Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance

1.  Learning to observe and witness my thoughts    (They are just thoughts)  Especially notice the judgemental thoughts.  Then come back to center, my breath.

2.  Become mindful of and sense my feelings, contact and notice them and name them (activation of the left frontal cortex then lessens power of limbic system).  Allow the feelings to be just as they are.  Especially observe fear and shame.  Allow the feelings to move through me.  Allow myself to come back to noticing and sensing and observing and softening my breathing.  My feelings are temporary and change: arise and leave.   Sometimes grief is felt.  I can acknowledge my suffering.  Verbally acknowedge and express the pain.  They are a part of me, but not all of me.

3.  Offering a gesture of care and loving kindness to my inner self.  Offer words of care.  Cradle myself.  Use comforting images.   We can say “ouch.”   I can put my hand on my heart and send myself a message of care, reflect and embrace myself.  I can imagine myself as a mother holding myself as a child.  I can be carried by ocean waves, be warmed in the sun, I can touch and embrace my own body, my arms and my skin.  Allow myself to reflect, tend and befriend.

When I am caught in self judgement (self-hatred), primitive parts of my brain are activated and I am in fight/flight/freeze status.   Using these techniques activates the pre-frontal cortex.

Reason, empathy and compassion

Proverbs 3:3 “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you. Tie them like a necklace around your neck. Write them deep on your heart.”

Does my shame, guilt and badness help me become a better person?  Mindfulness tells me it does not.  When I hate the person I am, my disgust and self hatred does not help me act differently.  My inner judge makes me feel small and limits and prevents my healing.  First I need to let go of self hatred.

Look at my suffering through the eyes of a real friend. I can practice self-forgiveness.  ” Vengeance is a lazy form of grief.”–for when I strike out I avoid my suffering and limit my healing.  Self forgiveness can help me become more responsible.