That’s what we’re usually told: Be kind. Meaning, be kind to others. And we should be—it makes the world a better place, and it makes us feel good.
Kindness is also something we should practice toward ourselves. A random day—today—is so full of opportunities to be kinder to ourselves. Unfortunately, we usually end up doing just the opposite.
Today is really busy. Actually, the whole week has been full. I’ve been meaning to get this blog post up for days now. Now it’s Thursday. It’s late, and I feel bad about it.
I have a choice here. I can beat myself up about this. Or I can use the Yoga Tool of Maitri. I can be kind to myself.
We have so many chances to use the Yoga Tool of Maitri and practice kindness toward ourselves.
Maitri offers a gentle approach. Acknowledge that it’s been a busy week, pause to reflect on all the good things I did, including not over-working, and then do the thing I wanted to do. I think this blog post might even be better than the one I’d planned to do on Monday.
Practice Maitri and you’ll train yourself to see all the opportunities you have in an average day to be kinder to yourself. To not beat yourself up for eating something unhealthy. To smile at yourself when you make a mistake. To take a few minutes to acknowledge all the good things you do.
Here are a few Maitri Practices that will help you be kinder to yourself today.
- Next time you’re in front of a mirror, smile at yourself.
- Write down three things you value about yourself.
- Help someone out. Here’s an elephant who has been alone for 40 years; you can help her get to a sanctuary with one click.
- Take five minutes to pause and breathe to relax.