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    Deep Cuts: Kryptonite for the Inner Critic | Kristin Neff

    Embracing touch, regardless of societal expectations, is essential for holistic health and personal growth.

    enAugust 21, 2023

    About this Episode

    The scientific case for self-compassion and why it doesn’t have to lead to passivity, self absorption, or cheesiness.

    Today's guest is Kristin Neff, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s the author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive.


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    In this episode we talk about:

    • How Kristin first got into meditation and why she was drawn to the practice of compassion 
    • How, paradoxically, self-compassion actually makes us less focused on ourselves
    • The three components of self-compassion
    • One of the big blockers for men in practicing self-compassion
    • What self-compassion is and isn’t
    • How research shows that self-compassion is a trainable skill
    • Whether we actually need the internal cattle prod to get ahead
    • Being kind to yourself even when you notice prejudice coming up in your mind 
    • And how men and women deal with shame differently


    Full Shownotes:https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/kristin-neff-rerun


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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Embracing self-compassion can transform our lives, reducing anxiety and allowing us to be kinder to ourselves, ultimately leading to a healthier self-image and greater well-being.
    • By practicing mindfulness and compassion together, we can achieve balance, acceptance, and transformation in our lives.
    • Practicing mindfulness and compassion together can alleviate suffering and create a sense of safety and connection. Cultivating self-compassion helps counteract self-judgment and stick with the practice.
    • Practicing self-compassion is not selfish; it opens up kindness, human connection, and personal growth, leading to emotional well-being.
    • By offering ourselves understanding and acceptance, self-compassion can help us overcome struggles with self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, providing an unconditionally friendly attitude towards ourselves.
    • Embracing our imperfections allows us to tap into our true potential and find happiness through self-compassion and kindness.
    • Practicing self-compassion involves acknowledging our flaws and embracing a supportive attitude towards ourselves, leading to strength, motivation, and a sense of connection.
    • By shifting from self-criticism to self-compassion, we can improve our overall well-being and achieve greater success by offering ourselves kindness and support during setbacks and failures.
    • Embracing kindness and self-compassion fosters personal growth and improvement.
    • Practicing self-compassion and mindfulness, including locating and acknowledging difficult emotions in the body, can lead to improved well-being and self-care.
    • Embracing touch, regardless of societal expectations, is essential for holistic health and personal growth.
    • Mindfulness and self-compassion are powerful tools in addressing biases, fostering self-awareness, and promoting personal growth and change.
    • Embracing both yin and yang qualities is crucial for individuals to navigate societal expectations and create a more equal and compassionate society.
    • Setting boundaries and expressing compassion are essential for effective communication and personal growth, and society must confront gender roles to allow everyone to be their authentic selves.
    • Self-compassion can be cultivated through formal and informal practices, such as meditation and supportive self-talk, leading to increased happiness and reduced depression.
    • Practicing mindfulness, recognizing our shared imperfections, and showing kindness towards ourselves are crucial for our well-being.
    • Practicing self-compassion during meditation helps cultivate a sense of kindness towards oneself, and can help caregivers and those in demanding professions find comfort and solace in their practice.
    • Self-compassion allows us to address our specific needs and challenges, offering love, support, and care in times of immense difficulty.
    • Self-compassion is a powerful tool that allows us to navigate through pain and challenges by integrating care with action, leading to greater stability and balance. Practicing mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness towards ourselves is essential for self-compassion.
    • Embracing mindfulness and self-compassion allows us to find contentment by letting go of the illusion of perfection and accepting our own humanity.
    • Self-control and perfection are unattainable, so approach goals with kindness, creativity, and alternative methods like hiring a yoga teacher. Acceptance can also be valid. Constructive criticism and feelings of safety are more helpful than self-judgment.
    • Self-compassion, mindfulness, and kindness are crucial for well-being and combating feelings of isolation. Prioritize finding practices that bring care and well-being, leading to a more compassionate and fulfilled life.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Discover the Surprising Power of Self-Compassion for a Better Life!

    Practicing self-compassion can lead to significant improvements in our lives. The prevailing belief in our culture is that success and survival require self-criticism and pushing ourselves relentlessly. However, research shows that self-compassion is a better alternative that can reduce anxiety and improve well-being. Dr. Kristin Neff, a leading expert on self-compassion, has demonstrated its value and shown that it doesn't lead to passivity or self-absorption. By practicing self-compassion, individuals can quiet their inner critic and reexamine their relationship with shame. It allows them to be kinder to themselves and experience a profound positive impact. So, the key takeaway is that by embracing self-compassion, we can enhance our lives and cultivate a healthier self-image.

