Spring has arrived and with it the promise of new possibilities. What seeds will you be planting this season?

Just as we sow literal seeds in the earth to provide nourishment for our bodies, the seeds of intention that we plant can also bring forth nourishment for our hearts and minds.

Several years ago the seeds of compassion towards myself were planted when I came across the work of Kristin Neff, one of the founders of the Mindful Self-Compassion program. Since then, the practices I learned and now offer to others have nourished a friendlier relationship with myself which has in turn helped me show up for others with more compassion and more wisdom.

I was asked recently on the Meditation Happy Hour Podcast “Truth, Talk, Tea with Karuna” on MindOasis.org, “Why SELF compassion?” At a time when we are seeing atrocities of war, the effects of the pandemic and many, many forms of suffering, why turn towards the self in a friendlier, kinder, way?

My answer was and is, because we are better to each other when we are better to ourselves. When we take care of ourselves by putting on the metaphorical oxygen mask we can then assist others with theirs. The effects of self-compassion ripple out in ever widening circles to those near to us physically and those near to us in our hearts.

If you have ever been hard on yourself, if you’ve ever thought you weren’t good enough, or that no one else would understand what you’re going through, I invite you to consider planting seeds of kindness toward yourself through the practices of Self-Compassion. Even small gestures of friendliness towards ourselves can help our hearts bloom.