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Going Easy on Yourself…


“Freedom begins with the act of self-love — not the thought or the theory, but the act.” ~Mama Gena, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts

The week-end before last, I was driving with my friend to Kripalu in Lenox, Mass, for some much needed R&R.  During the trip, I asked if she would just listen while I gave her the contents of my head.  She agreed.  I went into a 15 minute non-stop rant about all the shit I had perceived hitting my proverbial life fan – and did so, no holds barred, in an attempt to dispel the charge that had been accumulating inside me for awhile.  It was probably the first time I had been so transparent with her allowing her see the Shadow aspect of me at work:  I screamed, I cried, I swore, I hung myself to dry…

When we were done she asked if I wanted feedback.  (Customarily, I would refuse, prefering to vomit then walk away. ) That day, for whatever reason, I meekly said, “sure” (even though I knew better).  The first thing she said to me was, “Joëlle, you are so mean to yourself.”  Those words coming from her, took me aback.  Although my therapist has much more tactfully made reference to this, to hear it from her has allowed this mirroring to stick with me.

This past week, wouldn’t you know it, my therapist gave me a copy of a NY Times article “Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges”.  Could it be that the Universe was done being covert, and had overtly been sending multiple messengers in order for me to get it?

Quite frankly, I had not seen this type of ranting as being “mean” to myself.  It was just my customary self-talk.  However, these most recent occurrences were inviting me to reconsider this idea of self-compassion.

The NY Times article I was given, states that the “research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health.”  There is a whole new body of research that is growing in this area. It would appear that learning how to be more self-compassionate could actually lead to lower stress, depression and anxiety, and more happiness and life satisfaction.  And, who is to argue with science?

I could sure use some of that…. Couldn’t you?

So, I am committing to 30 days of giving myself a break?  Are you in?  Why don’t we all go for 30 days self-nurturing instead of mean self-talk?  Maybe the wave we can create together, will change the way we move in the world.

To keep track of my progress, visit me at  I would love to hear about yours!


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