    Discover the amazing power of mindfulness and compassion through meditation!

    Mindfulness and compassion are two important skills that can be cultivated through meditation. Mindfulness helps us to be aware of our experiences without judgment or being overwhelmed by our emotions. Compassion, on the other hand, involves having a kind and supportive attitude towards ourselves and others. These two qualities can be practiced together to create a balance. It is important to accept our experiences as they are, even if they are painful, while also showing ourselves kindness and care. This may seem paradoxical, but it is necessary to allow ourselves to feel and acknowledge our emotions while simultaneously offering ourselves support. The integration of mindfulness and compassion can have a transformative effect on our lives.

    Discover how mindfulness and compassion work hand in hand!

    Mindfulness and compassion go hand in hand. While mindfulness focuses on accepting and observing our experiences as they are without trying to control them, compassion adds a layer of acknowledging and offering warmth towards suffering. It is important to fully accept and validate our pain while also showing kindness and support towards ourselves. Compassion and mindfulness work together to alleviate suffering and create a sense of safety and connection. Compassion can be expressed in different ways, such as using language, physical touch, or simply having a friendly attitude. It is helpful to cultivate self-compassion alongside mindfulness, as it helps us stick with our practice and counteract self-judgment.

    The Surprising Power of Self-Compassion: Unlock Personal Growth Now!

    Practicing self-compassion is not an act of selfishness, but rather an act of opening oneself up to kindness and human connection. Self-compassion involves recognizing that all people are imperfect and experience suffering, not just oneself. It is a way to become less self-centered and more connected to others. Despite the paradoxes and confusion surrounding self-compassion and mindfulness, it is a powerful source of strength, coping, and resilience. However, societal gender roles can often hinder men from practicing self-compassion because it may be seen as too feminine or weak. Overcoming these societal expectations and embracing self-compassion can lead to personal growth and emotional well-being.

    Unlock the power of self-compassion with these simple tips!

    Self-compassion is about being a supportive and kind presence to yourself. It doesn't necessarily require using specific words or gestures, but rather finding ways to offer yourself encouragement, understanding, and acceptance. Just like being a friend to someone in need, you can use that same language and approach when supporting yourself. Self-compassion is particularly helpful for those who struggle with liking themselves or feel flawed, as it addresses the pain of such internalized beliefs. Unlike self-esteem, which is contingent on success, self-compassion is an unconditionally friendly attitude that acknowledges everyone's imperfections and encourages holding oneself with kindness and friendliness, even amidst the messiness of being human.

    Why embracing imperfections is the key to self-discovery and growth

    Our imperfections and messiness should not define who we are. We must understand that our true selves are much bigger than the current moment we are in. Instead of attaching ourselves to a fixed identity, we should embrace the unfolding nature of life with compassion and kindness. As human beings, our brains are wired for care and connection, and being kind to ourselves activates a physiological system that promotes feelings of safety and reduces stress. Self-compassion has a profound impact on our well-being and resilience, as shown by studies with soldiers who experienced trauma. Ultimately, when facing life's challenges, it is important to choose an inner voice that supports and uplifts us rather than one that criticizes and shames us.

    The Secret to Finding Strength and Connection Within Yourself

    Practicing self-compassion is not about positive thinking or self-indulgence, but rather acknowledging our flaws and embracing a supportive and friendly attitude towards ourselves. It is about recognizing that we are all imperfect human beings and striving to learn and grow from our mistakes. Self-compassion brings strength, motivation, and a sense of connection, contrary to common misconceptions. In our society, we often rely on others to meet our needs for love, support, and validation, but cultivating self-compassion allows us to provide ourselves with much-needed support. Regardless of our upbringing, we can learn and develop self-compassion as a skill, enabling us to be kinder and more supportive to ourselves, especially during difficult times.

    Unlock the Power of Self-Compassion: Achieve Success and Happiness

    Self-compassion is a trainable skill. It is interesting to note how our upbringing and family history can shape our inner dialogue and contribute to a harsh inner critic. Many of us have internalized the belief that constant worry and self-criticism are necessary for success and motivation. However, research shows that there are unintended consequences to this approach, such as performance anxiety and fear of failure. Instead, adopting a self-compassionate mindset can lead to better outcomes. Just like a supportive parent, we can offer ourselves encouragement, understanding, and assistance when faced with setbacks or failures. Self-compassion allows us to maintain high goals while also being kind and supportive to ourselves along the way.

