A Weekend of Heavy Breathing

Well, that was an interesting weekend.

I was in a meeting room on Saturday and Sunday for a “self compassion meditation workshop.”  The moderators were Harvard’s Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, a self-compassion expert.

As I’ve blogged before, many of us have an interior voice that criticizes us.  “That’s so stupid!”  “You’re so lazy!”  “You’re weak!”  It’s a voice that I personally know all too well.

So, when my exec. coach invited me to the workshop, I thought, “Why not?”  It seemed fun to try something new.  I mean, why not get out of my comfort zone?

The other people around me were my exec. coach, counselors, therapists, and psychologists.  Yes, I definitely felt like a fish out of water.

But, I have to say, I learned a great deal. I’ve never done yoga or meditation, and so, a lot of the exercises were new to me.  It seemed to be a version of “secular prayer,” whereby you relax and surrender to the moment.  You think less and you strive to “just be.”  I had to stifle a few chuckles in the beginning, but as the days progressed, I really got into it.

One exercise involved giving compassion to others.  We broke down into groups of three people.  In my group, one woman talked about her difficult life as a single mother. The other person was a young man, who has dropped out of college and is trying to recalibrate.  It was pretty intense.

I want and need to be more compassionate. The next time there’s a long line at airport security, I’m going to feel compassion for the men/women of TSA, who are working very hard to keep us safe. When a driver cuts me off on the road, I’m going to assume that he’s late.

And, when I fall short, since that’s how life is for all us as humans, I’m going to encourage myself. I want to be done with mentally flogging myself for imperfections.

Some cool instructions on the meditations are on the Web.

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