Our Thoughts Don't Have to Consume Us

But through the past few years of this deep inner work, I now know powerful thoughts and images that seem to appear from nowhere are the fear of that small and scared child inside me holding onto some feeling of comfort she thinks she needs. She has learned to use powerful thoughts and imagery to try and protect me, but I know what is behind those now. It’s my six-year-old self, trying to not become harmed in this world. I used to get quite angry with this part of myself, but I realized that is only becoming angry with another part of myself. A part that so badly needs to feel love, belonging and safety.

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A Little Process for Growth

Growth is change and change causes discomfort but staying stagnant may cause even more pain even though it may feel like comfortable pain. It is a place we know, so we feel okay staying there even though it can be so incredibly painful. Finding ways to respond and work through the discomfort is imperative to growing and changing in ways we want to change or grow. I have noticed a pattern emerge when I’m working through new challenges or the discomfort of change and growth. It is a little process for growth consisting of Curiosity, Courage, and Compassion.

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Self-Compassion: What is that??

Kristen Neff, a compassion researcher, explains compassion as opening our hearts to our own pain and suffering, offering understanding and kindness upon failure or mistakes, and recognizing the shared human experience. It hasn’t always been clear to me what self-compassion is because my inner critic was such a trusted voice throughout my life. With enough new information and fresh perspectives and practice, we can transform the thoughts we generate, listen to, and trust to cultivate self-compassion and love all the parts of ourselves.

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Courage: What Does it Look and Feel Like?

It takes courage to lean in to our trauma, scars, fear, and discomfort and work through the healing. It takes courage to hold hope that things can and will change. Many of us want to avoid fear, get rid of fear and be fearless. However, we cannot experience courage, growth or change without fear.

Courage often happens in the small moments just before taking an action in everyday life. We can practice ways to build our courage to be prepared for more difficult situations. The courage is within, it just needs a little help to stoke the fire.

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