    How a kind and supportive mindset can transform your life!

    Taking a kind and supportive approach towards ourselves and others can have immense positive effects. Harshness and corporal punishments may seem effective at first, but they can lead to negative consequences like anxiety, depression, and even suicide. On the other hand, when we feel safe and have positive emotions like kindness and compassion, it broadens our focus and allows us to see more possibilities. This psychological flexibility leads to growth, learning from mistakes, and betterment. Just as we can motivate children through love and support, we can apply the same principle to ourselves. It may feel strange at first, but practicing self-compassion and finding our own authentic ways to be accepting, encouraging, and caring towards ourselves can lead to significant improvement.

    This simple technique changed Dan Harris' life forever!

    Practicing self-compassion and mindfulness can lead to improved well-being. Dan Harris shared his personal experience of initially resisting self-love and self-care practices. However, during a retreat, he noticed that his negative emotions manifested in physical sensations around his heart. This led him to place his hand on his heart and send himself well wishes. Kristin Neff further explained the difference between loving kindness and compassion, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and locating difficult emotions in the body. By practicing interoception, the ability to feel and track bodily sensations, individuals can develop a deeper connection with their emotions and promote their own well-being. Additionally, physical touch, such as placing a warm hand on the body, can be a powerful tool for cultivating compassion and feeling cared for.

    Discover the Surprising Power of Touch - Ignite Your Well-being!

    Touch plays a crucial role in our physiological and emotional well-being. Our parasympathetic nervous system is closely linked to touch, and as human beings, we are designed to react and respond to it. Despite the discomfort it may sometimes bring, touch is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked. It is a shame to miss out on its benefits just because it is perceived as "touchy-feely." The integration of masculine and feminine qualities is important for all individuals. Society's socialization and devaluation of femininity can lead to a lack of connection with our tender and receptive side, which is detrimental to both men and women. True authenticity involves embracing both masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves. By challenging societal norms and honoring the importance of touch, we can truly thrive as individuals and as a society.

    Uncover your hidden biases and learn to overcome them!

    Biases, whether based on race or gender, operate unconsciously and outside of our awareness. Mindfulness can provide clarity and help bring these biases into the sunlight, allowing us to see and challenge them. It is essential to not take these biases personally and not be owned by them in order to avoid making harmful mistakes. Self-compassion plays a crucial role in dealing with shame, which often drives negative and destructive behavior. Holding shame with kindness and acceptance, acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes, is a powerful healing practice. Additionally, self-compassion is not just about being accepting, but also about taking action to alleviate suffering, which is an expression of care and compassion.

    Discover the key to finding balance in a gendered society!

    Both men and women need to embrace both yin and yang qualities in order to find balance within themselves and in society. Men are often expected to embody yang characteristics such as strength and competitiveness, while women are often pressured to suppress their yang energy and take on more nurturing and submissive roles. However, this imbalance leads to challenges and struggles for both genders. Self-compassion is essential in navigating these societal expectations and finding acceptance for ourselves and others. By acknowledging and holding the pain of privilege, privilege, and learning to embrace both the yin and yang aspects of our identities, we can work towards creating a more equal and compassionate society.

    Find out how setting boundaries and expressing compassion can change your life!

    Setting boundaries and protecting oneself is important, but it must be done from a place of care and kindness. It is essential to integrate both assertiveness and compassion when standing up for oneself. By approaching situations with forcefulness that stems from a pure loving place, one can express dissatisfaction with certain behaviors without attacking or blaming others. This integration allows for more effective communication and a cleaner resolution. Additionally, in order for both men and women to be their authentic selves, society must confront gender roles. Tone of voice plays a significant role in expressing compassion universally, showing that warmth and care are essential in our interactions with others and ourselves.

    Discover the power of self-compassion through simple practices

    Self-compassion can be practiced in both formal and informal ways. Whether it's through seated meditation or daily activities, both approaches are equally effective in cultivating self-compassion. Formal practices like loving-kindness meditation and using the breath to soothe oneself can increase self-compassion. However, informal practices such as finding a touch that feels supportive or speaking to oneself in a friendly and supportive manner can also be powerful. By adopting the mindset of how we would treat a close friend or envisioning what a compassionate figure like Jesus would say, we can provide ourselves with the care and understanding we deserve. Additionally, practices like writing self-compassionate letters can have long-lasting effects, reducing depression and increasing happiness. Ultimately, self-compassion involves disidentifying with our pain and offering ourselves the support we need.

