love, you are letting the love of Christ flow through you.
  6. Sit down with a pen and paper. Get real quiet and take a few deep breaths. Pray. Tune into God. Ask what God wants to tell you about how to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Write what you hear. Act on it.

Q: “How do I stay in a peaceful place in the midst of others’ stress? Both my parents are sick.”

A:  Sometimes it’s easy to focus on other’s needs and lose sight of who you are.

1. Start with developing the clear intention to cultivate inner peace, no matter what is going on around you. When you create a clear intention, it drives all your choices, feelings and decisions. Intend to stay connected to your true essence, your Authentic Self, nestled in God. This is your center, your true north.

2. Body-centered Meditation

Focus on your body. Name the parts of your body that feel most tight or tense. Or maybe there’s a different sensation. Name the parts of your body that feel most relaxed. Next feel your emotions and label them, e.g., anxious, helpless, sad, scared or angry. Be present. Stay self-aware, connected to God and stop abandoning yourself. It is OK to feel what you feel. Breathe deeply.  Feel your feet on the floor. Ground. Imagine you are a large tree with very deep roots reaching into the earth. Remember who you are in your true identity. Focus on your heart center, and visualize a warm, cozy image that generates a feeling of love. Breathe into that image several times a day. This grounding technique will center you. It’s also helpful to reduces high blood pressure, eliminate headaches and sleep better. Do this 1 – 2 times a day.

To sustain inner peace day after day, you will need a reminder system. Place post-it notes in your home, at work and in your car. Draw a symbol that represents peace and comfort to you. Listen to soothing music at 60 beats per minute, nice and slow. It’ll help calm you down.

Here’s a tool to help you unwind and relax.  Click here to listen to a sample of “A Journey into Wholeness” CD.

~~~

Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor. If you would like psychotherapy, spiritual counseling or life coaching to manage stress and conflict during the holidays, or any other time of the year, please complete the Contact Page.

Bio.  Benita Esposito is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Georiga.

Two offices: Atlanta and Blairsville, Georgia

www.Flourishing-Lives.com

www.SensitiveIntrovert.com for highly sensitive people

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PsychologyToday Profile: Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC

Read my profile at Psychology Today. Please refer your friends. My credentials have been verified by Psychology Today.

 

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Stress Management Workshop

Stressed WomanAre you a conscientious worker but you’re tired because there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your work done? Do you have trouble balancing the demands of your job with caring for your loved ones? Is stress taking a toll on your health and coping ability? Do conflicts wear you down?

Stress and Productivity Statistics
Approximately 40% to 50% of all adult workers experience the negative effects of stress (American Psychological Association, 1997).

Consequences of Workplace Stress

1. Absenteeism, turnover and diminished productivity
2. Substance abuse
3. Anxiety, depression and accidents

You’ll learn 4 Stress Management Tools to Help You Feel Better Immediately.

(1) Explore beliefs that either increase or decrease stress.

(2) Breathing exercises to calm your mind and body.

(3) Learn the single most important thing that will help you create work/life balance.

(4) Take breaks so you don’t get burned out.

Olympics athletes do these things. We should, too.

When and Where: Call to schedule a customized workshop or speech for your organization.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Office: 48 Haralson Place, Suite, Blairsville, GA 30512. For details about Benita’s work, read the articles at www.Flourishing-Lives.com.

Stress Management Radio Show WJUL 9Aug12 Pam Roman, Director of Clay County Chamber of Commerce and Tim Rose, Manager of WJUL Radio in Hiawassee, Georgia interviewed Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor.

 * * *

Benita A. Esposito, MA,Licensed Professional Counselor has 2 Offices: Atlanta and Blairsville, Georgia. Life coaching is available worldwide via the phone and skype.

Psychotherapy: www.Flourishing-Lives.com
Life Coaching: www.YourAuthenticLife.com

Specialties: Marriage and Couples Counseling, Pre-marital Counseling, Divorce Adjustment, Success Skills, Eliminating Self-defeating Patterns, Stress Management, Anxiety, Healing the Emotional Roots of Disease, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder.

Services: Corporate Wellness Workshops, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, Speaking Engagements, Intensive Retreats

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