How was your 2014?
My 2014 was frankly a challenge. Early in the year, I had an experience that caused me to make a big change in my life and my work. It was very surprising and upsetting. Traumatic actually. It made me question everything. But, I’m clear that the events that led up to the experience, my reactions, and the outcome were all for my highest good. I still have moments of grief and waves of regret over it all. Yet, I’m in a better, more solid place as a result.
In the end, I’m extremely grateful for 2014.
In the midst and aftermath of the painful events, I knew that it was all for me. There were gifts waiting that I couldn’t imagine. I’ve found many so far.
How did I find the gifts in the pain?
First, I allowed ALL of my feelings. It was messy at times. Mostly, I gave myself kindness, compassion and love. Lots and lots of it. I paid attention to what I needed. I took a sabbatical starting in September. I read books that called to me:
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore
Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson
How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
There were others. These were the most healing and transformative.
Attended classes on Mindfulness and Mindful Self Compassion. Life giving.
Attended a workshop called Loyalty to Your Soul at University of Santa Monica.Highly recommend!
Attended a conference: Empathy and Compassion in Society. Powerful.
Worked with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Some of the most powerful healing work I’ve ever done.
I committed to only requiring one thing of myself: love. Of course, I wasn’t always perfect in delivering. And I now really understand why painful experiences are sometimes named: “wake-up calls”. I’m more awake than ever before.
Ultimately, I simplified all the love and care I gave to myself into a practice that I continue to use each day. I printed the steps onto a tiny deck called “Kind Cards”. This itty bitty set of compassion & kindness is sealed with love and fits into a purse or pocket. I originally planned to sell these for a nominal fee, but instead decided to offer them as a gift to you. I would love for you to have and use this simple, loving practice. If you’d like a set of Kind Cards. (updated cards are coming soon)
My belief that the painful events of early 2014 were for me was a radical act of self-compassion.
The gift of self-Compassion, self-kindness, and self-love is my most heartfelt wish for you (and everyone). Find a way to give these to yourself. Even 5 minutes a day will make a big difference!
With love, Katie
P.S. You don’t have to take a sabbatical and read a bunch of books or take classes to receive the kind of gifts and gratitude I received. Simple acts of devotion to yourself and genuine self-love – a little bit each day – does wonders!