    Unlock the Power of Self-Compassion with These Three Steps!

    Practicing self-compassion is essential for our well-being. Kristin Neff emphasizes three important components: mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness. Mindfulness allows us to recognize and acknowledge our struggles without judgment. It helps us gain perspective and awareness of our own emotions. Reminding ourselves of common humanity is crucial because it reminds us that imperfection is a shared human experience. We are not alone in our struggles, and we should not isolate ourselves by thinking that everyone else is perfect. Lastly, kindness towards ourselves is necessary when we face difficulties. We should extend the same care and support we would give to a good friend. By embracing self-compassion, we can cultivate a loving and connected presence that promotes our overall well-being.

    Discover the secrets to integrating self-compassion into your meditation!

    Self-compassion can be integrated into your meditation practice in multiple ways. Kristin Neff explains that when your mind wanders during meditation, you can use that as an opportunity to show self-compassion by gently bringing your thoughts back, treating your mind like a wandering toddler. Any frustrations or difficulties that arise during practice can also be met with self-kindness and acceptance, recognizing that these are part of the human experience. Additionally, the breath can serve as a focal point during meditation, with its soothing and comforting qualities acting as a source of self-care. One practice involves breathing in compassion for oneself and breathing out compassion for others, making it particularly useful for caregivers and those in demanding professions. Ultimately, self-compassion can be cultivated and connected through these various techniques within a meditation practice.

    Unlock the Power of Self-Compassion: Personalized Phrases for Difficult Times

    Self-compassion is a powerful practice that can be personalized to address our specific needs and challenges. While standard phrases like "may I be safe, may be happy, may be peaceful" work for many, it's important to find phrases that truly resonate with us in difficult times. By identifying what we need to hear and using those phrases, we can offer ourselves the love, support, and care that we require. This practice is especially valuable when facing immense challenges, such as parenting a child with special needs. Through self-compassion, we can accept our feelings, allow ourselves to grieve and feel overwhelmed, and still find the strength to stay connected and supportive in difficult moments.

    Find out how self-compassion can transform your life forever!

    Self-compassion is a powerful tool to navigate through pain and challenges. It involves recognizing and accepting our pain, and then taking actions to be there for ourselves in the moment. Self-compassion allows us to integrate care with taking action, leading to greater stability and balance. It is a goal that is achievable and workable, unlike the pursuit of high self-esteem. By holding our pain with compassion, we can make anything workable and learn to rest our awareness in a loving, connected presence. Mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness are important components of self-compassion that guide us in moments of self-criticism or insecurity, helping us to respond with understanding and kindness towards ourselves.

    Discover the powerful secret to finding peace in imperfection!

    Embracing mindfulness and acknowledging our own pain and imperfections is an essential part of the human experience. We often get lost in the illusion of perfection created by social media, comparing ourselves to others and feeling inadequate. However, the reality is that everyone struggles in their own way, and aging and changing bodies are natural aspects of life. Accepting our own humanness and letting go of the idea of perfection can alleviate unnecessary suffering. It's important to remember that imperfection is normal and not something to be ashamed of. By cultivating self-compassion and embracing our imperfections, we can find peace and contentment in the present moment.

    Unlock the Secret to Achieving Your Goals with Kindness and Creativity

    Self-control and perfection are illusions that we cannot truly attain. Instead of shaming ourselves for not achieving our goals, it is important to approach them with kindness and creativity. If exercise is important to us and can contribute to our well-being, we can find alternative ways to incorporate it into our routines, such as hiring a yoga teacher to come to us. However, acceptance may also be a valid option if it brings relief from suffering. Shame is not a productive motivator, as it often leads to self-destructive behaviors. Constructive criticism and a clear-eyed analysis of our deficiencies are more helpful approaches. Ultimately, kindness, warmth, and feelings of safety are more supportive in reaching our goals than self-judgment and negativity.

    Discover the secret to a compassionate and fulfilled life!

