Day 15: The human experience is imperfect ~ Kristin Neff

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Day 15: The human experience is not perfect(Kristin Neff)

Music created by Harry Massey from “Journey through the Matrix”

Perfection is not the goal

Many of us grow up with a drive to become perfect. In order to feel worthy of praise or love we strive to achieve, accomplish and out-do ourselves or others. It can be quite alarming to find that no matter how high our level of success, no matter the size of our bank account and no matter the friends and followers we have we still make mistakes. We may still feel unworthy, like a fraud or imposter, always on the brink of being discovered to be less than perfect.

If we can gently look at ourselves from the eyes of compassion we can see how shaky the goal of perfection is to begin with. We can see clearly that life will always be full of challenges and obstacles, some of which we will conquer, but not without our stumbling and falling a few times. While we can often give other people a break when we see them fall short of perfection, it takes a bit of practice to do the same for ourselves.

The simple recognition that aiming for perfection is a futile goal can allow us just a bit of leeway to be who we really are. We continue to strive for excellence in what we do, bringing the best of us to the table, but with a gentleness of forgiveness and self-acceptance. This allows those around us a little more room to breathe as well. And that creates a space of openness, tolerance and love that invites growth and collaboration.

The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect. ~ Kristin Neff

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THE COMPASSION MEDITATION PRACTICE

Begin today’s meditation by taking five deep, slow breaths. Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of 6, hold your breath for 2 counts, and exhale slowly to the count of 6. Do this for a total of 5 breaths.

With your hands resting on your lap, or on your heart if you wish, recite the loving kindness phrases and really try to generate the feelings of kindness, friendliness and compassion. Starting with yourself, say:

May I be free from suffering. May I be peaceful and truly happy. May I be well in body, mind and heart. May I live with ease.

As you feel the warmth coming from your heart, a sincere desire that you not suffer, see if you can extend that feeling to someone you care about. Imagine a dear friend or loved one and repeat the phrases:

May you be free from suffering. May you be peaceful and truly happy. May you be well in body, mind and heart. May you live with ease.

Finally, as you bask in these wonderful feelings of kindness and compassion, extend the wish to all beings on the planet.

Spend a few minutes allowing this wave of loving kindness to swirl around you and radiate out from you.

Take this feeling of connectedness with you throughout your day. Always remembering that you, too, are worthy of a life free from suffering, full of peace and true happiness.

Please share this 21-day challenge with your friends and loved ones using the hashtags #Compassion #Meditation

May you be free from suffering. May you be peaceful and truly happy. May you be well in body, mind and heart. May you live with ease.

With love,

Dr Andrea art signature

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