The Importance of Being Fun
One of the problems faced by self-compassion and other tools used to remedy suffering is that people inevitably connect them with suffering. In other words, it is hard to mention self-compassion without people thinking about what they might need self-compassion for. But, because self-compassion is so important to living a full life, we need a more evolved perspective of self-compassion, and this perspective must include fun. It is hard to get people to change their current behaviors, if there is no promise of money, power, status, or fun. No matter how great self-compassion is, if people do not feel drawn to it, then it will go unused much like gas for a car. The gas is not very valuable on its own, but when you put it in a car, its value becomes substantial.
A Fun And Effective Self-Compassion Visualization
So, how can we make self-compassion fun? Well, visualizations always seem to help. Imagine that you are walking through lush green grass with the sun gently warming your back. You notice a stream of water in the distance, and a bench in front of it. You arrive at the water source, and sit comfortably on the bench, watching the water stream pass to the right of you. While watching you notice a baby duck that is struggling to swim, and in this moment you remember your Tonglen self-compassion practice. You breathe in the duck’s suffering, and breathe out a wish for its safety. The duck rights itself, and the mother soon finds it. Now, think of something lately that has been troubling you, and its many facets. Breathe in this pain, and breathe out a wish for well-being and safety. Notice how your heart has softened, and with it your body. Do a little dance of joy in your mind! Self-Compassion is worth celebrating.
If you have read this, you have just completed a fun, and effective self-compassion visualization, and you are either reminded of Tonglen, or you have one more tool to add to your self-compassion/coping belt. A student once asked me, if self-compassion needs to be boring or repetitive to work. “Just the contrary,” I told him. “If you really want it to work, then find a way to make it fun enough to do it often.” The great gift of knowing yourself is that you know what it takes to motivate you. Do not overlook these things, when you are taking on a new challenge. They give you the greatest chance of success.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 222. In The Books.