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Volume 9 - Issue 5  - May 2019

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the May newsletter from Being Well in Suffolk.

This month, we are exploring 'Kindfulness' - an integration of kindness and mindfulness. Phil remembers a childhood which included little compassion and Martin will be getting curious about the impact of compassion and self-compassion in the Life Lounge.

Charlie, Martin, Phil, Steve and Sue
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In This Issue


May’s Life Lounge topic is ‘Kindfulness’, bringing together mindfulness and compassion and exploring the impact on our relationships, both with ourselves and with others. It prompted Phil to think about the amount of compassion and self-compassion in his life.
In his childhood, there seemed very little. The predominant culture was based around toughening  up, working hard on perceived weaknesses and striving to be better. This approach was perceived, at the time, as the best way to bring up your children if you wanted them to succeed. 

And it often seems to work, but it comes at a price: judging yourself harshly for mistakes and inadequacies can lead to anxiety, depression, fear of failure and generally not feeling good enough. And it can seriously affect your relationships – after all, how you treat yourself will influence how you let others treat you.

Does self-compassion offer a better approach or is it just an excuse to go easy on yourself?  More and more research shows significant benefits: greater emotional resilience, increased happiness, higher motivation and a stronger sense of self-worth*.

So where does that leave Phil – is it too late? Is it now “just who he is” or is self-compassion a skill that can be learned? We believe that it is – and there are many articles and ideas on the internet to help. Here are a few suggestions to begin practising self-compassion:
  1. Treat yourself as you would a small child. Most of us know how to be compassionate towards a small child when they are hurt or upset. Often it might be no more than a few re-assuring words or a hug. Giving yourself a metaphorical hug can be surprisingly powerful.
  2. Practice being compassionate towards your ‘inner critic’. This might seem counter-intuitive; after all, this can seem to be the cause of so many of our negative feelings and things would be so much better if we could just get it to shut up! However, when we give it some space, we may find that it has our best interests at heart and is trying to help us. Being compassionate towards it can often lead to a more healthy relationship and a significant reduction to our inner turmoil.
  3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. It’s OK if you screw up sometimes or forget to do something you promised or overeat when you’re trying to lose weight. What we do does not define who we are – we would not be human if we were perfect.
Our starting point would always be to become more aware of how you are right now – what are you thinking; what are you saying to yourself; how do you treat yourself? Understanding what you are currently doing - and deciding what’s healthy and what isn’t – is the first step to change for the better.

Our aim is to shift from being judgemental about our own shortcomings to being compassionate and accepting of who we are. Martin will be exploring this – and much more – at the May Life Lounge.


News and Events

Everyone is welcome on 2nd Thursday of the month 7.00pm at Quay Place. On Thurs 9 May, Martin will bring together mindfulness and compassion in an intriguing way. Reserve your place online at The Life Lounge. 

Our renowned foundation course in Life Coaching Skills will run again in the Autumn. The first FREE taster event is on Mon 13 May at 7.00 – come and find out how learning coaching can change your life and work. 

E.Gym is on 8 May at Quay Place Ipswich, 6.30 - 7.30pm (information on PSN CCI training at 7.30pm for those want it). Confirm via Meet up Link or email Sue. This month's theme is Self Care . The next PSN training starts July 5th. 

Also there is a PSN Refresher happening at the Willows in Saxmundham on Saturday 11 May 10pm to 2pm (ends with lunch) – booking via Open to those who have completed a PSNCCI course

Inspiring Quotes

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”  Louise L Hay

“If you do not respect your own wishes, no one else will. You will simply attract people who disrespect you as much as you do.”  Vironika Tugaleva

“The natural response of children who are being verbally pummeled is to protect themselves, and sometimes the surest means of defense is to have nothing to attack. In other words, children start to believe that self-criticism will prevent them from making future mistakes, thereby circumventing others’ criticism. At the very least, they can blunt the force of others’ criticism by making it redundant. A verbal assault doesn’t have quite the same power when it merely repeats what you’ve already said to yourself.”  Kristin Neff

"As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear." Tracee Ellis Ross

"It's hard to practice compassion when we're struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off-balance." Brene Brown


And Finally ...

Brene Brown:
In 'Daring Greatly', I write,“One reason that I’m confident that shame exists in schools is simply because 85 percent of the men and women we interviewed for the shame research could recall a school incident from their childhood that was so shaming that it changed how they thought of themselves as learners. What makes this even more haunting is that approximately half of those recollections were what I refer to as creativity scars. The research participants could point to a specific incident where they were told or shown that they weren’t good writers, artists, musicians, dancers, or something creative. This helps explain why the gremlins are so powerful when it comes to creativity and innovation.”

Like our lovability and divinity, we must care for and nurture the stories we tell ourselves about our creativity and ability. Just because we didn’t measure up to some standard of achievement doesn’t mean that we don’t possess gifts and talents that only we can bring to the world. Just because someone failed to see the value in what we can create or achieve doesn’t change its worth or ours.

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Send all news, contributions and feedback to Steve. Thanks for reading!

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