What is Self-compassion?

Great question!

Baby Self Love

Some days I feels very unclear and I am judging myself a lot. Other days it feels very clear, and I do not beat myself up.

I believe in exploring, rather than giving answers (to some questions anyway) and I want you to feel into what self-compassion means and feels to you.

When you read the word self-compassion what comes up for you?

But, because it can be helpful to have an wise woman’s word I would like to offer Kristin Neff’s thoughts on Self-Compassion. I am truly inspired by her and her work and can highly recommend her book. 

She writes that self-compassion consists of 3 elements: Self-Kindness, Common Humanity and Mindfulness. I feel they interweave, but that the first step is awareness. This brings us to know, and to the only moment we can move forward from.

Practice for this coming week

First step is really to become aware. Checking in and getting intimate with what is. An inner weather report if you will. So I’d like to introduce the short check-in.

Whenever you sit in the car, leave the house, go to the restroom or remember, do the following:

  • Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths
  • Connect to whatever is going on right now, thoughts, kids screaming, lists and to do’s etc. As best you can without judging or hurrying to change it, just noticing.
  • Sense the body, feet, buttocks, back, hands, head
  • Not changing anything just noticing.
  • When you feel ready open your eyes and continue your day

Do this as many times a day as you feel called to. What do you notice when you check in? Write a few words down in your journal or share in the comments below.

With love


photo by: desertdutchman




  1. says

    I love how you recommend checking in with your body to explore what self compassion is. Our bodies are wise and they let us know, most definitely. I’ve listened to Kristin Neff and I like what she has to say. I think that self compassion is foundational and that there are ripples from it (and from self worth) into every area of life. For me, self compassion has to do with caring for myself. It’s the realization that our self talk is often far worse than anything we’d say to anyone else, so to speak kindly to myself. It’s acceptance of mistakes and strengths and “weaknesses” – – and celebrating the awesome stuff and being gentle with what I see as less than awesome. It’s many other things, too.

  2. Deanna Heiliger says

    This is a real short and powerful exercise. I know we are all so busy that we do not “check in with ourselves” ever. This stress builds up until we get sick. I will tune in and try to be more compassionate with myself, thanks Carina!

  3. Chara Armon says

    Thanks, Carina. It’s so easy as a mom, at least for me, to get stuck in that ‘frazzled’ energy–so much to do, so many needs to meet. This is a practice every mom should know!

  4. Sheila says

    Yes! It’s so important to practice being easy and loving with ourselves. From that space of nurturing, it’s so much easier to nurture others! Thanks for the lovely reminder!

  5. Judy - Cut the Crap Solutions says

    Thanks Carina for the reminder. This is one thing so many moms tend to forget. Even in the Bible it says, “Love others AS you love yourself” – NOT MORE than you love yourself.

  6. Linda Joy says

    thank you for sharing the grounding meditation to bring us back into our truth. Great tool!


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