    Self-compassion is essential for our well-being. We need to be mindful, aware, and remember our connectedness to combat feelings of isolation. It's crucial to acknowledge that we are all messes in this struggle of human life. Kindness plays a significant role in alleviating suffering, whether it manifests as tough love, acceptance, encouragement, or prioritizing work-life balance. Finding phrases or practices that work for us can serve as mantras, guiding us towards a loving, connected presence and a sense of oneness. It's worth investing time in discovering what doorways open up that feeling of care and well-being for each individual. With practice, opening these doors becomes easier, leading to a more compassionate and fulfilled life.

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    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/ofosu-jones-quartey



    Additional Resources:


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    The Science Of Self-Compassion | Serena Chen

    The Science Of Self-Compassion | Serena Chen

    How self compassion works, how to practice it, and what the research says about the benefits.


    GUEST BIO:

    Dr. Serena Chen is Professor of Psychology and the Marian E. and Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Distinguished Chair for Innovative Teaching and Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the self and identity, interpersonal relationships, and social power and influence. She is a Fellow of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, American Psychological Association, and Association of Psychological Science. Dr. Chen was also the recipient of the Early Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Social Sciences Division of the University of California, Berkeley.



    In this episode we talk about:

    • The connection between self-compassion and authenticity
    • As well as self-compassion exercises that you can incorporate into your daily life
    • How self-compassion influences the desire for self improvement
    • How it can lead you to be more understanding of other people 
    • The connection between self-compassion and good leadership 
    • And how self-compassion can apply to parenting as well as to educational realms 




    Related Episodes:

    How to Make Self-Compassion Work for You | Kristin Neff

    Kryptonite for the Inner Critic, Self-Compassion Series | Kristin Neff

    Self-Compassion Ain’t Always Soft | Kristin Neff


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    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/serena-chen


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    A Very Simple, Very Effective Meditation | Bonus Meditation with Cara Lai

    A Very Simple, Very Effective Meditation | Bonus Meditation with Cara Lai

    Cara introduces you to the magic of doing less. These gentle no-frills instructions get right to the heart of meditation practice.

    About Cara Lai:


    Cara Lai spent most of her life trying to figure out how to be happy, or at least avoid total misery, which landed her on a meditation cushion for the majority of her adulthood. Throughout many consciousness adventures including a few mind-bendingly long meditation retreats, she has explored the wilderness of the mind, chronic illness, the importance of pleasure, and a wide range of other things that she might get in trouble for mentioning publicly. In the past, Cara has worked as an artist, wilderness guide, social worker and psychotherapist, but at this point she’s given up on being an adult in exchange for an all-out mindfulness rampage. Her teaching is relatable, authentic, funny and sometimes crass, and is accessible for many people. She teaches teens and adults at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, and UCLA; ultimately hoping to become as good of a show-off as Dan. And to help people be happier.


    To find this meditation in the Ten Percent Happier app, you can search for “Put It All Down.”




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    How To Handle Literally Anything | Sebene Selassie and Jeff Warren

    How To Handle Literally Anything | Sebene Selassie and Jeff Warren

    Debating the cliche: Does everything happen for a reason? Plus, the Meditation Party crew tackles equanimity, work/life balance, and meditation vs napping.


    Sebene Selassie describes herself as a “writer, teacher, and immigrant-weirdo.” She teaches meditation on the ten percent happier app and is the author of a great book called You Belong. She’s based in Brooklyn. 


    Jeff Warren is also a writer and a meditation teacher. He and Dan co-wrote the book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. He also hosts the Consciousness Explorers podcast. He’s based in Toronto. 


    If you want to be part of the show, please call in with a question or comment. The number is 508-656-0540. Or you can email us with a voice memo at podcast@tenpercent.com with a voice memo. 



    Tickets for the two more Meditation Party retreats this year at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York are available now. The last one was a blast. Come join us for both. One is in May, the other October. 



    Related Episodes:

    How to Stay Calm No Matter What’s Happening | Sebene Selassie and Jeff Warren

    Meditation Party: The “Sh*t Is Fertilizer” Edition | Sebene Selassie & Jeff Warren

    Meditation Party with Sebene Selassie and Jeff Warren: Psychedelics, ADHD, Waking Up From Distraction, and Singing Without Being Self-Conscious

    Meditation Party: Magic, Mystery, Intuition, Tattoos, and Non-Efforting | Sebene Selassie and Jeff Warren

    Science-Based Tools for When You're Stressed, Obsessed, or Overthinking | Dr. Jenny Taitz



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    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/med-party-howtohandle


    Additional Resources:

    Download the Ten Percent Happier app today: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install

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