Heartwork

“If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment.” Bessel Van Der Kolk. “The Body Keeps the Score. Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” Penguin Books, 2015.

It's critically important to absorb the full meaning of this statement AND to ask oneself: 'Which of these two dominates my life?' If it's the latter, a great deal of suffering can & should be prevented with skillful therapy. But instead, most of us 'tough it out', circumventing needed therapy any way we can.

“Self-compassion allows us to take a look at our reactions, thoughts, and emotions with kindness and honesty, and it makes it possible for us to stay with our hurts; it is only when we recognize and feel our wounds that we can begin to free ourselves of them. Then it is possible to open our hearts to others.

When you meet your suffering, your path becomes one of healing. However, it is only when you lean into your pain while holding yourself with tenderness that the wound itself can become a portal to transformation. The Buddha talked about compassion as ‘tenderness of heart.’ With both compassion and mindfulness practice, your heart and mind can gradually soften and open to life.”

Radhule Weininger. “Heartwork. The Path of Self-Compassion – 9 Practices for Opening the Heart.” Shambhala, 2017. (excerpt published in Lion's Roar, September 2017.)

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