Working with needs and values is a central part of cultivating compassion for ourselves and others. Although everyone has needs and values, and they have such a strong influence on our lives, many people are unaware of what their needs and values are. Once we are more in touch with our needs and values, we can start to use them to guide our behaviour so that we are able to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
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We love this simple and effective breath practice from BreathAware. Keep it open on your computer and just follow the practice whenever you feel the need to settle your body and mind. Not only is this practice good for your physical health - improving cardiovascular health and strengthening core muscles - it also helps to reduce fatigue and stress.
A delightful example of compassion in action from Sharon Salzberg - practising extending wishes of metta, or lovingkindness, to strangers in the street. Loving kindness practice can feel strange at first, particularly when done in a meditation, but this shows how simple it can be to extend goodwill to others - be it our friends, family, or a total stranger.
One of the most common difficulties people can have with self-compassion practice is remembering to make time to do it!