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Swapping self-criticism for self-compassion

Your Magenta Monday Magic.

Happy Day After Mother’s Day!

I hope you had a beautiful day and were able to take a little time to do what makes your heart sing and to embody your truth.

Discovering and living your truth can take many forms. It can involve something modest like asking for what you need – as I suggested doing with Mother’s Day – or taking a huge leap to pursue a long-held dream.

Revealing and embodying your truth can manifest in various ways, such as advocating for your requirements or taking a risk to pursue your aspirations, especially during a mom midlife crisis.

No matter which form it takes, it’s about you putting a stake in the ground for you.

This can be easier said than done sometimes though... It requires that you reconnect to your inner self. It means you have to listen to your mind and your spirit and, yes, to your physical body in particular.

Reconnecting with oneself, both physically and mentally, can be a challenging process, especially when it comes to reinventing oneself after the empty nest phase.

That’s what we’re focused on this month: connecting with ourselves in the physical realm and becoming more attuned and attentive to our bodies after spending so many years taking care of everyone else – and pushing our needs to the back burner.

You’ve lost touch with your own needs. And you know what disappeared along with an ability to honor your needs?

Your sense of self-worth.

When you stopped paying attention to your needs, you started believing – on some level – that they weren’t worth paying attention to. So now that you’re here, and you’re ready to put a stake in the ground for yourself – that’s going to have to change.

Putting a stake in the ground for you requires you to believe you are worthy of doing it in the first place though!

So how do you get there? To a place where you view yourself as worthy? Where you talk to yourself with kindness? Where you treat yourself well? Where your needs matter?

It happens one step at a time… and it begins with self-compassion.

When I talk about self-compassion, people often think I am telling them to put their needs above all others regardless of the situation. That’s not the case!

Self-compassion and prioritizing yourself involves treating yourself with the same love, care, and attention that you do everyone else.

It doesn’t mean putting yourself first when your son calls from school in a panic because he failed his bio exam. It doesn't mean you say, “Sorry honey, no time to deal with that right now because I’m off to get a massage!”

And while self-compassion can mean going to a spa or getting your nails done, what I’m talking about here is sustainable practices that train you to care for yourself on a daily basis. It can include everything from setting boundaries to speaking up when somebody cuts in front of you in line.

Now that we are clear on that, let’s talk about some ways that you can get started building a practice of self-compassion – and like we talked about earlier this month, this involves you paying attention and focusing on the present! (revisit last week’s email if you need a refresher on that!)

Pay attention to how you talk to yourself

One of the things that is the most destructive to your self-worth is that little voice inside your head – your inner critic. You know the one. That voice that says, “Who are you to think can start your own business?” or ’’Wow. Those jeans make you look really fat.” Or “Look at how crepey the skin on your arms is!! Ugh – you look so old!”

The thing is, we may be so used to ‘her’ that we don’t even hear her anymore. But there she is any time we are feeling a little insecure…. voicing every negative thought we have about ourselves.

The first step in interrupting this tendency is to be aware that it’s happening. Start paying attention to how you talk to yourself when you look in the mirror, or when you are thinking about doing something that pushes your ‘edge’ a bit.

When you start becoming aware of that voice – once you’ve trained yourself to hear ‘her’ – you’ll likely find it pretty heartbreaking to hear you talk to yourself that way! I mean, you wouldn’t likely talk to someone you love like that, right? You would never tell your daughter that she is stupid or say to your best friend that she looks really old and wrinkly!

So ask yourself: Why is it okay for you to talk to yourself that way? The one person who should always have your back when things get tough is you! You should always be able to count on yourself for kindness in the moments when you are struggling.

Now, just because you start to notice her doesn’t mean she will disappear immediately. She’s been with you for decades - you think she’s gonna give up that easily? What you can do is work on counteracting the voice by looking for things that you DO like about yourself. And then, take a little direction from Kristin Neff:

“With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” Kristin Neff

Try imagining what you would say to a good friend in the same situation so you can flip the script and introduce some positive, affirmative words instead: “I love this color on me. It really brings out my eyes.” or “My arms look really fit – and they’ve given so many loving hugs to so many people.” or “I’m really proud of you for signing up for that pottery class. Look at you taking action to move towards your goals – you go, girl!”

Don’t worry if it seems uncomfortable or unnatural at first – it’s all about breaking old habits and reprogramming your brain. You’re leaving behind self-criticism and replacing it with self-compassion! As with all new things, it will take some practice before it feels natural.

Commit to a Routine – When we extend compassion to others, it’s because we care about them, and our actions align with that. Committing to a routine is a great way to start acting like you care about you; it’s a great way to show yourself compassion.

When you're trying to find your purpose as an empty nester, it's important to identify a few things that truly matter to you. This could include simple pleasures like working out, taking a walk, reading a book, or spending time with friends. By prioritizing these things, you can begin to build a foundation of happiness and fulfillment that will guide you towards your next steps.

By committing to a daily routine where you consistently do the things that are important to you, you are effectively announcing to yourself and the world “I matter.” (even if you’re not 100% convinced just yet… practice makes perfect right!?)

Identify 2 or 3 things that are important to you, like working out, going for a walk, reading a book, or connecting with friends. Then, schedule those things into your day. Get up at the same time every day and make sure that no matter what else happens, you get those things done.

My commitment to routine honors how important exercise and reflection are to me. They are built right into my morning routine, so I take care of them upon waking every single day:

5:45 - wake up, get dressed for the gym, wash face, brush teeth, pull a ‘Power Thought’ card.

6:00 - meditate

6:10 - feed the dogs

6:45 - walk the dogs

7:40 - work out

By 9:00 am I have done all things that help me feel centered, grounded, and joyful. Everyone knows that I won’t compromise that schedule for anyone – unless it’s absolutely necessary.

And most importantly? I send a message to myself that I am worth it.

My daily routine is my way of staying committed to my truth. It’s the way I tell myself every day that I matter, that I am worthy of respect and time. When I stay on track with my routine I show myself compassion – and I live in my truth.


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

Start listening to that voice in your head. Record or write down the things you say to yourself and make sure you capture the essence of how you say it. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself saying the same thing, in the same way, to someone you love. Chances are that you won’t like to think about yourself talking to a loved one that way.

Then pick something that you like about yourself and say it out loud. Yes it will feel weird at first, but over time, it will really start to make an impact. Keep at it even when it feels uncomfortable. It’ll shift in time – I promise!

Try starting a regular routine! Focus first on the weekdays – maybe cut yourself some slack on weekends – like me, you may like to sleep in a little on weekends. I let myself be a little more flexible then and I don’t typically go to the gym those days.

If you want even more ideas, check out the link below from Kristen Neff. She is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion. Her self-compassion test can help you learn a bit about yourself, and you will also find other helpful exercises and resources on her site as well.


PS. I’d love to hear what activities you did to connect to your intentions! I invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us in Thriving Mom’s Collective FB Group!


Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Click on my calendar link to sign up for a FREE 45-minute Pathway to Purpose Breakthrough Session now.


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