qualities of self
06 Jul 2021

Developing Qualities of Self, Three Areas you can Focus on

During her mindfulness and relationship workshop, Christine Beekman focused in detail on the qualities of self that we are really trying to develop in order to get past those buttons that are being triggered. She also had the participants take part in a short meditation focusing on one aspect of qualities of self, kindness that you can practice today.

 

Qualities of Self

Trust

We may trust the person in our new relationship, but we also need to trust ourselves. We are each unique, there is nobody like us yet we constantly feel we are less than other people and lose the other person in the relationship as a result of this. If we can from a mindfulness perspective hold onto that belief that there is nobody that can be better than we can be. 

Another part of it is that sometimes we don’t trust ourselves to be able to manage, we feel that if our partner left us we wouldn’t be able to manage. Of course, we would manage as long as we trust ourselves to be the best person, to be us. 

Another aspect is instead of focusing on how others make us feel can we instead focus on creating our own happiness. That way it’s a bonus if someone else treats us. However life is not certain, things can change so learning to trust ourselves and that we are good enough that we are able to do whatever it takes to be self-contained (also known as self actualisation). We have to trust our inner wisdom and live our lives that way. We have to cultivate that trust, if we are suspicious it links back to that big lie

 

Acceptance 

 

This is a huge thing from a mindfulness perspective. This links to what Jalaluddin Rumi said:

This being human is a guest house 

Every morning a new arrival

The person that comes to the door can be a guest we love seeing or one that we don’t. What this means is that we have no choice if we are a guesthouse who we allow into our premises. The key lesson from this is every experience in life will bring some learning, even the adverse ones. The thought the shame the malice if they arrive then beckon them in.

For example, if you get the flu don’t rail against it, accept it and decide what you’re going to do about it.  Life’s impermanence is what mindfulness says makes every day so precious. You can only really enjoy a holiday if you switch off and focus on the holiday rather than be sidetracked with work during it. 

In relationships, if we can be more aware and appreciate every moment of it then this will help improve things. The big test of a relationship is are you still happy to be in the same room with that person? If you are then enjoy that time with them and being together. It can be nice to be someone’s priority, so don’t let those moments pass. Accept people for who they are. Once we know those triggers and that big lie that can stop this then it will be a lot easier.

 

Kindness

The Dalai Lama says: “Kindness is my religion”

Whatever we are experiencing we have a choice to look at it from a negative or positive position. We can bring a sense of kindness to ourselves rather than judging ourselves and say “no wonder I feel this way considering what happened” or “no wonder they responded that way given what has happened in their lives”. 

It’s that kindness that we can give rather than judging it as a bad experience. What do you love about yourself, how do you treat your body? That’s a really important one. We often treat our body the way we were treated when we were young (were you hugged a lot etc). That helps to bring the feeling of compassion as well. Even a smile can help (granted we are wearing masks!!). A small act of caring or a compliment can make a big difference to that person. Little encounters and showing compassion then can be really really important. 

Here’s a loving and kindness meditation you can try out:

Close your eyes for a minute

Relax in your chair

Be aware of your body in the chair

Gently focus on your breathing

Gently breathe in and out at your own pace

Bring in front of you your own face smiling at you

Say to yourself:

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

Bring in front of you someone you dearly love and you see their face in front of you smiling

Say to yourself:

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

Now bring someone in front of you that you might not particular (if you can’t focus on your breathing) and you see their face in front of you smiling

Say to yourself:

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

“may you be safe, may you be well, may you be happy”

Now imagine in front of you your own family, your neighbours, your street, your county, the whole of Ireland, all of Europe, the whole world, and every living thing

Say to yourself:

“may we be safe, may we be well, may we be happy”

“may you be safe, may you be well, may we live with ease”

Now bring your awareness back to the room and open your eyes. 

 

Stay tuned as we will be highlighting some of the other key areas Christine discussed during the workshop when it comes to developing qualities of self.