• Home
  • Heart
  • Self-compassion for your inner child
0 0
Self-compassion for your inner child

Share it on your social network:

Or you can just copy and share this url

Ingredients

Templates Please download the activity templates provided.
5-10 Markers Have both coloured and black markers (or pens)

Nutritional information

Self-Compassion
Kindness
Self-Care
Acceptance
Forgiveness

Bookmark this recipe

You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Self-compassion for your inner child

If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others. — Dalai Lama

  • 30 minutes
  • Serves 1
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

The following activity has been taken from Dr Rick Hanson’s course The Foundation of Well-Being. The course guides you through a journey of 12 pillars for well-being and provides you with a set of tools and resources to re-wire your brain to be happy.

This activity, realised by Lauren Hanson, invites you to engage in a creative exploration of compassion for yourself as a child. Cultivating self-compassion is fundamental if you wish to foster compassion towards other beings, a critical element of your work as a changemaker. Moreover, self-compassion helps you to let go of feelings of unworthiness and criticism to embrace yourself as a creative, resourceful, and whole being.

The guidelines apply to nurturing compassion for yourself as a child, but you can also do it for yourself now, as an adult. If you would like to do so, repeat steps 1 through 5 using the third and fourth templates, this time using difficulties and compassionate responses in your life today.

For more information about Dr Rick Hanson and this course, please visit the course’s website: https://www.thefoundationsofwellbeing.com.

*Image © Greta Rossi

Steps

1
Done
5'

Exploring negative feelings

Begin with the first template, a smaller figure drawn in the centre of the page. Using a black writing implement, write or draw words, phrases, or pictures inside this figure that express difficulties you felt or had as a child. Put down what feels right to you, whether this is just a feeling word or two ("hurt", "lonely"), longer phrases ("like no one appreciates me"), or pictures (a broken heart, imagery of a face or person, etc.). Consider the impacts of you as a child of both the presence of the "bad" (like a critical step-parent, or bullying in school) and the absence of the "good" (such as not much affection in your family).

Continue to write or draw until you feel you've written in black inside the figure as much as you'd like to address.

2
Done
5'

Writing positive responses

Using coloured markers or other instruments, write or draw compassionate responses outside the central figure. Try at first to focus on true compassion, which we generally think about as warm-hearted soft thoughts ("may I not suffer", "this sucks", "I wish things weren't this way") and feelings (warmheartedness, "awwww", warmth, caring).

3
Done
5'

Deepening the compassion

Continuing to use coloured markers, feel free to expand into other responses outside the figure of the child, such as advice ("this will pass", "most of this pressure is self created"), affirmations ("you are so loved", "I am worthy") or anything else that feels right to you. Continue writing or drawing until you've either filled the page of you feel complete.

4
Done
5'

Integrating compassion

Using the second template, that of the same figure but larger, use coloured markers to fill the figure with internalisations of the compassionate responses you produced in steps 2 and 3 above. Feel free to use words ("loved", "strong", "happy), longer phrases ("like I matter", "seen and understood"), and images. The focus here is on letting into yourself today the caring, support, and kindness that would have been good to have felt inside in the past.

5
Done
5'

Letting compassion sink in

Take some time to feel these compassionate thoughts, feelings, and wishes sinking into you, reaping the benefits of self-compassion's dual nature of being extended from the self and received by the self.

6
Done

Applying to yourself as an adult

The guidelines apply to nurturing compassion for yourself as a child, but you can also do it for yourself now, as an adult. If you would like to do so, repeat steps 1 through 5 using the third and fourth templates, this time using difficulties and compassionate responses in your life today.

Greta Rossi

Chief Empathy Officer at Akasha Innovation. Co-founder of ImpactAimers and Recipes for Wellbeing. Regional Coordinator for Ashoka’s ChangemakerXchange. Youth coach and FRSA.

previous
Calm your nerves
next
Body scan meditation