Ohhh this topic is one I am currently working through. How do you know when you need to show yourself a bit more compassion? Do you do it when you realize it?
Its full summer vacation mode over here with a nine year old and a 3-month-old. I am reminded of being able to hold competing ideas at the same time as a mark of open-mindedness... Most of my days feel like this; holding the needs of a brain new babe with that of an independent young tween. I find that I am unlearning my training of always being busy and people-pleasing. There is no longer time.
My to-do list has had to become fluid. My priorities have shifted. I am feeling more quiet and reflective, more alive in the creative vein. And here, is where I have to cultivate compassion. My training and programming have always valued accomplishments (ahem.. finishing my PhD as I type) but this time is requiring me to be more raw, more quiet and private, and intentional. I am working with the edge of showing myself compassion as I accomplish what seems like the simplest of actions.
I am reminded that in meditation we can see changes in brain scans simply by practicing for 5 minutes a day within eight weeks. We see changes in neuro chemistry within four simply by changing our breathing and how we regulate the breath. There are subtle changes that produce significant effects all by slowing down and practicing compassion. May we be willing to start there.