Often the root of an issue is not to do with the problem in the external world so much as how we are relating to ourselves – our self talk. “I always beat up on myself” or “I am my own worst critic” are typical phrases that many adults experience. And it's usually what most clients say when they walk in my door!
Life, modern life especially, is full of challenges. Genuine resilience comes not from giving ourselves a hard time, but from developing a compassionate internal voice, accessing the inner guide of wisdom that is waiting in our unconscious mind to be noticed and heard.
One reason we beat up on ourselves as adults is because of years of being scolded, yelled at, lectured, or just told to “harden up” whether by parents, teachers or peers. We internalise a lie – that our feelings don’t matter.
Another reason is that we internalise the split view of the world that runs through our culture: everything gets a label – good or bad, right or wrong, up or down, heaven or hell, god or devil, government or opposition, clever or stupid, loveable or unloveable, worthy or unworthy.
We are given praise and approval for some thoughts, feelings and behaviours and shame and disapproval for others*. Shame and disapproval put us into a state of upset which is uncomfortable.
This need for approval takes us off track. We start to care more about what others think than what we think or feel in our body as being right or true for us. We shut the body off, put on a mask, and hey presto – a robot is born – perfect for an industrial world.
But the problem is this – you have an essense*, whether you call it soul, spirit or
intelligence…you are not just an empty shell.
But you might feel like one sometimes – all hollow inside. And that’s why self compassion and compassion for each other is so important in this world, particularly when we are upset or experience uncomfortable or intense emotions.
In latin “com” means ‘with’ or ‘together’.
When we allow ourselves to feel that compassion again, for, or with ourselves, we start to experience life with passion once more. We become our own best friend.
Compassionate consulting or life coaching helps model, or re-model our internal dialogue, our inner critic or voice.
It shows it how to listen to ourselves without judgement or preconceptions. And this allows the wisdom inside our “habits” or “feelings” or “behaviours” to emerge.
It’s a bit like coaxing a frightened kitten out from under the house. Scolding it or yelling at it will likely drive it further away.
Your unconscious mind, and all the answers you are looking for, are like that kitten!
Take some time to coax it out, to relate to it, to listen to it and to build trust again.
That kitten deserves to be nutured, to be fed, to be allowed inside, to be given permission to play again and embody the joy of living.
I don’t care what walk of life you come from – all of us are just big kids - and, as one client said to me, “making it up as we go along”.
Making changes doesn’t have to be scary. Actually, it can be a lot of fun now – when you know how to coax yourself – or coach yourself – along the road.
I’d love to share some amazing tools that other big kids out there have discovered in the fields of NLP and Transforming Communication.
Come out from under the house and lets get started!