The tattooed instructor sat down and began reading from Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.
The passage about kindness was beautiful, touching, heart-warming and just right. The yoga teacher discussed the passage and talked about the importance of setting good boundaries in our lives. He looked up at us as he said, “One of the things that I keep having to remind myself is, you know, to be kind to others, but also how important it is to be kind to myself.”
Was it less than 10 minutes ago that I had been repeating that mantra in my very own head? Yes it was. I looked at him, stunned, and felt so grateful for that moment of synchronicity.
It’s true. We must be kind. Respectful. Loving. Generous. Caring. We must be that way as often as we can. Not just to those around us, though. We must be kind to ourselves too. Tapping into our heart space, listening to the voices that speak our heart’s truth, and taking care of ourselves and the things we hold most dear. When we can take care of ourselves and love ourselves, we are better equipped to be present with, give ourselves to, and love others.
When times get rough, I ask myself, “What would you advise one of your daughters to do if she was struggling with this situation?” I often get more clarity on how to handle tough situations, and I get way more soft with myself. Way more kind, way more tender and far less critical, far less afraid.
“Kind to self, kind to others…” I have been repeating to myself. And I am glad to know I am not alone in meditating on this mantra.
(For more on this topic, I loved this blog post on a similar theme, shared by Brave Girls Club recently)