Do you intentionally feed your compassion instinct?

By |2020-03-04T12:16:16-08:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

One day this wise Native America chief took his grandson on a walk about. He says to his grandson, “There is fight going on inside of me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil, full of anger, envy, hatred, rage, resentment, greed, and arrogance. The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. The same fight is going on inside of you and every other person.” The grandson thought about this for a few minutes and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The chief replied thoughtfully, “The one you feed.” What if we fed compassion more deliberately? How would that change how we, as human beings, show up for each other? It is clear where and how we feed our destructive nature; a few examples are through the violence on television, in movies, and video games, as well as believing that some humans are superior over others for any reason—race, sexual preference, gender, financial success to name a few. When we believe we [...]

Five Hindrances to Acting with Compassion

By |2020-03-04T11:48:31-08:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Pleasing or giving too much is a hindrance to compassion, it does not serve us or those we are in relationship with. It does not serve the growth of our business or the resourcefulness’ of our team. Pleasing, while it is done to avoid disharmony, is manipulation and inauthentic so in some ways, every time we please another at the expense of our authenticity, we are chipping away at our self-esteem. Now, there will be times when it’s just easier to say you’ll take the Caesar salad even though you’d rather have the turkey sandwich and that’s no big deal. It just doesn’t matter that much. But when communication is at stake or expressing an opinion where we have wisdom and insight, it is vital that we all learn to be ok with some healthy discomfort, disagreement, or conflict. When we are coming from a mindset of pleasing our motivation is to gain, appease, ensure others will like us, or to stay comfortable—that is not compassion. Compassionate communication is never a form of [...]

Five Ways to Cultivate More Peace in our Lives

By |2020-03-04T11:20:46-08:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Anger, Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Be aware of your intake with Television, the news feeds our fear instinct and many prime-time shows are feeding violence and discord. I am not saying never watch TV, just be aware of how much you watch, and which shows you choose. Television is one source of food that we feed our psyche. Suggestion: Work on nourishing your mind with passion projects at least 2 nights a week instead of watching TV. Practice mindfulness meditation. Meditation is easy, you can’t do it wrong, there is nothing weird, hocus-pocus, or new age about it. Mindfulness meditation is based in psychology and science, anyone can do it. With mindfulness the goal is self-understanding. In meditation we quiet the thinking mind so that we can see beneath the constant, unconscious chatter, that fills our minds. We go to the gym to work out our bodies which helps us stay physically healthy. Mindfulness is the gym for our brains. Meditation helps our minds to stay healthy by integrating all aspects of our being, so we are functioning [...]

What is Self-compassion?

By |2020-03-04T11:06:49-08:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Anger, Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Many of us have brutal self-talk when we do something less than perfect. That inner voice can be very harsh, even downright mean. Sometimes the shame demons, as Brené Brown calls them, are relentless as they pounce—from the inside—at the slightest misstep. When the shame demons or the inner critic lines up the firing squad, self-compassion steps in, as if to says, “I’m here. You’re ok. You are safe. You are loved. We’ll make it through this together.” Self-compassion is recognizing you need a hug and being able to give that hug to yourself. When we act with Self-compassion, we treat our inner workings as if we’re holding our two-year-old little self—gentle and loving. Self-compassion is feeling empathy for our own pain and having gentle self-talk and willingness to relieve some of that suffering by accepting our own imperfect humanness with a loving embrace. Self-compassion understands our humanity, there are times when we are awesome and times we’re not. There are times we remember and times we don’t. There are times when we [...]

Can Love Motivate Violence?

By |2020-03-04T10:58:12-08:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Anger, Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Is it possible to feel such deep love for a human being or an animal, to the point that if they were harmed, we would wish to seek vengeance on the perpetrator? The easy answer is yes. The more complex answer is no. Let me explain…on the surface it seems as though our love is propelling us to avenge our beloved who has been harmed but is it really love? Chris Hedges writes, “The initial selflessness of war mirrors that of love, the chief emotion war destroys. And this is what war often looks and feels like, at its inception: love” (War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning 159). It feels like we are acting out of love because we are motivated by our need to protect those whom we love but the underlying emotion propelling us is fear—fear of losing our beloved, fear that our beloved with never be the same after this pain and trauma (it may resonate more clearly to use the word anger in place of fear). If [...]

