Last year, I created a very simple, usable, step by step system for myself, when trying to cope with or adjust to a specific challenging reaction or emotion… (further explanation is below the page…2 of the steps are also found in Dr. Kristin Neff’s writing)
I took those multiple steps and created a page that contains symbols and a simple progression…so it’s easy for me to use and remember…
I use this progression of ideas
when I find myself reacting to a specific situation or person…
it really helps…
- Wide Angle Lens…Broadening my perspective: looking at the situation, myself or another person,through a wide angle lens…thinking about multiple settings, times, situations…so I see that just because things may not be going well in this moment, there are many times and situations when it has gone well.
- Bringing a sense of kindness and compassion to the situation: whether to myself or to others. The situation probably doesn’t feel good and that’s difficult to feel that way. (Kristin Neff: one of 3 components she specifies)
- Common Humanity: to realize that there are people all over the world…both in this minute and for 1000’s of years who have struggled with this type of challenge…so I’m not alone. His Holiness, the DaliaLama says “You and I may hold different beliefs …….But such differences in belief, just like differences in experience, are minor compared to our common humanity.” (the term “common humanity” is also used by Dr. Kristin Neff’s…in her website and writing)
- This difficulty makes sense … the “seeds” for this have been present, but are perhaps “sprouting” or “ripening” now:
Parts and pieces= a person’s strengths and weaknesses,
Causes= a person’s history
Conditions= what is happening in the moment
- This will pass… things change with time: Feelings go through a progression of …arise….abide….dissolve…..
Below: A simpler, review/reminder page
Below: A page that reminds me to “talk myself through it” using reassuring words and ideas in each step….
Below: a “workpage” I created to help myself realize that people have been dealing with similar challenges in every spot on earth for 1000’s of years. Filling this page in really helped me “get” that idea…it’s the idea of “common humanity”…we all have similar struggles. Pdf images of pages: easier to read: Chart Page 1 : Common Humanity…every place on earth
Below: the continuation of that previous page. The purpose of this page was to try to help myself realize that I wasn’t helping anyone by reacting with negativity or too much emotion….it’s a bit rhetorical, but I was trying to make the point to myself…it worked.
Pdf of page below…easier to read: Chart Page 2: Common humanity, Shifting out of the reaction
- Dr. Kristin Neff, University of Texas, Self Compassion. Three components of self compassion She has just published a very helpful and insightful book: Self Compassion. I’m just reading it now and its good!
- Dr. Kelly McGonigal, Standford University, Self Compassion
- Dr. Rick Hansen Wonderful, huge website containing many really helpful ideas
- Venerable Jampa Choepal: Reflections From a Friend a website full of nurturing, encouraging ideas