Being kind to yourself is totally underrated. And I’m talking about radical kindness not just buying yourself flowers and calling it a great act of self-care. We need more risk taking and vulnerability when it comes to the way we treat ourselves because this is where true generosity thrives. Cultivating a practice of radical kindness creates a ripple effect that changes every relationship in our lives.
If you’re ready to shake things up in your self-care practices and willing to get a little uncomfortable the tools I’m sharing with you will support major transformations. We’re living in a time when compassion is the currency needed in order to live a life rich with meaning. We have to be kind to ourselves no matter what.
These 10 tools are potent medicine to cultivate joyful hearts and live in gratitude:
Put Yourself First
How many times have you heard this one and not followed through? It’s such a common suggestion that most people completely skip it because it seems too obvious. There is a reason it’s first on the list, it’s super important! Believe me, I’ve heard all of the excuses from kids, to sick parents, to work, and guess what? If you truly want to make yourself a priority you will find a way. Take a long hard look at the ways you spend your time or put other people first.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This is huge. The age old saying is true, compare and despair. Wasting your precious energy comparing yourself to another person lowers your vibration and keeps you in a trance of feeling unworthy. Next time you find yourself in a sea of comparison try this: Pause, put your hand on your heart, take a deep breath, exhale, then repeat ten times, I am enough.
Change Those Limiting Thoughts
We all have those voices that tell us we’re not good enough or that if we only had xyz we would be happy. Depending on our own programming those voices might be daily reality. If so, it’s important to get a handle on them as quickly as possible because they are keeping your life small. When you’re caught up in a limiting thought spiral, pause, take a deep breath, exhale, and replace that thought with something positive.
Share How You Really Feel
Pay attention to any areas of your life where you feel like you are hiding out or not being honest about how you feel. Vulnerability is the cornerstone of true intimacy and that means being willing to share your feelings especially when you are afraid, confused, or tender. Choose someone you trust and let them know what is going on. Sharing how you feel is a very deep kindness practice.
Release Toxic Relationships
For real. ASAP. Anyone that doesn’t lift you up, fully support you and inspire you to be the best version of yourself needs to go. Life is way too short to hang on to relationships that don’t nourish your soul. Clear these people out of your life and make room for new amazing friendships to blossom.
Take A Risk
Today. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Stretch yourself. Expand your capacity to show up for yourself. If you’re not taking risks you’re not fully living. Get out there and surprise yourself.
I know how challenging this is, believe me. We all want everything in lightening speed. The cosmos works in divine order and the more you trust in that unknown the more you are available to enjoy the magic of the present moment. Next time you feel yourself anxious about time and wishing things would just hurry up and happen, make it a point to slow down.
Write a Love Letter To Yourself
Gush. Write a glowing letter of all of your incredible qualities. Shower yourself with glorious praise. Read it to yourself out loud everyday. If you find this challenging read it a few times a day until it starts to sink in. Radical kindness means filling yourself up with love as often as possible and this is one of the most powerful ways to do just that.
Heal Wounds and Past Trauma
This is such an important part of being kind to yourself and it can be very tough. Reach out and get the support you need to clear this energy. You deserve to live without pain from the past clouding your present. Do the work. You are strong, resilient, and worth it.
Quite possibly the most challenging practice on the list. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you show up for yourself and accept when you make mistakes and let go of punishing yourself for not being perfect. You deserve all the love, joy and support in the world and the way to receive that from others is to give it to yourself first. Be fierce in your willingness to bring light into the dark areas of your life and practice compassion for your tender heart no matter what.
How do you bring bright light into the darker areas of your life? Share in the comments below.
ASHLEY NEESE is a courageous guide who empowers women to heal themselves. She holds a MFA from the California College of the Arts and is a certified breathwork teacher and energy healer. Her private sessions, women’s classes, and lifestyle journal guide spirit seekers towards living with their hearts wide open. Ashley has been featured in ELLE Japan, Freunde von Freunden, Jenni Kayne’s Rip&Tan, and The Nourished Journal. She loves tending to her plants, talking to Hawks in the park, cozy dinners with friends, and feeling feelings. Ashley’s works with women all over the world and has a private healing practice in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Photo by @lanitrock