Yoga Off The Mat: Compassion - Why It's Important And How To Find It Quicker

 “In compassion lies the world’s true strength.” - Buddha

“In compassion lies the world’s true strength.” - Buddha

Who else can relate to being their most impatient and harsh self with the ones they love the most sometimes? 

I recently spent 3 full weeks with my mom. Which is a lot of time to spend with any one person, and no matter how much you love your parents and get along with them (my mom is truly my best friend), I think most of us have a low level of tolerance for habits and behavior in our loved ones that in other people would bother us much less.

Or maybe you relate more to anonymous situations - like getting road rage driving or being pushy in big crowds. We all have an environment that makes us reactionary rather than our normal, peaceful selves.

Anyway, all this time with my mom got me thinking about compassion- why it's so important and how to actually identify + break my patterns and grow in this area.

What is compassion?

Compassion is our heart connection to ourselves, others and all living beings. Our heart space is where the lower chakras meet the upper chakras. Where our personal perception meets what is actually happening. 

Our natural state of being is that of joy, openness and understanding. Then life starts unfolding and before we know it we have developed our very own set of triggers that trick us into disturbing the peace with others.

Compassion is choosing to be kind to all no matter the situation. And it is an incredibly liberating practice.

Why compassion is important

It's pretty self explanatory that being kind and spreading love rather than negative energy is important for making our world go round. Our words and actions have much more of an impact on other people than we think. In addition to not messing people's hearts up, it is incredibly liberating to notice when you stray from your natural state of compassion and consciously bring yourself back to it.

How to immediately drop into compassion 

  • Notice that you’ve been taken out of your flow. Remember this has everything to do with you and not the other person. 
  • Allow yourself to truly see the person or situation that is challenging you. Practice flipping your perspective to that of the other coin. Say it out loud, if applicable with the person you are struggling to practice kindness with. Tell the full story from how you think the other person sees it. Allow them to do the same and just listen.
  • Before speaking or reacting to frustrating situations take the time to ask yourself 3 questions about what you’re about to say- Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? 
    • Sometimes you will say yes to all of these questions and it’s okay to be human and express something less than positive but at least do yourself and others the solid of thinking before reacting.
  • Make a game with yourself. How quickly can you notice yourself getting frustrated? What physical sensations arise? How quickly can you calm yourself down and choose non-reaction?
  • Practice compassion with yourself. You are human too and you are doing the best you can. Learn from yourself everyday.
  • Practice a metta meditation. Begin by sending love to yourself, then send it out to your loved ones, then to people who challenge you, then to the whole world.... all beings.

We'd love more tips you have on maintaining the peace and spreading loving kindness. Share them below! 

Peace and love to all, 

Alice