When do we know when we are acting with compassion or caught by giving too much?

By |2019-02-08T21:46:47-08:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

The key to knowing we are acting with authentic compassion is that after we finish with our compassionate act, no matter how small, we feel energized, inspired, or fed from the inside.  Often authentic compassion feels like a spiritual experience.  For me, I feel energized and excited to the point where I immediately beginning looking for another meaningful encounter to experience.  Authentic compassion brings a reflective perspective to our own lives and often puts our problems and self-pity in check—it gets us out of our own way.  It doesn’t diminish our problems as if they do not exist, but it does give us some depth to see the grave challenges and difficulties that others face. When we give our time or energy out of obligation, guilt, or the need to please others we are often left feeling taxed, tired, or overwhelmed.  We must take care of ourselves by resting when we need rest, meditating when we need to meditate, exercise when we need exercise, or getting a massage when we need a massage.  [...]

What is self-esteem? What is self-esteem vs ego esteem? Can we have too much self-esteem? Does too much self-esteem make us too self-focused and involved?

By |2019-02-08T19:53:29-08:00March 26th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Self-esteem is the relationship we have with ourselves.  It is an inner-state of acceptance and okness about who we are—no matter what may arise.  Self-esteem is closely tied to what we believe we are worth, regardless of how much money we make or how important we are from the world’s perspective—it is our inner value.  Self-esteem is what’s left after we strip away all the houses, cars, big screen TV’s, vacations, money, power, beauty, athletic ability or whatever else. The self-talk that happens in your mind after a hardship or failure is often telling of the shape of our self-esteem.  For example, if I fail to close a new deal at work a healthy self-esteem might say something like, “Wow that’s really disappointing.  What could I have done better?  What did I do well?  Did I spend enough time preparing?  Did I have the right information?  Would it have been more effective for me to bring in Jeremy who is an expert in this area?  What can I do next time to work [...]

What is the difference between pity, empathy, and compassion?

By |2019-02-08T19:50:11-08:00February 26th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness|

Empathy is feeling with someone.  It is seeing another person’s pain and feeling from inside what that pain might be like.  Compassion is empathy in action; she feels empathy for another soul and then take-action to alleviate a part of their suffering.  Compassion is not giving away life and limb to “save” another person.  Compassion is healthy; it is not enmeshed in rescuing, enabling, or fixing others.  Compassion empowers the giver as well as the recipient.  Compassion does not stay in toxic or abusive relationships.  Compassion does not please another to avoid conflict or please another by neglecting her needs; that would be inauthentic and codependent. Compassion is circular, both self-compassion and compassion for others are essential pieces of the flow.  We must first have compassion for ourselves and set proper boundaries for appropriate self-care so that we may meet the world with an empathetic heart and act with compassion.  Empathy is not feeling sorry for another human being, that is pity.  Pity is judging another to be less fortunate than we are.  [...]

What is the difference between praise and encouragement? Why praise can be detrimental to our children and employees who work with us.

By |2019-02-08T21:23:39-08:00February 8th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Psychological Wholeness|Tags: |

Praise is based on another’s performance and our approval of their performance.  When we praise a child or an employee, we are expressing our approval of their performance which after time may override their own potential to self-evaluate and often creates a dependence on others for validation and praise on future tasks or projects.  Praise is about perfection or doing it right; encouragement is about learning and growing from the experience.  Praised is “being good at” whereas encouragement is based on improvement after evidence of diligence or hard work.  Examples of praise: “Wow…great work,” “You’re so smart, you got an A,” “You have outshined everyone on the team.  Way to be an example,” “You hit two home runs, you’re the best.”  Examples of encouragement: “Wow…it’s evident how diligent you worked in the yard to clean up all those leaves.  Thank you, I feel grateful,” “You have been studying so hard the past two weeks.  How does it feel to work hard and see that you’ve earned an A?” “I see your commitment to [...]


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